Will Americans "Sleep Through A Revolution"?
In his last Sunday sermon before his tragic assassination, Martin Luther King gave Americans a stern warning; a warning which few of our citizens have really paid attention to during this most tumultous year. He said, "one of the great liabilities of life is that all too many people find themselves living amid a great period of social change, and yet ... they end up sleeping through a revolution."
Already, we're getting reports about electronic voting machines which "flip" votes, as well as ugly smear tactics by the Republicans and other political extremists groups against ACORN and other grassroots political activist groups about alleged "irregularities" concerning recent voter registration drives, and in Northwest Indiana, the Republican Party is using strong-arm tactics to push the courts to halt early voting in Lake County, IN, due to their supposed concerns about possible "voter fraud".
There should be little doubt that Sen. Barack Obama's Presidential candidacy has stirred up the American electorate, especially America's future electorate -- young people -- in some very powerful ways, including a phenomenal expansion of voter registration rolls, thanks in large part to the efforts of such organizations as MoveOn.org, ACORN and other political groups and organizations who desire to see positive change come to the nation, especially in the wake of two successively stolen Presidential elections, an illegal and unjust war against Iraq which has slaughtered thousands of American troops, millions of innocent Iraqi men, women and childrens, and has left tens of thousands of American troops physically and emotionally shattered.
The current global financial meltdown, including a collapsing stock market which has left many IRA's and 401K's almost worthless, has also stirred up the fury of many Americans, especially those aging "Baby Boomers" who were looking forward to retirement, and who are now facing the very real prospect of working, quite literally, until they die. The "credit crunch" is causing many businesses, both large and small, to silently collapse into bankruptcy, foreclosures on houses are forcing many Americans into homelessness, food pantries and other social services are seeing the number of clients increase as donations decrease, and state and local governments are stressed to the limit due to declining tax revenue.
All of these things, and more, have contributed to a great movement of social change in this country, and Barack Obama's Presidential candidacy has become a touchstone for many who have had their fill of the past eight years of political cronyism, the slavish devotion to the "casino economy" dominated by parasitical hedge funds and speculators, the institution of the "surveillance society" and the rise of corporate "government", and the wholesale destruction of our Constituional republican form of government through "signing statements", illegally instituted laws, and the transformation of America into a theocratic fascist police-state dictatorship.
The problem is that despite the massive social changes which are now taking place, there is the great danger that too many Americans will "sleep through a revolution" by not getting out to vote, and refusing to take a principled stand for free, fair and accurate elections.
The 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections are stark proof that elections can be "rigged", and there is a smugness among those who stole the last two elections that this Presidential election can be "stolen" right out from under the noses of the American people. They also believe that Americans can be intimidated and "victimized" to the point where they will meekly accept the stolen election results without a peep of protest. Basically, it's time for the American people to confound those who stole the last two Presidential elections by making damn sure that this Presidential election won't be stolen by those who want to transform our nation into a theocratic, fascist police-state.
So, how do we do this?
First of all, we must become involved with the workings of our government and our unique political system. Our Constitution contains all of the remedies necessary for America to overcome the current economic crisis if we will but only invoke it, and the best way to make sure that our Constituion is working tis to elect puyblic officials who will not only take the Constituion seriously, but who will remember the solemn oath they took to "preserve, protect and DEFEND t6he Constitution", and to KEEP that oath by using the Constitution as the vehicle by which America's political, financial and economic housees can be put in order.
Secondly, it will be necessary for the American people to STAY involved in the political process by joining various organizations which will be effective in making real political change happen. Too often, many Americans allow their obligation to participate in the political process to end on Election Day. This can't be allowed to happen. Americans must become involved in the political process, because a Constitutional republic depends on the people themselves to make it work. When the people refuse to take ownership of the government, those individuals who never had the interests of the American people at heart will take over the government, and as we've already seen, when this occurs, the nation will collapse into fascism and corporatism.
We're living in times which are perilous, but also filled with opportunity if we will only seize it. We musn't "sleep through a revolution"; instead, we must find the courage within ourselves to participate in this revolution, and do so with all of our strength and passion. When we do, we'll be able to look back at what we did and say, "I did this for our children and grandchildren", and our children and grandchildren will be able to say, "Thank you for giving us a better future by not sleeping through this revolution."