Wise words from science fiction author David Gerrold on his Facebook Page:
I want to start a different conversation.
Think for a moment about the current state of this nation. The majority of Americans are not fright-wing teabaggers. The majority of Americans are not even conservatives, do not consider themselves republicans. In fact, the republican party is losing members. Many in the republican demographic are relocating to cemeteries. Others are losing patience and declaring themselves as independents.
Nevertheless, we have a republican-dominated congress committed to obstructing the functioning of the federal government. They have seized power by gerrymandering and denying voting rights. They have repeatedly lied, misrepresented, misdirected, and propagandized. They have worked to convince Americans that we cannot trust our own government -- a government that was designed to be by the people, of the people, and for the people ... and accountable to the people.
The robber barons and the corporations have bought our electoral process, have seized control of our media, have distracted us with phony issues to keep us from noticing that they are polluting our air and our water and our food, crippling the working class, and punishing the poor, all while further enriching themselves and putting the burden on our backs.
To be blunt, we are living behind enemy lines. Our schools and libraries are being diminished, our colleges are being made too expensive for working class families, health care costs have risen drastically. The minimum wage has not kept pace with the cost of living.
Being nostalgic for the fifties isn't misguided. In the fifties, the corporations paid their fair share, the richest salaries in the nation were not exorbitant and outrageous, and you could live on the minimum wage.
What we have lost -- more than anything else -- is the ability to curtail the power of the corporations, and those who would buy our electoral process. We cannot even depend on our news media to tell us the truth, because the ratings-obsessed media is more interested in Justin Bieber than the revolution in the Ukraine.
During the sixties, we experienced a cultural revolution. We had a powerful civil rights movement. We had a powerful anti-war movement. But the leaders of those movements were assassinated and we returned to politics as usual and the gradual creeping control of corporations and robber-barons.
This year, these mid-term elections will be critical. And so will the presidential election of 2016. No, we're not going to get the perfect congress and we'll never get a president who lives up to everyone's hopes and dreams. But we do need pragmatic men and women who have a genuine vision of a future that works for all of us, with no one and nothing left out. We need a congress and a president who are willing to work together to actually solve problems and not beat ideological horses to death while collecting six figure salaries for doing nothing.
In the fifties and sixties -- even into the eighties and nineties -- republicans and democrats worked together to achieve compromise and consensus. We made progress. Sometimes it wasn't fast enough, sometimes mistakes were made -- but the processes of negotiation worked. Our government worked until two things happened -- until one political party declared that "government is the problem" and allowed the radicals and the fanatics to believe that outright obstruction was preferable to solving problems.
If our electoral system truly represented what the majority of American people want, need, and believe in -- there wouldn't be a lot of republicans in Washington DC. Not because there's something wrong with conservatism, but because there's something drastically wrong with what those who call themselves conservative have become.
If you're still a republican, look around -- look at the people who "lead" your party, who supposedly speak for you. Rush Limbaugh? Really? Fox News? Really?
Look at the candidates. Sarah Palin? Chris Christie? Mike Huckabee? Ted Cruz? Rand Paul? Paul Ryan? Do you really think any of these people have the kind of character to address the problems of working class Americans? Really? The top echelons of the republican party are so out of touch with reality that they have no idea what's really happening in our nation.
Here's what we need --
We need to invest BILLIONS in education.
We need to invest BILLIONS in infrastructure.
We need to find ways to make college accessible for every American.
We need to raise the wages of our troops, we need to expand their benefits.
We need to find ways to make home ownership accessible for working class families.
We need to raise the minimum wage.
We need to close the tax loopholes on corporations and bring the offshore jobs back home.
We need the 1% to pay their fair share of taxes.
We need to end the social security cap.
We need to make sure that SNAP benefits and unemployment benefits are strong enough so that people can feed their families and keep their homes.
We need to deal with the immigration issue fairly and compassionately.
We need to invest BILLIONS in research and development -- medicine, space, energy. We can do that by providing tax breaks and other incentives across the board. The return on that will be enormous.
And finally -- we need to stop vilifying whole classes of people as a justification for using the law to punish them.
All of these things listed above will accomplish two things -- first, it will create jobs. (Don't take my word for it, open an economics book, a history book, and see what happened every time we did that in the past.) And second, it will expand the gross economy of the nation, giving everyone a larger slice of the pie.
No, the democrats do not have all the answers, but at least they're making a sincere effort to address these issues. Right now, the republican party has yet to put forth a realistic vision, let alone a workable plan. In 2012, they campaigned on jobs. Where are the jobs bills? They voted 40 times to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, but they didn't vote on a single jobs bill ever.
So the rest of us have to regard the upcoming midterm election as critical. We have to make sure we get out and vote. The republicans are going to stir up their base because they want to keep control of the house and take control of the senate. We cannot let that happen. We saw what they did under Reagan/Bush and Bush Jr. They looted the national economy. We cannot allow that to happen again.
We are living behind the lines. We have to be the resistance. And we have to use every weapon we have.
We have to register to vote. We have to encourage our friends and our families to vote. If we can afford it, we have to donate to the candidates we care about. We have to volunteer our time and energy. And we have to vote.
But most of all -- for the nine months we have to confront every lie they float. The robber barons are going to spend more money than ever on propaganda, lies, and misinformation. Every time we hear a lie, it is an invitation to tell the truth. It is more than an invitation, it is an obligation, it is a mandate.
Browse through the comments here on FB and elsewhere -- and you'll see a lot of crap posted by paid shills, designed to push the national conversation, designed to intimidate those who want real solutions. Don't buy into it. Don't buy into it. Fight it. Resist it.
The robber barons can buy everything but our votes. And the only way we're going to break their stranglehold on our government is by speaking up.