Friday, March 11, 2011

Democracy Is Dead

No words can really convey my feelings going into this post.  The most adequate attempts of "infuriated", "outraged" and "incensed" can only provide a small window into the depth of my anger at what is being done to my country.  By now many of you have heard that the Wisconsin Republicans rammed through their bill stripping rights from union members.  It made me physically ill when I read the headline.  They have effectively managed to destroy democracy in Wisconsin and the ripples will be felt nationwide. 

The big spin on this is that it has to be done to "balance the budget".  Echoes of the same are being heard right now in more than a dozen other states including Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Florida, Indiana and Georgia.  Folks, make no mistake, this has nothing to do with the states' budgets.  This is about corporate power and wealth concentration.  The cornerstones of democracy - education, independence and freedom - might not yet be completely dead but these unwanted kittens are dangling over a river and corporations are holding the bag.

Destruction of our democracy by cutting funding is a clearly stated long-term plan of the Republican party.  They believe that big business or "the market" should be the ultimate authority.  They don't advertise it but it's certainly not a secret.  And it is going to get much, much worse.  Once they are done breaking the unions, we will continue to see them actively pursue their goal of tearing apart our democracy.  All the while, they will institute steps to curtail voting among minorities and young people and anyone else likely to vote Democratic to remove any threat to their power.

We will have a front row seat to watch them dismantle any programs that rely on the federal government such as Social Security, HeadStart programs, Medicare and Medicaid, public education, the EPA, public broadcasting, family planning, public health, food safety, heating assistance for the poor, job training and college grant programs and it will all be done under the banner of "Balancing the Budget".  The attack on these services is already well underway.

Image: Simon Howden /

They will strip away these programs and at every step, most Americans will sit by and deny that there is a problem.  Some will even defend the cuts.  They will say that we are broke.  They will say that we must eliminate the debt.  We must get rid of the deficit.  They will say we are living beyond our means.  Bullshit.  Our country is not broke, it is broken.  Money that should be going to help those in need and to efforts to strengthen our society is instead routed toward big business.  No matter, these steps will still be justified as "necessary" and the downward spiral will continue. 

We are funnelling money to the ultra-rich at a faster and faster pace through initiation and continuation of massive tax cuts.  Corporations are paying little to no tax; billionaires pay at the same rate as people making tiny fractions of what they earn and new ways are constantly being created to help them pay even less.  The money given up in those tax cuts is needed.  It has to come from somewhere but it's not going to to come from the rich and the corporations; it will come from the programs essential to the middle and lower classes.
Image courtesy of Daniel St. Pierre via

We will watch them destroy every program that benefits the vulnerable; the poor, the elderly, the under-educated, the underprivileged and the chronically ill.  Defund and destroy, defund and destroy;  marginalize the working class and kill off the poor.  This is their strategy.  They will take all of the power away from the citizens and hand it to corporations.  We are about to become slaves.







Knife photo:
Liberty photo: <p><a href="">Image:</a></p>
Piggy Bank photo:


  1. This is situation is beyond words to describe. I can't believe that people are allowing this to be done to them.

  2. I agree OptiPess. The labor protests are heartening but the majority of Americans are still sleeping. Let's hope they wake up soon.