Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Letter to a friend. 

This is a letter I just posted to a friend. There seems to be a theme for today that I keep bumping heads with, as to what constitutes a true democracy:


Chris's thoughts on the demos and republicans, comparing the two and seeing little difference, strikes a resonant chord in me. We have a chairman of the democratic party, Terry McAuliffe, who made thousands from what appears to be insider trading in relation to his stock holdings in Global Crossing. We have John Breaux and Tom Daschle with relatives lobbying Congress for influence; I'm sure there are other examples of this too numerous to mention, on both aisles.

There are still some good guys though. There is Dennis Kucinich who kept Cleveland's energy company out of the hands of private investors, and therefore, kept rates down, when he was mayor. Now he is running for the presidency supporting issues based solely, it seems, on his true beliefs. There is Howard Dean, who appears beholden to no one and nothing but his own belief in himself, and his desire to be elected. I say that as a compliment, though I don't believe in all of his views, some of which he seems to have tailored in order to gain more support. He is blunt and outspoken and we need this right now.

But there are good guys on the republican side as well. Senator Chuck Hagel is calling for an independent inquiry into the intelligence mess. People have the capacity for change at any given moment, and I think we will see more and more small heroic stands taken as people find their collective voices again. It is as though the public is waking from a deep sleep as they see their well-being, and their democracy, further slipping away from them.

The internet has immerged as an integral tool in the creation of what may be the next revolution of our country, which would be true democracy: rule by the people, and not by the rich few.

We have a lot of work to do. Getting rid of Bush is the first step, as he has created a dangerous precendent in his belief in preemptive war. But what will come afterwards will prove crucial as well, if we really want to create a democracy in this country.

I've been reading Howard Zinn's Declarations of Independence. He points out that there was a strong socialist movement in this country until WW1 and the crackdown on dissent snuffed it out. Now, some of the socialist ideas, including universal health care and public financing of campaigns, have become mainsteam issues, and in no small measure due to the power of the internet.

I wonder if Chris would agree that money has corrupted our political process, on both sides of the aisle? Yes, Clinton was able to reduce the deficit, but corporate corruption thrived right under our noses and blew-up and into the open during the stock market dive when Bush took over. None of this started recently. Munitions manufacturers were a deciding factor in dragging this reluctant country into WW1. The enrichment of all the Pesident's men, through Halliburton, Bechtel and the Carlyle Group, is occuring while people are dying in Iraq. Democrats and republicans flock to profitable investment and lobbying groups when they leave office.

Chris, as we all do, possesses understandable cynicism towards our government. What he and all of us need to realize, is we are the government, and we don't have to stand for this. We are the government. We are the media. Until these statements become an actuality, we are fighting an uphill battle.