Most Americans choose to divide our voting citizenry along party lines – Democrats and Republicans. The Democrats have been characterized by the tendency to overspend and their devotion to a big government that likes to take our freedoms away. Republicans are best known for their conviction of fiscal conservation and preserving states rights to do as they please. Although this is an oversimplification, it projects a perception bought by this country’s public.
In the midst of all the political rhetoric, we have those who choose to inflame the passions of both party participants. Terms such as Washington elites, right-wingers, reactionaries, lame-stream media, Fox noise and bleeding-heart liberals are endlessly bantered around. Civility, as the core of political discourse, is put on the shelf as each side accuses the other of leading the country down a destructive path, away from the principles of a democratic society. Our new political affiliates, the tea partiers, are a smorgasbord of constitutionalist constituents who see our country moving away from their perception of the founding fathers’ vision. Many Americans, who are having trouble making ends meet in our current economic down-turn, get hooked in embracing a set of ideological principles that camouflage their bottom-line needs. Wealthy politicians, in a conscious, deliberate effort to cloud matters, stoke ideological fires as a way of diverting attention from economic class distinctions. The freedom to bear arms under all circumstances will not put money in one’s pocket.
Regardless of party affiliation and the supposed values associated with each, it appears that there is a more practical and meaningful way to divide the political electorate. I believe that our citizens of voting age are either conscious in their political understanding or remain unaware of the political process. Those who are conscious voters are politically astute and well-intentioned; those who are unconscious lack insight or are unwilling to become well-informed. A more educated electorate is more likely to fully understand the implications of political decisions. They are better versed on political facts and patterns. Those who are less educated may not be observant of the impact of political decisions on their everyday life experiences. They may not get the big picture and understand ways in which they are vulnerable to political exploitation. Unconscious people are oblivious to how they keep being played by those who possess more power and resources. In other words, those who get the process and how to profit from politics, learn to exploit those who don’t.
Our country is being dominated and controlled by the wealthiest Americans. As the richest Americans pocket their windfall from massive tax breaks, and we allow major corporations and Wall Street tycoons to make record profits, a majority of Americans are being collectively duped and left wringing their hands. The electorate that is conscious understands what is happening. With eyes wide open, some of the well-to-do, out of personal and professional greed, use their power to leverage and sabotage those less fortunate. Others, who are conscious political activists, are keenly aware of the greed and are speaking out against it and its impact on the financial future of fellow Americans.
Our less educated and oppressed citizen’s find themselves being trapped and tricked by the corporate power-brokers. They do not understand the game being played, and the rules of engagement. We doled out millions of dollars to rescue banks, and yet were hesitant to provide our own automakers support because of concerns regarding middle-class union wages. Big oil companies have been given carte blanche tax breaks as they parade before Congress and justify record-breaking profits. They can pollute our waters and get away with it without significant recourse. Has our country already forgotten about the Gulf region oil spill? The corporate lobbyists are making sure that we dismiss the catastrophe. The Supreme Court’s ruling has stacked the deck against honest politicians by allowing for unlimited corporate donations to candidates that will foster the cycle of corporate greed. The conglomerate Wal-Mart asserted its power to get away with cheating employees with discriminatory practices as they received the blessing of the Highest Court.
The unconscious electorate had better come to their senses. If they fail to do so, more resources will be stolen from the majority of Americans. Currently, we’re quibbling about our debt ceiling, reducing our budget, while we operate two wars and fail to hold the wealthiest corporations and individuals accountable to pay their fair share of taxes. Instead, while congressmen send their kids to private schools and have the best healthcare plans, these conscious, greedy politicians seek to find ways to balance the budget on the backs of educational institutions, Medicare, police protection and other critical services.
It is important that all Americans stand up against those with unlimited money and power who seek to diminish those who don’t. We need an electorate who is educated enough to understand how their wallets are being emptied by those who continue to get more financial resources and stuff their pocketbooks. We must get out of party politics and realize that the American dream will only be for the wealthiest few if we afford them the opportunity to continue their exploitation and greed. We need our citizens to be politically conscious and seek to support those in our government who wish to stop the madness of those who prey on the vanishing middle-class. We need to bring harmony to this country again by addressing the saga of a divided electorate.