I love my country. I love Democracy. I love the fact that we can elect our leaders and we all have an equal vote in our future. That’s why Al Gore was elected President of the United States in the year 2000. Gore had 50,999,897 votes and George Bush had 50,456,002 votes, (a little over half a million more votes for Gore).
Oh oh. Al Gore didn’t win? I waited in line for an hour to vote and it didn’t really matter? The guy with the most votes lost? Is that fair? Is that Democracy? I must be missing something? I’m not an expert on these things, but it just doesn’t seem fair.
George’s vice-president Dick Cheney received $500,000 to $1 million a year from Halliburton for “services rendered” while he was in office. We ended up in 2 wars and Halliburton was awarded billions of dollars in defense contracts. Is it just me, or does this seem odd?
Special interest groups and lobbyists essentially pay our congress people to vote a certain way. Does this sound like a Democracy? Is it fair?
Our factories were torn down and sent piece by piece to China. That Ford you are driving was built in Mexico. The gas was provided by a company that made billions this year. Not only doesn’t it pay taxes, but it is being subsidized by millions of tax dollars. The list goes on and on. Fair?
So, who are the 99%? They are the proud workers at the New Balance tennis shoe factory who saw their jobs go to China so the corporation could make a buck more on a pair of shoes. They are the 51 million voters for Al Gore whose votes didn’t count. They are the people who don’t have lobbyists in Washington. They are the people who know that something is out of whack. They are, basically, the rest of us.
What do they want?
This part’s tough. Protests aren’t anything new for this country. After a couple of garbage collectors got crushed in a trash compactor in Memphis in 1968, the workers protested for safer working conditions and fair wages. Women protested for the right to vote. Blacks protested for equal rights. “Hippies” protested to end the war in Viet Nam. At the end of the day, all of these protests were successful. However, they all had one thing in common. They had definite goals.
This isn’t like demanding to be able to sit in the front of the bus. This is less specific. This is more like a movement. These people just want a fair shake. They want a fair paying job. They want a government more interested in creating jobs than in politics. They don’t want to be stepped on by the handful of people pulling all of the strings. They don’t want to become peasants while the Herman Cains of the world are saying, “If they aren’t one of the 1%, it’s their own damn fault”. They want to maintain the middle class. They just want a fair chance.
So, how will they get it?
If they truly are the 99%, they will take over the government. A leader will emerge from the crowd. The philosophy of fairness will co-elesce into specific goals and the people will regain the power.
The 1%, however, won’t go down easy. It also won’t be easy for the 99% to come up with specific solutions and strong leadership. One thing I am pretty sure of though, we are all witness to history in the making.
Are you part of the 99% or the 1%? If you want to share your opinion with the rest of the world, I will publish all comments.