Sunday, September 19, 2004

The Underdog Phenomenon

EDIT 07/08/05: I've kept this one around because nothing in it was specific to 2004. The media is still playing its own game, and both sides are still claiming to be the victims of bias...

Whose side is the media on, anyway?

It's interesting, browsing the right-wing forums, to discover that they still to this day rage against the liberal bias in the media. Meanwhile, the left-wing forums are busy decrying the right-wing slant we see every day.

So which one of us is right?

Or are we both seeing only what we want to see, ignoring instances which don't back our hypothesis? Why are both sides determined to place the media in the opposition's camp? Why do both sides maintain that our message is silenced by a hostile press?

It has a lot to do with American culture. The underdog has always featured heavily in our cultural mythos, and we strive to adopt the mantle of the underdog whenever possible. How better to do that in the context of politics than to claim an unfavorable press bias? Immediately, any flaws of our campaigns become a part of a larger struggle to be heard, shouting valiantly against the hostile roar of a national press determined to drown us out. It lets us feel as though we are a part of something noble, an epic struggle for what is right, fought against impossible odds, for ideals we believe are right, and which we feel the majority of the people would agree to, if only they could hear the truth...

Of course I believe that the left is the true underdog in the national media, but I'm sure there are countless right-wing blogs making the same argument. So whose side is the media on?

To put it simply, they're not on either side. They're out to make money, as much of it as they can. They're out to grab the biggest ratings share and they're willing to adopt whatever position will get them that. That being said, it can't be denied that there is a definite case to be made for a conservative bias at the top. The owners of most major media outlets decidedly lean towards the GOP. Campaign donations at the top are overwhelmingly pro-Bush. This should come as no surprise, because greed and a pathological fixation on the bottom line are cornerstones of the Republican party. So any corporation more concerned with what's profitable than what's ethical fits right in under the GOP's big tent of avarice and gluttony.

What's disurbing is that the media has come to adopt these views. That the bottom line holds more sway than the pursuit of truth should chill any sensible person to their core. Because a world driven by money is a world devoid of humanity, a world where a lust for profit absolves the violation of human rights and basic decency, a world where the rich and powerful hold free reign over the lives and deaths of the penniless slaves laboring at the heart of the mighty corporate juggernaut. When truth and justice take a back burner to profit and influence, the end of free thought is never far behind.

An independent media, removed from the vagaries of popularity and profit, is crucial to the future of our country. We are rapidly approaching Orwell's nightmare vision of a fascist dystopia where the past is continually rewritten to conform to the needs of the present. Every day, Bush offers new and wildly contradictory statements and is given a free pass by the corporate-run media. Is it any wonder that the majorit of today's youth watch "The Daily Show" for their news needs? Because Jon Stewart is the only TV anchor with the temerity to splice together footage of Bush's hypocrisy and casual disregard for the truth. The fake news is, ironically enough, the only station that will report the truth.

Until we manage to wrest the media back out of the clutches of its corporate masters, we are doomed to a world where truth is obscured by a business platform. Free-traders will tell you that deregulation is healthy, that it encourages growth and that industries will self-regulate out of a sense of common good. History says otherwise. Every period of deregulation in the history of the world has brought massive corruption, the enslavement of the working poor, the exploitation of the masses and the destruction of all but the most powerful and ruthless corporations. Deregulation is the death of freedom, and the start of the dominion of vicious greed and unchecked aggression. Corporate influence must be crushed now, before it becomes impossible. Our future depends on it.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Why Osama loves Bush

EDIT 07/08/05: This one's a bit election-specific in places, but I stand by everything I said. And today's tragic events in London solidify my point...

Alright, we've all seen the right-wing trash like "Kerry is Osama's Man." People that believe it deserve the same treatment as the Abu Ghraib prisoners were subjected to, but that's a different subject entirely.

So let's examine that statement. Which presidential candidate would Osama bin Laden want to win?

Right now, Osama is as happy as a pig in shit. Sure, he suffered some serious casualties to his organization, but look at what he's gotten in return. Anti-American sentiment is rising all across the world as a result of our actions in Iraq. The only stable, non-Islamic government in the Middle East has been destroyed, paving the way for the establishment of a fundamentalist Iraqi government. The U.S. is bogged down in a guerilla war with no clear way out. Al Qaeda recruitment has increased. Iran is starting to make threats against Israel as a result of its perceived status of being next on Bush's hit list. World opinion is against Bush. Kofi Annan is declaring the Iraq war illegal. The U.S. is facing record deficits due in part to its commitment to the fiscal black hole of Iraq. The Iraqi people are growing more and more tired of U.S. occupation.

Why in the hell would Osama want to change anything? Right now, he has a president he can understand and manipulate. He knows Bush will keep stirring up hatred wherever he goes. He knows that the longer Bush is in power, the more likely it is that the U.S will extend its war to yet another arab nation who, like Iraq, will most likely have absolutely no connection to September 11th. Let me reiterate that point, because it seems there are still a large number of gullible or stupid Americans who think that Saddam had a hand in 9/11.

15 hijackers. ZERO Iraqis. ZERO evidence that Iraq helped in any way. ZERO evidence that Saddam and bin Laden ever had more than an infrequent and unresponsive relationship. Osama HATED Saddam. Saddam was NOT an Islamic dictator. He crushed Sunni and Shia extremists as ruthlessly as he crushed Kurdish extremists. He was NOT part of the jihad Osama has declared. YES, he hated America. YES, he was a ruthless dictator.

He was ALSO, by the way, supported by the CIA in his rise to power, armed with chemical weapons by the U.S. government, and told the U.S. wouldn't interfere in his invasion of Kuwait. And, most importantly, HIS GOVERNMENT WAS COMPLETELY CRIPPLED BY TEN YEARS OF SANCTIONS. There was NO THREAT from Saddam.

So now we suffer a barrage of right-wing accusers demanding to know if we wish Saddam was back in power. Because the current story is that eliminating Saddam in and of itself justifies this war. Well, if that's the case then why the hell didn't Bush say that's what this was about from the beginning? Why did he try to hide behind bullshit excuses of WMD's and bullshit scare tactics like mushroom clouds over America? If removing Saddam was the goal, why didn't he just say so? Because he KNEW that it wasn't a good enough excuse. He needed something juicier, so he tried some forged documents from Niger. And when that blew up in his face, he betrayed an undercover CIA operative whose job was to secure nuclear stockpiles. And people still defend him.

I've said it before. We are seeing a culture of willful ignorance and brutish stupidity. Testosterone-fueled power junkies bent on world domination. Because if America's doing it, it must be right.

There was an Army Colonel in 1845, Ethan Allen Hitchcock. He served under General Taylor in the Mexican war. When the government ordered troops into Mexican territory near the Rio Grande, Hitchcock knew the order for what it was - a deliberate attempt to provoke Mexico into war. As he wrote in his diary on June 30, 1845:

"Violence leads to violence, and if this movement of ours does not lead to others and to bloodshed, I am much mistaken."

He wasn't. The buildup of troops near the Mexican border continued. All that was needed was an excuse for war. On April 25, 1846, the excuse came. A group of Mexicans ambushed a patrol, killing 16 soldiers. The war had begun. Hitchcock writes again:

"I have said from the first that the United States are the aggressors... We have not one particle of right to be here... It looks as if the government sent a small force on purpose to bring on a war, so as to have a pretext for taking California and as much of this country as it chooses, for, whatever becomes of this army, there is no doubt of a war between the United States and Mexico... My heart is not in this business... but, as a military man, I am bound to execute orders."

James Polk, a Democrat, was the president during this aggressive expansionism. Once again, I point out the difference between our two parties. We Democrats admit and remember our crimes of the past and we strive to ensure they will not happen again. Republicans have forgotten the past they once had, as the party of Lincoln, and so they lock us into these cycles of history repeating. For it was Lincoln who said, in 1848:

"The declaration that we have always opposed the war is true or false, according as one may understand the term "oppose the war." If to say "the war was unnecessarily and unconstitutionally commenced by the President" be opposing the war, then [we] have very generally opposed it... The marching an army into the midst of a peaceful Mexican settlement, frightening the inhabitants away, leaving their growing crops and other property to destruction, to you may appear a perfectly amicable, peaceful, unprovoking procedure; but it does not appear so to us..."

But the last, and best, quote to describe the war parallels with Iraq in a chilling way. It comes from Horace Greeley, published in the New York Tribune, May 12, 1846:

"We can easily defeat the armies of Mexico, slaughter them by the thousands, and pursue them perhaps to their capital; we can conquer and "annex" their territory; but what then? Have the histories of the ruin of Greek and Roman liberty consequent on such extensions of empire by the sword no lesson for us? Who believes that a score of victories over Mexico, the "annexation" of half her provinces, will give us more Liberty, a purer Morality, a more prosperous Industry, than we now have?...Is not Life miserable enough, comes not Death soon enough, without resort to the hideous enginery of War?"

As we continue building permanent bases on Iraqi soil, as our presence looks more and more like a long-term occupation, as we continue to promote the misguided doctrine of Democracy by Force, it's a question that desperately needs an answer.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Quote for the day...

EDIT 07/08/05: This one's definitely election-specific, but it's the article that made the DU front page, so it stays for nostalgia's sake...

This comes from Henry Adams, regarding the presidential election of 1884. I don't know if it's reassuring to know that the state of the media is nothing new, or discouraging to realize that 120 years have gone by with no fundamental changes...

"We are here plunged in politics funnier than words can express. Very great issues are involved.... But the amusing thing is that no one talks about real interests. By common consent they agree to let these alone. We are afraid to discuss them. Instead of this the press is engaged in a most amusing dispute whether Mr. Cleveland had an illegitimate child and did or did not live with more than one mistress."

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Or, more accurately, the more things change, the more they swing back to the same old crap. Because there was a time, not terribly long ago, when reporters actually broke stories. A time when two reporters and an unnamed source could uncover the corruption of a President and force him into public acceptance of responsibility for his actions. A time when a new story was pounced on by other media outlets as a chance to expand the investigation on their own, not as a chance to pounce on a fellow news outlet in an attempt to rip their credibility to shreds for that all-important Nielsen share.

The CBS memos should have been an opportunity for CNN, MSNBC, ABC, and NBC to launch their own investigations into Bush's National Guard service. A chance for the major media outlets to combine their efforts and uncover the truth about his missing months. This should have been a chance to follow in the footsteps of Upton Sinclair and Nellie Bly, but instead it has devolved into a bloodthirsty hunt to bring CBS down.

It shouldn't need to be said that CBS does not bear the burden of proof. It is not CBS' responsibility to prove the documents are genuine. It is the responsibility of others to prove they are false. To date, this hasn't been done. What has been done is far, far worse. The media frenzy over the authenticity of the memos has all but killed the greater story that should be making headlines. And in the process, the reputation of America's oldest and most respected news outlet has been tarnished by propaganda spread from a right-wing hitman whose only expertise in forgery is his ability to Google. This is the network of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite. Their credibility has never been assaulted to the degree we are seeing now.

The problem is clear. The ethics and standards of journalism have been in a state of freefall for years. There was a time when news organizations held themselves to a higher calling, the calling of the truth. No more. The new standard of excellence is the ratings. A wave of sensationalism and speed-crazed media blitzes has reshaped the face of journalism, and it is not a pretty sight. Truth has taken a backseat to rumor and innuendo. Research is outdated. Facts are inconvenient. What is reported is what attracts the most people. Blame can be laid at a number of places. The ever-dwindling attention span of the average citizen, the culture of willful ignorance that exemplifies this rush to the bottom, the steady stream of new "journalists" looking for the quick and easy scoop, the ever-spreading internet rumor mill. But there is a larger and more insidious cancer at work. The corporatization of the global media.

As media power consolidates into a handful of sources, the free flow of information becomes channelled through a smaller and smaller filter. The news is reshaped in the interests of the parent company. Is it any surprise that NBC will not speak critically of General Electric? Or that FOX News exists to present the viewpoints of its ultraconservative founder, Rupert Murdoch? Is it any surprise that Bush's record is given a free pass when almost every major media conglomerate donates more heavily to the Republican Party than the Democratic? Is it any surprise that the ONLY exception to this donor trend is VIACOM, parent company of CBS?

The myth of the libera media has been repeated and repeated and repeated to the point where it is no longer questioned, but accepted as fact. And the consequences have been disastrous. Any attempt at fair reporting is met with cries of bias. Any attempt to expose right-wing hypocrisy is derided as partisan journalism. Any suggestion that the Republican party may be more likely to break the law is met with the shrill, outraged cries of a hundred thousand self-proclaimed watchdogs out to ensure that truth is banished and right-wing propaganda spreads unchecked. The media has allowed itself to shift more and more to the right, desperately seeking an end to the accusations of bias. These movements, though not necessarily dictated by the parent companies, are no doubt a result of upper-management pressure to keep the right-wing happy. And the process continues, because those who call the truth an enemy are never satisfied until they obtain complete control. Legitimate questions concerning Bush are buried while every scurrilous attack on John Kerry's record is repeated ad nauseum until it has been thoroughly immersed in the public consciousness. When Kerry leads by 5%, it is reported as "tenuous" or "barely ahead." When Bush leads by 4%, it is called "a commanding lead" or "well ahead," and used as a launching pad for a fresh wave of reports that Kerry's candidacy is doomed.

We let this happen. We let the Reagan Revolution deregulate the media, allowing for the rise of the conglomerates that control our access to information. We let them repeal the Fairness Doctrine, which mandated equal representation of political viewpoints. We let the flow of information fall into the hands of the power-hungry and rich, an error which we are paying for every single day. Those in power and those with money share one unmistakeable trait: they will not give either up easily. But there is a fatal flaw in their attempt to dominate our lives... Try as the may, they cannot abolish free elections. Until recently, this was rendered insignificant by their ability to purchase politicians through unchecked campaign contributions. Now, however, thanks to the McCain/Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act, they are forbidden from direct contributions. Now, for the first time, we have the chance to take back the media. They know this, and they are doing everything possible to prevent this from happening. They are shaping the message presented to the nation, bending their will towards a Bush victory, doing everything in their power to discredit Kerry before it's too late. But they can't control everything.

On a level playing field, Kerry would be winning in a landslide. Even despite their best efforts, the race is still neck and neck. And if they can't stop him soon, he will win. Kerry's campaign knows how the deck is stacked. They continue to take their message directly to the people, filter-free. Grassroots activism is going to create a groundswell the likes of which this country has never seen. Kerry's support is hidden from the polls and hidden from the national news, but it is there and it is growing. His campaign rallies are drawing record-shattering crowds in every city. People are coming out of the shadows of Republican strongholds with stories of Kerry signs dominating areas that were once Bush territory. An unprecedented public referendum is on the verge of driving Bush from office with his tail between his legs, and the media is helpless to stop it. The only tactic left is the one they are pursuing now, at all costs. End the election before it occurs. Demoralize Kerry's supporters into thinking that victory is impossible. Keep turnout low, and keep the masses uneducated and uninformed.

But we can stop it. We can't control the media, and it's too close to try and fight it. But we can keep the message alive. Don't believe the spin. Don't listen to the media's lies. Don't believe their stories of a losing race. Don't give up hope. Fight like we're ten points down, but NEVER GIVE UP. Get outside. Walk the streets. Blanket your neighborhood. The truth is on our side, and the media can't keep it from being spread. WE WILL PREVAIL.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Some say...

EDIT 07/08/05: As true today as it was when it was written...

Some may feel that I need to tone down my rhetoric, that my views are too antagonistic or too violent, that my intolerance of the right mimics their intolerance of the left, that we will achieve nothing if we stoop to their level. To them, I offer the following.

I don't speak out against all Republicans, or against all conservatives. I believe there are many out there with whom compromise and peaceful coexistence is possible. I do not advocate bodily harm to anyone, let alone those with an (R) by their name.

HOWEVER...

Those persons of reason and compassion are not the ones whose voices are currently heard in their party. The voices we hear offer no compromise or cooperation. My war is with the right-wing pestilence that floods the airwaves and the electron channels of the internet, spewing nothing but hatred and lies for all who believe what I believe. There is no compromise when you are faced with a war you never began. These posters are a cancer on America, and they poison and deface all that makes our country great. And until they cease their assault on liberal America, I will bring the fight home to them by whatever means necessary.

My war is with the Mike Savages, the Ann Coulters, the Sean Hannitys, the Rush Limbaughs, and all the venom-spewing lackeys that hang on their every word and spread their vitriolic bigotry with an eager, shit-licking grin.

I make no apologies for my intolerance of hate-filled fascists. They are a plague that will be eradicated. Their days of domination are coming to an end.

The willfully ignorant and the brutishly stupid...

EDIT 07/08/05: One of my favorite posts. No way I'm deleting this one...

I've been struggling with something lately. I've been trying to put my finger on what, exactly, it is about the current administration and its supporters that I hate so much. Don't get me wrong - it's not that I'm having difficulty coming up with a reason. I'm having trouble narrowing it down to just ONE. But I think I've finally got a handle on it. It's not just the lies. It's not just the callous disregard for the working class. It's not the attempts to distort and obfuscate their agenda. It's not their rape of the truth or their bastardization of liberty and justice. It's not the corporate cronyism or elitist exclusion or even their attepts to hijack patriotism and brand protest as un-American. Because these are all just symptoms of a larger underlying flaw. What it really is, when it comes down to it, is the prevailing mindset of willful ignorance and brutish stupidity.

It's a mentality that has been used throughout the ages to justify brutal regimes, and the fact that it is growing in America is the most frightening of all. This backlash against education is the insane product of deranged thugs. It's the complete and total unwillingness to consider alternate points of view. It's the idea that an open mind is a sign of weakness. It's the red-meat testosterone frenzy of knee-jerk fascism claiming that "Real Men Don't Think." It's the idea that the U.S. is the big dog in the yard, and whatever they decide to take is justified. It's the "Might Makes Right" playground bullies, grown up and running the country. The idea that they can make their own rules, do what they want, and stomp on anyone who objects.

When you start thinking like that, tyranny is just a short step behind. How long before that mentality is turned inwards, onto Americans? How long until internal dissent is treated to the same brutal retaliation as Iraqi insurgency? How long before we see soldiers on our streetcorners? How long until we dissenters are rounded up for questioning? How long before our freedom is crushed under the treads of a patrolling tank? When do the barbed-wire fences go up? When do free-speech zones become free-speech enclosures? When does the internment of protestors begin?

Don't look now. It already has.

As long as intelligence is viewed with derision and scorn, we will continue down this dark path. As long as schools serve not to educate our children, but to control and eliminate their free will, we will see this rise of totalitarianism. As long as we have a political party who truly believes that dissent is terrorism, we will feel phantom eyes watching over our shoulders and hear the phantom footsteps of a hundred thousand jack-booted soldiers marching in lockstep towards the death of America.

Political discourse is at an end. The two parties are now locked in an irrevocable spiral of intolerance and animosity. As long as the right-wing mouthpieces decry liberals as traitors and weaklings, the left-wing will continue to grow in response. They took advantage of a faltering amongst Democrats. We were dealt a near-fatal blow with the triumph of the policies of ruthless order and power that swept the seventies and branded liberals as America-hating thugs. We grew weak and powerless, huddled in the corner as the bullies kicked us and spat in our faces. We struck a deal in the nineties, adopting the guise of moderate thoughts and behaviors, and still we faced scorn and anger, still the attempt to purge liberalism from America once and for all. And now, with the power of the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court all allied against us, we have faced an onslaught of hatred and malice. But you know what? What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger.

AND WE'RE STILL HERE.

We've weathered the storm and come through it, a scarred, battle-worn shell of what we once were. But they haven't been able to crush us out completely, and that mistake will be their undoing. Because we've seen the true face of right-wing conservatism now, and we're not going to strike any more bargains with the devil. We've seen what lies in store for us, and we've seen what the future of this country could be. And it's not going to happen. Not on my watch. From this point on, this is all-out war. We're through being pushed around. We're through prostituting ourselves before the altar of the right in a desperate and futile attempt at appeasement. We're finished with compromises. They should have destroyed us when they had the chance, because they're not going to get another one.

We may not win this election. The odds are stacked against us. They control the media, they control the courts, they control the legislature. But the history of our country is on our side. We've always been a nation of radicals, of revolutionaries, of freedom-fighters, of insurgents. They've tried to break our spirits, tried to snuff out that fire within, and they've failed. And now the flames are rising, and the day is coming when we will erupt and this country will burn like the sun. A day of reckoning. And then they will feel our strength.

Monday, September 13, 2004

The revolution will not be televised...

... but it WILL NOT BE SILENCED.

EDIT 07/08/05: The one that started it all...

Welcome to the inaugural post of my new online rant. This weblog exists with only one purpose in mind - to expose the hypocrisy, lies, distortions, and deceits of the right wing attack machine and their media lapdogs. This pestilence has been allowed to fester and consume America for far too long, and the time has come for its elimination by whatever means necessary. This is not a site for converting moderates or swaying undecided voters. If you're still undecided after the last four years, you don't deserve a role in the electoral system. George W. Bush is by far the worst, most destructive, divisive, elitist, cronying, toadying, morally-bankrupt president in American history. And I'm here to do my part to ensure his defeat in November. And, should the unthinkable happen and he manages to steal another election, I'm here to make sure the streets of our cities erupt in hte fires of revolution. I WILL NOT stand by and let a group of fascist corporate brownshirts destroy my country without a fight. We Democrats have sat idly by and watched our party descend into mediocrity and ineffectiveness. We have let the word "liberal" become synonymous with "weak," "spineless," "un-American," while the American flag has been co-opted by those whose goals are to eliminate freedom and democracy and spread their twisted vision of a theological police state where dissent and free thought are crushed beneath the jack-booted heels of a corporate-controlled private army.

As Thomas Jefferson put it, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." The history of our country is a history of oppression and revolution, of injustice and struggle. Our cities are built on the blood, sweat, and tears of the working class. Our entire 200+ year existence is a class struggle, a systematic effort to exploit the poor and the laborers to line the pockets of the rich. And our history is filled with patriots and workingmen who declared that enough was enough, that our rights as a people would not be usurped by the rich and the powerful. Men like James Otis who fanned the flames of revolution against Britain, saying in 1762:

"I am forced to get my living by the labour of my hand; and the sweat of my brow, as most of you are and obliged to go thro' good report and evil report, for bitter bread, earned under the frowns of some who have no natural or divine right to be above me, and entirely owe their grandeur and honor to grinding the faces of the poor..."

Men like Daniel Shays, who led a ragged band of seven hundred farmers against the Massachusetts militia, in protest of the treatment of Revolutionary soldiers following the war. Men like Nat Turner, David Walker, and Frederick Douglass who refused to accept that the color of a man's skin made him inferior to whites. Men like John Brown, who defiantly stated before his execution,

"I, John Brown, am quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood."

Men like Henry MacNeal Turner, who stood up to the Georgia State Legislature when it voted to expel all Negro members, saying:

"I am here to demand my rights, and to hurl thunderbolts at the men who would dare to cross the threshold of my manhood."

Women like Sarah Grimke, who fought for equal rights for women across the country, who wrote in her "Letters on the Condition of Women and the Equality of the Sexes" in the 1830's that:

"I ask no favors for my sex. I surrender not our claim to equality. All I ask of our bretheren is that they will take their feet from off our necks, and permit us to stand upright on the ground which God has designed us to occupy.... To me it is perfectly clear that whatsoever it is morally right for a man to do, it is morally right for a woman to do."

Men like William Lloyd Garrison, who used his paper, the Liberator, to denounce his government's imperialistic war against Mexico, saying:

"Every lover of Freedom and humanity, throughout the world, must wish them the most triumphant success... We only hope that, if blood has had to flow, that it has been that of the Americans, and that the next news we shall hear will be that General Scott and his army are in the hands of the Mexicans.... We wish him and his troops no bodily harm, but the most utter defeat and disgrace."

Garrison knew that support of one's country involves more than blind obedience and support of its policies. He knew that living in a free society means that we as citizens have an obligation to speak out when our country seeks to betray the ideals of its formation. He knew that support of an unjust cause is tantamount to betrayal of our country, a lesson that half our population refuses to learn.

Men like George Henry Evans, who wrote "The Working Men's Declaration of Independence," stating that:

"The laws... have deprived nine tenths of the members of the body politics, who are not wealthy, of the equal means to enjoy 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'"

Women like the factory workers in Lowell, Massachusetts, who led a strike in 1836 to demand better working conditions. Men and women like the shoemakers of Lynn, whose 1860 strike spread throughout New England and announced to factory owners across the country that their workers would no longer suffer in silence while the owners reaped huge profits on the backs of their labors.

The heart of America lies in the labor union, and the heart of the labor union lies with the Democratic Party. We stand up for those abused and persecuted, forced into an existence no better than slavery by the greed and cold indifference of the wealthy and powerful. And I am proud to call myself one. I fight for the working class, for people who have every bit as much a right to prosperity and property as those who build mansions with money they didn't earn and don't deserve, whose fortunes arise from their exploitation of the employees who struggle in their stores and companies, working ten, twelve, fourteen hours a day only to watch their families falling into poverty and despair. I fight for those working two jobs and picking through garbage and the trash of the affluent for scraps of civilization. I fight for the powerless. I fight for the underdog. And I will not stop so long as I have the strength to continue.

As long as there are corporations posting record profits while laying off thousands of workers, I will keep fighting. As long as there are small businesses being driven out of work by Wal-Mart and small farms being driven under by Monsanto, I will keep fighting. As long as there are hypocrites who claim the mantle of Christianity while preaching hatred and bigotry, I will keep fighting.

November 2 is approaching fast, and we have a chance to stop the desecration of America by the greedy and powerful. We have a chance to send these pathetic excuses for human beings back into the shadows. We have a chance to strike back against the forces of intolerance and hatred. We have a chance to show these right-wing assholes what true power looks like. We better not waste it.