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U.S. | Government & Elections

Why Would They Do That Exactly?
by Sudhama Ranganathan ( uconnharassment [at] gmail.com )
Saturday Jun 15th, 2013 5:35 PM
There are as many unique and varied political views, as there are people themselves. No matter how deep the divide there is almost some issue most people can find some agreement on. No matter how alike in philosophy or perspective, there is usually at least one issue people might not see exactly eye to eye on. Differences between sincere public servants are good, especially when it comes to legislating, because that means it will bring together different views on a wide range of issues, helping it to be more well rounded and suited to fit more Americans.

The more the bill fits a certain political perspective held by a specific segment of the population, the more that group is likely to be feel okay with the piece of legislation in question. The farther it is directed from a particular group's viewpoint, the more they are likely to disagree with the piece of legislation in question. You can't please all people all the time, but when there is a truly representative government, representative of and acting on behalf of all the constituents as best it can, there is greater chance of creating legislation that represents a populace, or in our case nation, on the whole.

People have all kinds of reasons for believing in what they do, and there are sometimes people that will hold political beliefs that obviously run contrary to what seem to be their own best interests, and that is their right. It is also people's rights to claim interest in and support for legislation and laws that work against them and people like them, and that too is their right. However, sometimes one does have to scratch their head, and at least ask why a certain group of people would advocate a position that does not benefit them at all, and in fact works against them.

There are many social issues that, while they might not affect or effect a person they support it because it helps another group, and they believe by helping them, they help themselves and society in general. For instance, people might advocate for equal rights for a segment of society that is oppressed, or that have historically been mistreated or discriminated against. They may not be of that group themselves, but believe that by having a more open and equal society, we are better and stronger on a whole in many ways.

However there are times when people advocate for a position, that upon close scrutiny makes absolutely no sense at all. For instance, financing of political campaigns is an issue that has many sharply divided. I suppose it makes sense, from the point of view of a multimillionaire to be able to donate hundreds of thousands if not millions to a campaign if one were to look at it from a purely selfish, self centered and greed centered point of view.

If that's all that motivates you then it makes sense. If you could care less about your fellow Americans, and only want your view to count, then you would donate great sums. In our current system, that will determine how an elected official will vote once in office, campaign speeches be damned. If you believe the wealthiest in the nation should dictate political policy and monopolize the lionshare of energy spent by elected representatives on legislation, then I suppose that makes sense. A greedy, paranoid and insecure multimillionaire wants to keep his money, keep getting more money and find ways to increase the amount of money he gets in the future, regardless of how that effects the rest of America. They can say all they want about how they do not do that, but the patterns speak to a different reality.

Greed tends to be more powerful than consideration and compassion, just as heroin and crack tend to be more powerful than people's desires to remain healthy. So it makes sense for the multimillionaire.

However, for the vast majority of Americans, it makes no sense, whatsoever. The wealthy have not been looking out for our interests for a long time, and we have had to fight them in so many different ways to get them to stop doing things that are detrimental to the rest of us.

We have had to fight tooth and nail to get them to stop dumping industrial toxins into our drinking water. We have had to struggle for a decent minimum wage that we can live on. Health benefits, sick leave and maternity leave were not things they offered to us, we had to fight them to give those things up. Previous to our fighting for safe working conditions, people worked in unsanitary conditions and maiming and death were not uncommon in many work environments and industries. There was no compensation. “Oh well, you shouldn't have worked for me!”

Though those things have changed, many things still remain. We still are in a position where people that steal wallets with $25 dollars in them are slammed to the pavement, thrown in the worst prisons and pursued in court most aggressively, yet people that steal $25 million or even $25 billion, get treated with kid gloves and often go to prisons known as 'country camps', if they even get investigated.

Even more troubling is that we are forced to pay for sprawling, gigantic US military bases on foreign soil, even though they ceased to be necessary with the end of the Cold War. The “War On Terrorism” is best fought using air strikes and surgical spec ops missions. The majority of all major terrorism leaders were taken out by drone strikes or special forces operations. Cut off the head of the snake and the tail still wriggles, true, but only for a short time. We don't need to pay for 50,000 troops permanently stationed in Germany, for example to launch drone strikes in Pakistan.

All the troops in the Middle East are not needed either. Palestine and Israel obviously have no intention of pursuing peace. Both benefit by maintaining their conflict. They get to collect our dollars so long as they say it's for peace. We are funding both sides of a war. How stupid does that make us? They are in jeopardy, and in danger? That's what people telling us we need to keep sending money to Palestine and Israel tell us.

Let's look at that a little. The one we hear that the most about in this country is Israel. We all believe they are running for their lives and hiding every second of the day afraid to walk the streets, because we keep getting told that. Sure that was the reality a decade ago, but not today by a long shot. In his article entitled “What Mideast Crisis? Israelis Have Moved On,” Ethan Bronner explains regarding Israelis, “Few even talk about the Palestinians or the Arab world on their borders, despite the tumult and the renewed peace efforts by Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been visiting the region in recent days. Instead of focusing on what has long been seen as their central challenge — how to share this land with another nation — Israelis are largely ignoring it, insisting that the problem is both insoluble for now and less significant than the world thinks.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/sunday-review/what-mideast-crisis-israelis-have-moved-on.html?smid=tu-share&_r=1&)

As far as numbers and all the dead Israelis, well here is the truth, in 2012 there were nine people killed as a result of terrorism in Israel. (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Terrorism/victims.html#2012) Back home, we have conditions that are much worse. Take Chicago, Illinois. In that one American city, in 2012 alone, there were 532 murders. (http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/report-532-murdered-chicago-2012_693417.html) That is just Chicago.

Israel is not our country and neither is Palestine. When an American state, like California, disagrees with Washington on an issue, they do not swear upon God they will attack our country with terrorist attacks as does Palestine's Hamas. (http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/04/22/espionage.charge/index.html) Likewise, when California wants to know something about Washington, or needs information they do not spy on us, like Israel which has been caught numerous times spying, including stealing classified nuclear secrets. (http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/04/22/espionage.charge/index.html) (http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4705539&page=1#.Ubzh2FN4zrw) If Iran did that people would be calling for war.

They are not America, and neither even act like Americans do. They could care less about us, and they show it by spying and threatening. It's in their behavior, not in the empty talk. The rhetoric is to benefit wealthy corporations that want to have US military guns protecting their oil. But that oil is not “ours.” I don't own any oil companies, do you? When is the last time Exxon Mobil cut you a check from their profits in any given year, for all the cash you paid to protect them in the Middle East and get them more oil? They can afford to pay for their own security, they simply don't want to, they want you to. That's money that could be in your pocket, cash you earned yourself.

If a European company took over Exxon's spot in any given country, not that they necessarily could, would you pay more at the pump? They tell you that you would, but how much more or even less are the prices at the pump at a BP or Shell gas station? They are both European companies. In fact where I'm from in Connecticut, Mobil is usually more expensive than Shell. We are the largest consumers of petroleum products in the world by a long shot; nobody would mess with that because if they hurt us they just hurt their bottom line. It's not because they love us or because they don't, it's business, American companies are the same.

Has the price of gas dropped dramatically in your town or city since the War in Iraq? They said it would. It went up since the war started in my town. We paid to get them their oil and that's the thanks we get? It's business.

That's what millions of dollars gets them - wars for oil, vast military bases to protect their overseas holdings and trillion dollar bailouts. What did you get out of the financial collapse? Ever had to skip a bill or pay only part of it? I have. I also know that taxes got taken out of that paycheck to go to those foreign bases to protect wealthy corporation's factories, oil fields, mining concerns and more. They have billions and trillions of dollars, they are not some indigent Vet on the streets of Washington D.C. Sleeping outside in the winter because they were consistently denied treatment and their rightful benefits. These Senators and House reps would rather send people to war for oil and then deny them coverage back home while send billions to help companies already making billions a year. Why? Gigantic campaign donations.

When I see a middle class guy holding up a sign fighting for a corporations right to donate a hundred thousand or a million dollars to a campaign, I have to be suspicious. How does that benefit him at all? It does not.

How do we know? We have a total population in the US of approximately 316,050,000. In the last presidential election only 1,877 people or corporations were able to give $95,000 or more, meaning far fewer gave in the million dollar range. Was that you? It sure wasn't me. I could never afford that. Only 45,334 gave $10,000 or more. Was that you? Sure wasn't me. How does allowing them to sway politics benefit the average Jane or Joe?

We would pay the same price at the pump whether we protected them or not, and maybe less. We do not reap oil company profits, Wall Street profits, profits from cheap labor factories or mining concerns, nor should we. This isn't a communist or socialist nation, and we don't want it to be. However, when you see a guy that says he does not want his hard earned money going to wealthy corporations, but is fighting for wealthy corporations to donate the kind of money less than two thousand Americans can even afford to, somethin ain't right. Either he's crazy, or that guy is lying about what he says he is. He has nothing to gain and neither do his neighbors, suffering/ starving people or most Americans, so why would he want to make a wealthy corporation wealthier from taking the taxes he says he does not want to pay from his pocket? That's what the corporations ask for once those officials get into office and nowadays it's what both Democrats and Republicans deliver. That's as odd as male fashion designers in Paris convincing the Western world's straight men that women look prettier when they are shaped more like men. That’s just pretty stupid.

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

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