Democrats & Liberals Archives

Talking to Ralph on the Big Phone

So Ralph, you’re running for President again as an Independent this time. That means that no party will be left to benefit from your attempt to overturn government of the Corporation by the Corporation and for the Corporation. It also means that you might aid four more years of Bush in the White House. I understand your frustration with the Democrats, I am every bit as frustrated at their dedication to their corporate sponsors as you are, possibly even more so. Your contributions to the ongoing war between corporate power and the power of the people have been duly noted in my life.

I helped build a financing tool into the Minnesota Community College System that supported MPIRG (Minnesota Public Interest Research Group). I believe MPIRG is still a functional part of Minnesota’s landscape. We removed the appellation Junior College and replaced it with Community College while I was there. We tried to make the colleges in that system more the servants of the people who attended them and less dedicated to the perversions that creep into any training ground for the corporate servant class. I have long held that corporations are damaging our way of life through our allowing the removal of nearly all constraints on their engagement in our political system. At the same time I think that you are unlikely to benefit anyone except President Bush in this run for the White House that you announced recently.

I was raised in the Catholic School System and consequently know how Saints can be inconvenient to the powers that be in the worldly environment we all live in, at least most of our lives. I heard a lot of stories during my formative years about how this Saint died at the hands of this Emperor or that Saint was burned at the stake. Of course the Church itself embraced burning at the stake as a means of purifying the souls of those it found wanting. That became an epidemic after the Protestant Reformation took shape and gained momentum.

Once a massive organization is threatened it grows fangs and shows its power in a lot of ways that may not be in keeping with the reason it was formed. The Democratic Party is threatened by you but I doubt that they will burn you at the stake. They will just do their best to emasculate your character and destroy your public image. Of course at the same time the Republican Party which is not threatened by you at all will offer you the slot of Gadfly and let you come up with your own variety of Hemlock after the election.

I am not nearly as offended by your run for President as some of the Democrats seem to be. I view it as a test of whether or not the Democrats can dance faster than the Republicans on the coals of their combined failure to elucidate an agenda for the future. It is not in abortion or anti-abortion that our fate as a society is going to be decided. It is in the features of bills like the Patriot Act and its precursors passed during the Clinton Administration that our system will destroy itself. It is not in the choice of the Democrat who thinks our environment should serve the people a little more than his Republican Foe that this nation will be saved. It is in the recognition that the environment is the people’s legacy and no Corporation has any right to do any damage to it whatsoever without being disassembled and disenfranchised.

It is not in the vision of our nation as the World Cop that we will end terrorism. Terrorism will always exist as long as inequity prevails in an imperfect world. It has always existed elsewhere. What is new is that it now applies to us as well as others. We will never destroy Terrorism on our present course, we will merely slow it down at a cost that cannot be bourne by a Democracy. That cost lies in the constant oppression of people here and elsewhere in the world. Seeking to prevent terrorist’s access to the tools of terror will not end terrorism. Even that draconian level of oppression is going to fail in the end. Only enfranchisement of the mass of people in the world in the world society that is trying to form will succeed. Terrorism is a symptom of human disenfranchisement, not corporate greed, Ralph. Corporate greed only contributes to the cause of terrorist activity. Human frustration at the failure to recognize human rights is the most common proximate cause of terrorist activity in our world. The abuses of our government against Palestinians and Iraqi’s only feed the root causes of terrorism, they will not end it. Not at least until we use the tactics of empires throughout history and kill off the entire populations that dare to oppose us. Do you want our society to become that kind of Empire Ralph?

I prefer us to attack one enemy at a time and my enemy at this point in time will never care that it is my enemy. My enemy is our national indifference to the root causes of evil in our world. Human poverty and hugely excessive human population are two of the basic causes of evil on this planet. Faith in lies told by leaders who know better is another great cause of evil in our world. Denying the humanity and validity of those who believe differently or appear different than you is another source of evil. Fomenting anger among a great people by using their beliefs as a means of manipulation is yet another source of vast and immutable evil in our world. That evil exists on both sides of the conflict taking shape in Iraq and Afghanistan. Osama Bin Laden is beside the point today; his capture will accomplish little or nothing. Only real attacks on the root causes of evil will have a desirable result and they are far rarer than military attacks on innocent people. Ralph, if anyone knows about the problem with attacking the symptoms rather than the causes of evil you ought to know that problem well. You have fought against corporate abuses all of your life and accomplished a few victories. They have not turned back the rising tide of corporate power one iota.

This Administration is developing a direction for our imperial pretensions that disturbs me more than the corporate vessels used to bring home the loot it will offer us. The corporate vessels you fight are only one institutional means by which this nation continues to pillage the world for its resources. The tacit agreement of leaders in other nations who allow that pillage to continue as long as they are enriched is another means. Misuse of the military powers, that belong to the People of the USA, in wars of conquest, is a focus of this Administration. Wars that are designated as an extension of the “War on Terror”, are the primary means posed by this Administration to continue to pillage in the name of prosperity. I think even the lamest Democratic Candidate, Lieberman, could have done better than this Administration at ending terrorism. Perhaps the real issue is that this Administration needed terrorism so badly to unite us. That need has become part of the problem. Bush’s Neocons needed terrorism to enable their intentions of attacking Iraq and changing our national policy system. Will that continue to direct them toward unintentionally aiding terrorists by creating focal points outside our nation for their evil acts? Is it better that the people of Iraq should suffer under terrorism than that we should be attacked directly? I guess most of us may think so but in the end terrorism will come here to roost; it will not stay in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Ralph, I have never had a conversation with you in my life, and I can hardly decry your effort to wake up our nation to the flaws of Corporate Power presiding over our government. If I thought you had the proverbial snowballs chance of changing things seriously I would applaud you for running. I am no real fan of Al Gore but he might have been a better choice last time. I hardly feel a common cause with John Kerry but he will be better for this nation than George Bush would be if he were reelected. I am a Democrat by force of habit more than anything else after the losing streak I have watched them embark on in my lifetime. Jimmy Carter was the last man of character to live in the oval office, and I don’t expect the next one will reach his standards of conduct. The problem Ralph is that you offer no real alternative to either major party. Empowering the people only works when you can lead them and you are not a leader, you are a maverick, a gadfly. God bless you and thank you for doing that thankless job all of your life but it doesn’t qualify you to lead our nation at this tragic point in our history.

God bless you all and keep you safe in these times of a national need for leaders that understand what democracy really is and how it works to make our world a better place.

Posted by Henri Reynard at February 23, 2004 5:11 PM