I really admire President Obama. He is an incredibly intelligent, educated, and caring man. I am proud of what he has accomplished in this country despite huge obstacles: blanket opposition by Republican representatives to just about every measure he has attempted to introduce under his presidency. President Obama has remained committed to a “working together” attitude. But that has to go both ways. The Republican party has admitted that this hostile resistance was a planned course of action. When President Obama was elected, the party decided to direct all elected Republicans in Congress to systematically attack and block all efforts of our President, even if the individual elected officials actually agreed with his ideas.
This seems to be clear proof that elected officials are not representing the people who actually elected them; they are taking the party line, which is paid for by wealthy billionaires, inspired by the Koch brothers. The Republican party is fully invested in ignoring climate change, in ignoring poverty and wage inequality in America, in ignoring our huge issues with food safety and toxicity in our food and water systems. They intend to continuing ignoring the latter, due to countless poisons and pesticides produced by our industries and farms, owned by wealthy corporations. The Republican party does not want to do anything about the uncontrolled escalation of the cost of higher education.
It is clear as it is sad that the party which says it represents family values wants to do nothing to protect all American families from the threats here at home, for which they and their friends are responsible, and to give our children a future not to fear, but to which they can look forward with confidence. Instead, Republicans choose to blame our ills on immigrants or on global terrorism. We do not need to invest billions in the military to protect ourselves from outside threats. Our biggest threat is within our own borders. The threat which is damaging our health, our safety, our economy is based on a simple truth. Corporations are running America. And they do not care about the well being of people or the environment. What is most sad is that the vision Republicans and Libertarians call supporting individual liberties is simply, in truth, greed. Money runs America today. Period. And greed motivates most of our elected officials, not loyalty to our country and our people.
The question here is this: If President Obama was not able to fully achieve his vision for the American health care system, for our educational system, to help reduce social inequality, institutionalized racism, stagnant wages, and to make significant strides to get America on the road to clean energy and help reverse climate change globally…how will our next president achieve these goals?
The answer, I believe, is simple. Instead of appealing to Congress to make the needed changes and to face endless resistance, the next president (hopefully Bernie Sanders) will need the full support of the American people.
What I mean by support is that we need a true democracy. We need to bypass our Congress, which no longer represents us (they represent the 1% of wealthy billionaires and the corporations and banks that they run), and appeal directly to our president. We need to speak up about the issues that are important to us, the people. We need to speak up in huge numbers and be constantly engaged and involved.
How can we be socially responsible and help our next president bring about the changes we want and need for America and for future generations?
We can use social media to constantly express our views. We can use social media to organize events and to get people involved. We can use social media to get out into the streets and make our desires so evident and so powerful that our elected officials will have to take notice of us and stop taking orders from their corporate sponsors. This is the only way to take the power away from the corporations which are currently running our lives and which have taken away the social benefits which allow us to one day retire, to have decent health care, and which give us protections within the work place.
Without a social structure and reasonable government regulation, capitalism becomes a dictatorship, and America, under the grasp of uncontrolled capitalism, has become a third world country. We are not the richest country in the world. We are a country of poor people with a few rich people who exploit the rest of us. This is the definition of a third world country: little to no social mobility, and a great divide between the wealthy and the remainder of the population.
It’s time to stop sitting back. Bernie Sanders has said it out loud. To bring about change, we all need to take part and speak up. The changes of which he speaks and of which we dream cannot happen without each of our voices speaking loudly and clearly. If you want universal health care, you need to say so, insistently. If you want affordable college education for your children, speak up! If you want us to work together globally to resolve climate change, work towards it actively.
We can enjoy a strong economy, build new jobs in the green energy and healthy food sectors. We can transform our country from one overloaded with toxic chemicals, plastics, abuse of farm animals, and dependency on fossil fuels to one which uses our intelligence and ingenuity to create new and profitable businesses which respect all people, animals and the environment. It is possible. We just need to speak what we know and feel. We need a change in the value system in our country. A sustainable form of capitalism puts people first, not money.