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To Whom Do We Now Turn?

To Whom Do We Now Turn?

By David Swanson
August 1, 2011

"The Democratic Party is running away from its traditional role of protecting the poor, the elderly, and the working class," writes Congressman Dennis Kucinich. "To whom do these groups now turn?"

We turn to ourselves, Congressman. You know that. And you know I love you. But we've got to stop turning to people, much less parties. It's killing us. We can work with you and all of our friends, but we're going to have to do this ourselves. There's nobody so poor, so elderly, so working class, so sick, so weak, or so wounded that they can't help this country a hell of a lot more themselves than can your colleagues, Congressman, the vast majority of whom, politically speaking, aren’t worth a bucket of warm spit.

There were 54 members of Congress who signed a letter to Congresswoman Pelosi opposing cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid, and then voted against a bill to allow such cuts. Forty-one of them were in the so-called Progressive Caucus. In a close vote we'd probably have lost three quarters of them. A few others didn't vote, and four more were not permitted to vote because they're just given the pretense of representing imperial territories. But a bunch of death-dealing lowlifes took a public position against the destruction of what's left of our public programs and then voted for that destruction. I'm talking about Congress members John Garamendi, Frederica Wilson, Hank Johnson, Mazie Hirono, Bobby Rush, Luis Gutierrez, Danny Davis, Stephen Lynch, William Lacy Clay, Chaka Fattah, Mark Critz, Shelia Jackson-Lee, Lloyd Doggett, and Eddie Bernice Johnson.

God damn it, I'm trying to write a book, and I have to stop everything because these and hundreds of other blood-soaked invertebrates just can't wait to demolish our country. They can't sit on their hands until the Bush-Obama tax cuts expire. They have to wreck everything right away. It's urgent. It's their perverse moral duty.

Let's face it: the system is completely broken. It always does wrong, every time, no exceptions. We want the rich taxed. Congress cuts their taxes. We want the wars ended. Obama keeps them going and launches a few more. We want our weakest-in-the-wealthy-world safety net strengthened, so instead it's shredded. Every time. Without fail. This is not a matter of chance. It's a matter of legalized bribery, corporate media, gerrymandered districts, restricted ballot access, unverifiable voting machines, defunded schools, and poisonous habits of thought, primary among them the notion of giving one's loyalty to a political party.

Fifty members of Congress with some claim to decency remaining should immediately create a new political party -- or, better yet, declare themselves independents. But doing so would not fix what's broken. We won't get the money out of the elections, the filibuster out of the Senate, or any other reforms that might make for a functioning representative democracy through any efforts by the people elected under the current system. Something else is needed. The same something that we cheer for when we see people doing it in other countries.

We need nonviolent resistance. I know that sounds very radical, impolite, and out of the loop. But if we can sit around denouncing what this plutocracy produces as a "Satan Sandwich," why in the hell can we not interfere nonviolently to try to stop it?

October 2011 is the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan and the beginning of the 2012 federal austerity budget. It is time to light the spark that sets off a true democratic, nonviolent transition to a world in which people are freed to create just and sustainable solutions. Take this pledge at

"I pledge that if any U.S. troops, contractors, or mercenaries remain in Afghanistan on Thursday, October 6, 2011, as that occupation goes into its 11th year, I will commit to being in Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., with others on that day or the days immediately following, for as long as I can, with the intention of making it our Tahrir Square, Cairo, our Madison, Wisconsin, where we will NONVIOLENTLY resist the corporate machine by occupying Freedom Plaza to demand that America's resources be invested in human needs and environmental protection instead of war and exploitation. We can do this together. We will be the beginning."


David Swanson is the author of "War Is A Lie"

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