Many Progressives and Liberals are gleefully pointing to evidence suggesting a truly deserved disintegration of the Republican Party. We should not be so sanguine however.
Regardless of the disarray their titular headless horseman delivers, he and his Neocons are not the only Republicans. After all, . . .
- Who owns or controls most of the ever decreasing number of mainstream media news outlets? (It doesn’t matter what the reporters find or want to say if they are not allowed to say it or can’t get a paycheck.)
- Who not only admits to secretly spying on Americans, but thinks it is a good idea? And, how likely it is they wouldn’t also use it to find potential blackmail of opposition candidates? (If someone thinks the other side is traitorous, then it is but a short step to believing that justifies any means to stop them.)
- Who builds and supplies most of the electronic voting machines and won’t allow inspection of the software codes or encourage paper duplicates of the ballots? (It doesn’t matter if you get the votes if they are not counted or reassigned.)
- Who currently appoints the investigators and prosecutors looking into voter fraud? (If potential voters or candidates can be intimidated, it matters little who they favor.)
- Who seeks out for appointment the most partisan possible judges, the ones who seem to care more for electing their fellow party members than honoring their oath of office? (If protecting those who put them in power seems more important than abstract principles, kiss the Constitution and its safeguards goodby. The number of them is going to increase between now and the election, not decrease.)
- Who had control of most of the legislatures after the last census which allowed new gerrymandering to take place? (With the next census still years away, a close to majority of seats in Congress still may be unassailable. And, the “coalition” of elected Democrats remains what only could be described as fragile given the diversity of opinions within that party. Anything less than a veto proof, filibuster proof, legislature means gridlock.)
- Who is master at exploiting the gullibility and irrationality of voters? (If lies or re-labeling are shouted loud enough, long enough and with a straight face, belief or at least confusion ensues. The fact that one person out of every four still is stating Bush is doing a good job and that one out of every two thinks Saddam had something to do with 9/11 speaks for itself.)
- Who still insists that “terrorism” or other diversions can only be handled by a dictator permanently in charge? (For most people, if theyare kept scared, they tend to be willing give up all to be safe even if the safety is an illusion, especially if there is no inference with their shopping or tv schedules. Too bad, the track records are never closely examined or compared against the rhetoric.)
- Who has been the prime beneficiary of the transfer of trillions of dollars from the lower and middle classes to the ultra rich over the past few decades? (Money still buys elections and the fact that some Democrats allegedly are drawing more openly disclosed campaign contributions prior to primaries reveals little about what can be tapped by Republicans once the post convention battle begins.)
- Who controls the stock market, the banks, and most of the means of production still remaining in this country? Who can impoverish traditional Democrat workers and their families simply by changing interest rates or moving factories or money overseas? (It used to be that there were penalties attached to such things. Now there are profits to be made and as a “bonus” organized opposition is crippled.)
Combine all that with the unending incompetency and fearfulness of the Democrat “leaders” selected. If you need any further evidence, merely re-examine the results of the last two presidential elections and how different the outcome seemed at the time given the demographics. The Republicans probably cannot be blamed for the abysmal choices Democratic Party members made on who to run, but they do get a large share of the responsibility for resolutely shifting the arguments from the issues to unrelenting and unfair personal attacks. Maybe no voter bothers to listen to the issues anyway, but it is still depressing.
In any event, the current crop of Democrats in office astonishingly seem to have positioned themselves for getting tagged with both “losing” the Iraq fiasco and, if the coming recession doesn’t happen quick enough, that too. How is that even possible when Bush and his boys controlled every choice along the way? Doesn’t anyone remember anything? Yet, here we are.
Worse yet, some of the Democratic contenders seem to harbor envy of the exercise of unconstitutional, even criminal, powers exercised by the current occupants of the White House.
So, what solution? Maybe none, but here are at least a few thoughts.
1. Start writing. Write your local and national newspapers and magazines. Single out reporters by name. The addresses are easily available. Ask your local librarian for assistance if needed. Write your friends and relatives too. Remind them how critical the situation has become. Write your politicians, the agency heads and even CEOs. Remind them you are watching and shining a light on what they are doing. E-mail, snail-mail, text, handwritten notes. It doesn’t matter. What matters is you contacted them. Surprisingly, so few actually do contact others that even a few dozen letters can seem like a tsunami. Sometimes literally a handful can sway legislation as evidenced frequently by the FCC actions. We have millions of residents in Oregon, yet only about a thousand people on average write in each week of which about a hundred are published. The odds for you are one in ten at a large paper. At a small local paper, the odds of getting published start to approach 100%. Cost to you? A little time and stamps.Better yet, do all those things in person.
2. Start calling and visiting. You will be amazed how easy it is to speak to even the very top people in most organizations. Think it’s not possible? I have had governors, CEOs of large corporations and even Mike Wallace of “60 Minutes” fame returns calls direct without even having their secretary on the line first. Your local representatives will often fall all over themselves welcoming you. Just be brief and to the point. Seek a specific action and follow up to see if it is accomplished. Let them know you care enough to be persistent. If nothing else, attend the meetings and carcases. Cost to you? A little time and gas for the car.
3. File complaints. For instance, if the wrongdoer is a lawyer like the Attorney General and he suggests, say, that torture is constitutional, file a complaint with the state Bar Association and demand to know why he should be allowed to direct federal attorneys in Oregon. File a complaint with his home state’s bar to seek disbarment. Similar tactics are available for other licensed professionals. Contact their licensing agencies depending on who the miscreant is and what he does. The Better Business Bureau, numerous consumer protection and investigative agencies, the Ombudsman for the paper if it has one, the Postal Inspector if mail is involved, these are but a few of the possibilities. Filing a complaint usually cost nothing (unless it is a court complaint). Get on the agencies websites and get the forms. Remember, if the wrongdoers are tied up defending themselves in court or elsewhere, they have less time to get into mischief. Cost to you? A little time and stamps.
4. Before you start suggestions 1 through 3, do your research first. Have the facts and figures already at your fingertips when you talk to others. If they ask you a question or have an alleged fact contrary to your position, say you’ll get back to them and do more research. The answers are there. Get informed and stay informed. There is plenty of hard, convincing, downright indisputable evidence available on just about every issue in contention.
5. Suggestions for reading and listening material include The Nation, The Atlantic, “Counterspin,” mediamatters.org, truthdig.com, truthout.com, buzzflash.com, and commondreams.org. The latter two have links to others. If you need occasional levity to relieve the almost unrelenting bad news, try “The Daily Show” and dilbertblog.typepad.com.
Will it help? Don’t know, but it can’t hurt.