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Our Democracy Is Dying

In case anybody hasn’t noticed, democracy in America is dying now. This isn’t an overstatement; it’s a fact. Corporate interests dominate our politics so much at this point that our government, for all intents and purposes, is merely its handmaiden. Whatever Wall Street wants, Wall Street gets. Corporatism is the new order of the day. One political party stands for it; the other political party won’t stand against it.

The word inertia means the tendency of an object to move in whatever direction its been moving until and unless there’s the introduction of a counterforce, and the Democratic Party is simply not providing the necessary counterforce to the corporatist agenda so exalted by the Republicans. Such a possibility is undermined by Democrats with corporatist agendas of their own. Watch them trying to sideline Elizabeth Warren as I write this. It’s all gotten so terribly predictable.

Some people are pussyfooting around the word, but others are realizing it’s time to say it: we need a peaceful revolution in America. In the words of President John F. Kennedy, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.” The American people have simply got to stand up now. This isn’t the time for any of us to go mute – whether it’s those who feel there’s no point in saying anything, or those who feel there’s too big a risk in saying anything. And you know who you are.

The social revolution we need is comprised of two major categories: What we say No to, and what we say Yes to. In the American Revolution, with the Declaration of Independence we said no to what we would no longer accept (living under British rule). In ratifying the Constitution, we said yes to what we would do instead (form our own system of government). The template was genius then, and it’s genius now. Today, we need to say no to a situation in which our government is bought and paid for, and yes to a return to democracy. Nothing short of an historic, nothing namby-pamby-about-it, serious social movement will take us out of our free fall and set America back on the track to real liberty. Today, lobbyists – not the people – are in control. And that is not freedom.

The situation has shaken out – and thank you, Senators McConnell and Reid for adding to the disaster of Citizens United by upping the amount people can contribute to political parties; that really helps (not) – in such a way that nothing short of a Constitutional Amendment will stop the big money flowing into our political campaigns like poison into the veins of our democracy. The best bet now — given the resistance within both major parties to seriously taking down the dastardly “For Sale” sign posted on the front yard of our government — is for the people ourselves to call for a Constitutional Convention, state by state. And that’s what has started to happen.

If something inside you says, “That’s true,” then I hope you get active. We’re in serious straits now and things won’t get better by themselves. In denial about this? Go stand over there. Too cynical to think we can change things? Go stand over there. Too sedated to be upset yet? Go stand over there. An apologist for the system? Go stand over there. Ready to kick ass? Go to http://www.wolf-pac.com/ and express yourself big time. Work with that organization, or with any other you like. But this isn’t a time to sit on the sidelines. Our democracy is sick – it is really, really sick — and all of us are needed now to nourish it and make it well.