They are not the rich and superrich, nor the politically
powerful running the two-party plutocracy, nor the greedy heads of banking and
finance companies, and certainly not the media moguls and bloviating pundits.
The most powerful people are us, American consumers that
account for over 70 percent of the economy. It is exactly now, when the economy
is in the toilet, that consumers hold the maximum power. So why are we the
people still deluding ourselves that the path to a better future rests on
electing a new president?
We are suckers, conditioned by decades of clever marketing
and advertising to believe the lies of politicians, and worst of all to believe
that elections and our votes provide us with power. Wrong. Our real power can
only be manifested through our spending dollars.
The overwhelming majority of Americans have been severely
damaged by economic oppression by government policies that have produced
historic economic inequality. Yet, despite revolting conditions, Americans seem
unwilling to revolt by using their remaining economic power. They have let
themselves become economic slaves.
What is amazing and depressing is that there are no national
leaders from the worlds of politics, religion, education, media or public
interest that are attempting to harness consumer power at this critical time.
No one is capturing the public�s attention by making it crystal clear that
consumers could obtain any political or economic reform in the public interest
by joining together to withhold their discretionary spending.
Where are the anti-Iraq war leaders? Why are they not
shouting about forcing an immediate commitment to ending the Iraq war by using
the power of a massive consumer boycott that clearly could destroy the whole
economy? Tell President Bush that consumers will greatly curb their spending
for a month to give him time to implement a plan for withdrawal from Iraq. Make
it clear that the coming federal rebates will not be used for spending. Make it
clear that Bush inaction will result in continuation of the boycott.
Where is Ralph Nader, the ultimate consumer advocate? Why is
he not proclaiming the brilliance of a consumer boycott as the winning tactic
to force effective government assistance to the millions of Americans screwed
by the subprime mortgage fiasco and about the lose their homes?
Where is Barack Obama, who supposedly wants to produce
change? Rather than putting all his energy into satisfying his egoistic hunt
for the presidency, why is he not talking about harnessing consumer power right
now to get political reforms, like .ending trade agreements that are destroying
the middle class? Why does he not send a clear message to his million-plus
contributors to join a national consumer boycott to obtain immediate
concessions from the Bush administration?
Where are the professors who have published books making the
case for a second constitutional convention as the way to restore American
democracy? Not one has the courage to say that the way to get Congress to obey
Article V of the Constitution and convene that the first Article V convention
is by American consumers threatening to plunge a dagger into the heart of
Now is the time for all the millions of Americans that make
up the 81 percent who see the nation on the wrong track to take action, to
think like patriotic revolutionaries and take the power that now only exists
with their spending. Sounds simple. All this strategy needs is leadership.
Rather than spending so much time and energy on the media-hyped presidential
campaign, we the people should demand that someone step forward to inform and
mobilize consumers to become powerful citizens by using their spending as the ultimate
populist political weapon.
S. Hirschhorn can be reached through www.delusionaldemocracy.com. He
is a co-founder of Friends of the Article V Convention at www.foavc.org.