Ten years into a new century, (a mere 234 years for the U.S.
of A.) using history as our guide, we have, in the last 30 years, chosen for
president a B-actor, an elitist whose father�s and grandfather�s patriotism was
highly suspect, a morally impotent boy/man, a village idiot posing as a regular
guy, and now, as we hang by a thread, we wait to see if hope floats.
As if we would have learned by now that it�s pure insanity
to expect a different outcome from the repetition of this four-year ritual, all
these men were offered up as our choices by the latest Master�s of the
Universe, known as �Inc.,� all powerful, all knowing: �Inc,� running the world
with the fanaticism of a corporate mindset.
For the last 30 years we�ve been catering to a belief that
only time could put to the test. Not too long ago, our esteemed representatives
gathered and when the smoke cleared they had sacrificed all regulations
keeping the corporate titans in check.
It was then we made a morality bet with the unknowable, some
would say with the devil himself. That bet was to let the market prevail;
to allow whatever the market could bear: unregulated, unaccountable with smoke
and mirrors passing as transparency and legitimacy. There went our savings, our
pensions, our businesses, and our homes. Again, blood was spilled on the altar
of greed as they sang: �What�s in it for me?�
As for these well-dressed, well-coifed, well-rested,
well-fed, well-pensioned representatives with their well-funded free healthcare
and a 5 to 7 percent annual wage increase, these water boys for their corporate
sponsors tout their owner�s directives with an arrogant disregard for the
welfare of the citizens they purport to represent.
From the 1980s through 2000, our representatives preached
the psalm of globalization and so went our jobs, the middle-class; so went our
industry, our manufacturing, our small �mom and pop� businesses crushed by an
�everything� store that sold everything on the cheap and so went quality for
Their decisions -- just in the last 30 years -- are
manifestly profit driven. With profit as their motive and the bottom line as
their mantra, real wages for most Americans haven�t increased since 1975.
Profit has no borders, no allegiances, no accountability and is devoid of all
What has this new religion wrought? A bankrupt consumer
nation with no real jobs to make ends meet, the devastation of everyone�s
safety net and their plans for the future.
A moral dilemma has arisen. Should we be listening to these
high priests of A New World Order? My take on this concept is that eventually
we could all become free agents and migrate to where the jobs are -- for
minimum wage, no healthcare, no pension.
This cowboyesque �every-man-for-himself� mentality has
historically wreaked havoc on the tapestry of our fragile social network. A
network that slowly evolved into a heightened awareness of what�s necessary to
become a caring human-being concerned with the welfare of our children and our
elderly; a social network with the enlightened realization that, in an instant,
one can find themselves on the doorstep of despair. Now, it�s being shredded,
torn asunder with the same excuses as before: the state is broke and the
government owes more than all of us pay in taxes.
Their latest vulgarity is what is being hailed as a
�healthcare� reform. But within this document there are snippets of humanity
hammered out to streamline costs of physicians and hospitals, to prevent
insurance companies from denying care for pre-existing illnesses, to prevent
pharmaceutical companies from making drugs so prohibitively expensive that our
elderly have to make a choice of whether to eat or try to stay well.
After 30 years of our representatives doing headstands for
deregulation for the sole benefit of �vested interests,� they now want us to
believe that they�re capable of doing the right thing for us. In their infinite
wisdom they have devised a �magic option� that gives us the choice to �buy�
into an insurance policy or be fined for not.
This is not a reform of �healthcare�; it is an obvious
payback on the investment insurance and pharmaceutical companies have made in 30
years of elections. It is an amazing feat where Congress ignores its oath and
instead legislates profit for its corporate sponsors.
I have a suggestion: all we the people want is the
same healthcare policy afforded our elected officials, nothing more, nothing
Lest we forget, the latest 5-4 decision contrived by the
Supremes of our highest court allows corporations to spend whatever amount of
money they wish from their general fund for political electioneering. Shame on
them for their arrogance and whimsy, a corporation is not a person but a
conglomeration of vested interests. Many corporations are multi-national and their
interests are profit, not the welfare of the citizens of the United States.
Thomas Paine, a great American freedom fighter, believed
that if our laws, our Constitution, our Bill of Rights became arbitrary and
subject to the whims and fancy of our Supreme Court, they would cease to exist
in name, in spirit, or letter of the law; they would no longer be of any
The time of learning is done; school�s over; we are in a
moral crisis with our Republic in the balance.
Philip J. Rappa is an Award-winning writer,
documentarian, filmmaker and lecturer.