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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Egregious leadership flaws, crisis nation compel leap in voter political courage

We can, we must do better than the limited performers who hog center stage  
From Ron Boyer’s August Truthout Interview with Justice Party U.S. presidential candidate 
Rocky Anderson
Excerpt, editing by 
Carolyn Bennett

This is some of what Rocky Anderson had to say on the state of this union and what’s required to overcome the oppressive status quo in United States leadership from Washington

SERIOUS PROBLEMS, seriously flawed leadership

Rocky Anderson
“Our nation,” the United States of America, in the past dozen years, Rocky Anderson says, “has been transformed in extraordinarily tragic ways.

[Those in positions of power] have utterly eviscerated the rule of law

We have engaged in wars of aggression — wars for which there has been no coherent explanation.

Debt is completely out of control.

We have a military-industrial complex with a stranglehold on our government.
Bought government
bad government

At the core of almost every public policy failure, an explanation is found in the adage ‘follow the money’ because our Congress and the White House have been purchased lock, stock and barrel by wealthy corporate interests.

Republican and Democratic Parties have colluded in creating the corrupt, perverse system that has led our nation to this point.

Beyond acceptance of the unacceptable

In the past twelve years, we have come to accept government invasion of privacy that in an earlier era would have outraged American citizens. The idea that the executive branch of government has the power to round people up and hold them indefinitely without any semblance of due process is a clear sign of totalitarian governance.

Abuse of these is
never acceptable
Complacency of the American people, a seeming acceptance of the unacceptable — violations of the U.S. Constitution, enormous abuses of power — is, perhaps, the most frightening aspect of the crises in America. 

There is a crisis in the United States concerning our democracy and fundamental constitutional values. Correcting the problems requires a common knowledge on the part of the people and taking on the problems with depth of concern and activism that equals the severity of the problems.

Are we going to continue being a nation that goes around kidnapping, disappearing, torturing, and in some instances even murdering people?

Are we going to continue to be a nation that engages in aggressive wars to take over the resources of other nations and dictate to them how they are going to live their lives?

Are we going to continue to be a nation that suppresses not only people in other parts of the world; but our own citizens, denying them any security in terms of rights of privacy and their own personal security?

Anderson says, there is no question in his mind “that we need a major new alternative.”

SERIOUS CHANGE toward forming a more perfect union, establishing justice, ensuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defense, promoting the general welfare, securing blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity …
Rocky Anderson offers alternative  

Constitutional powers and war: If Congress had lived up to its constitutional responsibility to determine whether the facts justify going to war, we would have never gone into Vietnam. We would never have been in Iraq and very likely we would not have been in Afghanistan.

Compliance with the war powers clause of the U.S. Constitution would keep us out of disastrous wars.

We as a nation and a people seem to have completely lost sight of the illegality of aggressive war — a military attack against a nation or nations that have neither attacked nor was about to attack the aggressor nation.

Anderson says concerning wars “fought in our name”— wars that have devastated families and loved ones of U.S. military personnel and other country nationals — that he favors “a fact-finding investigation where the truth can finally be laid out for the American people.”

He says, “There must be some kind of accountability…. The truth must come out — not only in connection with the commission of these wars, but also the lies that led us into the wars. At least history should hold the people involved accountable.” Members of the U.S. Congress who, against the Constitution of the United States, delegated to the executive branch the power to take our nation to war must be held to account.

Citizens must take action to place a check on abuses of power and make certain that government takes the necessary action to deter those actions in the future. The responsibility falls on all of our shoulders to reverse the incredibly dangerous trend facing the United States.

Domestic affairs

Elections: We need a public financing system, significant campaign finance reform.

The role of money in our campaign system is in large part responsible for reducing U.S. democracy to plutocracy — the control of our government by the very wealthy. The legislative branch must reverse Citizens United.

Rule of Law: We must honor and recognize individual civil rights and liberties, desist in detaining people indefinitely without charge, trial or habeas corpus. Restore and uphold the rule of law, due process, the promise of the nation’s founders.

Healthcare: Denial of healthcare and the resulting human casualties are the consequence of the corrupting influence of money from the for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

Among industrialized nations, the United States is a world leader in deaths of newborn babies for lack of pre- and neonatal care, maternal deaths for lack of health care coverage, and deaths of people with diabetes.

We need to provide essential health care for everyone. Leadership from the very top is needed to turn things around.

Beyond fear of “spoiler”
Power of people, courage to choose

Every generation has the enormous responsibility to preserve our republic, to preserve our constitutional system of government, including the system of checks and balances — to stand up against an imperial presidency that assumes so much power for itself and undermines the power of other government branches to hold in check abuses of excess power, Anderson says.

Every progressive era, every social movement, he recalls, “came about because of the tenacious activism of people taking to the streets, pushing elected officials to do the right thing.…”

The current era offers both challenge and great opportunity, Anderson says; and as citizens and moral actors, “we have an obligation and opportunity to reverse the dangerous course on which power and abuse of power have set our nation.”

We must “get beyond our timidity and assert ourselves if we are ever going to see the kind of change that is necessary for moving in the direction of democracy and away from plutocracy.” As a powerful people, he says, Americans can pick up the tools and organizing strategies used in earlier eras “to overthrow America’s “dictator, the corrupting influence of money.” Exert our will “to demand the restoration of the rule of law, a return to constitutional values.”

There are alternatives, choices on national election ballots — if citizens take the  leap of political courage to choose.  http://www.politics1.com/p2012.htm

We can choose to simply move the players (Republicans and Democrats) around and sustain the corrupt system in which big money calls all the shots or we can finally organize and take action together to choose a very different way.

This is a perfect time, Anderson says, “for third parties to come together under one unified banner, perhaps set aside some of our differences and join in providing the kind of option the majority of the American people want to see in elections.”

He says he “would be very pleased to work with the Greens, the Peace and Freedom Party, the Progressive Party, with the Libertarian Party, with Independents — with people of all stripes — thus allowing real choice instead of creating several different factions and limiting the choices to small parties on either the left or the right of the political spectrum.”

Anderson envisions bringing people together; focusing on major common concerns, and common aspirations.

“We the people … do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America” [From the Preamble 1787]

Sources and notes

 “Justice Party Presidential Candidate Rocky Anderson Speaks Candidly on the Crumbling State of the Union” (Ron Boyer Truthout Interview), August 26, 2012, http://truth-out.org/news/item/10766-a-road-less-traveled-presidential-candidate-rocky-anderson-speaks-candidly-on-the-crumbling-state-of-the-union


Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy


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