Friday, April 07, 2006

An Open Letter to America

Dear America,

America is sick. In fact we've been ill for so long we've forgotten what a clean bill of health feels like. Our diseases' symptoms are rampant corruption, influence peddling, and apathy that have rendered Americans almost senseless. What should be an outrage is now the status quo. Those that we have charged to lead this great nation have instead carved up this nation with the intent of selling it off to the highest campaign contributor. And we allowed this to happen. We even make jokes about it. But its not funny and it will destroy this great land if we allow it to continue.

Believe me when I tell you that I am not overstating anything. What your average American has failed to realize is that in addition everything I have stated that the current march of globalization will soon have our leadership beholden to foreign owned corporate and special interests
if this is not stopped.

The good news is there is a simple solution. The bad news is that our current leaders, corporate powers, media conglomerates, and special interests will do everything within their power to make sure that this solution is never
implemented. And what is that solution? Public campaign financing. Meaning that we, you , me, and everyone else pays to have our leaders elected that we ensure that our leaders are solely dependent on us to get into office, that they are answerable only to us. Right now as I speak campaign finance reform is being discussed on the hill and what you and I both know is they are trying to figure out how much they can get away with and still make it look like they've actually made real meaningful reforms. Right now they are figuring out which loopholes to insert into the law, how to maintain the status quo, how to line their pockets at your expense, and how to reward their paymasters.

Benjamin Disraeli former prime minister of Britain once said, "I must follow the people, am I not their leader?". If we call for total reform loudly enough and long enough they will give it to us. Its already happening on a state level. But it won't be easy. Pundits, talking heads, and media figures will rail against it. Why? Because special interests pay their bills too. They're just called sponsors instead of campaign contributors. And you'll hear the fans of these public figures parrot their words endlessly from coast to coast. You'll hear the words socialist and socialism bandied about endlessly as insults. Ignore them. This isn't socialism, its surgery. Because we have a chance to cure the cancer of corruption, take back this country, and give us a huge advantage over our competitors whose governments' corruption currently exceeds ours.

The new American system won't be a corrupt pay to play system. Business and special interests will have to plead their case and prove the merits of their ideas to get changes made. In the new American system you, your neighbor, your minister, and your high school economics teacher will have as much of a chance of being elected as any millionaire. And isn't that the way it should be? Shouldn't our leaders be elected because they have integrity, quality ideas, and the courage to back up their convictions?

And how much is this going to cost us? According to
Public Campaign about 10$ per person per year. Its a bargain at ten times the price. The real question is how much is this current system of corporate fellatio costing us now? The cost cannot easily be measured. And it also cannot be measured in dollars alone.

"Look back at the bulk of legislation passed by Congress in the past decade: an energy bill which gave oil companies huge tax breaks at the same time that Exxon Mobil just posted $36 billion in profits in 2005 and our gasoline and home heating bills are at an all-time high; a bankruptcy “"reform”" bill written by credit card companies to make it harder for poor debtors to escape the burdens of divorce or medical catastrophe; the deregulation of the banking, securities and insurance sectors which led to rampant corporate malfeasance and greed and the destruction of the retirement plans of millions of small investors; the deregulation of the telecommunications sector which led to cable industry price gouging and an undermining of news coverage; protection for rampant overpricing of pharmaceutical drugs; and the blocking of even the mildest attempt to prevent American corporations from dodging an estimated $50 billion in annual taxes by opening a PO Box in an off-shore tax haven like Bermuda or the Cayman islands." - excerpt from Bill Moyers speech
Saving Democracy

Is that what we chose? Were those our interests being represented? Is our country better off?
America, its finally time to yell, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" Spread the word.