BY SHARON MARTIN
This month, in a Rasmussen poll of 3,000 likely voters, less than one quarter [22%] of those polled said this country was moving in the right direction. If almost 80% of us think we need to change direction, what’s stopping us?
Sure, there’s an election going on. But the candidates aren’t listening to us. The contest isn’t about us; it’s about power and who will have it.
Well, it’s time for the people to take the power back. It’s our country, our labor, and our taxes. It’s our votes.
Money that buys ads and legislation and legislators has shaped the conversation. No more. We can do our own thinking. And we can speak up.
How do you feel about unlimited corporate donations to form PACs and buy elections? Don’t like it? Do something about it.
How do you feel about the push to privative public schools? Demand that public schools be strengthened, not stripped, so that every child has an opportunity to succeed. Include parents in the education system, both as voices and as consumers of education by turning schools into true community centers.
Are you uninsured? Underinsured? Do you work at a job you hate because you can’t leave your insurance? Join the fight to take our health care system, the most expensive in the world, away from the insurance and pharmaceutical companies and make it work for the people it is supposed to serve.
The strength of this country is not just its state-of-the-arts military, but it is also the innovations of the people. We don’t need more wars. We need protection. And we need opportunities. While we shouldn’t turn our back on suffering, we also don’t need to be in the business of regime change to protect the profits of multi-national companies.
We don’t need to close our borders to goods from other countries, but we do need to close them to the steady leak of jobs. If corporations want tax breaks, let them have them for putting Americans to work.
Finally, we must quit grousing about government jobs. Teachers, firefighters, police officers, and park rangers work for us. They are why we pay taxes. They are an investment in our safety and our future, not an expense.
What do you want? Tell your legislators. And if they don’t listen, vote them out. Sign referendums. March in the streets while we’re still able. It is up to us to turn this country around.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. In the interest of full disclosure, she wants readers to know that she is a teacher and her son-in-law is a police officer.