Dependence – which is not really freedom.
What do Americans think about when they hear the word independence?
Americans have been convinced that independence is about our nation – when independence has always been about people.
So, why the confusion? Because independence often gets in the way of profits. Because the most profitable goal of a purely self-interested capitalist business is for their customers to be like junkies – totally and desperately dependent. It's all about supply and demand. If a business can make demand seem like a matter of life and death, they can charge any price.
Capitalism should be a healthy, sustainable, enlightened interdependence. Trying to get your customers to act like junkies is not enlightened interdependence. We, the people, must be constantly vigilant in preventing the misdirection of capitalism towards a dealer/junkie – master/slave – exploiter/exploited relationship. And so far, we've done a lousy job.
And how? By letting others make our decisions for us. We vote for officials who are supposed to make enlightened decisions for us. But that's rarely how it works.
And why? Because we have allowed our political system to remain corrupted for generations. The warped definition for campaign contributions is; take the money and run. Everybody knows this. Everybody knows that political advertisements are biased in favor of those who paid for the ad. Duh... Everybody knows that big money runs our mass media like a puppeteer holding the strings.
...And everybody also knows that if we occasionally had elections on issues rather than candidates, we might actually get what we want.
Let's face the brutal truth of our nation's history; our founding fathers were all rich white gentry. They didn't want Indians, Blacks, women, or most of the poor to have any say. Our American political system wasn't designed to let the people decide. Our political system was designed for “enlightened” representatives of the people to make our decisions for us. This simply isn't working. Our elected representatives aren't enlightened. They can't afford to be enlightened. They're too busy trying to collect money for the next election.
I want to vote on issues. I don't want to vote for some party-picked candidate who will ultimately let me down once he/she becomes my “leader.” Besides, they're not really leaders if they're constantly caving in to big money interests.
If we could vote on the issues; do you think tens of billions of our tax dollars would have been spent on fossil fuel subsidies? Do you think we'd still be paying to build super-expensive weapons for the Cold War? Do you think we would have had American troops invading Iraq (to ultimately steal their oil for multi-national corporations)? Do you think we would still have a health care system that is closer to communist China than socialist Europe? Do you think our air, water, and food would be safer from pollution? Do you think our children might have had a more sustainable future to look forward to? And do you think we might, just might be a little more independent?
There are people who have manipulated our political system to keep us dependent upon them and their products/services – even if this is ultimately environmentally or economically disastrous for all of us in the long run. And this predicament isn't really getting any better. In fact, since 1980, it has gotten far worse. For decades now, Presidents have asked for a line-item veto. It might have helped. But what the American people need is far more than that. We need to vote on the issues.
Gone are the days when it took weeks to count votes. We have the technology. We can rebuild our system. This isn't revolutionary. We already vote on issues here in the State of Nevada. In fact, sometimes it's the only way Nevadans can get our State Government to act on some issues (taxing mining profits, for example).
Everyone agrees that America's political system is broken. Our Congress is at a standstill – and when it acts, it gives our tax money away to industries that don't deserve it.
Example: $18 billion (to $40 billion) is now being considered in indirect subsidies to the nuclear power industry. Hey, didn't we decide years ago that nuclear power was unsafe, expensive, and left a hell of a mess? What about free trade? What about renewable energy? What about distributed power? What about independence? That's what it's really about. Independence. The big power companies don't want us to generate our own power. So they have devised a scheme to keep us dependent. And they will force us to pay for their scheme. That's not democracy... Let's hold an election. Let's vote on it. Should we give the nuclear industry $40 billion in loan guarantees so that the big power companies can keep us dependent on them for another 30 or more years?
If they want to build nuclear power plants, let them invest their own money.
But it won't be that simple. There are people in this country who don't want this to be a democracy. They want to call the shots – and they're aiming for you. If the people of this country want real power to decide our fate, we are going to have to take that power. The powers that be aren't going to give it to us. So if all you want to do is sit on your couch and complain, they've won – for now. However, things will not get better on their own. Eventually things will get bad enough that you will have to stand up and claim your power.
We want the power to vote on national issues.
We want a real democracy!