I’m feeling a little combative today. Now let me reassure you that despite what you may see on TV or have been told by your Minion overlords; feeling a little combative from time to time is never a bad thing. We need to question the world more often and explore the reason behind the madness that we’re being told to swallow and accept. Isn’t that the point of freedom? Do we not as Americans have the right to stand on the courthouse steps and yell to the powers that be, “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?”
Watching news footage of the current protest movements across our grumbling nation is disturbing. It seems that for one thing the police and civil authorities don’t much believe in the right to assembly or the freedom of speech. It also seems that they have the power to arbitrarily enact and interpret laws anyway they please to support their goals while denying those of anyone who dissents. Is this really the country we live in today?
Before we all go off to throw stones at the Capital, let me clarify a few things. I don’t really support the occupy Wall Street movement. There are some valid complaints and noble intentions behind it for sure and I agree that something needs to be done about corporate mismanagement. However I don’t think that redistributing wealth from one class to another will fix anything. Neither do I believe that complaining loudly and whining is a solution to any problem, and if we are to be honest that’s all this protest movement is capable of accomplishing at this time. Without a clear goal or mission and solid leadership to rally behind; this movement is doomed. Conversely unless they can find a way to engage and inspire a huge proportion of the mass population they will never be taken seriously by the government.
So what then is the answer? Not wishing to join the ranks of the critical and unhelpful that flood the internet already I have thought of a few goals and suggestions for our embattled and wayward brothers and sisters living in protest in New York and other cities.
• First how about some accountability for those who mismanaged hundreds of millions of taxpayer bailout dollars. At the very least they should be fired, stripped of their salaries and pensions and prosecuted. This should include not just the corporate executives, bankers, and auto industry leaders but politicians as well. Office should not grant immunity. Far too many of those who helped lead us into this financial embarrassment work on the hill not Wall Street. Protestors need to alter their aim at those who enabled the bailouts as well as those who received them.
• Second, it’s time for a salary reduction across the board in Washington. The term career politician is a paradox and a monster that needs to be slain. Term limits, public accountability and popular vote are long overdue. In this modern-day of the internet there is no need for someone else to vote for me. While I’m thinking about it how is it that a millionaire who has never worked as most Americans have, possibly relate to the plight of the modern American. The fact that one must be wealthy to run for office in the first place speaks volumes about the problem of elitism and exclusion in the higher levels of government.
• Lobbying has to end. The fact that so many private corporations and organizations have so broad a reach into the halls of Congress is so disturbing and counter to the ideal of equality and fairness that its laughable that we as a nation even consider ourselves democratic. We must stop the buying and selling of America in the halls of Congress.
• This party circus needs to end. I am tired of listening to the childishness a bickering between sides over every single thing. Nothing gets done and nothing changes. Here’s an idea; how about you vote according to what your constitutes want and need. You remember them don’t you those people you’re supposed to represent back home. Senators and representatives owe their allegiances to their voters and the American people first not their respective parties. No president regardless of his party will ever be able to lead this nation effectively while being hamstrung and chained by a bickering partisan congress, which has outlived its usefulness and purpose.
• Finally its time that America turns in towards its own problems and issues for a while. I support the massive levels of help we as a nation provide across the globe, but while we have been away saving the world our own country has fallen into disrepair. How can we advise and expect others to do as we ask when we cannot even do as we preach. Our infrastructure is falling apart. Education levels are embarrassing and regular services laughable. If we really want to go about manufacturing democracies our own nation would be a good place to begin. When we are strong as a country and set firmly on a foundation of stability then we can lead others through example, not intimidation or bullying.
Watching the drama unfold in New York over the past few weeks has made me think and question. As Americans today, what do we believe in? What are we willing to fight for and uphold? Sometimes I look around at what’s going on and that answer would seem to be not very much. I have seen people more willing to fight over a parking spot then their basic constitutional rights. For me the problem with movements such as Occupy Wall Street is that they seem more intent on placing blame than anything else. I don’t feel that they’re actually trying to accomplish anything, or work towards change. I don’t feel that there is a fight going on and maybe that’s the problem. I see the issues in Washington and Wall Street. I think they are clear to anyone willing to look, and I wonder if I should be fighting it. Am I part of the problem myself, am I one of those waiting for change instead on enacting it. Is it time for all of us to put down the remote and grab a torch and sign?