I remember a time when the Soviet Block countries were our enemies. While we had "enemies" in other parts of the world, it was the Soviet Union that received our main focus as they were perceived as the biggest threat to the United States and our allies. Russia, as the base of command and functioning as the Soviet Union had taken over many countries in an attempt to expand its borders with the obvious goal being world domination. We knew that citizens of the Soviet Union were being deceived by their government which functioned as a brutal dictatorship. Taking care of "the people" was not a priority for the Soviet Union. Civil rights were virtually non-existent. Often, food was in short supply. Communication was limited and any communication that was permitted, was heavily monitored. The government spied on its people to prevent uprisings. If people rose up to demonstrate, they were often violently crushed in the streets. Their incarceration rate was among the highest in the world. The government spent over 20% of their GNP on the military. This was a government, controlled by a few powerful and ruthless military types whose goal was simple. Do whatever was necessary to gain enough power militarily to expand their borders and rule the world. Americans hated the idea of a communist dictatorship and what the Soviet government and military did to its people. America also hated the hard line the Soviets took toward negotiating with the rest of the world. They were selfish and unreasonable and they could get away with it because other countries feared the idea of sparking a third world war which could easily have been a nuclear war. In 1991, because of financial and military pressure from the United States and its allies, the Soviet Union collapsed. Obviously, their grand plan didn't work.
Today's world is quite different. While there are still deadly military threats, the world has become much more intertwined economically which in some respects, renders physical borders less important. We now live in what is called, a global economy. More than ever, nations are interdependent on each other for their incomes, food, daily use products, even social interaction. Multi-national corporations have established themselves in countries throughout the world, often in seemingly unlikely places. Who would have thought even 30 years ago that McDonalds could ever be successful in India, China or Turkey?
So in today's world, what countries are vying for world domination? Russia? China? The United States? I believe there are no longer any governments with a specific goal of world domination. There are however, extremely powerful individuals who would like nothing better than to be in a position to manipulate as much in the world as possible for their own benefit. These power brokers often have sociopathic motives where their only concern is to maximize their own efforts with little to no regard for the masses. They make their money throughout world markets. The only way in which they are sometimes concerned about the masses is when the masses get in their way.
Should these individuals and their corporations be expected to be loyal to the United States even though they may be based here? In a word...no. There is no requirement for loyalty. Loyalty is not a pre-requisite for residence, conducting business, or even citizenship. The fact is, they should no more be expected to be loyal toward America than someone who, through no fault of his/her own, slipped through the cracks and has been relegated to living in the streets. It would be wrong to think any individual or business should be loyal to any country unless their loyalty has been pledged.
We have a political campaign funding system in America which gives these powerful individuals and their corporations unprecedented power to use their money for manipulative purposes. By contributing large sums of money to finance highly influential political ads, they purchase a unique level of loyalty from a politician. 94% of our elections are won by the candidate with the most money. If a candidate refuses to take campaign contributions from large donors, no matter how righteous his/her actions, history and/or intentions to carry out the will of the people, that candidate only stands a 6% chance of winning an election. Once bought, a politician has a choice - either express and fight for the views of his/her sponsors, or risk losing future essential sponsorship. Politicians can no longer fight for the best interests of the masses. These power brokers, through their bought and paid for legislators, promote issues which divide us by appealing to people's passions and beliefs. By paying politicians to espouse a specific side of a controversial social issue, they gain support from a large segment of the voting public who will vehemently defend the side which supports their beliefs. When these social issues come into play, people seem oblivious to the fact that the politician they support is being paid to say whatever the sponsors are telling him/her to say.
These powerful individuals are in large part, controlling American policies. Our military is no longer simply protecting our borders. We are fighting wars globally for the purpose of securing and protecting trade under the guise of liberating helpless citizens from brutal dictators. Liberating people from brutal dictators is a noble cause so in that light, our leaders are able to generate a fair level of support from many Americans. Unfortunately, all too often, the real purpose for war is strategic positioning to protect access to vital resources within nearby sovereign nations.
Our tax dollars have become a found treasure for a variety of private individuals and corporations. Our taxes represent the largest pool of cash in the world and power brokers can't wait to get their hands on our money. Corporations are bribing our legislators (legally, through campaign funding) to have tax dollars funneled in their direction. Charter and private schools are receiving public funding over traditional public schools. While in some cases, charter and private schools show higher test scores, others have not and the overall results remain unchanged. What has changed is that we are now paying more to private companies to educate our children than it costs to maintain and upgrade our public schools and education system, and we still haven't addressed the problem of how to better educate inner city children. Many of our politicians are doing exactly what they claim to be fighting against. Politicians claim, "Throwing money at our education system doesn't result in a better education," yet they're willing to spend even more dollars on private and charter schools. Another example is our prison system. America's prison system has largely become privatized. Short of a small handful of violent, third world countries, we now have the highest incarceration rate in the world. Another example of privatization is the fact that we hire expensive military contractors and mercenaries to do a lot the military work our armed forces used to do. For less than we are currently spending, we could easily require all young adults to serve their country, whether it's military service, public service in America or providing aid in a variety of forms to needy countries via something on the order of the Peace Corps. The list goes on and on and becomes more and more obvious the deeper one investigates.
One of these bought and paid for legislators has recently put forth a budget plan that he claims will be good for America by reducing taxes on the wealthiest individuals and companies in our country despite expert analyst's claims that it will increase our deficit by $3 trillion. Simply put...privatization is NOT the answer.
In some of the worst ways, the United States is slowly becoming what the Soviet Union had once been and what we once hated. Our government is spying on its own people. Many within our government are attempting to take away additional civil rights. Our government is making it more difficult for many for our people to vote. Our world view is being manipulated by radical hard liners within our government. The United States has broken agreed upon rules of war. America is striving to manipulate the world through our military might, etc., etc., etc. This isn't what American policy should be about. This is a stance the power brokers are paying to promote in an attempt to gain more control.
Most of the problems we face aren't caused by corporations or by greedy, sociopathic power brokers. Those entities are simply doing what they are supposed to do and what they get paid to do. As long as they don't engage in illegal activities, their job is to make money any way they can. The problems we face are caused by one single flaw in our electoral process. Our campaign financing laws allow unlimited and undisclosed amounts of money from anonymous donors to flow into our elections. These "donors" view campaign contributions as business investments. They are striving to manipulate the business environment so they can make more money and gain additional power. Our Constitution was written so that control of our government would always remain in the hands of the people. Since 94% of elections are won by the candidate with the most money, it becomes obvious that money spent on political advertising radically influences the outcome of our elections and puts control into the hands of a few with the most money - not the masses. Political ads seem to be free to say whatever they want about an opponent. We all know that political ads severely distort the truth or just plain lie about the opposition's record or political stance on pertinent issues, and once big money puts someone into office, the power brokers' "bought and paid for" legislator is required to do the bidding of his/her sponsors. All the while, they have their talking points to make us think they are actually doing what we elected them to do.
The electoral process as it stands, is based on nothing more than legal bribery. It is riddled with corruption and goes completely against what most Americans believe our founding fathers had in mind for America. There are many laws preventing this kind of behavior in business, but for some reason, those laws don't seem to apply when it comes to our political system. There is only one way to bring America back into the hands of the electorate. Americans must unite to fight this kind of corruption and manipulation by those with the most money. Political bribery must me made illegal with serious consequences for violators. ALL private funding must be removed from our political process. Then, and only then can we rely on our legislators to represent the best interests of "We, the people."