Logically, it is pointless to vote for you, as I explained in 2008. But, public delusions and political pork barrel being perennially popular, you will no doubt retain your hold on the hopes of tens of millions nationally, which you will invariably continue to betray.
Clearly, it is your job to prod the reluctant rear of the herd into the same stockyard that your Republican partners lead the eager, stampeding front. It’s easy to see the attraction of this drive from the cowboys’ perspective: anticipating the camaraderie of a hearty feed on prime rib around the campfire, and pockets bulging with wages at the end of the drive. However, when given any thought, one has to concede that the attractions of the drive are lost to any members of the herd being driven. Fortunately for you, few in the herd think beyond chewing into the immediate satisfaction rubbing into their muzzles, so they usually serve their function as prime rib.
Much of the public has the mistaken belief that the purpose of political parties in the United States is to consolidate a set of broad consensus on national issues, such as the economy, the mechanics and economics of food production and distribution, the structure of national defense forces, and the implementation of social services: education, health, retirement and elder-care; so as to craft legislation that governs how these and other matters are to be dealt with for the public good.
It is amazing that such a mistaken and inverted view of reality could ever have become common. Of course, it is the parties that are supposed to be the beneficiaries of government action, and the public whose purpose is to ensure that beneficence by suppling the labor and capital needed to implement government action (or inaction) mandated by the bipartisan directorate. For example, it is the public’s duty to:
— provide a mass base of unthinking public approval for the status quo, such as by voting for Democrats and Republicans only (and so helping decide the biannual and quadrennial local and national contests selecting which partner will be the respective pork barrel meister-in-chief for the term), by manning party and race rallies (to maintain public social disunity), and following directions en masse in the many sanctioned corporate-financed political campaigns;
— supply the living and future dead soldiers for the ongoing foreign wars;
— buy products and services as directed by the entertaining and instructional advertisements in major media;
— assume the tax burden necessary to underwrite the profitability of otherwise failing corporations, which profitability the bipartisan directorate deems to be a “national interest”;
— be an absorptive market for the waste production of national security industries (e.g., assume liability for civilian nuclear power; sustain the use of high-tech para-military cop equipment);
— sustain the operation of a wealth-based adjudication-prison system, a corporate-government partnership and punitive element of social control;
— support by every thought, word and deed the primacy of national security needs, as defined by the Pentagon and the bipartisan directorate, to the access of national resources over any selfish humanitarian or public social considerations (e.g., expending tax revenues — “emergency war supplemental” — to continue funding the bombardments in Central Asia and East Africa, instead of profitless subsidies for continuing unemployment benefits or a variety of public social services);
— remember that the nation is defined by its national security tasks framing its corporate financial capital essence, NOT by the massed and, by definition, petty concerns of its self-absorbed “rubber bumper” population.
At this time in U.S. history, the Republican Party commands the loyalties of those motivated by simple white Judeo-Christian supremacy, finance capital greed, and hegemonic US militarism. Humanitarian, cultural, artistic and environmental considerations are absent, except when seen as impediments. This is the mindset of social inertia supporting exploitation full speed ahead. The Democratic Party captures the hopes of people who want to live like Republicans, but want to think of themselves as nice. It is easy to see how minimal intellect presents few problems in maintaining a Republican mindset, yet how helpful intellectual agility can be for a Democrat, whose self-image can require considerable mental gymnastics to maintain. In both cases, the identification with a party is usually reduced to a habit, because most people try to minimize their amount of thinking (which is sad, because this popular lack of thought is a very useful lever exploited by the manipulators of social control).
So, Democrats tend to “reach out” to leftist political outcasts, presumed to be politically homeless without them (intentionally so, as the Democrats work to suppress “third” parties), in an effort to produce electoral majorities that will gain Democrats pork-barrel-dispensing seniority when in government. Of course, the purpose of the voter is to promote the interests of the party, and not vice versa; so after the electoral victory the leftist issues and vote-seducing party rhetoric are expeditiously excreted, to trim the party for its primary purpose of implementing its previously agreed upon corporate agenda.
One can be forgiven for being “used” or “fooled” and “disappointed” by such political exploitation once, but not multiply. If nothing else, then just self-respect demands one decide on what one really wants to vote for, and then stick to it. Vote for what you believe in. If a party does not act as you believe it should, then don’t vote for it. If you follow that simple rule (just stated twice), then you will never be “used” or “fooled” and “disappointed” by a political party or political campaign again.
People loyal to either the Republican or Democratic parties, and completely satisfied with the conditions of the United States and the world today, have a completely consistent position because they unambiguously support the bipartisan consensus that produced those conditions. If, like me, you do not like the current situation, domestically and internationally, then you can make a list of your priorities and use it to gauge the performance (NOT just rhetoric) of candidates and parties you could vote for (and campaigns and public interest groups you could join and work with). Let your allegiance follow your values, and not be shackled by habit nor fear (nor pork barrel) to any one political power club.
So, dear Democrats, in a public answer to your many mailed and e-mailed appeals for my money — oh, and yes, my vote — here is my list of what I am voting for, and which I will use to identify matching candidates: the people whose past performance suggests they are most likely to implement my political goals. You may quantify my loyalty to your party by its degree of coherence to these goals.
Checklist for 2012 and Beyond:
1) Safeguard the U.S. Social Security Trust Fund and its traditional use: no privatization of any kind, no diversion of funds ever.
2) End the Israel subsidies until Israel’s complete withdrawal (of its military and settlements) behind its 1967 borders with Gaza and the West Bank. Since it would be impossible to ensure that foreign aid money given to Israel for humanitarian purposes would not be surreptitiously diverted to the Israeli military and the Israeli settlement activity (land theft in Palestine), a complete ban on foreign aid would be necessary until verifiable Israeli compliance with the world consensus on international justice (codified in UN resolutions, its charter, conventions and reports) is achieved.
3) Prompt withdrawal of U.S. troops from their invasions and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Stop military incursions elsewhere, and begin the process of substantially reducing the foreign deployment of U.S. troops on foreign bases (e.g., the complete evacuation from Okinawa — Japanese territory).
4) Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, and modernize it to deal with the 21st century electronic technology of banking and finance (the internet and computer networks). Bring back strict regulation of the banking industry, and also nationalize the Federal Reserve because the management of the nation’s currency is too important to be left to for-profit corporations.
5) Eliminate the Bush Tax cuts as only the first step to reintroducing fairness into the U.S. tax code: a reduction in personal income tax rates for incomes below $100,000/year, the taxing of capital gains like wage income, the elimination of offshore “tax haven” loopholes and special tax-exempting subsidies to businesses.
6) Repeal of the Patriot Act. Defending the nation should mean defending the civil rights of its people, not making it easier for hidden and unaccountable administrators to secretly select scapegoats and designate enemies-of-the-state from the national citizenry and world public.
7) Establish a national health-care system, a public “single-payer” all-living-souls-included system. If necessary, nationalize the entire insurance industry to do so; the maintenance of each human life is too important to be left to for-profit corporations. The savings to be gained by the retrenchment of the military (items 2 and 3) will easily cover the expense of managing a national health plan.
8) Repeal the “No Child Left Behind” abomination hypocritically pretending to improve the nation’s patchwork of primary public education systems. Establish a national kindergarten-to-college all-living-souls-included plan. Education is a right. The mental and character development of the nation’s children (that is to say, the children residing within the national territory at any given time) is too important to be left to for-profit corporations or local racist atavistic groups.
9) Remove patent protection from drugs and medical technology based on the results of publicly funded research. If tax dollars paid for the work to devise new types of medicines, or their enabling insights and mechanisms, then the public has a right to the health benefits of these advances, over any considerations of profits by private companies that seek to restrict and control such use. A similar principle should apply to the privatization of all publicly funded research, for example in physics, aviation, electronics, and materials science.
10) Fund the development and deployment of solar and sustainable energy sources and technologies; end fossil and fission fuel subsidies; develop the range of occupations (jobs) that would design, build and sustain a network of local and regional sub-networks of sustainable (solar, wind, hydro, geo-thermal, tidal and ocean) energy generation and distribution (of short-range and low-loss).
There are other issues I would like to see action on, but let’s start with these.
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr./strong>. is a retired nuclear bomb testing physicist; his e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org