Dear Congressman Dent,
The word ‘Democracy” is thrown around a lot these days. The more we hear it spoken, the more the reality of democracy disappears. We need cameras in the street to “preserve democracy.” We need wiretaps to “preserve democracy.” We need wars in Iraq, Columbia and all over Africa to “preserve democracy.”
Right under our noses the wealth that our parents and grandparents created is being stolen to enrich the few. Taxes are lowered for the wealthy and the poor starve while they work at minimum wage jobs with no healthcare benefits. The factories where our grandparents and parents fought for the 8 hour day and decent benefits and working conditions are becoming museums or condominiums, just as farms, orchards and wetlands are destroyed for housing developments named Pheasant Run or Orchard View.
We are told that Social Security is in danger of running out but the military budget is gushing full force with our tax dollars mixing with the blood of young men and women fighting each other all over the world. There are no decent paying jobs for young Americans, but there are plenty for young people in third world countries with no health, safety or environmental protections. American corporations are free to make a profit anywhere in the world. American are free to starve, work until they drop to keep their medical benefits, send their children to under funded, crumbling schools, join the military where they will gamble with their lives and the lives of other human beings or go to jail.
I constantly hear tell of how the military fought for our right to freedom of speech and assembly. Is that the truth? Was our right to free speech and assembly, our right to protest and participate in this democracy fought for on some far off shore? No. It was fought for right here in the USA by working men, women and children not by soldiers or the National Guard (who were usually shooting AT them.) Our freedom was fought for by the people who participated in the Union movement, the Civil Rights Movement, the Women’s Movement, the Anti-War Movement.
We have not reverted to Fascism yet. As much as many might welcome it, we still do not all follow the leader. We don’t all march in lockstep, hands over our hearts, blinders firmly fixed, yellow ribbons flapping in the breeze while young people are burned to death, torn to pieces or mentally scarred for life. Some of us exercise our rights in our own neighborhoods to stand up for what we know is right. Nine of these people were arrested in your office on January 17, 2006. Your actions in having these people arrested show much more than words what you think of actually existing democracy when it is standing in front of your face. I am asking you to examine your feelings on this issue and drop the charges against these practicing democrats (with a small d.) Focus you efforts on rooting out and jailing the people responsible for ripping off the public trust of its money and its hope for a better future.