[letter submission to the Akron Beacon Journal]
While parades firecrackers and hotdog eating contests will be the focus of many this July 4, political independence from tyranny was the day’s origin. A new Declaration of Independence is needed from corporate rule and plutocracy, which increasingly describes our government.
A few examples:
– Mass gun killings of school children, movie watchers and church parishioners hasn’t yielded even basic gun registration laws, despite overwhelming public support — due to lobbying and political contributions/investments from gun manufacturers
– Fraudulent practices, some even now admitted to by the financial industry, has resulted in no jail time of banksters, only fines, despite widespread opposition to such practices — due to lobbying and political contributions/investments from financial corporations.
– Resource plundering and climate-change altering pollution of fossil fuels supported with massive government subsidies continues despite widespread opposition — due to lobbying and political contributions/investments from oil, gas and coal corporations.
– Production of the F-35 and other militarily useless and budget busting weapons continues — due to lobbying and political contributions/investments by military contractors.
– The political drive to ram through Congress super-secret misnamed “trade” negotiations that would challenge our democratic sovereignty has been fast tracked despite growing public opposition — due to lobbying and political contributions/investments by the hundreds of corporations who have been consultants to the TPP and other negotiations.
We face today a fundamental political and legal crisis that has contributed to the growing national and global economic and ecological crises. Elected leaders are trapped in unsustainable and rigged systems that are designed to benefit the super rich and corporate interests. The mainstream media mesmerizes through distractions and distortions.
It’s up to We the People – as it has always been — to achieve real change. Only a multi-racial and intergenerational independent democracy movement can save us.
Enjoy picnics and watch fireworks and, if you must, hotdog eating contests on July 4. But on July 5 it’s time to become more socially active, to make democracy more of a verb than noun. There is simply no only way to achieve true independence and self-determination.