The New Steal

Stephanie Fail

Within President Obama’s innaugural speech there was a sentence that left me with several questions. “Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.”

Our economy has been wounded by “greed and irresponsibility on the part of some.”

President Obama, I must inquire- whom should we go to that took our money? Who are they, and aren’t they still there? Are the big business lobbyists and crusty senators who snub public opinion gone? Where did our healthy economy go? Was it ever healthy? Did we ever have any money? Since we left gold, has our economy been one hot wet dream and now we are beginning to wake up and realize we have been pissing in our bed?

Was that not a direct result of the corruption of our Washington representatives in Congress and in your very position? These mysterious alliances have magnified the influence of American business leaders within our government. We all know Wall Street has become stronger then the democratic will of the people. The people have realized that in a trickle down free economy people pay to steel-line their pockets. The trillion-dollar bailout according to the people I have personally polled is not something they wanted. Yet with the apocalyptic coverage of it by the media, people’s fear allowed them to again shrink back their minds from creative thinking and place more tax sovereignty in the hands of the same old elite. This is taxation without representation.

Though the input and friendship of big businesses in such a globally competitive age is no doubt valuable, a democratically wise nation should remember that its role is to be a servant not to the rich minority, but the struggling majority whose taxes they take in to function. Balance is necessary for healthy growth, and favoritism has rotted the heart of our capital and many other towns and cities. If the locally owned “native” companies are strangled by these politically sponsored corporate invasive species, thus wiping out everything from auto shops to bakeries with a single brand, then in that brand’s futile chase to immortality they are doomed to cut off the branch our localized economies are so precariously perched on. Our politicians have quite obviously been selling out their power for the easiest way out. One look at the disaster of the Big Dig shows how radically out of touch our infrastructures are with fiscal realities. For example, why was Big Dig debt shifted from the city to the ledgers of the MBTA? Where is that money coming from, whom is getting the money from the Big Dig, and what are we getting in return for our collective tax investment? It is our duty as citizens to protect ourselves by pushing for transparent government and then guard it closely from corruption.

How do we protect our leaders from being bribed by special interests? Obama’s lobbyist limiting law is a beginning but true change needs more than superficial reform. In spite of the President’s warming words the only thing that can truly maintain status-driven American supremacy is to continue to be a vampire to those at the bottom of the pyramid. The life of the average American citizen may be slightly higher in priority to our leaders then those of other nations (as shown through our patterns of war) but we have seen in the 1960’s and 70’s how viciously our government will act to silence those who threaten their established order. The FBI murdered political leaders such as Black Panther Frank Hampton and some of that persecuted party fired back. It is a pattern that repeats throughout history that when an oppressed group lashes out violently, even if in self-defense, the oppressor uses it as an excuse to increase force. So a revolution capable of happening within this militarily predisposed state can only succeed through positive aggression such as mass movements, independent media production, hands on problem solving, public works job creation, and most importantly getting involved with local politics to make sure our views are respected. This statement may seem like a contradiction but in fact it is the heart of democracy. For voting for one person is voicing intellectual and fiscal support for that representative. This is why President Obama’s win seems to many to be a sort of easy revolution. We all really hope he is there to help us. Skeptics such as myself are reserved. Our new President shines like a voice of sanity in our crazy world but know he, like most politicians, is tied up by strings.

Flying Bush out of office in a Hollywood montage does not end the problem because Washington is still heavily infected. People are aware of this, and this is why Obama is squeezing lobbyists out of the capital in his very first laws. I congratulate your win, President Obama, but I will continue to watch you with a raised eyebrow- for if you mean your populist words to act as revolutionary as you have proposed, what sort of change will you bring? The puppet masters of American consciousness – our mass media [not to be confused with The Mass Media-EIC] – are controlled by the very few so if they wanted you in that seat so bad what sort of sway over you will they expect?

The judicial system remains the same, the legislature remains the same, with the exception of a highly sellable rock star Obama and some musical chairs, the executives of Washington remain the same. The people holding up Obama upon his popular pedestal remain the same Democratic men who voted with the much maligned Republicans for a dangerously unregulated bailout and the Iraq War in violation of international laws.

True change can only come through reflection and act upon learned knowledge via the court of law. The politician is but a cog in the evolution of America’s political machine. One man, even one as charming as JFK, can only do so much. As citizens and co-creators of a supposedly democratic government, it will be our responsibility to reflect upon the needs within our communities and creatively legislate to expand the potential of local businesses to meet them. The more we lean on messionic new deal programs, the more democratic sovereignty we surrender. The more “hard decisions” we lean on a single person to make, the less that will get done and unless we step up, organize, and represent ourselves strongly enough to influence the mass reforms President Obama has spoken of, then the terms of the next bailout are going to be dictated by the self-serving emotional mess we call Wall Street. In the words of our forefathers: NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION.

Yes, it is a positive thing for our American image to present to the world the idea that we have seriously changed our ways, yet it is our job to give this potentially revolutionary president the support he needs from below so that he doesn’t have to hang upon the strings of his dogmatic party members to fail us again. Just because they are in those seats of our system doesn’t mean our politicians are necessarily the best for the job, but instead means they simply wanted the job the most and sucked up to all the power they could to do so. The Democratic party, along with the Republican have failed us in looking out for the best interests of the people and for true change to happen we need to think outside the District of Colombia’s long-prostituted box.

Yes we can America! Just remember to be careful what we wish for- more governmental control is historically not a good thing. We can create a bright new future in which we don’t need The Man! Yes we can, but we just may need to quit looking up the chains of authority waiting to be a slave to some messiah and instead look to our own two hands to do so.