My name is William J. Hamilton, III. I am 52 years old, white and a supporter of Barack Obama. I am from the future. On Thursday, I will enter a powerful machine which will transport me to Cleveland, Ohio a few days before the 2012 general election with the hope of avoiding the future I live in here.
Most of you have no idea how powerful the forces aligned against President Obama and his administration are. The energies raised against him, which have nearly incapacitated your government and potential for effective collective action have been increased so broadly that you no more feel them than the gossamer monster fish which living in the cold, dark water miles below the surfaces of your oceans.
You no longer notice the advertising for oil and carbon energy companies filling the space between what you accept as reporting in your news. You don't think about what the money which paid for that advertising has bought. You may not have noticed that the survival of the planet you live on has been squeezed out of the national debate, being entirely absent from the four confrontations between the administration and its opponents just held.
Likewise, reaching a time of real peace seems beyond discussion in the atmosphere of fear saturating your culture. Science seems mute. History is not provided a moment for witness.
You are losing your capacity to work out a sustainable future and you are being deprived of the precious and often bloodly lessons of the past.
In the place I come from, twenty years after the takeover of a rigid, currupt conservatism, the future is clouded by the deeply incoherant mix of religious myth and racial paranoia. Schools are not allowed to teach how life has come to survive on this planet. Economics is stuck in a reductive replay of Adam Smith which leaves out most of what you have learned in the industrial and information ages and a great deal of what Smith himself knew.
Attitudes towards sex and human reproduction, the most significant activity on the planet, are utterly irrational. Life is precious until children are born and cheap thereafter. Birth is mandatory. Medical care is optional and facing massive cuts in programs for the poor and elderly.
Race, a problem we honestly believed would be resolved to a manageable remnant of social anxiety in my time, remains a massive wall of division. Predjudice is expoited in every conceivable way to excuse the failure of government, education and an economy under the control of powerful, greedy men and women. Racism is so powerful that it can be used to compel the poor to destroy their schools, government safety net and common institutions which they share with those of other races. The ancient issues of slavery and sexism enlarge in an era of economic desperation.
The prosperity of two generations ago has slipped away. The oppressed undereducated and afraid blame it not on policies which concentrate wealth into the hands of idle speculators, but on those who look, love or live different from themselves.
Where I come from, our government is now utterly within the invisible grip of corporate economic power. The administration of our Governor is directed by paid operatives who communicate with their masters outside of public knowledge and instruct our Governor on what to say and do. Huge funds have been accumulated to squelch any opposition in elections where less than have the population still bothers to vote. 250 candidates were struck from our ballot last year with no major public protest due to incompetence, while the incumbents were grandfathered on to the ballot. Endless irregularities in the interaction between money and politics have grown so endemic that the Governor and others caught merely declare that what they are doing is normal and expected, one of the rare true things they say.
There are still people here fighting for something better, but they struggle on without reenforcment by the young. The young, who know only war and decline, see our efforts for something better as pointless, They prefer the cheap accessible distractions of intoxicants, electronic distraction, sex and low cost consumption. They have been deprived of the knowledge, time and energy to imagine great things.
It is important for you to understand how vulnerable President Obama's opposition is in 2012. They are losing the struggle for control of the culture. They refuse to comprehend a complex, conflicted world. Their economy cannot enrich them while also producing the incentives to keep the working class in line. Their greed and prejudice blinds them to much of what is going on beyond their gated communities and quarterly reports. Their tools of mass media, so easily controlled with money, reach fewer people every day. They are being driven to threatening the livelyhood of ordinary people to force them to vote for Mitt Romney, as if they were serfs again, bound to sweat and fight for feudal lords.
They must secure control of the Government and its capacity to apportion power before they are overwealmed by demographics and the failure of their own system. Your right to vote, demonstrate and communicate has to be reduced to ineffectiveness if they are to hold on to control. This is a global struggle now, but no where and at no time is it more critical than in 2012.
If you win, your victory will not be complete. You will at best, gain the opportunity to rebuild a sustainable, democratic society that can evolve a rational path to a future where you and your planet survive. The luxuries of war, waste and ignorance cannot be returned to you. You may however, if you act now, begin the creation of a world where your grandchildren will have what matters.
If you lose, however, Mitt Romney and his friends will be sure that their victory is swift and complete. They will auction off your public treasures for a pittance and compel future generations to rent them back. They will defund your schools and pulblic institutions. They will shred your social safety net and reduce people to utter desperation. They will push the ecosystem and climate of the planet to failure. Want, disease, oppression and disaster will descend on America in ways not seen in a century. All the benefits of social and economic progress since the time of Theodore Rosevelt will be erased. The will silence you. They will dissolve your unions and scatter your camps of protest. They will drive your demonstrations from the streets. They will reduce your right to vote to the point that it no longer threatens them.
I know this because I lived in the future that they have made for the past twenty years in the State of South Carolina. They have already been in control for a generation. They have been implementing their plans here relentlessly since 1992. You can find the proof in the mercury found in the flesh of the fish in our rivers, a declining standard of living or reduced access to health care. Our leaders speak, without any sense of embarrassment, about “driving cost out of the system” which means starvation, sickness and death to someone who does not count and probably doesn't bother to vote.
If you call South Carolina's Government for an explanation of what isn't working, such as when our Department of Revenue's lax security enabled the theft of tax information on over 3 million residents and credit card data on over 300 thousaand, you'll be assaulted by a teeth grinding, Governor mandated, “It's a great day in South Carolina.” It is a mercy that most offices are so understaffed that you end up with voice mail.
While most people talk about South Carolina being stuck in the past, we're really stuck in a conservative future ordered and paid for by the out of state money which toys with our fate because it is cheap and easy here. A seat in our legislature is easily bought for a mere 25 thousand dollars. Possession of the Governor's pen cost only a few million and obtains a reliable, attractive servant ready to do and say whatever she is told.
Wisconsin turned out to be much harder place to launch their agenda. Hopefully they can be denied the control of the nation and your future.
Unfortunately the future I come from is contemporaneous with your own, a reality which doesn't threaten students of complexity. Porgress moves forward and backwards in human affairs as any resident of Rome could have told you in the year 500. I cannot bring magic force fields to hold back voter suppression, teleportation as a tool for enhancing GOTV or ESP boosters to replace phone banking. I know you are up against a lot of power and money in Ohio. I'll only be getting off the plane with a carry on and a shoulder bag holding my Ipad with Votebuilder loaded on it. I'll be joining a crack team of organizers who focus on public transit riders deployed by the Amalgamated Transit Union and Americans for Transit to work on GOTV and voter protection. Last week they participated in a national effort which reached a million transit riders with voting information.
I can only bring one more voice and set of feet to the contest, just that and a warning. We "must be the change we want to see in the world" and go on with courage and hope. The future is a stake and control of it shouldn't be sold to the people with the most money. The future will only belong to everyone if we secure it now.