“And the three men I admire mostSo ends the last verse of Don McLean’s classic rock song “American Pie”. That’s what I was thinking about yesterday… the song is a tribute to the end of an era. Thought the subject matter is of course very different, I think it has a lot of relevance this week.
The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died…”
By now, reader, you’ve no doubt heard the results of McCutcheon vs. FEC. It’s no surprise that Mr. McLean’s mournful words were the first thing that came to mind when I read the news in my inbox yesterday morning. Once again, the Supreme Court Justices have proven that they are phenomenally disconnected from the will of the American people, and that the only ones whose justice they are willing to fight for are lobbyists, corporate shills, and the ultra-rich. Mark my words: if the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. Richardson on February 3rd, 1959 marked “The Day the Music Died”, and the death of Charles Schulz on February 14th, 2000 was “The Day the Laughter Died”, April 2nd, 2014 should go down in the history books as “The Day Democracy Died”.
You and I both know what this means, reader. The tide of secret corporate cash and billionaire influence on our politics will now come in, more destructive than ever before, drowning out the wishes of the 99% and putting yet more oligarchs into positions all over the country. These “people” (and I use the term loosely) will launch unprecedented attacks on the lower and middle classes, coming after our jobs, our welfare, our health care, our education, our science, our voting rights, everything we hold dear. We’ve already seen what happens when businessmen call the shots: gridlock, dysfunction, blatant and naked attempts to dismantle everything that doesn’t contribute to the already overflowing pockets of the über-rich. It’s a dark road ahead.
Not enough people in Congress can help us. The Supreme Court Justices have conclusively proven that they aren’t on our side. I still believe President Obama wants to help us, but his efforts are being held back by the unprecedented obstruction of the rabid conservatives in Congress and their corporate overlords. So the only people we can count on to reverse this disastrous ruling, the only people who can save democracy itself from corporate hell, are now you and me.
We cannot sit back and let this happen. Starting right now, we must fight tooth and nail against the twin evils of McCutcheon and Citizens United until both are repealed. We must rally, protest, do whatever is necessary to take back our country. If it takes throwing out or disbarring each and every billionaire and pro-corporate lobbyist in every political position at local, state, and national level, then that’s what we have to do.
We must fight like hell. We must not let them win. We must not let them get away with this.
There are enough of us. We call ourselves the 99% for a reason. If we gather together, if we pool our resources, we can do this. If we overcome our shared sense of weariness and apathy, we can win. The will of the people has beaten impossible odds before, and it can do so again. They may try to silence us, to shut us up with the unlimited money at their disposal, but if we shout loud enough, we’ll force them to hear our voices.
The Declaration of Independence contains these words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” As of today, the great words that Thomas Jefferson wrote are tragically invalidated. We are not equal. We do not have the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and happiness. They have struck a blow against us, to take these rights away. We are gravely wounded, but we still stand. Our heads are bloodied, but unbowed.
If we can rise as one, if we fight this, they will not stop us. They will not silence us. They will not hold us back. We will make them live to regret The Day Democracy Died.
The fight to reclaim our country from the rich begins now.
Who’s with me?