For too long we have seen the greed of the few take precedence over the needs of the many. We have watched politicians make careers in Congress that span far
too much time. Some, we know, have kept their positions through gerrymandering
of home districts, thus removing the power of many people’s votes. It is time for
this to end. Many years ago, Congress placed term limits of the Office of the President
(Twenty-second Amendment – ratified February 27, 1951). It is long past due for
the same to apply to members of both houses of the Congress.
We have watched two political parties become ideological monoliths, set in
their ways, and through their sheer dominance of the political landscape, they
leave little room for other viewpoints. One viewpoint, that neither is
listening to, is the call of the people to end all wars. Of course they don’t
listen. They get massive party support from the very industries that build,
and sell, the weapons of war that destroy families and homes throughout the
world. At my age, I have spent most of my life seeing the USA involved in
one war or another. Some of our children have never lived under a peacetime
government. Meanwhile, these same industries, while profiting obscenely from
death and destruction, often pay little to no tax revenue into the system.
Yet more than half of the annual budget goes to the military and military
hardware; the very things from which these industries make their wealth.
Over the years, we have watched as our government, ever more under corporate
control, parleyed an instance of nearly universal sympathy and support by the
world’s countries after the horrible events of 9/11 – into almost universal
mistrust and hatred. We’ve seen our daughters and sons sent away to fight wars
to line the pockets of war-profiteers. Yet, when they return, they find our
so-called government no longer cares about them. Presidents and Generals wage
endless war, then disrespect the flesh-and-blood people who do the actual
fighting; cutting funding for the VA and other services our returning troops
And not just the troops need good healthcare. There is a disaster happening
that our so-called leaders who are supposed to be our representatives refuse
to sanely consider. That is Universal Healthcare. Obamacare was just a sop
to Big Insurance. Universal Healthcare, paid for by our normal taxes, needs
to be instituted immediately.
We, as a society and ultimately as a species must shift away from War as a
solution for anything and everything. War tends to have two major causes
racism and resources. Either one culture has hatred for another or they want
the resources another culture possesses. Often the two coincide. Nor is it
solely an external thing. There are significant factions within society and
the government that hate anyone different. We have seen a recent upswing in
overt racism, including racist graffiti, arson and even murders. We have seen
immigrants become the target du jour. Not just those stopped at the borders
are oppressed, but also those who have become naturalized citizens. Recently,
even adults who were born in America, but born to immigrant parents, have been
accused of having fake birth certificates. There is an active push to demonize
immigrants and asylum-seekers for false reasons; reasons repeatedly debunked
by law enforcement themselves.
This carries over into many other areas as well. The most vulnerable of our
people, the disabled, the LGBTQ community, women, minorities of various stripes,
are finding not only physical attacks, but economic and political attacks, are
on the upswing. How a society cares for its most vulnerable members is the
true sign of how good a society is. Right now there are people serving in
Congress whose stated goals are to repeal and remove the many hard-won
protections put in place over the years. These are not people who care about
society as a whole.
Finally, there are misconceptions about Freedom of Speech. I express my views
with my Free Speech. Another would contradict or rebut me with their Free
Speech. If they feel strongly enough, they might boycott my business ventures;
and this too, is Free Speech by voting with one’s wallet.
However, there is a great difference between Free Speech and Incitement to
Commit Genocide. The USA is a signatory to the Treaty on Genocide, and
according to Article Two of the Constitution, Section II; duly ratified
treaties are the Supreme Law of the Land. This means that if one’s stated
purpose or ideology calls for harming, or enslaving, or destroying another
people and their culture, it is no longer Free Speech, it is an incitement of
genocide. There are significant factions whose self-avowed ideologies call
for the harming other ethnic or racial groups. That fits the definition of
genocide; which is illegal not solely in American law, but in International
Law as well.
So I propose a call to action. We need to do a fairly clean sweep of the Congress.
It is time for the old career politicians to be removed from power. We need democracy,
not a plutocracy. New blood, with progressive, solution-oriented ideas must be
brought into the Capitol Building in DC. Representatives, not so-called leaders,
need to be in Washington. The Electoral College needs to end. Let our Presidents,
Representatives and Senators be elected by the popular, and preferably ranked, vote of the
people – no shenanigans.
Democracy is hard work. We must always be vigilant against the creeping growth of
power by the few, to the detriment of the many.
My name is Laura S Potter, and I am the Liberty Union Party candidate for the
US Representative from Vermont. America’s true greatness has always been its’
diversity and creativity, and I am staunchly against any faction or ideology
that seeks to limit that. We need to wrest the power away from the privileged
few, and return it to the commonwealth – to the vast sea of people who make up
the United States of America. Let’s turn Congress to Progress !
Laura S Potter