Vote Now!! or Forever Hold Your Peace by David Tomsic
As a Buddhist, one is taught to recognize the “multiplicity of phenomena”. In other words, there are a multitude of causal factors to everything that exists. Let us take, for example, the current state of our union, pretty fucked up to say the least.
Consider this: Two world wars and a nuclear arms race have empowered weapons manufacturers to become among the worlds richest and most politically powerful forces. It is no small wonder that our countries #1 export item is weapons, or that our vice president and his wife are former CEO’s of major defense contractors.
The industrial revolution coincided and depended upon fossil fuels, thrusting these entities into positions of extreme wealth and political influence.
The mass media has been monopolized by multinational corporations and is being used as a tool to coerce public opinion.
The stock market has surgically removed humanitarianism from the workplace. In a most Darwinian way, the black and white of quarterly profit margins, (the basis upon which many investors put money in, or pull their money out of companies in the stock market), has empowered those companies which can reduce employee benefits and wages without reducing productivity. Methods employed include relocating to foreign countries and the utilization of child and prison labor in countries whose policies are sadistically undemocratic.
We have an aging population who has ridden the crest of this country’s economic superpower, and have taken a conservative stand in order to protect their way of life, (which they perceive to be “The American Way”).
We are in a war which has cost us $524 billion dollars, most of which has been borrowed from foreign countries. Our opponents are baiting us using guerrilla tactics at 1/10,000 of the expense. In a sense, the United States is a donkey and our opponents are riding us holding a carrot at the end of a stick. They are bleeding us, economically, to death.
A president lies about weapons of mass destruction. As of 7/1/08 over 4,000 American troops have died, nearly one million Iraqis have been lost, and almost 30,000 of our troops have been injured. No impeachment proceedings have taken place. In the previous administration the president lied about having sex and was subjected to impeachment proceedings.
Having sent our manufacturing sector to other countries we have gutted our economy.
America’s economic vitality has always been linked to its middle class spending. Historically, our infrastructure, (roads, bridges, schools, health care, etc.), have been financed by the taxation of those middle class jobs, which are no longer there.
Our government looks askance as our financial institutions jeopardize the financial balance of the entire planet with fraudulent lending practices, (our current mortgage crisis), the scale of which is unparalleled in history. No one is being held accountable. The lenders have been bailed out with taxpayers’ dollars.
According to Al Gore, species loss, (extinction), is occurring at 1000 times greater than the natural background rate. This is to me the most disturbing indicator of all to me. That we can morally justify wiping out entire species for any reason is beyond any mode of logic that I can fathom.
These few examples make the point.
The dynamics of world finance have changed. Mergers and globalization have created companies, or entities if you will, that are larger than governments, with international political influence that is larger as well. I’ve been told by “friends” that Democracy, a government of, by, and for the people posed a threat to these entities and therefore needed to be dismantled. Through NAFTA, (the North American Free Trade Assoc.), the workings of the stock market, the Iraq war debt, the mortgage crisis, the whittling away of our civil liberties through “patriotic” anti-terrorist legislations, to mention a few, this has been all but accomplished.
The question is: HOW MUCH MORE CAN WE LOSE?
To those of you who already vote, and are politically active I implore you to redouble your efforts and search out those who you know are disenfranchised and politically inactive. Each one of us must inspire others to become active and involved. To those who haven’t been participating: actions, words, and intentions have consequences. We need you, now!
GET OUT AND VOTE!!!
David Tomsic is an arborist and writer. You can reach him at: [email protected]