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Guest Column: What change?

August 11, 2010

By Gregory John Campbell

Belief is a mechanism that enables men and women to convince themselves of anything, and often has little to do with the truth. Belief is what cemented in American minds the idea that 9/11 came from Iraq and Saddam Hussein; that the “war on terror” can be solved by employing terror; that Iran wants to build a nuclear bomb; that the entire globe is a battlefield, and that the U.S. has a foreign policy of its own.

Belief also fixed in our minds that greed is natural and that we cherish “things” more than people and truth. But what kind of person or nation values “things” more than humanity or truth? No kind of person or nation, that’s who; a “cultural” fiction, not a moral human or a real nation. For if it’s true “as men think (‘believe’) so they become,” it must be true that America is what it is because of how we “believe,” rather than think, enabling us to do what we want with impunity. Such a “belief” system is just a moral scam, justifying what we do as we go along, as if we’re picking the “flavor (policy) of the month” that suits us. Such “beliefs” enable us to continue living a lie, rather than the truth individually and nationally.

Such “beliefs” also enabled us to accept that corporate extraction and profiteering, not investment and production, would prosper America; that financial corporations don’t need moral restraint; that regulatory agencies serve industry, not the country; that deep-sea oil drilling is safe and necessary; that “experts” are infallible; that soldiers are more essential than citizens; that administration is legislation; that preemption does more than cooperation; that occupation is democratization; that conspiracy doesn’t happen; and that a “third party” is impossible.

Belief also enabled us to elect a president under a banner of “change.” What change? Because if we look behind the patina (belief) of competence and eloquence of this man, what’s revealed is a political reality of cleverness and manipulation. And because he is a black man and president isn’t grounds to continue believing in his eloquence or competence as either. We know this because Americans voted for the man, not for his color or party. We know the President of the United States must embody truth, or we shouldn’t believe him. That he’s a public servant, not a chosen leader. If he isn’t, he’s something else and a democratic failure. Mr. Bush taught us that. Most believed Mr. Obama would be other. Now we know better.

The BP oil hemorrhage, administration reaction to Israel’s attack on the Gazan aid ships, and the failure of genuine health, financial and immigration reform are good reasons for us to change our national and presidential beliefs if we want real change, because all we’re presently getting is “more of the same,” not national gain.

U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo (R-16) is an example of these failures. And though he wants us to “believe” he’s for Illinois, this is the same man who voted for NAFTA, as well as the 1999 Financial Services Modernization Act and the 2000 Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which sealed the vocational, economic and financial destruction of America. All this from a so-called “fiscal” conservative. Remember, there is only one kind of conservative—moral and constitutional—all the rest are phonies. And if you continue voting for him, you’re doing so because he wants you to “believe” he’s one thing, when the truth says he’s another, like all “establishment” politicians. Voting him out is the only way to get good governance back, and “establishment” politics out of Washington. The sooner the better.

In America, we often pool our resources to find the best solution for a problem. Here’s one for us to consider. In 2010 and ’12, don’t vote for any Republican or Democrat. Vote for an American, and make sure they’re not a “defecting” independent, because real independents aren’t either. Vote Green, “third-party,” real independent, socialist, Libertarian or whatever. Any would be better than the existing political order. But remember, Libertarians are all about themselves, not others, like Republicans. Their usual goals are personal and material, not moral, civic or constitutional. Because if they don’t attain them, they become the protofascists they really are, like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich.

If we vote for the “establishment” parties, we’ll be their political fools, and not our children’s and country’s moral and constitutional defenders. Then, real change may never come to America, because if we don’t vote them out, we won’t get them out. Do so. It’s up to us, not “them.” Choose what you want to be. Thank you.

Gregory John Campbell is a Rockford resident.

From the Aug. 11-17, 2010 issue

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