Politics is, unfortunately, a game with rigged rules that you and I need to win, but have only a snowball’s chance in H-E-double-hockey-sticks of winning. Why do we need to win? And why can’t we? It is a matter of how government serves us and who it really belongs to. It is supposed to work democratically, enacting the will of the majority for the general welfare. It is supposed to belong to the American people who vote to make it so. Unfortunately, the Dark Side of the Force has waxed powerful and Darth Dick Cheney and his apprentice Darth Elefans (possibly the Sith Lord name of Ted Cruz) have taken power. The government has become a fascist oligarchy with Sith Lords and corporations enslaving the masses, crushing the middle class, and stripping us of every benefit our tax dollars are supposed to be paying for.
I know that sounds like I am a liberal, and many of my Republican-leaning friends in both Texas and Iowa cringe at the sound of it. To them “liberal” means bad and “conservative” means good. They have all stopped reading this before it reaches this sentence. But to me, liberal simply means that I care. I want to see government help people even if that means that I have to make personal sacrifices to do it. Conservative seems to mean more and more that such a person is only interested in protecting themselves, their profits and their prejudices.
What, you may ask, am I basing this judgement on? I look at what happened in this week’s election. Republicans won a majority in the Senate and retained their majority in the House. The Republican winners have expressed the belief that the Affordable Care Act, so-called Obamacare, needs to be repealed. That basically means that because the Insurance industry, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment manufacturers make higher profits doing things the old way, they want to take away the insurance that so many people now have that they didn’t have before. In other words, profit is far more important to them than people’s health. These victors have also expressed the belief that global warming and climate change are a hoax, or simply untrue. This means that they reject the scientific evidence that confirms its existence. Science must be wrong because they don’t accept that the recorded facts are true. In other words, they find it more profitable to be stupid and block any attempts to regulate or slow down the highly profitable gas and oil industry. These winners have also stated that the debt and deficit that this country is burdened with (an artifact of a previous Republican administration) needs to be lessened by taking away food stamps, medicare, medicaid, and other social benefits, programs paid for by our hard-earned tax dollars and meant to benefit those among us who fall on hard times or have a need many times created by the wealthy upper class who paid billions of dollars to buy elections and have no need of these services themselves. If we were to return to President Eisenhower’s ninety per cent tax rate on the wealthy, the Koch Brothers and the Walton Family of Wal-Mart heirs could easily reduce the deficit themselves.
We deserve to benefit from the government we paid for. The majority of all taxes have been paid by the middle class and the poor since the Reagan Administration. The wealthy have gotten tax breaks and moved their money off shore or out of the country for too many years. They can now legally (thanks to the Supreme Court which is tilted to the conservative side) buy elections with unreported dark money that corrupts not only Republicans, but Democrats as well. We are left with no one to represent our interests. We are at the mercy of heartless, Dark-Side masters. Whatever can we do?
It is a time for heroes. Senator Al (Han Solo) Franken retained his seat in Minnesota, winning more strongly than he did the last time. There are progressives alive and well and joining the Rebel Alliance in Minnesota. Princess Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks out with authority from Massachusetts (Alderaan) in defense of women’s rights, our right to affordable education, and fairness in politics. And our best hope lies in Senator Bernie (Luke) Sky-Sanders, the Independent Jedi from Vermont. He wields a light-saber tongue that lashes out at the Koch Brothers and their election monkey-madness with dark money. He fights for income equality and the middle class. He may yet bring balance to the Force.