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Socialism, Corruption and Politics

How many of you have ever heard this phrase: “we can’t do that it would be socialist/communist!”? Funny thing about socialism and communism it’s already a part of our nation, and has its roots in the early colonial era as well. What do you think police forces are? Firefighters? Physicians? The Military? All of it is socialism. I’m sure there are plenty of people with wide eyes, dropped jaws, and shaking heads and questioning how could I someone who is advocating universal healthcare, education, and military reform call my own ideologies socialist?!

We’ll let us first define socialism shall we?

                “Socialism is a social and economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy,[1][2] as well as a political theory and movement that aims at the establishment of such a system.[3][4] "Social ownership" may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, state ownership, citizen ownership of equity, or any combination of these.[5] There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them.[6] They differ in the type of social ownership they advocate, the degree to which they rely on markets or planning, how management is to be organized within productive institutions, and the role of the state in constructing socialism.[7]

And a further definition:

                “The socialist political movement includes a diverse array of political philosophies. Core dichotomies include reformism versus revolutionary socialism, and state socialism versus libertarian socialism. State socialism calls for the nationalisation of the means of production as a strategy for implementing socialism, while libertarian socialism calls for decentralized means of direct democracy such as libertarian municipalism, citizens' assemblies, trade unions, and workers' councils[11] coming from a general anti-authoritarian stance.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18] Democratic socialism highlights the central role of democratic processes and political systems and is usually contrasted with non-democratic political movements that advocate socialism.[19] Some socialists have adopted the causes of other social movements, such as environmentalism, feminism and liberalism.[20]

Now if that doesn’t sound familiar to everyone here then I’m here to inform you that is precisely the issue with our government and media today. I’m further here to inform and compare the way socialism is actually effected in the country and why it only effects certain persons in the country and not all. Adding to that discussion will be the involvement of money and conversely corruption in our system and how that perverts the American ideals that we Americans actually hold near and dear.

First the issue of socialism, as I already stated, education, healthcare, civil services, and most anything that is a government agency is in fact socialist, and by the previous definition that I have already given socialism is anything that benefits the whole, by the whole or for the purpose of benefitting people equally. It’s just that different flavors of socialism in history have been extremely dramatic failures and have left a bad taste in the mouths of those who bore witness to those failings. The truth is socialistic democracy is what the majority of our government programs function off of and those are the ideal uses and purposes of socialist otherwise known as social programs in this great country.

If we were to truly abolish socialism this is what would happen. If you thought paying a copay or not being able to afford insurance was a problem now wait until all the barriers and limitations in place are removed. None of us including myself, or even noncombatant service members would get healthcare. Why because there either wouldn’t be a need to provide it or the justification to afford it wouldn’t be there. In a laissez faire system of healthcare which we largely have with a few limitations and standards tossed in would deprive all of the elderly, the sick, the disabled, pregnant women, or anyone who isn’t 100% healthy the right or ability to afford or possess health care.

If that’s not a bad enough picture, think about police enforcement of code, and law. I’m not trying to play off of the tragedies of Fergusson and similar instances, or to condemn all officers as corrupt, but let’s put laissez faire police forces into perspective. If it weren’t a public service (socialist) then you as a citizen would have to pay for and apply for the right and privilege to have officers protect and serve you, and that fee could be based off of anything really, age, sex, race, religion, whatever. Add to that less restrictions and guidelines on what governs police forces, because every precinct would be in charge of its own handlings of law and order, you could have some precincts that are overly altruistic and others that are downright gestapo. Imagine calling 911 but every city has a different number, and on top of that you would be charged an exorbitant fee because it’s a privately owned police corporation.

Need I go further, education is already largely unregulated and look at the vast amount of student loan debt, for profit colleges with BS degrees (not to be confused with BA), degrees that are worthless, colleges that aren’t accredited and charging exorbitant fees regardless, and no real practical application for most degrees thanks to a lack of practical knowledge or emphasis from the degree program. We are already suffering the results of laissez faire education, it’s shown every day when the working poor, and underprivileged citizenry can’t afford college even with grants and loans, or that even if they did go despite that the crippling student loan debt would ensure perpetual debt.

Socialism ladies and gentleman is essentially the only reason why we haven’t gone back to the middle ages and become indentured servants. So let’s discuss this fact of life for a moment. Why it is the rich and powerful, the media and the political elite are always spouting this word, Socialism, around as if it were the plague and the end times? Part of it is a culture and history In the United States during the Red Scare, and the Cold War but why now, why does it still pervade our politics and media? What’s more where does this socialism truly exist, and who truly benefits.

The media and politically right leaning would have you believe it’s the working poor and destitute black communities, mooching off of the man while simultaneously buying drugs, alcohol, and having kids every year that turn into heathen’s thugs, and criminals because they have no other knowledge or understanding of life in general. They’d have you believe that grandma and grandpa are bankrupting the nation with their monthly SSI checks that amount to an astonishingly high 1,300 a month in the best of cases. That single mothers with one or two kids working three jobs and need food stamps and WIC to afford formula, food and day care for her children. They’d have you believe that college students are taking advantage of the government and are just plain lazy when they can’t afford 40 thousand dollar tuition fees, on top of the cost of books, materials and application fees, while working minimum wage.

Without going on a fact checking rant that could go on for hours let me assuage everyone here who may have these fears: we are not the problem. See what I did there? We, average working class Americans, the doers in this country are not the problem with the economy or social programs, or the corruption in government. We are the reason anything gets done. Take away the CEOs, the regional managers, the hedge fund managers, the top echelon of “leadership” in business or government and what would effectively change? People would still go to work, people would still do their jobs, people would still get paid because the folks in charge of pay are, wait for it, regular people not the top end of the leadership.

That all is the truth so why is it that we get less for our work when we put in anywhere from 20-80 hours of work in to our jobs each and every week. Why is it we have to fight tooth and nail or be punished for working towards working rights, conditions and the right to assembly? Why do we work so long and so hard and don’t even get health care benefits for our troubles, why do we have to compete with one another to get minimum wages, and struggle to get full time work so that we can maybe be eligible for some amount of health care benefits? What’s more why is it that by speaking out about such things we risk getting fired and laid off and being replaced by the throngs of people who also have employment troubles?

What should infuriate each and every one of you is that this is a purposely concocted vicious circle of poverty. What’s supposedly cheaper higher highly skilled highly qualified and motivated people for fair and equal pay for the standard 40 hour work week with benefits, and possibly other perks, or hiring 3 people part time to the job of one person at a consistent rate of the federal minimum allowed pay? Even better what’s more economical for the company to give the top leaders In the company who don’t do any of the actual heavy lifting but do the top end deals, leadership models, and so and on and so forth 4 million dollar bonuses, health care packages that the president himself doesn’t have, luxuries most folks can only dream of, and everything else, or raising the minimally paid workers hourly wage by a dollar for a year. That raise that would allow tat worker to afford more items, of better quality and be able to pour more money into a stagnant or slowly growing economy. What makes more sense? Who is truly benefitting from collective bargaining and socialistic principles and programs? It sure as hell isn’t me or you.

The wealthiest members of our society are the ones who are benefitting the most from socialistic programs and ideals not us, and it’s clearly working for them because all of the economic recovery since 2012 has so far been in the top earners in this country, this too isn’t an accident. The beauty of it is no matter what era, what financial crisis occurs who are the ones to suffer the most? We are, the people and why is that? Because we have a little say in what happens in our lives, and why is that? Because it has been carefully orchestrated to be this way. With the ever increasing influence of money in politics, lobbying and so on, the greater police crackdowns on protests, and demonstrations not just limited to the Wall Street protests, Fergusson riots, or the keystone XL pipeline movement, people are having less and less opportunities to have their voices heard. To further this problem there really aren’t any other political or legal alternatives out there for regular people like us to turn to.

I’ll let you all in on a little secret, I’m just a guy working a job, and doing part time reserves for the USAF. I don’t have a BA, I don’t have a Masters or a PhD, I have not been in charge of a fortune 500 company, own a bank, been a lawyer, or have ever dabbled in politics prior to this campaign. I’m just a guy who was sitting in his apartment with his roommates drinking a beer, and clicking through the news and I saw a headline, the US government had been shut down by our own John Boehner, because he disagreed with the affordable care act, that had been written into law in 2010 and would revolutionize the medical industry from the way we knew it. This shutdown would cause the entirety of the armed forces to have to make cuts to personnel who didn’t raise their right hand and swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America, and to protect and defend her citizens from all threats both foreign, and this is the key part, Domestic.

During that government shut down in 2013 I finally had my eyes opened to the reality of the corruption, and stupidity that is running rampant at the highest levels of leadership in our government, and I put in for my separation package right then and there to run for office in 2014. Turns out by the time I would get released from active duty the timeline to submit myself as a candidate would have passed, so I stayed in longer and developed my strategy to take back this country and put it back into the hands of the people for which this nation was built for.

Last time I checked there was this document written in 1776 something called the Declaration of Independence, and it very clearly stated:

                “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.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security”

Let me glance over that particular excerpt one more time because I think I missed the part about how the wealthy and political elite of a given nation or organization may have their rights and interests held above those of the less privileged and the collective outcry from those less privileged shall be held in less regard than those of the wealthy lobbyists and fortune 500 company donors to established and entrenched political parties that have in these most recent of times become as disconnected from the American people as the colonies were from the British Empire.

Hmm odd it doesn’t say that anywhere does it?

That brings us to the final point of discussion corruption and money in politics. Let me first state for the record that I personally don’t believe money makes a damn bit of difference in politics. I don’t think having a lot of it or a little of it in a campaign will ultimately affect the outcome of an election. That the main outcome is decided by how widely and how easily a message is received, understood and agreed with by the collective members of the voters. That regardless of political leanings most people will choose the left or the right based on their either long standing beliefs, or loyalty to a political party, money simply makes spreading the word, and the message that much simpler and accessible.

That being said donations to a candidate also make very little difference it just gives them supposedly more resources in which to convey their ideas to the public which many times costs a fair amount of money, and therefore organizations or wealthy candidates, or candidates with wealthy connections have an easier time sending their message to the masses. Donations are simply a means to an end, money is only a catalyst to be used when true ideals, and beliefs aren’t enough to spread like wildfire from word of mouth. Corruption, gerrymandering, and excessive Super PACS and spending on campaigns in politics is just the illusion of power to sway the hearts and minds of the voters that theirs is the better truth.

The reality as we all know is that politicians say whatever it is they need to say to get the most votes that they can, and when that isn’t enough they will rebrand the district to get their votes, or they will resort to slandering and cutting their opponents credibility, much like children on a playground making fun of the new kid. Even the lies, the deception and so forth aren’t the problems, no the problem in fact is the choice to sink so low as too allow private interests to overrule the pleas of the many, that accepting donations becomes mafiaesque bribes that you are compelled to comply with or risk losing both their backing, their finances and influence. The problem is that this type of arrogance from the wealthy corporations succeed in seducing the weak willed and weak minded politicians on either side of the republican or democrat fence into bowing to the will of the powerful and wealthy rather than listen to the hearts and minds of the people they are swearing to represent.

The reason why money should be taken out of politics, the reason why lobbying should be illegal, as well as gerrymandering isn’t because it lessens the power of the people, because it really doesn’t, but because it perverts the democracy we all enjoy, and the Constitution that was designed to fight against oppressive natures, and governments. The only thing that should sway anything in politics is the collective approval or disapproval of the effected populace at whichever stage of government. Since I’m running for congress in this district what should concern you, and concern me is what can be done for our district and how we fit into the bigger picture of governing and leadership for the nation.

I’m living breathing proof that regular people can still make a difference, that they can be heard, and run a successful campaign with zero prior experience or influence in the game of power, corruption, and intrigue that is what our politics has become. I want to show you all and convey to you that we can still make a difference that we don’t have to give up hope that at the end of the day we are responsible and the recipients of our own choices, choices that would don’t have to settle for to make. We don’t have to settle for a republican, a democrat, a Whig, a green party, a tea partier, or any other political party. We can raise ourselves up, we can ourselves step up for the position of representative or legislature, or mayor, or any other political office up for grabs. Who better to makes decisions that will ultimately effect 318 million regular Americans, then regular Americans who will have to live with these decisions for better or for worse?

Corruption exists because we are fallible, because we are human, but we can take steps to mitigate or limit the amount of influence private interests can even have in the political process. The easiest way to do so is by putting people in a position of power that will not balk from their duties as politicians because they have a family at home that depends on them doing their jobs right the first time. Another is by eliminating the amount of input a company, an organization, a religious group, or anyone who isn’t a singular citizen can actually say or do in politics. That doesn’t mean businesses don’t have rights and liberties, but they sure as hell don’t have the same ones as you or me, and there’s certainly don’t outweigh those of the living breathing citizen. Money should never have been in politics in the first place because it creates an opportunity to undercut the main purposes of politics, which is the livelihood of a people, a civilization.

Lobbying should never have been allowed in the first place the only thing that should be allowed is petitioning, or protesting like the 1st amendment protects. Lobbying, unions, corporatism, superpacs, all have good parts to them, they all have their ideologies and ideas, politics is not one of the platforms where they should be able to share them because it detracts from the common goal of governing a nation, and ensuring her citizenry are protected by that government and not victims of it or any of its institutions. Unions shouldn’t be the bullies at school that force you into their clique so you don’t get harassed by the other clique. I shouldn’t have to say this but apparently it needs to be said, and please feel free to quote me: I don’t care who or what your God is, I don’t care how you worship, how many times, or what your prayers consist of, the 1st Amendment establishes the Separation of Church and State and that’s all there is to it.

If you want to believe Jesus Christ is the way, that’s your choice there’s about 1 billion people on this Earth that agree with you, there’s an equal number who worship Jaweh, as in the Almighty God and who’s savior is not Jesus Christ, and there is another billion people that believe in Allah, the Arabic word for God, who believe in Moses but whose prophet was not Jesus Christ but Mohammad. 3 billion people, separated into thirds on their beliefs, which span from the same Bible, are entitled to their beliefs. In fact I will go so far as to encourage belief in a higher power and religion, and that there is a place in our country for godliness and religious affiliations. Thankfully that place has been firmly establishes as anywhere or anything that has nothing to do with Government, thanks to the Constitution. Thankfully a Muslim, a Jew, a Hindu, an Atheist, a Buddhist, or any other believer has no right to force their beliefs lawfully unto another. Thankfully no institution is legally allowed to discriminate, or indoctrinate others based on a beliefs, because to do so would be a violation of the 1st amendment that all American citizens get to benefit from.

We are a country of diverse nationalities, backgrounds, ideologies and beliefs, we are not Left or Right, or Liberal or Conservative, we are not a two dimensional nation, we are a nation with 318 million different sides and that number keeps growing, and will continue to grow. It is our responsibility as Americans, as citizens and patriots to work together, to right the wrongs of our past and to not encourage the repeat of those mistakes in our leaders. For some of us that means raising our children to not judge people based on their skin color, education, or sexual orientation, for others it will be going to work and being as helpful as possible, but one thing is certain it won’t be the same for everybody. I’m definitely not cut out to be a doctor: blood doesn’t bother me so much but cutting someone open, and playing with their skin flaps….not so much. But that doesn’t mean I have a right to ban surgery and medical practice for everyone else now does it?

I don’t like Shakespeare that doesn’t give me a right to ban him from our English curriculum though does it? How many people here don’t like math? Yeah just about all of us right? I mean who has actually used trigonometry or calculus since graduating high school? Let’s get rid of it because who needs computers, cell phones, bridges or cars right? Doesn’t make sense does it to ban things or deny others things simply because we don’t like it or agree with it does it? That’s how racism is, that’s exactly how secularism is, or the denial of the LBGT community to marry, and that is precisely what we need to focus on ending. These new and more imaginative ways to distance ourselves from our fellow countrymen, on how to treat diversity with derision, an adversity with scorn, and we need to stop polarizing our ideals and beliefs, or letting them be influenced by one outlet of information or the other. We need to stand up for ourselves and what’s right. We need to represent all Americans, we need to vote for true leaders, and true representation in Congress.

I don’t need you to do these things, republicans certainly don’t need you to, hell they hope you don’t, same with democrats, and you need to do these things because they affect you, yourselves. Without you, your vote none of this matters, none of this happens, none of this works, so why settle for mediocrity or acceptable, when the result is no returns, no gains, and no prosperity. End this vicious cycle of political abuse, and corruption, exercise your right to vote, to live, to be happy and to believe, but exercise your abilities to communicate, to listen, to understand, and to learn from each other. We need a country doers, a country that acts, not just blindly follows. That is what we have become and look at what that has caused in our nation.

We’ve had 2 economic crises, and a government shutdown with 5 years of each other none of which was your fault or mine, so why are we letting these things continue? It needs to end today, we need to collectively deny these persons their power because at the end of the day the power of an individual or a group is a great or as small as those that allow it to exist. Today we are the mercy of our government tomorrow the government is held accountable to us, the day after that our children will be able to run around on the playground, without fear of getting hurt and not being able to get helped, our elderly will be able to live in retirement knowing they won’t go bankrupt or burdening their relatives when they get ill, or start to pass. Our soldiers will get the treatment and care they deserve for serving their country, and we as a people will have our rights secure, and our livelihoods intact without fear of reprisal from our boss, or our government because we will all know that together we ensured a better place to live, and to grow in.

Together we can prosper, together we break the back of corruption, and remove the influence of these weak willed politicians in our daily lives, and we can put teachers, officers, engineers, scientist, artists, and regular laborers in their place. We can do all these things all we have to do is cast our vote, there’s no hope, or daring involved, in fact it’s quite the snub and the insult to those currently in power. Simply don’t for the candidates that don’t have your best interests in mind, and that won’t deliver, vote for the men and women standing next to you who have risen to carry the burden of leadership on your behalf, and know that you will be represented. That is what I bring to the table, that is what we together can accomplish, and it is what this country desperately needs! Together let us rebuild our nation so that we can proclaim without a shadow of a doubt that we are in fact the greatest nation on earth, and we can prove it to!