America Left Behind

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As the World Turns:  America Left Behind
by Jack Random
As the world turns away from the American century, leaving behind the antiquated and self-defeating war on drugs, a war that the late William Burroughs rightly derided as an excuse to create an international police apparatus, leaving behind the global economic scheme that impoverishes nations while enriching corporations, leaving behind the Cold War, the imperialist wars and the wars on terror, America is stuck in reverse, desperately clinging to what used to be, desperately holding to its lost glory, desperately hoping for that last second reprieve that never comes.  

The world is changing, moving forward in leaps and bounds, and far from leading America is an anchor, a backwards force fighting against the tide, vainly trying to rewrite the course of history like telling a river where it can and cannot run.  

Terrorism is not our enemy now; it is a shadow we chased into the depths of hell.  Illegal drugs are not our enemy; that is only a front for a worldwide war of conquest.  Our enemy is and has been for at least the last decade our unfathomable collective ego and the insatiable greed of the international corporations that took hold of the reigns of power.  
We behave as if we are the masters of the world and regard other nations that do not instantly bend to our will as recalcitrant children when in fact we are the childlike nation that must always have its way, that must always lead, that must always be right and must always prevail no matter how many must pay with their lives and well-being.  Those who defy us must be whipped into submission.  

How did we arrive at such a warped state of affairs where we are the barriers to human progress?  We have allowed heartless, soulless money making machines to exploit the central flaw of our democracy.  We have allowed corporations that have no allegiance to nation or principle to buy the political process from the candidates to the media that covers them.  We buy our elected leaders like we buy soft drinks, not for the quality of the product but for the appeal of corporate marketing.  

We are told that the Democratic Party controls both houses of congress and the White House but nothing could be more misleading.  Both houses of congress and the White House remain in the vice grip of corporate interests who wield a veto power over all legislation and all reform initiatives.  This and this alone is the reason we cannot achieve the most common sense measures like healthcare reform.  

It would be impossible to understate the dangers that corporate dominance poses to democracy.  Corporate democracy is an oxymoron.  It cannot exist.  It is an unconscionable perversion of democracy.  

After decades of corporate control we have a Supreme Court with no greater allegiance than that to the almighty corporate profit margin.  The modern court has consistently sided with corporate interests over the rights of citizens from property rights (Kelo v. City of New London 2005) to corporate political contributions.  Now, even with Sonia Sotomayor freshly seated, the Court is poised to lift all barriers on unlimited corporate spending in political campaigns.  In the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission the Court has requested arguments on whether the modest limitations of Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce and McConnell v. Federal Election Commission should stand.  It is entirely possible that by the time of the next election there will no limitations on the extent to which candidates can be financed by the corporations they truly represent.  

If you were wondering why Democratic senators are standing in the way of healthcare reform and its central component – the public option – look no further than the cost of statewide elections.  Then take a glance at the contributions of the healthcare industry to those same senators.  

America is in grave danger of losing its hold on the essence of democracy.  That is why we are able to press on with wars that have lost public support.  That is why our government is able to approve trillions of dollars to rescue financial institutions overnight yet cannot put its people to work or rescue its citizens from financial collapse.  That is why the economic stimulus package was larded with continued tax breaks for the corporate elite.  

We the people have lost control of our government.  

The rest of the world is no longer waiting.  They will no longer follow us blindly into war.  They will no longer yield to our demands for corporate free trade while their people are starved and made homeless by our austerity programs.  They will no longer be our proxies in drug wars that victimize the people and enrich the corrupt.  

Latin America is finding its voice and claiming its sovereignty.  Even Mexico is finding the courage to walk in its own shoes.  Japan has at long last elected a government that rejects the global economic theory of the west that brought the world to the edge of an economic abyss.  The nations of Europe take care of their own citizens with universal healthcare and effective social programs and are tiring of their part in the last imperial wars of America.  

While America lags behind the nations of the world are sprinting ahead with the next generation of renewable energy technologies and advanced systems of mass transit.  

We increasingly stand alone with only our partners (China, India, Canada and Israel) in global exploitation and dominance.  It is not where we belong and ultimately it is not a position of strength.  

Americans need to stand up and reclaim what is rightfully ours before it is unsalvageable:  A government for the people, by the people and of the people.  As impossible as it may seem, we can do so by taking one simple measure:  

Do not vote for any candidate that accepts corporate contributions.  

That would be an American revolution not even the Supreme Court could undo.



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