“You Can’t Do Anything Unless You Try!”
By Mary Pitt
11/01/08 “ICH” — — In the many, (too many) gang interviews that are currently called debates by the mainstream media, the question is asked at each gathering, “What will you do on your first day in office?’ The candidates of both parties will harrangue and equivocate, one after another, but not one will reply with the answer that would gladden the heart of a real progressive, Constitution-loving citizen of the United States. Can’t you just imagine the roar of approval if any one of the prospective Presidents would give the following answer?
“On my first day in office, I will sign an Executive Order which will cancel every Executive Order instituted by any former President. I will open the records of every official department to the Freedom of Information Act so that the press and, thereby, the people can learn what has really happened to the liberties which every one of us once took for granted. In addition, I will send a letter to Congress stating that, despite the “exception statements” that may have been signed by any former President, every law that has been passed by them and signed into law will be followed in both letter and intent by this administration. Further, the powers claimed by the Executive Branch will be those outlined in the Constitution; no more and no less.”
Why is it so impossible for anyone to run for the highest office in the land without acknowledging their recognition of the true problems of our democracy and the necessity to restore its once-proud state of affairs? They touch upon the Iraq War and debate how and when to disengage American troops but refuse to touch the question of the lies that put them there. They will turn over and discuss briefly the milliions of illegal aliens but never bring up the Mexican military incursions into our sovereign territory as protection for their drug runners. They lament the state of our economy but not one, of either party, has any plans or even suggestions as to how to deal with it. True, some on the far right will offer that taxation must be ended, the Internal Revenue Service eliminated, and Social Security “drowned in the bathtub”, but none are able to project what would happen next.
As a vastly important “planning meeting” is being conducted in Oklahoma to try to build compromise and pull the political scene back to “the middle” with “compromise and coalition”, all we see from any candidate is precisely “compromise and coalition” as every one of them claims to be in the “middle-of-the-road”. Meanhwile, the few who might speak for the disenchanted, like Dennis Kucinich on one side and Ron Paul on the other, are discredited and ignored by most of the media so that there is really no chance for their views to be considered by the “slobbering masses”. Only one candidate, former Senator John Edwards, even comes close to expressing our hopes and fears.
Born without the proverbial “silver foot in his mouth”. he worked his way through college and has made his fortune by his own legalistic abilities. He knows the worries of working-class families and, though winning no primaries, has made a respectable showing in all, not only this year, but sufficiently in 2004 to become the candidate for vice.President. Hwoever, lacking the glamor and charisma of Obama and Clinton, he is evidently not going to be the “people’s choice”, and that is to our detriment. Our choices have been made by the media.
The progressive movement turned out in force in 2006, defeated many of the hard-core Bushites and installed “liberal” Democrats in their stead. It didn’t help. They were stymied at every turn by their business-as-usual senior colleagues of both parties who really understood “how the game is played”. Congressman Robert Wexler has accumulated over 200,000 signatures on a petition to impeach vice-President Dick Cheney but don’t bet on it ever getting to the floor of Congress or, for that matter, the presence of the good Congressman there after the next election. The people in Congress say that it would do no good for them to begin anything that would not go through the Senate and the Senators will not approve or even propose anything at all unless they have the backing of a veto-proof majority. Both sides are desperately afraid of provoking a filibuster so, if they can’t work out a compromise, they will do nothing. Never mind the hordes of hurting folks out here who are screaming, “You can’t do anything unless you try!”
As the politicking season began, we were faced with choosing between several of these Senators, all of whom are charter members of a “do-nothing” Congress and all scrambling for the “middle of the road”. The two exceptions on the Democratic side are Congressman Kucinich and former Senator John Edwards but, instead, the media spotlight shines only for the glamour and charisma of the inexperienced Senator Obama and the all-too-experienced Senator Clinton who must have callouses on her behind from “straddling the fence”.
Must we wait until the nation is in another Great Depression before the huddled masses realize what their negligence and nonchalance has cost before we can anticipate a “savior” arising who can put our democracy back together on the pattern set out by our Founding Fathers and we can again walk in the sunshine of freedom and equality? I shall not be here to see it but I have the utmost confidence that the blood of our forebears will arise, even if belatedly, but I believe that it can and will be done once the people awake and arise. Otherwise, we will all go down in history alongside ancient Greece and the mighty Roman Empire as an example of the folly of caring only too late to preserve our own honor.
The author is a very “with-it” old lady who aspires to bring a bit of truth, justice, and common sense to a nation that has lost touch with its humanity in the search for societal “perfection.”