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What We Want Them to Say, What They Want Them to Do

by Sudhama Ranganathan Thursday, May. 17, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Money is a strong pull, there can be no denying that. There are few people that can resist its lure. I don't refer to money to purchase the basic necessities; there is almost no other way to get those in the world we live. I mean beyond that – after people have the necessities taken care of. The draw of a little more comfort, convenience or even luxury that only money can provide causes people to move towards the cash before they even know they've taken the steps. It's part of being human.

When a parent is upset because their child has been hit by a semi belonging to a large transport company after the sadness they often seek justice. To avoid a huge public lawsuit the company does not offer to adopt them a new child, to buy them a horse or give them a new car. Most of the time they offer money and most of the time those parents settle for it. This is often the case despite the fact what they really wanted was a sense justice had been done and a meaningful price had been paid by the company. They started off hoping to ensure this never happened to anyone else. In the end the money is almost always too powerful.

When a husband loses a wife because she was given the wrong prescription at a major pharmacy chain, he doesn't want to become a millionaire as a result. In fact to think of that initially probably turns his stomach. He lost his wife due to the negligence. Justice has to be done and a price paid. They have to be made to change and become safer so no one else goes through what he did. But to avoid a major lawsuit and terrible publicity, the pharmacy chain offers him a big check. Most of the time that husband will settle. This happens for many reasons.

Politicians are humans, and we expect them to be flawed just like the rest of us to an extent. But, we also expect them to do their job, and just like judges, lawyers, police officers, intelligence officers, etc part of their job description includes staying free from bribes and the influence of dirty money.

Yet, today's politicians have become all too dependent on the finances that fund their political campaigns and as a result have forsaken the people they rely on most for votes. Never before has this been clearer than with our last two presidents.

President Bush and his administration just got to the point where it seemed they felt they could care less about what the voters thought. Their attitude seemed to be, “get us into office and then go back to your measly middle income and lower income existences and stop bothering us.” They just acted as if their entire strategy was to milk the fact we got attacked and spin it in such a way that we would forget we got attacked worse than any other single terrorist attack on US soil on their watch. September 11th was awful, it was a tragedy, it was the saddest day since Pearl Harbor, but they allowed it to happen. (http://articles.cnn.com/2004-04-10/politics/august6.memo_1_bin-conduct-terrorist-attacks-abu-zubaydah?_s=PM:ALLPOLITICS)

Yet, a high enough percentage of the voting population of our country bought the line that we were safer with them and re-elected them. In their second term, it was like they could care less. Dick Cheney even famously responded to one reporter when she questioned him about America's negative view of the Iraq War with “So?” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SypeZjeOrY4) They just denied the accusations, claimed executive privilege on others and essentially just cruised through their second term content to treat us as though we were being given the finger as they drove on by.

President Obama has also essentially behaved as though the voters – the people that bought the hope and change thing hook line and sinker (including me) were fools. He has essentially behaved like all he has to do is say what he thinks we want him to say when he is in front of us, and then once in office, just do what those behind him (with the money, power and influence) want him to do.

He lied about Iraq when he said he would pull out before the Bush administrations timetable for withdrawal. Then, after changing his deadline to match the Bush administration’s, he lied about that also as when the deadline came he quietly tried to negotiate with the Iraqi government to extend the amount of time we had to pay tax dollars to keep troops in Iraq. Remember, this was a war he admonished the Bush administration for getting into in the first place calling it a mistake playing on the nation's desire for hope and change brought on by the dark shadow we lived under during the Bush years. (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/26/us/politics/26obama.html?pagewanted=all)

When he got into office he acted as if the Iraq War was the right thing to do. We are in a recession and he wants to keep dumping money into that pit in the desert he says was a mistake. Couldn't he think of better things to do with our tax dollars? What about jobs, education? Why did he want to stay? Did he want to spend more billions of our money – money we don't have - to convince enough conservative voters he is tough when it comes to military decisions? Is that what we're paying taxes for? I think he forgets how few of us are in his income bracket.

There was also Halliburton. During his 2008 campaign he said, “The days of 'sweetheart deals for Halliburton' and 'an era in Washington where accountability has been absent, oversight has been overlooked, and your tax dollars have been turned over to wealthy CEOs' will end.” (http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/election08/articles/2008/10/01/20081001obama1001rescue.html) We all heard it time and again. It's nothing new. Yet, once in office and time came in May of 2010 to prove he was a man of his words he simply signed the documents giving Halliburton another no bid contract. Just like that. (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/13/obamas-mounting-hypocrisy/)

He said we would leave Afghanistan as soon as we got the people responsible for 9-11. He got Bin Laden and talks of lending President Karzai indefinite help despite all the corruption. These are our tax dollars here and he promised to be a man of hope and change. Last week he said he was for gay marriage. Whoopee!! Guess what? For those that missed it, so was Dick Cheney – his daughter is gay. (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/05/video-of-the-day-dick-cheney-endorsing-gay-marriage-in-2009/256961/)

So, besides our image abroad, the current president, has so far been pretty close to the guys that came before him and they ruined our economy and got us into two wars. He said these things because he thought it was what we wanted to hear when he was campaigning. Once elected he did what the people behind him with the wealth and power wanted him to do.

Now he is just doing the same thing all over again and acting as if there was no such thing as journalism or the internet for these things to still be around for folks to read. Actions prove these things either way.

Democrats and Republicans have been bought. They talk different, way different. But once elected, they act just the same. To really change things it will require new parties. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen. Look what they did to the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. They ate the first up and left behind some fat and bones, and they crushed the other – and these were supposed to be Obama's base! When it first started he said he got them and understood. Months later they were being arrested, pepper sprayed, gassed, beaten just like in the Middle East and North Africa, but he wasn't calling for more freedom of speech or greater freedom of of assemblage there. If they come back they will most likely get crushed again or co-opted as the Tea Party did and broken down that way.

It will take a few new political parties with significant numbers in Congress to really affect the kind of change we truly hope for. If Democrats and Republicans were what it took to upgrade the system we would have had the downloads and installed them by now. Think about it.

To read about my inspiration for this article go to www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com.

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