Opinion. Get Off The Back Of Our Government by Hal O’Leary

Opinion. Get Off The Back Of Our Government by Hal O’Leary

Opinion. Get Off The Back Of Our Government by Hal O’Leary.

Opinion. Get Off The Back Of Our Government by Hal O'Leary

Duty Free. Photo attribution Peter Griffin

There is a constant cry from the capitalists for government to get off their backs, which indeed is a most ludicrous request because those very same capitalists have become the government.  I would think to the contrary that it would it be more to the point and in the best interest of the governed for the controlling oligarchy, the usurpers of our Democracy, to get off the back of our government.  Their burden is becoming increasingly difficult and costly for us to bear.  One would have to be most naïve not to recognize that money equates with power. What could be more oppressive than to have a very few wealthy individuals making decisions solely in the interest of enhancing their own fortunes, which in reality become life and death decisions affecting the rest of us? Lest you think this speaks of hyperbole, perhaps we should look more closely at the situation to arrive at an understanding of just where we the people stand in deciding our fate.

A close examination of what is supposed to be a democratic process would tell us that, in fact, we no longer have a Democracy.  There can be little doubt that the government once of, by and for the people has given way to an oligarchy of wealthy individuals who now are in a position to make all the political decisions.  Fellow Americans, whether we care to admit it or not, what we are talking about is Fascism pure and simple. It is not as if we have not been warned.  Almost without exception, the founding fathers cautioned us against the tyranny of money equated with power. Their collective thinking is best summed up in the following quote:

“History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance.”–James Madison (1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA.

It now seems that this becomes more of a prophecy than a warning.

As strange as it seems, our Democracy stands as a veritable obstacle in the path of the moneyed interests seeking total economic control.  To overcome this obstacle, the beginning strategy is to render the supposed democratic government as ineffective as possible.  This is best accomplished by actually, albeit ironically, bringing the public to a point in which they lose sight of the historic truth that they are meant to be the government.  This government then becomes the foe, and the people themselves will without knowledge or reason actually join in the cry,


This cry can best be understood when applied to two issues, money and freedom from control. Since it seems that there is nothing more certain than death and taxes, taxation becomes a prime concern for those whose only value is money.  The assumption being that with a reduction in the size and scope of government by the elimination of its obligations (primarily entitlements for the poor as opposed to those agencies that provide services so necessary for conduct of business), the tax burden could be minimized.  “Why should we have to pay for those who refuse to work?” becomes the whining cry


The other issue that merits an equal if not greater attention than that of taxation is the absolute freedom with which capitalists wish to conduct their business in a market free of any and all restrictions and regulations.  It is claimed by entrepreneurs that if left to their own devices, they would conduct themselves in a responsible fashion in the best interest of the public and the environment.  So much for their claims when we look at the chemical spills, mine disasters, soil erosion, air pollution, water contamination and global warming, just to mention a few of the situations in which the bottom line becomes the overriding concern at the expense of a healthy climate.  The great irony is that the regulations they decry and wish to be abolished are the very ones that were brought about by their refusal to place the public good above the bottom line.  Had they acted responsibly, there would never have been a need for regulations to begin with, and there would be little or no need for them to cry,


At this point, I should admit that it is my contention that this latest and most severe push to convince us that the government is not friend but foe began with that great communicator Ronald Reagan, the patron saint of lower taxes, deregulation and curtailed spending.  His anti- government stance can be summed up with the following quotation in his own words:

“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

It was Ronald Reagan, a former union president who launched the attack on Labor and our middle class with the firing of the air traffic controllers.  It was Ronald Reagan who  launched the attack on the intellectual community by making Joe Sixpack a national hero for his indifference to others and the problems we face as a nation.  It was Ronald Reagan that launched an attack on our culture and in particular the Arts with a philosophy that says “Anything goes, it’s art if you call it art.”  It was Ronald Reagan who made it a patriotic gesture to cry:


And what has all of this brought us?  One in five of our children living in poverty; the most expensive but least effective health care system among other affluent nations; a decline in real wages for the working man with a vanishing union movement; a crumbling infrastructure endangering the populace; life threatening environmental concerns; the obscene and widening gap between the 1% and the 99%; and then, when we add the inhumane state of perpetual war initiated by an oligarchy bent on global economic and military hegemony, the death toll soars.  Could the choices made in these matters, not by the people but by a few insanely wealthy sociopaths, constitute life and death decisions?  The answer is a profound “Yes!”  We are speaking of the fate of a nation, and I think it’s time to shout “ENOUGH!”  It’s time for us, the oppressed, to cry out to the usurpers:


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Hal O’Leary is an eighty-seven-year-old Secular Humanist who believes that it is only through the arts that one is afforded an occasional glimpse into the otherwise incomprehensible. He has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from West Liberty University.

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