By Roy Mullins
There was a time long ago when our forefathers envisioned a new nation based on the individual freedom of their citizens and their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That day has long since passed and the basic rights that were once guaranteed to us as American citizens have been systematically damaged under the guise that our once respectable government cares anything about the direction that its citizens desire for their country.
Our once democratic government has grown into nothing more than a plutocracy whose main concern is the accumulation of wealth above and beyond any other interests. Oil and gas companies alone spend billions of dollar each year to lobby Congress and federal agencies against new forms of energy, which, while more cost effective for the consumer and beneficial for the environment, would cut deeply into those companies' obscene profits.
The recent marijuana legalization debate is another example of how the rich influence our laws. Polls show that the majority of Americans now feel that marijuana should be legal, but despite the will of the public, the alcohol, drug and tobacco companies channel millions of dollars into political campaigns whose politicians consent not to pass any form of legislation that would even attempt to legalize cannabis as this would hinder their monetary gain.
What we are left with at this point is a government that is of the wealthy, by the wealthy and for the wealthy even though it is "we the people" who are supposed to be running things. If our supposed "representative government" is to continue to exist, we must first wrestle control from the rich elite who are in command of it.
The truth of the matter is that those who have great wealth do not have any connection whatsoever with those of us who struggle in our everyday lives, living from paycheck to paycheck. The rich elite have a completely different frame of mind and can never fully understand the grueling effort to survive that we all face on a day-to-day basis, and that makes me wonder why these rich politicians feel that they are capable of representing any interest the average American might have?
When you look at the wealth that has infested our government, it can be quite staggering. At least half of President Obama's cabinet is millionaires and the freshman class of Congress has an estimated wealth of $533.1 million. In addition to these facts, a Scott Rasmussen poll from 2010 stated that 70 percent of Americans surveyed believe that most politicians are willing sell their votes for cash. Obviously there is an enormous chasm between the wealthy politicians in Congress and the working-class Americans they are exceedingly unequipped to represent. Despite the fact that most Americans are now aware of these issues, the rich continue to grow wealthier and the average American continues to struggle.
The fundamental groundwork of our country is being eroded by an over-privileged and fraudulent class of politicians whose ideals are entirely dictated by lobbyist dollars. How can we in good conscience say that we are aware of these issues yet make no attempt to correct them? What does that say about us as Americans that we have become so complacent that we are willing to accept this oppressive standard?
It is time for the people of this nation to stand up in revolution and seize control of our great country once again. No longer should we live under the thumb of a self-serving, privileged class of individuals who care more about lining their own pockets than serving their constituents needs. Let our angry voices resonate as one from the highest mountaintop, sending the important message to these greedy politicians and wealthy industrialists that the all-consuming fire of the American spirit will not and cannot be extinguished. This is our nation and it is time once again for the will of the American people to reign supreme.
Roy Mullins is a Front Royal resident