Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
One reason I started thinking in terms of “We the Electorate,” though “We the People” is much more appealing, is because we aren’t actually seen as people, with real lives and perspectives. We aren’t seen as individual voters, but in terms of how we add or subtract from the total needed to win an election, keep a state red or blue, or “swing” it. We aren’t seen as persons who are unemployed, but as a statistic used to support the position of both parties. We aren’t recognized as a human being in need of health care, but as a number in the health insurance equations to maximize profits.
We’re a vote, a consumer, a number and statistic, to be manipulated by the Duopoly, in service to the Oligarchy, to the .01%. Corporations as People get much more personal consideration than all of the 99% combined.
There’s absolutely nothing new in anything I’ve just written, but apparently the sequels keep selling.
Lambert Strether, commenting at a Vast Left Facebook post: “The single best thing we can do as citizens is to stop believing lies, even those – especially those – told by our own tribe.”
That’s always the harder part: challenging the thinking and direction of your “own tribe.” We the Electorate fairly often handle that problem by further sub-dividing the “tribe.”
Below are a few thoughts about where “We the People” are in 2012.
At Nation of Change, Dave Johnson:
Here is Why Our Elites are Not Fixing the Economy
When we had democracy, We, the People made the rules and we ran our country and our economy for our benefit. Now that we are a plutocracy things are different. …
The reason our leaders are not doing anything to fix the economy is because, from the viewpoint of our real leaders, the economy is working just fine.
From Larry Pinkney, at OpEdNews:
The Terrorist Government of the United States
… In the fallacious name of protecting an essentially non-existent everyday people’s U.S. ‘democracy,’ this U.S. governmental corporate / military crime syndicate wages an unending propaganda and economic and political war of terrorism against the struggling people of this nation. In so doing, BOLD the ordinary people are deliberately and perpetually kept ignorant, in fear, and in disarray – easily manipulated, controlled … .
Pinkney writes about the “terrorism” of the “corporate hegemony,” “austerity,” the Wall Street “bail out,” the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act. His concluding section includes:
We must stop believing in the lies, distortions, and omissions emanating from the gate keepers of this political system and start believing in ourselves and our own creative capacities. We must understand that … we MUST band together to develop and nurture a serious everyday people’s movement which is about the concept of WE-ness not the systemically induced virus of ME-ness. This must be a collective struggle to change (not merely reform) an irretrievably corrupt corporate controlled U.S. political system.
At TruthOut, William Rivers Pitt writes:
America Must Declare War on America
… against the fusillade of divisive nonsense that passes for political discourse these days, provided with full corporate sponsorship by a small cabal of rich people via the ‘mainstream’ news media they own … .
Ralph Nader, at OpEdNews:
Jolting the Democratic Party from Its Stupor
The Democrats should be landsliding the worst Republican Party in history. …
It is not happening. …
The coming days await a new and open jolting push by prominent outside Democrats who fervently want to wrench their party back from the abyss … .
At Naked Capitalism, Matt Stoller:
The Source of Barack Obama’s Power to Trick Us Comes from Our Willingness to Be Tricked …
We as people can break this spell, and speak to our own dignity, as citizens. We can learn our own power, if in no other manner than in saying at the voting booth and in public, ‘I do not accept your lies, … I will not grant you my consent willingly.’ … We can work to organize ourselves … , with those of us who understand that power is something that must be taken, with money, organization, but most of all, with moral courage. It is not something that politicians have except through our consent, consent we have been giving for decades, to a rotten political class. This is what they truly fear. This is why they spend tens of billions on propaganda, on advertising, on symbols and personalities and celebrity. This is why they hide the workings of our government and banks and institutions of power in the language of boring bureaucrat-ese.
And this is why Occupy and related movements must be silenced. The astounding amount of police presence sent into “Occupied” territories makes that clear. Watching what happens at the Two Party national conventions may very well provide more evidence.
Does any or all of this sound extreme? We’d never allow ourselves to be taken over, be taken in like this, would we? Would We, the People, the actual people, allow this to happen?
In the post quoted above, Pinkney – long time, long-haul activist that he is, and that I so respect – quotes Frederick Douglas:
‘Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.’