Channeling Anger – Part II
BY SHARON MARTIN
As Mitt Romney noted, “Corporations are people, my friend.”
Money buys political voice. Corporations, groups, and wealthy individuals saturate the airwaves with lies and their skewed version of the truth. They shape public opinion and buy elections.
Words and numbers can lie. Just because you saw it on television doesn’t make it true. You can’t believe everything you read in the papers. Check the facts. Chew before you swallow.
The power behind this corporate push is the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC writes pro-corporate legislation. You heard that right – they write the legislation. Then, one of their legislative members tacks on his name as sponsor and runs it through the legislature.
What could be easier…and less democratic?
Here are just a few ways ALEC is working to limit your rights as an Oklahoma citizen:
They have turned prisons into corporate profit machines. Tough sentencing laws insure that a steady stream of customers walks through the prison gates. How many of those money-makers behind bars would be better served with drug treatment and career training? How many families could be kept intact with common-sense laws and less costly intervention?
Now that they have much of our prison system, they want our school system. They have set their anti-public-school minions in high places, and the dismantling has begun. Teachers are portrayed as the enemies of freedom; instead of a cup of hemlock, they poison the minds of the public.
Labor Omnia Vincit, or labor conquers all things. Rather than tending the people’s business, our legislators are working this year to change the state motto.
As one wag wrote, “Can you imagine workers conquering anything?”
Well, yes. Who exactly does the work that makes the capitalists rich? Who drills the wells and welds the pipes and builds the roads and bridges?
Meanwhile, ALEC legislation strives to take a giant eraser to the rights of workers.
Ours is supposed to be a people’s government. We must demand that our representatives represent us. Call them. Write letters to them. Speak out in public spaces. Let everyone know that we are onto ALEC’s and their shenanigans.
If they don’t read our letters and listen to our voices, we can talk with our dollars. Boycott ALEC members. Buy from local sources instead.
Send what you can – every dollar counts – to candidates who believe in the rights of all the people.
Don’t get mad; get busy. We have a democracy to save.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer