Heres One Favor We Can Do For Our Children And Our Grandchildren
PUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ON THE FRONT ELECTION-TIME BURNER
By Carl H. Tannert, Jr.
We are (and will be for the next seven months) bombarded each day by slanted ads and political rhetoric shot through with deception. Master tricksters and spin-doctors, on both sides of the aisle, are busily devouring millions and millions of dollars, forcing most politicos to spend valuable time frantically elevating fundraising to even more obscene heights. Anything goes, just keep feeding it to the dumb, trusting public seems to be the battle cry of both the elephant and the donkey. Thats bad, and with no end in sight, it will become much worse! However, I am firmly convinced that the honest citizens of this great nation can come together on certain issues that are critical to providing a better way of life for everyone. An environment that guarantees clean air, safe water and uncontaminated is certainly attainable if We The People unite to bring about beneficial change in our lives and in the lives of our children, despite the battle of the witless all around us.
Most Americans understand the importance of nature in our daily lives. We are aware that its balance is critical to all life on our planet. Most of us know pollution and environmentally unsafe workplaces are sickening and killing more and more people each day. Many believe scientific warnings that an abused Mother Nature can and will someday shout ENOUGH and unleash a more frightening holocaust than any terrorist or nuclear nation ever dreamed possible. What can we do to halt pollution? How can we clean up the air, water and food we depend on to sustain our daily lives?
It is never easy to effect change in government. I for one want to do it because our quality of air, water, food, life, and our freedom of choice is now controlled by too many wealthy big business interests and fanatical religious ideologues who have quietly joined together to corrupt many of our governmental representatives. We can, together, fumigate the current political atmosphere in the next election by keeping the environmentally honest in power and throwing out those with consistently poor environmental records ... no matter whom they are or how charming they may be. The average American is mostly trusting but woefully misinformed and complacent. A divided we the people can never match the power of minorities who secure their office with wealth and deceit. They can afford the lobbyists, slick public relations firms, lawyers and dirty tricksters who can easily fragment a normally-intelligent majority.. But they can never beat a determined, united we the people.
Today, Government Intelligence is, at best, politically laundered by the time we the people get to hear it or see it. Its a mixture of half-truths and outright lies served up by flag-draped politicos in the name of God and country. If you question their veracity or motives, you do so at the peril of being labeled unpatriotic. A word used indiscriminately, since 911. Hello! Doesnt anyone remember the fear that the label communist evoked when applied to innocent people by a fanatical Senator in the I 950s? If you dont, then take a look at history. It usually repeats itself.
The intelligence of the public itself is dulled by a great deal of disinformation. We the people are lulled by apathy stemming from our own individual laziness and selfishness. Thats human nature. But lets, at least, take notice of societys downward spiral that allows too many of us to have little regard for the truth ... and less for honesty, integrity, ethics, morals or justice. We sit, watch and complain but, while we do, the spiral continues at an accelerated pace, one that has caused us to descend to new lows, so today, much of the world doubts the veracity of our great nation. Looking at the spiral, we should not be surprised at the proliferation of dishonesty, untruthfulness and greed throughout Corporate America. Nor should we be surprised to learn that those traits are, too often, reflected in our elected representatives, government officials and halls of justice.
We have a justice system bent on executing men, women and children, guilty of murder, as quickly as possible, even in the face of evidence that many, sitting on death row, have been proven innocent. But the same system and its players are reluctantly slow to even attempt to bring to justice the wealthy industrialist or commercial operator whose flagrant disregard of environmental and safety laws have resulted in the murder of their own employees by forcing them to work in unclean, unsafe, poisoned workplaces. And even when they do indict the well-tanned, white-collared crooks, those crooks have usually stolen so much money they can hire teams of expensive lawyers (usually great spin doctors in their own right) to do whatever it takes to get them off. Even jury tampering is not beyond them. No wonder the smiles on the Tyco Duo were so very wide as they arrogantly strolled back and forth from our halls of justice.
Trust them to do the right thing? Not a chance!
If you believe that corruption in government today is unique, think again. Look back thirty years when our President not only condoned corruption in his staff, but became a criminal himself as he directed his gang of thugs to assure reelection by any means possible. A few honest men revealed the truth, awakened the public and caused his downfall. History repeated? Martin Luther tacked 95 Thesis to a church door back in the 16th Century and unwittingly unleashed a bloody Reformation that ended church power and abuse forever (or so we thought, until today). In the 20th Century America, a lone journalist, awakened an unsuspecting public to the fact that their own contented Congress was allowing a fanatical, Senator Joseph P, McCarthy to destroy innocent peoples lives and careers by indiscriminately and dishonestly labeling them Communists. McCarthy might have succeeded, but for the actions of a lone, courageous journalist, Edward R. Murrow. The communist threat is long gone but happily for some of todays politicos, terrorists struck on 911 and under its horrible cloud of smoke they, not we the people, launched an attack on Iraq. Todays IN label for any governmental policy opposition ... UNPATRIOTIC ... is as distasteful a stigma as communist ... only all dressed up in a new era of injustice.
Environmentalists, by succumbing to their own minority power structure and their own false loyalties, have become their own worst enemy. The Green Partys leadership and its supporters actually helped to put our current environmentally destructive administration in power when, in a fit of pique, they voted for their own party candidate. Their divisiveness stole votes from a pro-environment candidate who would have won but for their misguided votes. Once again, clever minority manipulation won the day, while a divided we the people majority self-destructed.
Politicians and religious fanatics, alike, fear a united public that votes intelligently more than anything else. Powerful self-interest minorities will always be among us but we the people will always have the ultimate veto power, simply because we are the majority. We can, whenever we wish, halt efforts to abuse our environment and fellow human beings, but only if we collectively decide that enough is enough. We need to come together, understand and publicize the truth and consequences surrounding our environmental and human abuse issues. Concerned citizens throughout the Land need to alert the masses and work hard so a truthfully-informed public can cast a unified pro-environment and pro-humanity vote in upcoming elections.
You can help stir the masses. I have seen we the people at work and the wonders they can perform, when I worked with and helped to lead many community organizations on the grass roots level. I have seen firsthand that, insisting on truth, honesty, respect and hard work from youth, empowering them and involving their parents, produced amazing results in a short period of time. In one community we required a voter registration card from the parents as a free passport to all our programs. This simple step didnt take long to awaken parents to the fact that they alone control not only their own destiny, but the destiny of their families and their community, as well. A united community will improve city and county life that, in turn, will produce better state and national governments.
Lets face it; Accountability is the only power that keeps politicians (and many other people like you and me) honest. Environmental offenders count on lack of enforcement to exercise their own dishonest will. Last year, our Defense Department leaders arrogantly demanded that Congress lessen its oversight on defense spending, so the Pentagon could continue the unrestricted flow of dollars into defense contractors pockets which in turn trickles back into the politicians pockets, without limit. The good old boy network prospers while the masses slumber. Perhaps, as a taxpaying patriot, I would feel better if I could at least see quality products that did the job. But the reality is that our defense leaders, and their bosses, want to continue the develop as you go along and test later" programs that have, in the past, not only taken billions of dollars from human services, but caused the deaths of untold thousands of combat youth who were killed because their own military and the Congress allowed defense contractors to ship untested weapons that, misfired or simply did not work when needed most.
So whats all this got to do with the environment? Just as much as massive tax cuts for the wealthy. Everything! Thats because the cost projections to sustain disputed defense dreams, and massive tax cuts for the wealthy, are so high that that money, properly and honestly channeled, would be enough, not only to enforce all safety and environmental laws and fund cleanups for decades, but also have enough to provide first-class healthcare for every American for years to come (and I did not even consider the cost of our pre-emptive strike against Iraq). We the people have wake-up bells ringing loudly all around us. If our society doesnt want corrupt power groups, steeped in secrecy, to continue abusing Mother Nature (and us as well), if we dont wish them to dictate our life style, what to do, how to live and how to die, we need to begin acting together .. and we need to do it now. in this coming election.
Enough is enough! United we can shake off the shackles of dishonesty and corruption and free ourselves once again. If we can brush aside some of our false loyalties, discard petty opinions and take a hard look at our representatives voting records, we can win. But to do so, we must get mad, spread the truth and show up in force at election time. Casting our ballots for the Environment and the real principles that our men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives are dying for in Iraq and other places throughout world.
In the end, the only thing an assemblage of wealthy, powerful politicians, businesspersons, lawyers, judges and religious fanatics respect is force. They understand that word because they utilize it to take advantage of each other and those who work for them. So it rests squarely on the shoulders of we the people to combine every single vote we can into the force that throws those of them who deserve it out of their cushy offices. Political leaders, who blatantly refused to pass campaign reform laws to stop lobbyists from dolling out money, those who are unwilling to stop the flow of perks and wealth into their own pockets, should be among the first to go.
Unite and Vote. Easy to say but hard to accomplish, you say? It sure is! But unless Republicans, Democrats, Independents and other party members, as individuals, are willing to unite on fundamental, common sense issues, like restoring clean air, pure water and edible food, we are looking at a truly barren future. Democracy is about compromise, consensus and caring for our neighbors. Together, we can restore the worlds natural balance and beauty, make honesty and truth priorities in government and start society on an upward spiral that benefits everyone, rich and poor alike. Remember, we the people wielding a unified power at the ballot box are every corrupt politicians, fanatical ideologues and religious zealots worst nightmare.
We the people have the power to end escalating environmental and human abuse. We can, if we choose, improve the quality of all life on the planet by getting rid of those whose actions and voting records have, over the years, consistently reflected disdain for environmental laws, for the enforcement of those laws and worker welfare. Together, we can reverse the downward spiral toward environmental destruction, but only if we put aside our partisan penchants and take the issue of Environmental Abuse seriously. Take the time to look up the voting records of your Congressperson and let the facts speak to you, honestly. Start with the environmental issue. You can easily get a cross-sectional review of the voting records of all Congressional representatives by typing key words, like Environmental Voting Records of Congress, into your search engines. Then take your pick. Sites that I recommend are www.visi.com/juan/congress; www.house.gov; www.icv.org; www.action.citizen.org.
Trust them to do the right thing? Not a chance! Not without checking their voting records!
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Carl Tannert is a graduate of New York University. He has been an editor for Prentice-Hall and written many articles for national trade journals and many business plans for corporations. He has also worked in advertising and public relations in New York City, Boston and Chicago and been a business development consultant for large corporations like Uniroyal, Ford, Kodak and others. A management executive, he retired from one of the nations top Construction Management firms in 1998 and has since been serving as a consultant, advisor and board member for non-profit community-oriented organizations in Galesburg and Rochester, NY. He lives in Galesburg.