"Can We Save America?"
by George Washington
by George Washington
"How come the Wall Street robber barons who brought on the financial crisis are still calling the shots and pillaging the economy? Congress is bought and paid for, and the fox is guarding the chicken coop in the Executive Branch, with Summers and Geithner calling the shots. The American people are furious at the giant banksters who have picked their pockets so they can make huge bonuses. But - so far - the American people have for the most part kept their volcanic anger to themselves.
As MSNBC news correspondent Jonathan Capehart tells Dylan Ratigan, the main problem is that people aren't making enough noise. Capehart says that the people not only have to "burn up the phone lines to Congress", but also to hit the streets and protest in D.C. Even though most politicians are totally corrupt, if many millions of Americans poured into the streets of D.C., a critical mass would be reached, and the politicians would start changing things in a hurry.
As PhD ecnonomist Dean Baker points out: 'The elites hate to acknowledge it, but when large numbers of ordinary people are moved to action, it changes the narrow political world where the elites call the shots. Inside accounts reveal the extent to which Johnson and Nixon’s conduct of the Vietnam War was constrained by the huge anti-war movement. It was the civil rights movement, not compelling arguments, that convinced members of Congress to end legal racial discrimination. More recently, the townhall meetings, dominated by people opposed to health care reform, have been a serious roadblock for those pushing reform….' A big turnout ... can make a real difference.
Baker is right about Vietnam. Specifically - according to Daniel Ellsberg and many others - Richard Nixon actually planned on dropping a nuclear bomb on Vietnam. Nixon also said he didn't care what the American people thought. He said that - no matter what the public did or said - he was going to escalate the war in Vietnam. However, a well-known biographer says that Nixon backed off when hundreds of thousands of people turned out in Washington, D.C. to protest an escalation of the war.
Similarly, no matter how completely sold-out to the Wall Street giants D.C. politicians are, they would start paying attention to their real employers - the American people - if we make enough noise.
If 3 million Americans all peacefully surrounded the White House and Capitol Hill, holding signs saying "We're Not Leaving Until the Too Big to Fails which Caused the Economic Crisis are Reined In", things would change pretty fast. 3 million might sound like a lot of people. But many millions of people read popular alternative financial and economic news sites. You are probably one of millions of people who will read this essay (by the time it is published by some of the larger sites).
In other words, it's not even a question of convincing other people to go. We - those who read alternative financial websites - could do it ourselves. If millions of us don't go protest in D.C., it's because we are choosing not to sacrifice a tiny bit in order to change things. The bad guys are only winning because we - the American people - aren't making enough noise.
It is human nature to try to put things off until tomorrow. Tomorrow, when things are easier, we'll do it... It is easy to despair that it is already too late. Should we whine and give up hope? Well, about a month before the American Revolutionary War, Patrick Henry said: 'They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year?'
If not now, when? Like Patrick Henry asked, when will we be stronger? When will the robber barons be weaker? If we're going to save America through non-violent protests, now is the time."