Honest Abe must be turning in his grave seeing how his Gettysburg address ending with the glorious words “…that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” often is being interpreted in our time as “…that government of the privileged people, by the privileged people, for the privileged people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Clearly our country has been a shining example to the world as to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What is not so clear today, while we wallow in our much touted super abundance, is who the real beneficiaries of Lincoln’s proclamation are. It weren’t the Native Americans, or the African Americans, or too many of those who came to our shores in search of precisely those tenets. More and more it seems that the super privileged in our society—the big shots on Wall Street, the multinationals, the legions of foreign investors—created a new breed of capitalists who have gradually metamorphosed into today’s super capitalists. Individuals often unknown to the public who operate behind the scenes, spawning corporations so powerful as to eclipse the power of our elected leaders, who are turning into mockery our nation’s forefathers’ wisdom and foresight by establishing special interests groups and corrupting our institutions through their lobbyists, all under the aegis of the Constitution.
The slow but inexorable descent into the abyss to which the unchecked greed of this convoluted amalgam commonly referred to as neoconservative, military-industrial complex has condemned our nation, finally seems to be reaching bottom. In their unpatriotic hubris of global dimensions, the special interests groups, aided by their lobbies, have pushed our government into a war of aggression (Iraq didn’t start this war), and are ruining our economy with total disregard of the people Lincoln’s words referred to, who find it harder and harder to pay their mortgages, their health insurance, even the gasoline they need to move around in our country grievously lacking a public transportation system worth mentioning.
Sad as it is, the party of Lincoln is not heeding the words of the Great Emancipator. Perhaps in this election year, Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee, who promised to stand up to the special interests groups and the Washington lobbyists, will convert Honest Abe’s passionate vision into reality.
There is no question that change is needed.