I actually used to share that view. But I absolutely think it’s the epitome of the kind of timidity on the part of American citizens that has lead us to where we are today. If we were to allow the fear that the lesser of two evils deter us from demanding real change in our system of government, we’re essentially simply reaffirming the status quo.
We really have no cause to complain about the commission of aggressive wars, about war crimes committed with impunity, about the evisceration of our Constitution, about Wall Street controlling the White House and Congress, about us being the only nation in the industrialized world that doesn’t provide basic health care to millions of our citizens, if we simply say that we’ll allow the bar to be so low that we will vote for a member of one party to keep the other very similar party out of contention.
At some point, as patriotic citizens and moral actors, we have to draw the line and it’s astounding to me how that line keeps moving for so many people; that people who say they really believe in traditional Democratic Party values will now turn a blind eye to the transformation to our republic to the point where the courts no longer are allowed to provide a check on the legal conduct by the Executive Branch because of the promiscuous assertion, first by the Bush Administration and now by the Obama Administration of the State Secrets Doctrine.
We either join together and create a grassroots movement for real change, or we’re simply going to get more of the status quo, but as we can see from recent history, it’s only going to get worse.” —Rocky Anderson (via rockyanderson2012)
The Democratic Party has joined with the Republican Party to the point where we have the greatest amount of economic disparity between the few among the financial aristocracy and the rest of this nation. It’s the greatest disparity since the 1920’s and it has joined together with Republicans in creating what’s basically a two-tiered justice system, where the criminal laws are applied, often with a vengeance for the rest of us, keeping 2.3 million people behind bars, hundreds of thousands of them for non-violent drug offenses, while major republic-destroying felonies have been committed by people within the political elite class without any accountability.
—Rocky Anderson (via rockyanderson2012)
I fear for our nation. We’re seeing a radical ratcheting up of the imperial presidency to the point of tyranny. That latest and most egregious example being the passage by Congress and signing into law by President Obama, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, that allows the Executive Branch to round up people, including U.S. citizens and detain them indefinitely, even to the end of theirs lives, without trial, without legal representation, without a right of habeas corpus. All of this, of course, is absolutely subversive not only to core constitutional values, but to the proud tradition of our nation from its very founding up until the past decade.
Senator Rand Paul defending oil companies on the Senate floor yesterday. The Senate is debating ending billions of dollars in tax subsidies to oil companies. Paul claims that oil companies deserve tax breaks because love money/hate Obama let’s have a tea partayyy.
Paul’s top campaign contributors? Oil, coal, and hedge funds.
Let us consider the fundamental guiding principles for the United States of America — freedom, equal opportunity, compassion, and security.
Then let us consider how those principles have been severely undermined, and how we, the American people, can restore them so that once again our government is of, by, and for the people, rather than a tool of oppression cynically utilized for the benefit of a small, powerful, abusive, elite political and financial class, to the detriment of the vast majority of U.S. citizens, as well as billions of people around the world.
We often hear it said that the United States is the greatest nation in the world. What exactly is meant by that? And is it true? The more important question is: Can we, the American people, make this, once again, a great and proud nation - a nation that lives up to its original promise? We can achieve that - if only we will.
Who are we as a people, what do we really believe in, and just what does our nation stand for? How far have we drifted away - or, rather, bolted away - from what we once were? And how do we, once again, attain greater freedom, more equal opportunity, compassion, and security for all?
These questions have never been more vital to consider and confront. Our nation has been transformed in just a few short years - virtually unrecognizable in fundamental respects when compared to the republic that once proudly proclaimed a constitutional system of checks and balances, the rule of law, and constitutional protections of due process, restraints on war-making, and a truly balanced system of separation of powers among three co-equal branches of government.
We are at a nation-changing - even world-changing - fork in the road. We can continue on the path of becoming more totalitarian, even fascist, with an imperial presidency that continues to accrue to itself unprecedented tyrannical powers; more greedy as a nation and as a people; less capable to compete on a global stage; more empire-building and war-mongering; less equal under the law; more divided, in terms of income and wealth, between a tiny elite financial aristocracy and the rest of our citizenry; more cruel toward men, women, and children, here and abroad, who are not part of the elite political and financial classes; and less secure, as a nation and as individuals, now and in the future.
Or we can turn things around radically, becoming more free and respectful of the fundamental rights and interests of people in the U.S. and elsewhere, with restraints on executive power - and accountability for abuses of that power — as contemplated by the founders and by our Constitution; more generous and helpful as a nation and as a people; more capable of competing with other nations, their students, and their workers; more cooperative and friendly toward other nations; more committed to liberty and justice for all; more prosperous, with a strong, healthy middle class, capable of living rewarding lives through equal opportunity; kinder and more compassionate toward our own citizens, immigrants, and men, women, and children in other nations; and more secure in our homes, our communities, and our nation, presently and in the future.” —
Rocky Anderson,An End to Authoritarianism and Plutocracy: It’s up to us