As a seditious lefty, I disagree with most of my friends on politics. But I do agree with many of them about the need for gun control. In this dangerous world, we have to find common ground. When Obama was president, he commendably called out legislators who are bought out by the NRA to ensure that meaningful reform will not even stop the flow of weapons to the mentally ill. Still with me?
Are we still on the same page when we marvel at polls indicating that even the majority of gun owners want to curtail the availability of assault weapons–which are never used for hunting and only used for massacres? Yet our impossibly corrupt lawmakers represent the NRA over the wishes of their constituents whose job it is to represent. As a result, our schools, churches, movie theaters, military bases, concerts easily and often turn into grim bloodbaths. Our lawmakers, especially Republicans, prefer taking bribes from weapons manufacturers over guaranteeing our safety. Agreed?
If the gun industry can wield such extensive power that even kids aren’t even safe at schools, why is it so difficult to make the leap that many other unsavory industries wield too much influence over lawmakers and presidents? Far from representing voters and keeping us safe, our government actually PREYS on us because they prefer to cash a check than look out for our welfare.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle take huge bribes–I mean campaign contributions–from insurance and big pharma to guarantee that even the reforms of the Affordable Care Act don’t make healthcare affordable. Health care costs are still the #1 cause of bankruptcy after Obamacare’s meager reforms, which still leave us way behind the systems in most other industrialized nations. The country is ravaged by an opioid crisis partially because pharmaceutical companies got our politicians and doctors to relax common sense rules on how these highly addictive drugs are prescribed.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle take huge bribes from giant financial firms which caused both the recession and the collapse of the housing market. Few are ever jailed. Obama’s cabinet was picked by Citibank before he was even in office. And despite Trump’s damning attacks on Hillary and Ted Cruz’s association with Goldman Sachs, he appointed Goldman Sachs alums Steve Bannon, Steve Mnuchin and Dina Powell to top positions in his administration. Mnuchin is particularly interesting because as CA’s Attorney General, “progressive” Democrat Kamala Harris refused to prosecute Mnuchin over his OneWest bank’s foreclosure violations. And she refused to even explain why. I’ll tell you why: banks always win, even when they’re crashing the economy and housing markets.
The military-industrial complex buys both parties so that the wars never stop. Republicans have always been more hawkish, but to be a Democrat today is also to proclaim: “I am happy to continue the system in which half of our tax dollars goes toward defense rather than education, healthcare, infrastructure or whatever else we need.” When even “progressive” Democrats like Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris vote yes on Trump’s enormous military budget increase, there is no voice for peace, no voice against the enormous waste of defense spending which could be put towards beneficial programs, and no voice for the military personnel who are routinely sent to their deaths or who may return home with PTSD so that we can keep bombing countries which never attacked us–even though there no military solution exists there. We love to claim how we”support the troops” on Veterans Day, yet most of us watching corporate media are so divorced from foreign policy that we couldn’t even describe the current missions our troops are on in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. The USA is the biggest threat to world peace and we’ll literally go broke here at home to keep senseless wars raging abroad.
Climate change is ignored by both parties because of oil, fracking and coal lobbyists. Republicans deny it’s a man-made issue and Democrats pay lip service to addressing it, but then promote fracking and pipelines and give offshore drilling permits to oil giants with dreadful safety records despite nightmares like the BP spill. Since our lawmakers don’t care about the health of the only planet we can live on, it’s time to call them out on more than guns. Newsflash: You won’t be too concerned about immigration reform, abortion, gay rights, #MeToo, #blacklivesmatter, unemployment, insurance or even gun rights when your city is underwater. You’ll be on your roof begging for food and clean water like the victims of Katrina.
I’m so sick of hearing “That’s not who we are” as a country. Yes, it is who we are, and it was who we were long before Trump. Obama, who you love to claim that you miss, sold double the amount of weapons that George W. Bush did. Obama started selling weapons to Saudi Arabia so they could pummel their dirt-poor neighbor Yemen in a war which has human rights groups screaming over the death toll. (You’ll never hear about that from Rachel Maddow.) Arming Saudi Arabia, with it’s barbaric human rights violations, epic corruption and funding of terrorists is akin to handing a mentally ill person an assault weapon and ammunition without background checks–then giving them bath salts. So how can we expect the same politicians who benefit from selling weapons of mass destruction to countries like Saudi Arabia to restrict gun access here at home?
This is why we need a third party which does represent most of us, and common sense. Until we have a political party which doesn’t accept corporate donations, we are simply arguing over which party gets into power and continues to rip us off with little regard for even our safety.