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Ian Masters Headshot

Towards a More Perfect Union

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Can the clamor of faith-based certainty continue to drown out a seething groundswell of doubt in the land? When will reality bite, banishing the media's right-wing punditocracy to a Siberia of silence and shame? How long can an Administration pretend to be a government, spinning truths instead of facing facts, with its noisy amen chorus a fading echo chamber of tired rhetoric and discredited schemes, blustering into the ill wind of change? Will it get worse before it gets better?

Not without ideas from a real Democratic opposition and not with a political left wallowing in righteous indolence, entangled by conspiracy theories and overloaded with a grab-bag of issue and identity politics. The right is wrong but where is the left?

We can always wait for the rot of criminality and corruption to expose the current cabal of frauds and incompetents, but that tired old Marxist belief in giving the capitalists enough rope to hang themselves is wearing thin. Class warfare is over, the rich have won and we're all POWs of the banking, pharmaceutical, medical and insurance lobbies. Our society and infrastructure is frayed, our debts overwhelming, the treasury bare, the armed forces stretched to breaking, the courts packed with reactionaries, healthcare all but unaffordable and transportation grinding to a halt.

So arise ye prisoners of corporations, it's time for political action. Maybe the first place to start is uniting around popular issues with a clear majority support. Most Americans are opposed to the privatization of Social Security, against the war in Iraq and fed up with the influx of cheap labor and the outsourcing of good jobs. They are in favor of privacy and women's rights, protecting civil liberties and the environment and tax fairness.

How about a new litmus test in 2006; candidates of the people, pledged for the people and elected by the people? Find candidates who voted against the war, or if they didn't, make them apologize and demand accountability. Get pledges that candidates will represent people and not capital and organize grassroots donations for them to compete with corporate cash and carry campaign financing. Pick honest, moral, people of faith with real "family values" from the 75% of Americans who do not live in the mythical "moral majority" household where wives are obedient, gays do not exist, teens do not get pregnant and the scriptures replace learning.

Convince your neighbors that paying taxes is an entitlement to responsive government in which everyone has a real stake and a fair shake, where the peoples interests are taken care of ahead of special interests, and the public good is protected from private greed. Reach out to friends and relatives who voted for those in power and appeal to their pragmatism, fairness and faith with humility and tolerance.

Boycott political ads on TV and circulate ideas, documents, articles and insights, creating you own manifesto for change and progress. In the absence of leadership, you must lead. Don't wait to be rescued by a better actor than the one that's trapped us in his bad movie. It is patriotic to organize your fellow Americans, especially if they are alienated. Stand up or step aside. Speak out or have no say. Vote for a change and change your vote. Be counted or not count.