Monday, April 07, 2014

Root and branch

Here's a copy of a letter to the editor of the Santa Barbara New-Press that I emailed today. I'll update this post if/when it's published, although, unlike many of my letters, I doubt I'll see it in the newspaper's pages, given how direct and strident my message is.

Update: The letter was published on April 11, 2014.

To the editor:

Does our government represent Americans anymore? That is, the vast majority of Americans who only reluctantly – as a last, self-protective act – assent to wage war? Who value privacy and freedom of expression above all? Who care for our poor and sick and less-advantaged? Who take pride in sharing wealth and opportunity?

Americans who believe legislators should answer to the people – not only the wealthy few and corporate contributors – and who demand that honesty, transparency and principle, not money, should reign? Americans who refuse to react out of fear in their world view, as well as in their neighborhoods? Who believe criminals deserve due process, but – of whatever status and wealth – warrant vigorous prosecution? In short, Americans whose core values are anchored in the Constitution: Does our government represent them anymore?

The answer to these questions is No. The government wages war – by covert ops, "contractors," drones and troops – all over the world. It silently, secretly (until revealed by Edward Snowden) collects and archives our private communications. It spends our tax money on bank bailouts and foreign adventures. It rewards corporations and their executives with tax breaks and loopholes while suppressing workers' earnings. It is, in short, a government run amok, unresponsive to and uncaring of Americans' will.

It's time – well past time – to remove our government,  to replace all of its actors, all of its supporters, root and branch.