Political petulance is poisoning the power of the people

Restoring the integrity of a government “by the people”

Integrity is the lifeblood of democracy. Deceit is a poison in its veins.
Edward Kennedy

Men become accustomed to poison by degrees.
Victor Hugo

Control. Power. Money.

It’s the fang toothed hydra, the unholy trinity to which most of the people who run this country pay obeisance. To them, capitalism is what makes America great. If this were a land that celebrated the worker, their thinking goes, we would have a socialist country. Then they would have to pay obeisance to us, and they find that hierarchy to be blasphemy, if not outright ridiculous.

Of course, we’ve given them our control, our money, our power, often enthusiastically, and now they think they deserve it.

They guard their power with a rhetorical kinetic that could light the entire Eastern Seaboard. Just this week, GOP leaders called the Democratic tax-cut vote “chicken crap,” said that the House approving a $4.6 billion school nutrition bill was really “federal control over education,” and introduced a constitutionally altering “amendment which would enable states to repeal federal legislation” if two-thirds of state legislatures decide they don’t want to follow laws enacted in Washington, DC.

The venomous hissing coming from Capitol Hill is enough to make a citizen surrender to the inevitability of its toxic affects. The holiday table they set for us may look appetizing, but the turkey is made of wood and the ham is glazed with arsenic spacemen from Mono Lake.  It only takes one bite of sticky, muddy gravy – so deep you have to really put in some effort to remove your fork from the gooey mass – for you to notice that your brain activity is slowing down.

Then, as your muscles petrify from the poison, you realize you cannot raise a finger, either to accuse lawmakers of their callous cognitive dissonance when it comes to seeing the distress of struggling American families;  or to let the government know that you need the support of the people’s money just to feed your family; or – in the case of a particular finger – to show how resentful you are of all of the above. You cannot even close your eyes to the crumbling, dysfunctional policy being aimed, loaded and fired at your immobilized ass.

I say there is no darkness but ignorance.
William Shakespeare

And when the poison makes your world go dark, don’t panic. You just have to resign yourself to the fact that there will be no enlightenment until the powers that be find a way to make money from it.

So depressing, but not a lost cause.

Antidote – the People’s Congress

It’s not a lost cause because the power that we’ve given our elected officials we can take back from them. Yes, there is the ballot box, but between now and 2012, there is a lot of legislation that could squeeze the last juice out of people power, and leave the greedy Congress too fat, happy and lazy to care about us.

We need a new Congress, the People’s Congress. We need what amounts to a union to represent our political interests. We don’t want to fight with the Republicans or the Democrats. We want to know that we are being heard, our families are being considered,  the future of our well-being is being secured. Individually, our small voices mean nothing to the powers that be, when they can just take what they want out of our pockets, our schools and our health.

We can succeed, give power to our will, if we were to convene a trans-partisan People’s Congress, unspoiled by the distracting, misleading and untrue rhetoric that characterizes the bodies that supposedly represent us in Washington. Unbeholden to the monied interests that currently dictate legislation, we will be empowered to reach consensus, to jettison unproductive policy that is simply for the interest of a single interest or entity.

Finally, realize that pre-election calls, from all sides, to “take our country back,” really don’t give any of us our country. We’re stuck with the menu Congress decides to print for us to read, so while for the last four years we read from column A, now we read from column B, but the stuff coming out of the kitchen is the same. To really take our country back, we have to be in action. Don’t let Congress tryptophan us into complacency.


The effect of power and publicity on all men is the aggravation of self, a sort of tumor that ends by killing the victim’s sympathies.
Henry B. Adams

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