A BuzzFlash Reader Commentary
July 19, 2002
"The man who would be President", during his campaign, picked the "Man from Nazareth" as his role model, causing this writer to almost fall out of my chair. On election eve, I sadly realized how almost 50% of the voters bought into this obviously shallow man. Of course, the "other side of the aisle" had their own shallow man. I guess voting for one of my role models, Ralph Nader (others include: George Seldes; Michael Parenti; Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky) should only be construed as tipping the balance from "corporate A candidate" to "corporate B candidate."
Interesting how a President who did perhaps his own "insider trading," with a VP under that same cloud, should now condemn a practice he and his "kind" have profited from for generations. A President who referred to (this year's) "corporate enemy #1" as "Kenny baby," while his VP included "Kenny baby's" people in those secret U.S. energy policy meetings. Then they chose a corporate (securities industry) attorney to head our SEC. If I recall the new testament, the "man from Nazareth" chased (and ridiculed) the moneylenders from the temple. Since this nation was blessed by our Creator, perhaps we should look upon our government structure, with our Constitution and Bill of Rights, as our "Temple of Truth, Justice and Democracy." Is it democratic when the CEOs of our Fortune 100 corporations earn, on average, over 400 times their lowest employee's salary, while millions struggle to just stay afloat? Does such greed fit with Bush's role model's legacy?
The majority of our population is made up of working folk - people who have to get up each day and punch out 6, 8 or 10 hours. Our median income for a full time worker is way less than $40k a year. That's peanuts with what the dollar can buy in this year 2002. Families of four usually must have both parents working in order to make that mortgage, or more likely, rental payment. Factor in the car payments (usually two), the ever increasing health insurance premium (my own went up 40% after just one year), the utility bills and on and on. My confusion is how in the heck would anyone who fits the above stated criteria ever have voted for the "man from Midland via Nazareth"? Why would a beaten down American working person, taken over the coals with this "free trade" nightmare everyday, support a group that only cares about its corporate sponsors? Even our "watered down" mainstream media is revealing how deeply these corporate scandals knife our economy.
Please be advised: this is not an essay supporting the current Democratic Party. With the exception of the Progressive Caucus, that party is not much better than the "Bushes." The Dems gave us Nafta, Gatt, the Telecommunications act of 96, the Welfare Reform Act, the bombing of Yugoslavia, increased weaponry spending, and other counter democratic measures. No, this is not an essay supporting that alternative. Rather, this is a plea to the real "silent majority' of our Republic. It's time to reject both these parties. It's time to think as independents and refuse to vote for people who do not have working folk's interests at heart. Start by standing up to these "bought and paid for" hacks. Run against them. Coerce them to institute clean election laws -- to get private monies out of political campaigns. If a conservative state like Maine could implement them in 1996, any state could do it. Make this one issue the only issue. Refuse to support for any candidate that will not formally, in writing, agree to vote for clean election laws. Start petition drives in your towns and cities. Have meetings at the library or any place that gives free space. Write or e-mail the local papers, continually flooding them with demands for true election reform. Get a group together and show up at city council meetings, and the offices of State and Federal reps, demanding their support of this one issue. If they give you the usual "lip service," vote no to their re-election bids.
Yes, we all need good and truthful role models. Someday perhaps, you the reader will become more active in getting this corrupt and polarizing system to change. Think of what a role model you will become.
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Philip Farruggio, son of a longshoreman, is "Blue Collar Brooklyn" born, raised and educated (Brooklyn College, Class of '74). A former progressive talk show host, Philip runs a mfg. rep. business and writes for many publications. He lives in Port Orange, FL. You can contact Mr. Farruggio at e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. His op-eds have been published in various publications, including: The Ft. Lauderdale Sun, The Daytona News-Journal, Counterpunch, The Progressive Populist, BuzzFlash, Whose Florida and others.
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