by Lisa McCormick
When is someone going to demand that the Pentagon, the Central Intelligence Agency, or State Department explain whether the wars of the last quarter century in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Palestine, and Colombia, were necessary interventions?
The ideas advanced around the “toughness” of the capitalist-imperialist state in its willingness to exert U.S. influence around the world neglect how those military adventures benefit real people.
America’s government operates in the best interests of the murderous defense industry, corrupt financial capitalists and greedy international corporations. We are all in this together but ‘We The People’ have little to do with priorities determined by Washington & Wall Street.
Information about U.S. militarism, war & corporate greed is very scarce because sharing that would produce struggles against racism & oppression, and resistance to activism is one of the trademarks of an oppressive society.
The fact that working class, racially excluded groups, women & other exploited constituencies are subjected to non-violent oppression should not make us feel any better. We are all in this together. Slight of hand distraction and con artistry are still thievery and fraud. Poverty and deprivation kill as surely as bullets, only slower.
Chances are, you do not know much about this but you certainly share in the blame because we live in a democratic republic. You have power because you can vote. For a long time, you have been tricked into not using that power for good.
The establishment presents us with false choices, but we fall for their tricks again and again. Instead of making fundamental changes and acting to insure consideration of real alternatives, we blindly pick the lesser evil. We fail to seek out something genuinely good.
As a result, we do the bidding of someone else, whose greed takes wealth away from 99 percent of the population and concentrates in among the richest one-tenth of one percent. We do not even know the identity of those who robbed us of our birthright when they converted democracy to an auction. One out of a thousand, they walk among us and we admire them unaware that they have not only taken from us but that they have betrayed us as well.
The cost of someone else’s greed is worldwide hatred directed at average Americans. Your security is imperiled because they offended some other people you will probably never know. And that slight danger is magnified by our media, which is owned by the ultrarich, so in panic, we allow these greedy few to further degrade our freedom and steal our wealth.
This is a viscious cycle that began before World War II ended and picked up pace just as the Cold War thawed. The multi-national corporations and banks based in the U.S., Europe and Japan extract resources and debt payments from the rest of the world. The Pentagon and CIA protect their wholesale plunder.
Many anti-war activists have been at the forefront against U.S. maneuvers to re-colonize countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and in the Caribbean. From opposing the first war in Iraq to protesting domestic surveillance and targeted kill lists, some of us have spoken out but few of us ever hear those voices. We let mass media drown them out.
Compare the news coverage of political demonstrations, picket lines and community forums with that given to an imbecile like Donald Trump. Ask why Bernie Sanders was subjected to a virtual news blackout but blame yourself for failing to change the channel. Consumers and voters have choices and if we allow ourselves to be distracted from what is important and real, we can blame nobody else for the results. Democracy is not a spectator sport, politics is war by non-violent means.
The cost of someone else’s greed is the impoverishment of a majority of Americans. Today, the average person is unable to scrape up $400 for an emergency. More than half our population lives at or near poverty, especially using measures that count a person’s ability to afford necessary things, like food and shelter. Many Americans work full time and cannot afford to live. We are all in this together as U.S. military adventures and corporate greed have claimed the lives of millions of people, displaced millions more.
Instead of rebelling against those injustices, some of us unite to stop immigration from refugees who are victims of American imperialism and foreign intervention. Rather than addressing the problem, we react to the symptoms by making matters worse even as our own people lose jobs and face foreclosure because of the greedy rich. The whole world suffers for our mistakes.
The cost of someone else’s greed is the hijacking of American government. When the greedy rich want a policy and everyone else want something different, it is not the majority that rules. Political victory goes to the highest bidder so it is time for revolutionary changes in the way we conduct elections in America. It is time to take the corrupting influence of money out of the equation with public campaign financing, strict ethics rules, new disclosure laws, and taxes on corporate spending to influence policy or elections, but we cannot get those things unless we elect leaders without them first.
We will not get honest elections unless we win while the greedy rich are cheating, and that requires working class and poor people to be organized, mobilized & deployed. There are only 99 percent of us with a stake in the outcome of this fight, but call me a dreamer because I believe that is enough to secure victory if we just don’t let them divide and conquer again. Bernie Sanders may not have broken through that virtual news blackout but he certainly cracked the glass. We will do what he did, again and again until we prevail in this noble cause. We are all in this together.
Bill Gates said, “If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t really understand it.” Let me explain this: Working people in America have been robbed, betrayed, displaced, disenfranchised and even killed by greedy people. Some of the most fortuante people in this country have taken all of its blessings of liberty, sercurity and prosperity but left nothing for the rest of us expect misery and injustice. Most importantly, we do not have to tolerate that. We have power when we vote, so I am asking you to help me restore justice with democracy.
You know you are being cheated. You know the economy is rigged against the working people, to rob the elderly and deprive the children. Class warfare has been waged at full pace for almost 40 years and it is time that the 99 percent of us taking a beating start to fight back.
There is price for someone else’s greed, and that cost is too high, but you do not have to pay it any more. Roll up your sleeves and volunteer, knock on doors, make phone calls or host gatherings in your home. Donate as much as you can each month, whether that is a dollar or ten or a hundred. Check recurring every month at lisamccormick.org/donate and give what you can. Or put your name on a ballot with me, run in the primary election, win and keep fighting back where policy is made.
Be a part of the revolution before it is too late because if you don’t do your part, there is no way we can win. If the 99 percent of us who have been being cheated start to fight back, there is no way we can lose.