Once upon a time in America, a great man stood before the people and proclaimed that"government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the Earth." Well, that dream has died. And while it may be easy to blame Lincoln's own party for the failure, the truth is, that the Democrats have as much to do with it's death.
We no longer have a government of the people. By this, Lincoln meant that our representatives in Congress should be like us, farmers, doctors, people from every walk of life. Now, we just have one kind of representative, the professional politician. his job is not to represent the people, it's to increase the power of his party, and increase the contributions to his own, as well as his party's campaign war chest. Legislation detrimental to his own constituency is passed, often times against the objections of said constituency. The core constituency of the Democratic Party has always been organized labor. When NAFTA passed, a treaty that would hurt organized labor the most, passed, it was passed by a Democratic Congress and signed into law by a Democratic President. And in that time, we have seen more and more jobs filled by organized labor moved out of this country.
We no longer have a government by the people. Too often, issues are not defined by the needs or wants of the people, but set by the propaganda ministers of the corporate media. Illegal immigrants and undocumented workers have been a part of the American landscape. Why has this suddenly become an issue? With real unemployment at 12%, why has now been chosen to flood the labor pool, at the expense of those born in, or legally immigrated to, this country? Do the people benefit from this, or only a select few.
Congress just voted to spend $92 billion more on a war that the American people increasingly do not want. The have raised the debt ceiling to $9 trillion. How does miring future generations with a debt for a war that should never have been fought benefit America?
The answer to all these questions is, it doesn't. The only ones to benefit from any of this are corporations. We have become a country of, by and for the corporations. At a time when CEOs are posting record salaries (Capital One President Richard Fairbank at the top with $249 million) the average workers wage has fallen 2.3% since Bush took office. So who got the tax cut? The people who are gaining the most as they slowly squeeze out the middle class.
And so as I look back over the last five years, has any legislation been enacted that has benefited the American people? The prescription drug program? Social security reform? The Patriot act? The answer, in my eyes, is no, we haven't. And as for Lincoln's dream that a government of, by and for the people not perish from the Earth?