A CALL TO ACTION
Our Founding Fathers made the Constitution so that the rights of the individual would not be tread on by the government or the wealthy. We were forged as a nation where the lowest of us through hard work had the same opportunities and an equal playing field with everyone else. It would work for all the people, not just the wealthy and privileged who acquired a fortune built on the work of others.
We must face the reality today that many no longer hold to the ideals that made this country great. They work for wealthy special interests. They choose corporations over individuals, the rich over the poor. They work for their own selfishness and greed, not for the success of our country as a whole.
These are the ones who say “We Can't”. We Can't rebuild our bridges and highways. We Can't be that shining city on the hill, an example to others. We Can't take care of our elderly. We Can't give medical care to our sick and injured. If they can't take care of themselves, it's too bad because they're on their own. We Can't do these things because it cuts into the profits of the wealthy and most-profitable corporations on the planet. These are the same people whom President Franklin D. Roosevelt called the “economic royalists”. These are the same people who hated Roosevelt and whose hatred Roosevelt welcomed because he knew that the American people would not agree to become the kind of nation that placed higher corporate profits over real people.
Our country has been through many trials and tribulations over the years, none more so than in the 20th Century, often called the "American Century" because of our innovation, the growth of our middle class and the accomplishments of that middle class. We built tens of thousands of miles of highways, rails and air routes. We defeated the evil of the Nazi's and Japanese Empire in World War II. We succeeded in bringing down the oppression of the Iron Curtain. We developed the Space Program and uncountable developments derived therefrom. We developed the internet and made the entire world a smaller place. We went to the moon following the dreams of a President whose dreams did not die when his life was cut short. We NEVER gave up fighting for what was right!
Today is the day that we are being called to action. We must begin to take our country back from these economic royalists who, out of their greed, once again seek to harm Americans . Now is the time that we must act. We have the privilege of being able to speak publicly and use our voices to have the politicians listen. We have Constitutional Rights to be heard. Now is the time that we must have our voices heard. Only by speaking out can we fight the economic royalists. No one can do it for us. Speak out now!
REPUBLICANS NO LONGER THE PARTY OF PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
I used to be a Republican. There, I said it. I used to be a Republican when I was in law school twenty years ago. I had some friends who were politically active and wanted to get me involved. I was young and didn’t know anything about the issues. What they told me seemed to make sense at the time, a time long before the internet when getting information became easy.
The biggest reason I was a Republican dealt with “personal responsibility”. To be a Republican meant that you took your responsibilities seriously. So, I guess it was natural that in my early years I thought that people should be personally responsible for their actions. If they cause harm they should not look to others to pay for the damage that they caused. The person who caused the harm should pay the damages for those he injures. This is, in fact, what they teach in law school.
However, when I first began practicing law I ran into the exact
opposite idea. The firm that hired me
worked for insurance companies. Working
for the insurance industry means you are trying to blame somebody
else so the insurance company has to pay as little as possible
thereby making bigger profits. This was
not consistent with my ideas of personal responsibility and I didn’t
stay there long.
Unfortunately, the Republican Party to which I used to belong changed over the years. While it used to be the party promoting personal responsibility it has now changed to the party that defends big business to the exclusion of all else. It has become the insurance company for big business. Where the Republican Party used to help small businesses, it has now become the defender of Big Business no matter what damage it causes and no matter where responsibility lies.
The biggest example of this has come with the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP is a foreign corporation and, under US law, it is considered a “person” with all the rights and responsibilities associated with such status. BP has been receiving all of the benefits of the “commons” of the United States including exploiting our oil. In doing so it owes all of the People of the United States certain obligations to be responsible for any harm that it causes.
This means that when BP causes the most massive oil spill ever seen on the planet it has an obligation to pay for all the damages caused by its spill such as to the fisherman who now have no fish to catch, the businesses on the Gulf coast that no longer have the fisherman as customer, the losses to the families of the eleven workers who died working on BP’s well, etc. The old Republican Party would have insisted on this.
The current Republican Party and many of its leaders have come out AGAINST the whole concept of personal responsibility and now support the People of the United States bearing the burden of BP’s disaster. In other words, the victim has to bear the responsibility for the immense damage caused by BP.
Instead of demanding that BP be held responsible for the damages it has caused, the Republicans have been very vocally opposed to the Obama Administration’s attempts to do precisely that. When President Obama got BP to commit to a 20 Billion dollar fund to pay for damages BP caused the Republicans screamed and the highest ranking Republican on the House Energy Committee publicly apologized to BP, NOT to the victims of BP’s profit mongering.
The Republican politicians complained that business should not be forced to do anything by the government. If that were the case no one would ever pay for the injuries and damage they caused. In fact enforcing such payments for damages is one of the main purposes of the government. We see just how badly the Republican Party has strayed from the idea that people should be responsible for their own actions.
There is no justification for the Republican Party’s support for BP other than the massive campaign contributions that BP has made to the Republican Party and the individual politicians supported by BP. Being bought and paid for by big corporations, especially foreign ones, is NOT why we elected you. The People of the United States elected you to represent OUR interests. We did not elect you to represent foreign corporations trying to get out of paying for the damages and injuries that they caused to Americans.
BP is one of the most profitable companies, not a poor company. BP, unlike the American People living in the Gulf, does not need more money from the U.S. Government. BP like other big corporations simply finds it cheaper, in its never-ending quest for more profits, to “buy” the politicians rather than to pay the people that it has damaged.
For this reason alone I am glad that I am no longer a member of the Republican Party AND no longer support its member politicians. I would much rather support those politicians who look out for the interests of the ordinary American and America’s small businesses!
J. Caleb Donner
Caleb Donner is a Southern California attorney who can be reached at email@example.com