Democratic Underground  

What We Stand For
April 26, 2002
By Joe Vecchio

In these dangerous times, when our hearts and our wills are tested by powers and ideologies that seek to destroy the great vision this country was founded on, it is necessary to speak clearly and plainly what it is we believe in and why we fight. We must plant our flag in the sand, we must claim and do battle for what is ours, we must strike at our enemies fearlessly and righteously with every power at our command, for our sake, and for the sake of the future.

It is necessary for us to have a goal above and beyond just confronting the opposition either personally or because of what we feel their policies are doing to damage the country and destabilize the world. It is important for people to have something to vote for. The enemies of freedom, that is, the political leadership of the Republican party and the corporate oligarchy that supports them, are experts at pointing out in no uncertain terms the many things they are against, but they have no vision apart from that. They will say any lie, kill any person, ridicule any idea, support any evil, oppose any kindness, and ruin any government to assure their continued domination of our lives for their profit.

This entire administration is based on fraud. They have lied to the American public about their goals from the beginning, they have used the power of government to enable them to amass more money than any small group of people could possibly earn honestly, and have in turn used that money to keep and hold political power. And they will not stop until they have destroyed the freedoms they lie about believing in. They want to establish a new aristocracy; a government of the wealthy, by the wealthy, and for the wealthy. And those not fortunate enough to have been born into this wealth, or those who refuse to sell their souls to the Almighty Dollar, will spend their entire lives being wage slaves to this new aristocracy. They get away with these lies because the same people who are corrupting the government are corrupting the media, their interests are the same.

To some of you, this is hardly a new message. You work hard for a living, harder than you should, earning just enough money to cover your debts. You read in the news, or see on TV, on those rare occasions where such things are even publicized, about an incompetent CEO who got fired, only to get a severance package worth more money than you will ever see in your entire lifetime. You find yourself paying more and more taxes so that the new aristocracy can pay less. And all you see on the television and all hear (especially) on the radio is how these people have somehow earned their money, and how, by implication, you are a lower form of life, born into servitude and destined to remain there.

But in our righteous loathing of the enemies of freedom, we should never lose sight of what our vision of America (and the world) is, how we can best preserve it and strengthen it for future battles. We need only to clarify what that vision is and present it in a simple, straightforward way in order to reach the widest audience. So exactly what is it, then, that we stand for?

The first thing we stand for is freedom, not just the freedom to speak our minds, but the freedom to act on our beliefs. The freedom to worship as we see fit, or not to worship anything at all. The freedom to have any kind of relationship we want with other consenting adults, be it political, financial, or sexual. The freedom to serve our country, whether it be in the military or as a public servant, or not to serve it at all. These freedoms are not exclusive to a particular race, religion, or group of people, they belong to everyone.

The second thing we stand for is responsibility, not just for ourselves and our well-being, but for the well-being of the community at large: from the local school district, the nation, to the world as a whole. We must recognize that we are more than just entities unto ourselves, but a part of a vast and complex world, and that everything we do affects the world we live in in some way, and to use the freedoms we so greatly value to ensure that future generations will be able to have that freedom.

And finally, but most importantly, we stand for the truth, the truth above all; the truth of our vision and our desire to make a better world not just for ourselves, but for our enemies, even when they can't or won't see it. Our enemies are blinded to the truth by their ignorance, and by their arrogance, viewing the battle itself as the truth, seeking one enemy after another for no other reason than to justify their existence and manipulate others into supporting them. What we stand for is something greater, and we should never forget that no matter how hard we fight. As Theodore Roosevelt said, "At every stage, and under all circumstances, the essence of the struggle is to equalize opportunity, destroy privilege, and give to the life and citizenship of every individual the highest possible value both to himself and to the commonwealth."

To achieve victory over the enemies of freedom, we need three things: political power, economic power, and knowledge. Political power is something that must constantly be earned because the enemies of freedom are powerful, unscrupulous and everlasting. They will never be wholly defeated, and we must always be aware of their presence and struggle to resist them. Economic power allows us the freedom to be politically active to begin with: how many people can be active when they work 50 or more hours a week? And knowledge gives us the ability to make meaningful decisions.

Free Government is what provides political power. A government not only of, by, and for the citizens that empower it, but also as free from corruption and influence as we can make it. A Free Government that also recognizes the rights and voices of our enemies. Our goal is not, and never should be, the elimination of their voice in government, but to make them understand that theirs is not and should never be the only voice. Free Government provides the level playing field which allows Free Enterprise to prosper, knowing that their needs will be addressed, and knowing that the worst aspects of capitalism will be deterred. Free Government also endows the Free Press with the freedoms to say the harsh truths we often wish to avoid, the truths that damn us as well as praise us.

Free Enterprise provides the economic power that makes these rights meaningful. An economic system that is prosperous, yet which understands its responsibilities as a corporate citizen. Free Enterprise is the engine that gives the rights we have meaning, it makes our freedoms factual rather than theoretical. It provides the framework to give our lives value, a means by which we can improve ourselves in more ways than just financially.

Free Press keeps both Free Government and Free Enterprise honest, an entity as engaged in the search for the truth as we are, and as responsible to the community, the nation, and the world. It is the light that obliterates the darkness.

Free Government. Free Enterprise. Free Press. These are the Three Pillars of our society, and its foundation is Trust, a trust not just in the institutions themselves but in the people that inhabit it and administer it. You cannot destroy the trust of one without destroying the trust of the others. To these ends we need to establish policies that strengthen these Pillars, and to reaffirm the foundation of trust we need in all of these institutions. It is to this we should dedicate ourselves. And we should always endeavor to learn from the past, live for the present, and look towards the future.

Joe Vecchio is a novice to political activism who is angry at the direction this country has turned.

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