"You know how our government only listens to the lobbyists? Well, we're marching on the lobbyists."
I've spent most of this past week marching 150 miles from Philly to DC with unemployed workers and their families, called "Operation Green Jobs." Whenever we come across anyone who asks us why we're doing it, I use the above question and answer to explain our cause. And ten times out of ten, they're 100 percent supportive. When you base your argument on the unifying principle that special interest ownership of our government must be opposed, people of all ideological backgrounds can agree.
On Tuesday night, our group stopped just outside of Oxford, PA to rest until morning. I went to a nearby Turkey Hill convenience store to charge my phone and use the bathroom. I ended up talking to the night shift cashier about our march to DC demanding good jobs, action on climate change, and an end to the crushing cuts that are closing schools that children in our group are marching to save. The cashier nodded and said,
"Yeah, if Obama keeps up all this gun control stuff, I don't think this country will last much longer."
Now, I personally believe that we should at least try to make it harder for the mentally unstable to have access to guns, but I chose not to get into that with this guy. Instead I said,
"Forget about all that. The banks and the lobbyists own this government, and they use it as a vehicle to take the rest of what little we have left to pad their already fattened pockets. Before we talk about doing anything else, we've gotta stop that first. Nah mean?"
The guy nodded thoroughly and shook my hand.
"I wish you all the best, brother. I wish I could march with you."
We have to learn to set aside our pet issues like gun control and abortion, which are only used by the media and the politicians to keep people divided. When we set those issues aside, we can find common ground and have class solidarity across all ideological borders. And once we have class solidarity and the 99 percent of Americans are united against the plutocrats, then the imperial structure of the United States will crumble like dominoes.
The plutocrats have class solidarity. As a solidified, unified class, the plutocrats have been able to buy armies of lobbyists to influence policy, counting on the fact that Congress listens to money first and people second. Evidence of this is seen in the Powell Memo, written in 1971 by a corporate lawyer to the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, outlining how corporations should take over academia, the media, the government, and culture itself. The plutocrats have been able to rapidly redistribute wealth from the many to the few -- the six Waltons who own Walmart make as much in 3 minutes of dividends as one of their hourly minimum-wage employees makes in an entire year, amassing more wealth than 41.5% of the nation. Now, they're gunning for our retirement money through slick PR campaigns like Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson's "Fix The Debt" scam. Ironically, they're paying broke college students to make their theft appeal to the millennial generation.
Whether we identify as a Democrat or a Republican, or an Occupy Wall Streeter or a Tea Partier must now be irrelevant if we're to succeed in upending the plutocracy's control over society. When we find ourselves in an argument with someone of a similar economic situation over something not relative to our economic situations, we have to check ourselves, step back, and find common ground over the plight of our class struggle.
Yes, this is a class war. And like Warren Buffett said, his class Is winning. The class war's tactics and strategy are exemplified by radical fascist administrations like Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Rick Snyder in Michigan, Chris Christie in New Jersey, Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania, and others. They collectively redistribute public assets to their wealthy sponsors in the form of budget cuts for one and tax breaks for the other. While their excuse is "job creation," that agenda has been proven to be demonstrably false. Dismantling public institutions will only lead to job losses -- Wisconsin has ranked near the bottom in job creation since Walker took the oath of office. Tom Corbett blamed Pennsylvania's high unemployment on his own people, saying they're all too high on drugs to get jobs. This is the language of class warfare.
So yes, we'll march to DC and make our voices heard in the halls of government. But they're merely the puppets -- the ones pulling the strings are corporate lobbying groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. So when Americans of all ideological leanings see us on the road and ask what we're doing, we'll tell them we're marching on the lobbyists. And no matter how they voted, they'll be with us. Follow our march's progress here.