And by “Washington” we mean GEORGE Washington, of course. The genius of Washington was that he had a keen understanding of human nature, looking back, this made him very prophetic. In fact, some have called him a sort of political Nostradamus. Along with announcing his plans for retirement “after 45 years of my life dedicated to it’s (America’s) service,” and laying-out his arguments against running for a third term as president he also has a foreboding message for future generations of American’s. In his farewell address he:
- Extolls the virtues of unity in government- “The unity of government… is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence… of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize.”
- Warns against accumulating national debt- “…cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible…avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt….it is essential that you…bear in mind, that towards the payments of debts there must be Revenue, that to have Revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised, which are not…inconvenient and unpleasant…
- Stresses the importance of TRUE patriotism– “Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.”
- Warns against an over-powerful military establishment- “…avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty. In this sense it is that your union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.”
- Yet his most stern warning comes against partisan politics and the creation of political parties- “In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it occurs as matter of serious concern that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties… One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations… To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a government for the whole is indispensable. No alliance, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute… They are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government… I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State… let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally…” And now for the real kicker:
“This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.
There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.”
It’s a fair assumption to say that he saw this coming. All of the problem’s that we are experiencing today stem from the political parties. The parties have become incredibly wealthy and powerful. The parties are directly responsible for the creation of an entirely new class of citizen, the “political class.” This political class is comprised entirely of career politicians. Think about that for a minute. It has become so personally profitable to be a politician that many, if not most of them tend to make a career of it (both at the state and national level), something that would have been beyond comprehension to our forefather’s!
The political class has been voting pay raises for themselves, padding their already cushy pensions (which the Congress receives for the rest of their lives after only serving 5 years, and many state governments receive after serving 1 day in office), voting themselves into the “Cadillac” of all health care plans (one that IS single-payer), and fighting every attempt at real campaign finance reform for the past 20-30 years. It is simply offensive that both parties are already speaking of the need to raise $1 Billion to be adequately funded for the 2012 campaign. CRAZY!
Our problems are not with Wall St. Our problems lie with the political class and the parties that support them, who have allowed Wall St. unfettered access to our political process. The politicians have allowed Wall St. money to influence our entire political process from our elections to the actual authoring of legislation (so much of which is actually written by lobbyists, even President Obama’s cherished health care “reform” bill was written by Karen Ignagni, the chief lobbyist for the AHIP who also wrote the MA plan for Mitt Romney). We cannot expect corporations to NOT pursue profit at all cost, after all, it is what they are built to do. It is up to the politicians to set-up proper regulation of industry. When the politicians we elect refuse to do so, we get the results we deserve.
We are living in a state of corporate fascism, not a representative democracy. The current state of our government has been allowed to evolve through a concentrated effort of the political parties and their well-executed agendas. It has been a top priority of the political class to make politics so distasteful that the electorate would turn apathetic toward Washington and just continue to let them govern in their own best interests. They’ve carried-on the biggest most, disgusting soap opera in Washington for so long that most citizens truly believe that you should “never talk politics” with friends and family members. It is this attitude that has let the partisan extremists of both parties highjack the news cycle, the elections and the political process.
In our founding father’s days it was unheard of that a citizen would not discuss politics. It was oft-said by many of the framer’s of our Constitution that “politics is in the very fabric of our lives as American’s.” In fact, talking about politics and being actively involved in governing was considered our civic duty! The only way we can change our government is to wake-up and start working on real solutions. We all need to do our duty, absent of party affiliation, as American’s first.
The wonderful thing about the Occupy Wall Street movement (and even the Tea Party movement before they were co-opted by the GOP) is that it is a sign that the electorate is finally waking up! Everyday people are FINALLY looking closely at our government and it’s broken processes and promises and they are fed up! Extremist activism is always a bad idea. It tends to bring out the worst in people and doesn’t truly accomplish anything. The “Occupy” Movement may have seemed like an extremist movement when it got started, but it is no longer! It is a genuine organic populist movement that is growing leaps and bounds every day. Today it became a GLOBAL movement as witnessed by Occupy protests in 1500 cities and 82 countries today!
We have a long way to go to take our government (neigh our World) back from the political class and the corporations whose troughs they are feeding at. We can and will do it. We have the knowledge. We have the technology. We have the will. But most importantly we have the numbers! We are the 99%! Stay tuned to this blog for the posting of our agenda.
– I.M. Folks
The Political Arm of the Revolution