I go out and check my mail today and find no less than 18 postcards from every Tom, Dick and Harry running for some public office. Robo calls, live calls, door to door, TV ads you name it, we’re getting hit with it. It’s time to vote again.
And yet, even with all the publicity, there are people out there with no intention of getting out there and doing the one sacred deed one can do to exercise what power that has been given to them. Given to them by people they know and people who they have never met, over decades and centuries.
Like many of my fellow Americans I have known some of these people, my Grandfather joined the U.S. Navy when he was too young, he was 17, and followed his older brother Frank into war. Before he was 18 he was on the U.S.S. Chenango aircraft carrier in the South Pacific fighting the Japanese. He saw first hand the destruction of Hiroshima after we dropped the bomb, and made it home in one piece. From there he raised his family and lived the American dream that he had helped to preserve and I got the privilege of being witness to the latter half of that life. Frank wasn’t so lucky, and came back to America with a U.S. flag.
The threat to our way of life is rarely so conspicuous as the one imposed by Adolf Hitler, who once drew a swastika over the U.S. on a world map accompanied by the word “bald” which translates in English to “soon”. And soldiers aren’t the only ones whose responsibility it is to defend this country from nefarious forces attempting to steal our freedoms, in fact, no outside force has ever threatened this country more so than the internal indifference that Americans show for the direction this country goes.
Consider something that President Eisenhower said when speaking of one such potential threat.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
The advice to take nothing for granted and to be an alert and knowledgeable citizenry is applicable to far more than just the military-industrial complex. It goes for every other industry who tries to influence our government on their behalf and at our expense. It goes for all the politicians who are happy to accommodate them as long as the citizens of this nation are not being diligent.
When the cats away the mice will play.
So how diligent are we? How many of us take the responsibility passed down to us seriously to preserve the rights that were literally given to us by the soldiers and voters that came before us? Since the early part of the 20th century turnout of eligible voters for a presidential election has rarely seen a mark as high as 60%, and is usually closer to 50%. And that’s the general election, primary elections are even worse. That’s a disgrace. It’s your duty as an American to vote and to encourage others to do the same.
Due to a bizarre ruling by SCOTUS, Citizens United v. FEC gives corporations personhood and all the rights that come along with it under the U.S. Constitution, that of course includes the right to free speech, the right to lobby the government for redress of grievances and worst of all, has interpreted money as speech, so now these corporations can rain down as much money under the guise of free speech as they can to a very receptive and corrupt congress. Who runs this country? Not us. We’re losing the grip on the steering wheel.
Thanks in large part to the 50 or more percent of this population who doesn’t bother to vote our nation is becoming a plutocracy, a cancer from within that no amount of military can defend us from. It’s not terrorism or some totalitarian regime encroaching on our freedoms, nobody from abroad, no military is going to invade this country. It is however being invaded right now and if you aren’t one of the diligent, one of the alert, the knowledgeable then it’s on you. If you don’t vote, you’re part of the problem.