Holten: Selling out America
How long have we been selling out America? Too long, I'm afraid. Political offices in America are now platforms and launching pads. They are platforms from which our elected officials sell America to the highest bidders and they are launching pad...
How long have we been selling out America? Too long, I'm afraid.
Political offices in America are now platforms and launching pads. They are platforms from which our elected officials sell America to the highest bidders and they are launching pads for enacted legislation that gives those bidders their return on investment.
Those bidders are made up of everything from the banking, oil and pharmaceutical industry to other nations and business people, both legitimate and illegitimate, from around the world.
You could blame our forefathers, who-even before 1776-started building America up to be quite a phenomenal and sellable product. Of course, the colonists originally had religious and economic freedom in mind, which was the motivation for loading their boats and coming over.
Their offspring even sacrificed their lives when the King of England tried to mess with their hopes and came out victorious in what now seems like such a clean little Revolutionary War-at least in history books-but was actually quite a vulgar and bloody mess, with neighbor selling out neighbor.
Unfortunately that victory and all of its sacrifices, if things remain as they are, will ultimately do nothing more than raise the value of a product that is being sold out from under us.
And I don't even want to think about the sacrifices that Americans made in two world wars that gave an entire world an opportunity to be free. Which again, from the global business standpoint, might ultimately do nothing more than raise the value of our product for sale.
When it comes to political and bureaucratic manipulations, my eyes were certainly once again opened on a flight from Dickinson to Denver after I struck up a conversation with a soldier, who at that time, worked at the Pentagon. During that discussion, he taught me how things really work back there.
"The generals," he said, "are basically on the payroll of defense contractors and others and manipulate things to benefit what will ultimately be their post military employers."
Apparently we should just place an ad in the classified sections of newspapers around the world saying, "FOR SALE: Nation in pretty good shape, bit by bit, to the highest bidder." It'd be a lot quicker.
"That's not possible," we say, "they wouldn't and couldn't do that." But unfortunately they can and they do, and these days they do it quite blatantly, as we are learning more and more each day.
For instance, Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania's very frack-friendly former governor, got $1.7 million from oil and gas companies but assured voters that "The contributions don't affect my decisions."
Dale Schultz, 32-year Republican state legislator in Wisconsin and former state Senate Majority Leader, in 2013 said, "I firmly believe that we are beginning in this country to look like a Russian-style oligarchy where a couple of dozen billionaires have basically bought the government."
In his farewell speech to the Senate in 2010, current Secretary of State John Kerry said, "The alliance of money and the interests that it represents, the access that it affords to those who have it at the expense of those who don't, the agenda that it changes or sets by virtue of its power is steadily silencing the voice of the vast majority of Americans."
Kerry wasn't necessarily talking about American billionaires. After all, the United States and its leaders are for sale to any billionaire anywhere.
At the end of a tough day in Congress, a senator goes home and is greeted by his wife who asks, "Did you have a tough day at the office honey?" To which he replies, "Yes dear, it's not easy selling off a nation brick by brick."
I think someone should tell the terrorists that it's silly to blow things up in order destroy a nation and a society when all you have to do is slip their leaders a little cash to get what you want.
Or maybe they've already figured that out and they're just frustrated with the bidding process.