It is time for a change. It is time for the average American to get in the face of other average Americans, get on the phone, get on the Internet….in the office, neighborhood, schools…everywhere…and say: IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE.
If you live in the South your life can be changed and improved dramatically without losing one single bit of your “religious beliefs” or whatever you call those ancient superstitions. If you live in the North you can stop the Neo-Fascism that you allowed to take hold in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio and other states.
By the way…it is Neo-Fascism. Here is how you know. When a dictator takes over a country, he throws out all the elected officials and puts in only those people who will agree with him 100% of the time. How did he get elected in the first place? Lies. “I’ll create hundreds on hundreds of thousands of jobs,” they say….and the hicks believe them and vote them in.
Then what happens? In Wisconsin, job growth is one of the lowest in the country. But in Michigan things are worse The governor’s Republican legislature wrote a law that says basically he can toss out any elected mayor or city manager and substitute one of his own choosing. Let’s recap that. A man is elected to office by lying (propaganda it is called in the Fascist terminology) and then he turns on the people and says…”from now on, I decide who runs things.” Of course, it will not be someone who disagrees with him.
For example, there is the case of the public beach versus the luxurious private golf club community. In Michigan, Governor Snyder tossed out the city manager of a community that resisted giving up precious Lake Michigan park land to a private golf community developer, a friend of the local member of the House of Representatives, Fred Upton (also a multi-millionaire Whirlpool Corporation heir. Whirlpool, which, thanks to Upton, has now sent all its jobs of any magnitude out of Michigan and pretty much out of the U.S.) The man Republican Governor Snyder put in place to run this little community accomplished the deeding of part of the park land on Lake Michigan to the private golf course developer.
You see how efficiently Fascism works. You can lose your land or your rights, or in extreme cases (and that is why we need to stop this now…right now) you can lose your freedom and your life. There was no difference between Joe Stalin and Adolph Hitler. They both organized governments using all the levers of power in their countries and later those in the countries they conquered to bring people under the control of one political party…to dominate the rest of the people. This isn’t new. It happened under the Pharaohs and the Romans and the Goths. Only today it has been refined into a slick political system, so that you barely know it exists.
In all 50 states, right now, as you read this, an organization called ALEC is made up of the most reticent-appearing corporations but working against the people….Coca Cola, Kraft Foods, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers, COMCAST, Federal Express, GEICO, General Electric, J.C. Penney, MARS candy, Nestle foods, and many, many, many more. (Go to ALECEXPOSED.org to see the full list….including BP Oil, Koch Brothers Corporation, EXXON/MOBIL, Dow Chemical, Boeing…and Altria (tobacco) and the National Rifle Association and the Chamber of Commerce.)
Every state has an ALEC organizing committee…and has had for years…that creates legislation for big corporations. And remember, most of the time…not merely some of the time…if it works for a big corporation it damages the individual citizen. Here are only a couple of examples. Legislation to override national laws on pollution. So a big chemical company is in violation of national regulations, say dumping toxic waste into a local river that provides water for suburbs. But on the state level, ALEC gets legislation introduced and approved for corporations to literally pollute water and or air in that state. They have been successful a large number of states already and are still working away, undermining our government and our clean air and water right now, today.
They initiate other kinds of legislation too, for example, legislation that will deny average citizens the right to sue major corporations for damages in cases of product liability. In some cases the legislation will not allow citizens to sue at all. In others, there are caps on the amount that can be sued for and in still other cases legislation says that these things will be sent to arbitration, with one person from the consumer side, one person from the corporate side and one person to be nominated by the (ALEC-elected and paid-for Republican governor.) The consumer has no chance whatsoever.
Let’s stop for a minute and remember. This is supposed to be America. Not Russia. Not Brazil. Not some African potentate or Middle Eastern tribal government. This is supposed to be a society that, to the rest of the world represents freedom, independence, and most of all respects the civil and individual rights of the Common Man. This is the society that proudly overcame slavery, then defeated attempts to maintain entrenched racism to reach full civil rights for all its citizens…however unevenly or often inequitably that has worked out over various political regimes. We continue to move ahead, if we are who we say we are.
Another piece of ALEC legislation is on education. The legislature creates a charter school system which does two things basically. It creates semi-private schools from what were already the best schools in a state. It drains money from other schools which were already bad…generally in poor communities with bad teachers and difficult circumstances in which children already had a hard time learning. But, the Neo-Fascist ALEC paid-for legislators say, your kids can go to this charter school too. We’ll give you a stipend and you pay the rest. But you have to get there, and oops, you live twenty miles away.
All this is done under an umbrella of Right Wing media propaganda. That is part of what ALEC pays for. What ALEC says to a legislator is this: We know that you will be hammered by the average citizen. But you are with us now. We have our media sources in over 1600 Right Wing radio stations around the country, which means that in a city like Chicago, a bastion of Liberalism…even there we have three Right Wing radio stations and others we have scared off because we no longer have to tell the truth on the radio. We are allowed to say whatever we please, lie, cheat, steal elections, damage people’s reputations, get them fired….run off the Left because we can make life miserable for them, using the ignorance of the average citizen and the power of our media.
ALEC can do all these things and get away with them because they work under the radar. Now, when the Internet media is finally catching up to them, they are leaving ALEC in droves. But that is not enough. We mentioned change and that change must involve the complete eradiation of ALEC, because it is the kind of lobbying on a local scale that can overwhelm the ability of local officials to work for the people who elected them.
People are busy and tired when they come home from work. They do not focus on politics except at those times when elections are near. Then they tend to take sides. These Right Wing local politicians do not say…hey…I got $10,000 from Koch Industries and half that amount from Coca Cola, and Boeing and AT&T. They say…your schools are bad and I’m going to fix them. What you don’t know is that they are going to make them worse, cut back spending, combine classrooms, cut teachers’ salaries and take away their pensions.
So we now have national problems, with the old Confederate states in the hands of people who have been encouraged to take up racism and Segregation again, only not in personal attacks…at least not publicly. The plan is far more subtle. The idea is to attack the poor as being lazy and dissipated. Because a high percentage of the poor in Southern States are black or in some states Mexican-Americans, the Right Wing has been able to make ground. Many poor whites simply do not equate their lives with those of African-Americans. They simply do not see that they are being devastated by the same political policies that are being used against Blacks.
Let’s take a national issue….one that is prominent…front and center….Obamacare. What is the actual situation with health care today and what has it been for let’s say, just arbitrarily, the last 20 years?
Well, of course, two obvious things come to mind. The first is access. If you lose your job or you get some kind of disease and then lose your health care….you basically lose access. What does that mean? No matter what you think it means, it means that if you get very sick you will lose a very high percentage of our wealth. You will be sued. You will be asked to pay at least part of what you owe.
Now, have the Republicans, who held the Congress from 1993 to 2000, then from 2001 to 2006, then from 2010 until today…have they done anything to reduce costs of health care. That is have they introduced any legislation to reduce the rate of growth in the cost of hospital rooms, drugs, fees, health insurance premiums, or doctors fees? No. Not one thing.
But have the Republicans tried to keep the costs and the subsequent profits for the health care industry going up? Absolutely. They gave a $600 billion windfall to the pharmaceutical companies. What they did rather than making pharmaceutical companies hold the line on costs to consumers was to have government pay part of the costs for rising drug prices, which still left the average citizen (mostly poorer senior citizens on fixed incomes) with big out-of-pocket costs.
In addition, the same people who recently tried to stop Obamacare–Newt Gingrich, Rick Scott, the Republican House of Representatives, the Republicans in the Senate ( but both chambers of Republicans voting 100% against reform) the Koch Brothers, the American Medical Association, America’s Health Care Plans, National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Chamber of Commerce…on and on and on…all Republican–also voted, if they were around, and lied and propagandized against the Clinton Health Care plans. Remember Harry and Louise? Those ads were filled with lies and even the actors who portrayed them later apologized to the American public for their part in killing the Clinton proposals.
Here is the simple proof that we are living in a Neo-Fascist, obstructionist state. All these people who were do dedicated to preventing health care reform all agree on health care reform…or most…maybe 85% of everyone in the country at the very least. Yes. They do. If they wanted to stop Obamacare they could have done it with a simple vote and a stroke of a Presidential pen.
Everyone…as everyone knows….over 80% or in some reports 90%…loves Medicare. Even for our sickest and most vulnerable citizens, it works well for the people who need health care. It also works very well for government because, whereas private health insurance administrative costs run 20-30%, Medicare has been repeatedly shown to cost less than 5%.
So if the Republicans in 1993, 1994, 1995,1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 or 2008 wanted to help Americans, there were numerous proposals to simply lower the age for Medicare, with slightly higher premiums for those under age 65, and cover those most in need.
In other words Medicare would have (and could easily have) covered those from age 45 to age 64, so that those who wanted to retire early, or were laid off in a bad economy (the older you are the more likely to be laid off, and if over 50, you could be out of work for good) would have health insurance. It would have been hugely less expensive and less complex than Obamacare.
But what did the Republicans do? What are they still doing? They fought health care reform tooth and nail, offering as many as 400 different motions in the Senate alone to try to disrupt the proceedings. As the Democrats were designing a plan that would work for citizens, the Republicans were continually undermining an efficient system with measures that were coming directly from the health care industry.
In 2009, after $400 million in campaign funds had been given to Republicans alone…and some substantial money was extorted by Democrats who pretended that they might be the one Democratic vote to kill the legislation…to try to stop it, health care reform finally arrived…Obamacare. Not the best formulation. The Republicans had 20 years to do that. The Democrats would have joined in heartily to any suggestion of bringing down the age of Medicare. It was a no brainer. But the Republicans killed it every time it was even mentioned.
So here we are. ALEC raining down legislation on the states to cut product liability suits, to prevent voting, to cut back on education…and at the national level, the Republican stooges wanting to cut back on Social Security and repeal health care for all.
It is so blatant, that one wonders why many of these legislators have not been assassinated. Wouldn’t you think that someone who votes to take away $40 million in food stamps from starving people would somehow, some day walk into some crazed person, driven out of his mind by being cheated out of his home, losing his job with no new jobs being created? Wouldn’t you think that, this man’s having been told that now no food would be available might drive him to murder? And what juror would not sympathize with this wretched individual and not want to send him to jail but rather send a message to Congress that, unless you begin to help People rather than Corporations, this is only the beginning?
The surprise of many people is not only that it has not yet happened, but that it does not happen every day. We need a change. And we need it now, before this kind of anarchical behavior starts and then becomes routine.