Tag Archives: koch brothers

Impotent Nation

Yesterday,  I wrote a little blurb about taking a step back for a minute in the wake of all the recent shootings.  I spoke about letting reason overcome our fears and that there is room for compromise and discussion.   Yet as I typed those words, and even hoped for their fruition, I realized that we probably won’t allow ourselves the opportunity to discuss and listen and come to a middle ground, we’ll most likely continue down this path of shouting matches and shooting matches until we destroy one another.  We’ve been rendered impotent you see, unable to discuss and engage, unwilling to lay down perceived notions and take up another for even a second.   As a democracy we are currently unreachable and unteachable.   I hold the Koch brothers, our current President, and our 111th and 112th congress entirely, utterly responsible.

A nation is only as good as its leaders and our leaders have robbed us of the ability to have any sort of national discussion about anything.    Consider Mitch McConnell’s message that we need to make sure President Obama is only a one term president (I know there are arguments over the ‘context’ of this comment, I’m not buying them.  Actions, in this case, back up the literal interpretation of the statement, I’m inclined to believe that he meant exactly what he said.)  There’s been time after time the past eight years where congress has not just failed to communicate, they’ve refused to communicate altogether.  President Obama’s unwillingness to open up the TransPacificPartnership for examination makes an absolute mockery of the democratic process for which our soldiers ostensibly fight.

During the writing of the Magna Carta, in the aftermath of the storming of the Bastille, when the forefathers of the United States meted out a document intent on keeping a balance of power and enabling democracy – compromise, not stubbornness, led to growth and vitality.   Enlightenment, openness,  and opportunity guided the ideals and produced healthy nations that went on to become world leaders.  To the shame of our democracy, we currently witness political leaders on both sides of the aisle who blatantly and very publicly refuse to bear the burden of their democratic duty and moral responsibility of engaging in public discourse.     They are goaded thusly, thanks to secret meetings comprised of Wall Street’s elite of the elite where strategy sessions for the best way to gain and keep control of the government include this very  notion of an uncooperative spirit. (See Jane Mayer’s most recent work, “Dark Money,” Doubleday, New York, 2016). The results have manifested themselves in the form of a stagnate economy and an obviously broken society.

So while I wrote with hope and an admittedly idealistic tone, I lamented with each letter and form of punctuation.   I fear we are too far gone.  I am deeply concerned that we’ve already dug our heals in considering the actions of our leaders who have proven to possess an inordinate inability to engage and compromise, and accounting for the echoing sentiments of the ‘us vs. them’ narrative ubiquitous on social media the past several hours.

Today, I write about a new hope.  I hope that I am mistaken about my conclusion.   I  hope we haven’t crossed some point of no return and we can muster the strength to empathize. But if the last decade of leadership and our own reaction to these most recent events is any indication, we are now an impotent nation with regards to conversation and meeting in the middle, and my hope is in vain.

May I be proven wrong….



Where is our Nation?

Last I checked we considered ourselves to be world leaders of democracy yet our behavior during this election cycle clearly demonstrates our capacity to trample upon the very philosophy that we boast.

We should be ashamed of ourselves, each and every one of us. We are no longer a nation that exemplifies the democratic spirit.

A quick look at the headlines, just days before our election, tells the story:  From AlterNet.org – “Major Retailer Urges Workers To Take ‘Civics Course’ With Anti-Obama Content.” Mother Jones – “Voter Suppression Explained.” ABC News –“ South Florida Voters Waiting Four Hours to Vote Early.” There are endless examples.  In fact, Fox news is having a cow over the fact that many independent organizations have asked for the O.S.C.E. (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, we are a member) to oversee our election in some areas.  Yet when one considers the massive efforts to swing the vote to one particular side, it’s understandable that many would feel their voting rights are being threatened and thus choose to have monitors in place so as to provide some security.

It’s a hit to our pride though, isn’t it?  Having OUR election monitored by outside groups is embarrassing for us.  We were always the one country who touted the benefits of our democratic process to the world, always claiming to be the beacon of fair and civil government.  Instead, we deign to lower ourselves to groveling for power like some third world country and by doing so we inflict the need to have our elections audited as well. W.T.F.

This is not the Nation we were taught to revere and respect.  This is not the Nation I want to hand down to my children and their children.  This is not a Nation to be proud of at the moment. We are better than this.

There is hope though.  We can change.  The most important step is to become involved and demand fair elections.  To do nothing, as we have done so far, is to allow our Nation’s slow death.

We must agitate our lawmakers to pass an amendment against Citizens United, ensuring that our elections cannot be purchased.  We can demand that our votes be tallied by physical means.  No computers.  Zero.  Zilch. None. –  too easy to tamper with and no physical proof of our vote, this should be a no brainer.  It may be more expensive to go the paper route, but we should be willing to incur the cost for the sake of a fair and correct ballot count.  We should make election day a national holiday to eliminate long poll lines and ensure that each citizen has the ability to vote, this also has the added benefit of giving our process the respect it deserves.

We need to hold our bosses and our pastors accountable, not just for breaking the law and swaying their people to vote in one single direction, but for instilling fear into their people if they don’t.  These actions are much more reminiscent of boss politics and tyrannical priests than they are of a fair and democratic process. They smell of desperation.  They stink of complete disregard of our founding principles.  They reek of selfishness.

To Mr.’s Koch, Koch, Adelson and ilk, you are to be held accountable as well. Where in your civics class did you learn that it was morally okay to buy an election?  When, exactly, did you make the conscious decision to abandon fair political processes for your own personal gain? Do you even care that you’ve brought the greatest Nation in the world to the brink of disarray thanks to your selfish agenda?

It is apparent that many of us do care about our Nation though or passions wouldn’t be running so high this election.  That is why we must rally together to ensure its success and prosperity by protecting our voting process.  We must make our voices heard to our legislators so that we can effect change.  We must turn our shame and hurt pride into righteous anger over losing our integrity. We must use that energy to gain it back.

We must make it our goal to dissolve the need for election monitors by becoming a Nation once again that exemplifies the democratic spirit.

Be Well,