Okay, we elected a Democratic Congress in 2006. We not only
increased the Democratic majority in 2008, but we also elected a Democratic
president. We threw those rascally Republicans out of office, and put in their
place a president and party of our hopes and dreams. Happy days were here
In just one year our new president and Congress have brought
this country back to a nation of freedom, justice, and prosperity. This
change-we-can-count-on administration has appointed new, forward-looking people
into our government. It has taken the money out of politics, curtailed our
military expansion, ended government secrecy, and stopped spying on its
citizens. And prosperity is just around the corner!
Whoops -- reality
Our president of change and Congress of the people merrily
passed trillions (1,000,000,000,000 is one trillion, or 1,000 billion) of
dollars along to the financial bigwigs who were responsible for crashing our
economy -- no strings attached. What did these benevolent folks do for us, the
people? Jobs keep disappearing and families are still losing their homes. Wages
for workers have, at best, stagnated, and in many cases declined. The banks
have increased interest rates on credit along with increasing charges for the
slightest infraction of their rules (which they keep changing -- read the tiny
print on the slip of paper tucked into your monthly statement). As for health
care insurance -- the Senate presented the American people with a 2,000 page �health
care reform bill� which defies comprehension. But not to worry. This monstrous
bill will be commingled with the equally enormous House bill prior to giving
birth to the ultimate health care betrayal.
On the world scene, our democratically elected so-called
representatives have taken us further into the depths of the military abyss
known as �Full Spectrum Dominance.� Since stabilizing Iraq (ignore the daily
bombings occurring there -- our media sure have), our very own Nobel Peace
Prize winner has expanded the fighting in Afghanistan by sending more troops
and drones into that country and its neighbor, Pakistan. Our president has also
brought more bombs and death to tiny Yemen -- long before Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
tried to set his drawers alight over Detroit. And now our leader of hope and
change is sounding very Bushie with
his belligerent posturing over Iran.
Let us pause in a moment of silence for the COP15 copout in
Copenhagen when our forward-looking leader came in at the last minute to
torpedo any chance of a binding agreement to reduce carbon pollution and its
effects on global climate change.
So now what?
Now is the time to act! Let�s get on the phone or the
computer and send a message to our representatives and senators. Let�s write
angry letters to the editors of our local papers. Get in our cars, on buses and
trains, or brave the sheep runs at the airports to get to the next
demonstration in Washington D.C., New York, or San Francisco. Let�s show those
scoundrels we�re mad as hell, and we aren�t going to take it anymore!
Of course, we have done that before. Not for just months or
even years, but for decades we have been doing all the above, and more. We have
raised our voices in protest over our government�s lack of concern for the
American people, over the continual subservience of our government when called
upon by its owners -- the one-tenth of the one percent of the population of
this country -- the high rollers who, as George Carlin said, � . . . own us!� That�s
right, the money elites not only own our governmen but, by default, own us --
you and me and the rest of the American people.
We write, and we phone, and we march, and our government
ignores us. The American people don�t want a Wall Street bailout -- our
government gives the Wall Street bankers all the money they want and asks
nothing in return. The American people want a Medicare-for-all type medical
plan -- our government tells us that it is �off the table.� The American people
want an educational system that brings actual education to all those who want
it -- our government says there�s no money for education (after spending
trillions on banksters and endless wars).
The American people, despite all the entreaties we have made
for lo these many years, are suffering at a level of social misery not seen
since the Great Depression. Bankruptcies, foreclosures, homelessness, and
hunger have become commonplace for millions of us.
Let�s have a real
�change we can count on�
Jim Hightower has often said that there are the Fat Cats and
the Alley Cats. The Fat Cats have the money, but the Alley Cats have the
numbers. Unfortunately, our electoral system demands both money and votes to
win. And in recent years we have seen that the votes follow the money. Ninety
percent of the time the candidate who spends the most money wins the election. The
Fat Cats� money trumps the Alley Cats� numbers. And if that doesn�t seem to be
working, the Fat Cats just remove enough of the Alley Cats from the vote count
to insure their victory.
If we, the American Alley Cats, cannot get our government to
do the things we want, and we can�t get people elected who are willing to
listen to us and act for us, we don�t have a democracy. Democracy simply means
people power -- from the Greek demos
(the people) and kratia (power). Note
that it is people power, not person power. A single person, not of the Fat Cat
variety, has no power. People of the Alley Cat species coming together and
acting together have power, and if enough people get together in a united
action they have unstoppable power.
The beginning of
There is legislation now pending in the House of
Representatives (H.R. 1826) and the Senate (S. 752) called the Fair Elections
Now Act. This act would provide for publicly funded elections for federal
offices. The concept is simple -- a candidate can sign up a relatively small
number of voters who will contribute a small amount of money to the candidate�s
campaign fund. In return, the candidate can then draw on the Fair Elections
Fund to run for office.
As an example, a candidate for the U.S. House of
Representatives would have to collect 1,500 contributions from people in their
state and raise a total of $50,000 -- that�s an average of less than $34 per
contribution. No single contribution could exceed $100.
Since states vary widely in population, the formula for the
Senate candidates receiving public funding is more complicated, but it uses the
same principle of gathering small donations from a specified number of people
in the candidate�s state.
The cost of Fair Elections would be borne by a small fee on
large government contractors. The largest recipients of federal government
contracts would pay a small percentage of the contract into the Fair Elections
The above Fair Elections Now Act information was obtained
from its Web
site. Visit this Web site for a more complete summary of the Fair Elections
Under the Fair Elections Now Act, federal candidates would
run for office without relying on large contributions and big money bundlers,
and would be freed from constant fundraising, allowing them to focus on what
people in their communities want. Participating candidates will be seeking
support from their communities, not the Fat Cats in Washington D.C.
Similar public funding legislation has been initiated in a
few states on a limited basis with outstanding results. Voters have been
overwhelmingly electing publicly financed candidates over privately financed
candidates, bringing into government grassroots public office holders listening
to their constituent Alley Cats rather than the few Fat Cats. It really works.
So here�s the deal
The Fat Cats own us through owning our government and our
media. The great number of voting Alley Cats have been outgunned and
outmaneuvered by the monied Fat Cats. It is time for us Alley Cats to stop
running off in all directions -- each following their own pet project, no
matter how important. If we can come together for one year, work for one very
specific issue (the Fair Elections Now Act), we can be successful in getting
our government back and making it work for all Americans.
All you have to do is let your own so-called representatives
in Congress know that either they actively support and vote into law the Fair
Elections Now Act by the end of August 2010, or you will do everything in your
power to see they are not re-elected in November. That may be very difficult to
do in some cases, but the threat must be real, and it must be carried out.
And really, what�s to lose? If your so-called
representatives in the House and Senate are unwilling to get out from under the
Fat Cats� monied control, how much good will they ever do? Nothing good will
happen through our government until the money disappears from the political
scene. We, the Alley Cats, have asked nicely, pleaded unendingly, demanded
vociferously, written until we got writer�s cramp, marched until our feet were
blistered, and got arrested so frequently we had cells reserved at our local
jail. And still our government has turned its back on us.
John F. Kennedy said, �Those
who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution
inevitable.� Threatening our so-called representatives isn�t the nicest way to operate, but it may well be the final
peaceful action left to us. There are not many among us who want the inevitable
violence that President Kennedy spoke of.
we work together, in true solidarity, united in this one action for just one
year; we can change the direction of this country, and maybe the world. Getting
the money out of politics will give us the power to pursue all of our pet
projects -- and win. Just think of the many good causes that will be achievable
through a Congress filled with grassroots office holders listening to, and
working for, all the Alley Cats of America.