Overthrow The Oligarchs

…Peacefully, of course.

We proud Progressives seek to change the face of Congress in 2018 — NOT to merely take a seat at the table — but, to fight for ALL Arizonans — so that together, we can build a brand-new table!

Now, and for quite some time, the American Table has been set and occupied by a handful of powerful, privileged “gentlemen!” These oligarchs have very poor table manners! They eat like king-pigs, leaving only a few, stale scraps for the rest of us. They have been using shiny tablecloths for decades to cover the truth about the wobbly table base. Finally, the table is on its last leg, and will eventually collapse. When it does, no government bailout will suffice. These greedy gentlemen will have destroyed a democratic republic founded upon a free enterprise system that wandered so far from its framers’ intent, that George Washington will look down with dismay and disbelief and say, “Our heroic, grand experiment called the United States of America failed to survive three centuries due to ungodly greed.”

Most citizens understand that we, today, are witnessing national political events that are historic and of grave concern. It is disheartening, and frankly appalling that Congressional Republicans are so willing to put party over country. We have a crisis of national leadership like none other in our nation’s history. The utter lack of integrity, gross incompetence, major conflicts of interest at every turn, abuse of power, obstruction of justice, disrespect for our laws and traditions, and the complete absence of moral authority at home and abroad is casting a dark cloud of anxiety across America and the Free World.

In truth, the diagnosis of our crisis is not solely the deplorable results of our 2016 Presidential Election. Our national aliment has been festering for a long, long time. The disease, the root causes of our problems, emanate from a human condition that I call B.I.G. B.I.G. is a gigantic, deadly disease, with no easy cure. The B stands for Bigotry, as we see demonstrated through an inhumane immigration policy, a Muslim ban, or turning our backs on refugees. The I stands for Ignorance – willful ignorance, as evidenced by climate science deniers, irrational fears that lead to unjustified wars, or believing myths about the 2nd Amendment or about Planned Parenthood. And, the G – oh yes, this is the grand-daddy, mega-virus – the ‘Super Bug’ that permeates virtually everything in the USA. G stands for Greed. It is extreme Greed that represents the dagger in the heart of Universal Health Care, the starving of public education resources from kindergarten to college, the insatiable corruption inherent in underregulated Wall Street, a regressive tax policy, and a political system greased with big bucks from top to bottom. Mega-greed accounts for extreme income inequality — the ocean-wide gulf between the super-rich at the very tip of the economic pyramid and the remaining 99.9%.

B.I.G. – bigotry, willful ignorance, and greed all working together are a formidable dark force for our democracy. Bigotry is a friend to intolerance and injustice. Willful ignorance strips a person of his/her innate power, because without critical thinking, independent reasoning, and integrity of thought – one is susceptible to being conned by opportunists, oligarchs, and authoritarians.

The biggest of the B.I.G. – extreme Greed – is a malignancy upon our republic. Greed may well destroy capitalism, the very economic system that enables free enterprise to flourish. But, capitalism has gone awry. Extreme capitalism, just like extreme climate change, is unsustainable. If we fail to act boldly and quickly, our free enterprise system, our democracy based upon liberty and justice, and our earthly environment will not be able to thrive, or even survive. The USA must do some serious soul-searching. Our challenges are indeed immense. However, I believe there is still time, and there is still HOPE. But, nothing short of a revolution is required. A peaceful, political revolution in America can lead the world toward a safer, secure place. It can start in the 2018 election. We must elect individuals who are fighters for justice, who are passionately committed to protecting our people and our planet, who understand that the root cause of our biggest problems is an extreme greed that corrupts every aspect of governance. Yes, we can begin to reverse this B.I.G. self-inflicted disease by taking back power at the ballot box – decisively. We must Overthrow the Oligarchspeacefully, of course! A peaceful, political revolution is the only way forward. It is a daunting mission – and may seem like an impossible dream. However, it IS within our power, and it is within our reach. It starts with you and me, and a new generation of leaders who possess ‘moral authority’: who will always put country over party, who will change the way political campaigns must be financed, and will fight like hell every day to protect our people and planet. It might be tempting to just throw up one’s hands and say, “I give up. If you can’t fight city hall, you sure as hell can’t fight the oligarchs!” Oh, but hold on! Just think – we do have a rich tradition of democracy; we do have an army of voices and leaders ready to act; we do have millions of patriots across all walks of life that understand the great perils of our time are absolutely NOT sustainable:

  1. Economic:  The Super Concentration of Wealth & Power
  2. Environmental:  Climate Change
  3. WMD: Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons Proliferation

There is positive evidence that America’s youthful generation ‘get it.’ They can and will pull us back from the abyss. The very first step is to get the corrupting influence of money out of politics and governance. PERIOD! How? Recruit and elect candidates at every level of government who are true believers, who possess the ethics, the competence, and the fire to lead. People must exercise their dormant democratic muscles and speak out, stand tall, VOTE – and peacefully persist, persist, persist.

To overcome Bigotry, willful Ignorance, and extreme Greed takes courage, humility, wisdom, and understanding. Each of us must look within and ask ourselves, “What kind of community, country, and world do we want for our future generations? What am I willing to fight for?” Let’s rebuild a state and a nation that is vibrant, inclusive, tolerant, fair, compassionate, and innovative – based upon principles and traditions that reflect the fervor of our own American Revolution. We don’t need to take up arms, we need to join arms — two by two, three by three — until strength in numbers — People Power — transform our democracy in profound ways. The stakes are high, and the status quo is unsustainable.

The conventional and corporate naysayers are terrified at the prospect of relinquishing power to the people. The extreme wealthy and privileged near the top of the food chain will desperately try to cling to power, and they will act as enablers to the king-pins, the oligarchs, sitting on their unscrupulous thrones of greed. We see it playing out right here in Arizona’s legislature, where the power brokers have given their marching orders to Republican legislators, resulting in the shameful new anti-democratic law that makes citizen grassroots activism through the ballot initiative process extremely difficult. This is a classic example of a corporate-controlled legislature. Arizonan’s right-wing controlled legislature is a royal slap in the face to all of our citizens. Yes, greed is greasing the wheels of our state legislature’s majority party — something we would expect to see in Putin’s Russian oligarchy. Citizens of Arizona ought to stand up for democracy, and retire every single legislator who voted to enact HB 2404, aimed to stop voter ballot initiatives.

Make no mistake, a peaceful revolution will not come easily. What historic advancement in the name of justice ever has? It will be a battle royale! Unquestionably, we the people, hold the key to the castle. But, we must be committed to marching in solidarity right up to the castle door, inserting the revolutionary key, and taking the reins of power away from the oligarchs!

Let’s remember that as we start this revolutionary journey, simply a seat at the table is NOT the correct prescription for the terminal illness that we face. We must, together, build a big, brand-new, beautiful, solid, American oak table — big enough to seat every Arizonan.

This is our only way out of the B.I.G. Wilderness. It is our only hope to experience a radical remission — a new lease on the American Dream.

Let’s do it!