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diane dimond
Diane Dimond
6 Feb 2016
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23 Jan 2016
The Supreme Court Decision That Could Change the Presidency

It will be a monumental decision either way: one that has the potential to shape national politics and public … Read More.

America Needs a Revolution -- Part II


Sometimes a columnist touches a raw nerve. I did that last week with my call for a citizen's "Revolution in Thinking" about how we allow our politicians to operate. Using lyrics from "Les Miserable," the movie about the French Revolution, I wrote about the anger of so many Americans who want better for this country. They want the rivers of red ink to stop flowing. They want political leaders to lead and to stop throwing up partisan barricades in a political war that does no one any good.

No sooner was the column published than my email box exploded!

Mary Ann Edwards proclaimed her desire to join such a revolution. "I'm in! My husband is in!" she wrote. "We are stressed about this indifference to the debt and deficit. I would say scared, really." And Mary Ann wrote, as so many others did, about her fear of the future. "Reducing spending is a foreign concept to those holding the reins of power. We don't understand when and how this train wreck will be avoided."

I get it, Mary Ann. I'm scared, too.

David Bailey directed me to his Facebook page, where he had written, "I fear an out of control government more than a nut with a gun." Bailey believes both parties have failed us, and he wrote as much to his congressional delegation. "I wrote both U.S. senators last year and told them 'they were my enemy,' for failing to control spending and cutting spending." He only got canned letters in response.

Ron Burton emailed to say that my words made him yearn for "the good old days in the '70s," when voters were actually interested enough to hit the streets to peaceably protest government policies. Great! Thanks, Ron. That's just the idea I was hoping to ignite.

For those who want to take action but don't know what to do, reader Gary Keenan has an idea you may want to get behind. "The only fully effective remedy to eliminating self-interest(ed) and weak, scared politicians is to change the law to single term limits for all U.S. senators and representatives," he wrote. "Give a citizen legislator a reasonable time to do their elected job one time and stop. No running for re-election." Keenan also suggests a ban on elected officials holding any other government or lobbying job after their initial service.

Reader Stephen Verchinski's plan to fix the economy was short and sweet. "Easy," he wrote. "VAT tax on imports, rise in min(imum) wage for parity with 1968 inflation-adjusted hourly wages, financial transaction tax, lower the retirement age." Not sure I understand all of what Verchinski meant, but hey, I think all options should be discussed.

I think we need a summit of America's top non-political brains to devise a package of ideas for Congress to ponder. Then, it will be up to each of us to hold our representatives' feet to the fire to act on the summit's smartest recommendations.

Kay Sorrells wrote to remind those who think there is nothing they can do that there is strength in numbers. "I have been bemoaning the fact that we, as individuals, do not have enough power to make anything happen," she wrote. "But, as a collective group, we can effect change!!!"

Kay's adamant punctuation speaks to her enthusiasm. She also asked if it was true that before the 112th Congress adjourned lawmakers voted themselves a $900 monthly raise? She was aghast that a legislative body that will likely be remembered as one of the least productive since the '40s would have the audacity to increase their own pay.

Truth is, Kay, it was President Obama who made the pay raises happen. He recently signed an executive order giving a raft of federal workers a bump in pay beginning this March. Every member of Congress will see their annual pay go up $900 to $174,900. Vice President Biden gets an extra $6,379 a year to bring his salary to almost $232,000. Must be nice.

Reader Gary Miles wrote to properly corrected me. I had lumped in Social Security with "other entitlement programs." Social Security, of course, is a program that nearly all of us pay into for years. It is no giveaway; it is our money.

Lee Trussell said my column should be, "Required reading in Washington, D.C." Thanks for that, Lee. If you agree, may I suggest that you print out of copies of last week's column and mail them to your elected officials with big block letters that read: CUT GOVERNMENT SPENDING NOW! Sign it, "Angry American."

Our collective power is breathtakingly obvious. Yet reader Joe Stehling sees the politicians' "arrogance of power" so intimidating that many citizens don't bother to try to understand what's happening. Ed Hoover agreed, writing, "We just concluded a national election where we (re)-elected 90 percent of the incumbents. The only conclusion one can logically arrive at is that the majority of people still think they are the best choice for the job."

I don't think so, Ed. I think it is apathy. Too many people fail to take time to inform themselves so they can cast an intelligent ballot — if they vote at all. Or, worse, they personally benefit because Senator X or Congressman Y is in office so, that is whom they vote for.

In ending, I must agree with Ed's last line. "We, the people, are ultimately responsible for the direction of this once great nation, and we will reap the rewards or the pain, accordingly."

It really is up to us, folks. .

Visit Diane Dimond's official website at for investigative reporting, polls and more. To find out more about Diane Dimond and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



1 Comments | Post Comment
Ma'am; while your article is good at noting some of the frustration and anger growing in this people; the solutions suggest some one maddened by mosquitos in the dark: hitting themselves regularly, but only by chance hitting the problem...
The people have only two good reasons to be worried about the debt, and it is the support so many require and the defense all need...In the process of becoming a country of working stiffs, and of unbecoming a nation of peasant farmers we have been dispossessed...That would never have happened as it has if government had regulated commerce so that agriculture was not preyed upon by middle men, and banks; and if property had been taxed as intended by the constitution...
It does not matter what people do, because their tax structure makes them work harder for less, and keeps property out of their hands, and so it will stay until it is taxed out of the hands of the rich...Instead of what is sensible, the goverment has made wealth hereditary, and made poverty hereditary with the same stroke...It has put more estate wealth beyond the reach of the tax man when the tax man is already starving and hard pressing the people out of their entitlements...
It would not matter if the whole of the commonwealth were in only one hand instead of a few, if there it would support the population...Capital has driven the free farmers from his fields the way slaves and sheep drove the Romans and English, respectively from theirs...And again, as people have been driven into the work force, the fact that they earned ever less and paid taxes with it put property held as investment beyond their reach... Only by taxing realestate out of its speculative value will it be returned to the commonwealth, and available for the support of the population..
The necessity of defense is the cause behind democracy... Democracies are defensive forms of social organization; for only a united people acting in concert can defend their commonwealth... To the extent our democracy is denied to this people our defense is compromised...The condition we find ourselves in, of the people empoverished, dispossessed of the commonwealth, denied constitutionally any government over property -has allowed our wealth to be spread around the world were it benefits no one but the rich, while we are taxed into greater poverty to defend it- is one that cannot be continued...

Look at the example of Rome that constantly had to maintain an armed force in all of its colonies... Though they taxed the colonies the military costs broke them... When the government found it needed only money and military to keep the emperor in power, even the sham of democracy was discarded... But not even the greatest civilization can defend itself with the people having nothing in their estimation to defend...The rich owning all cannot defend their wealth even though the morals of the people prevent their taking back what was taken from them... Forms of society can grow so sick of their being, and so incapable of revolt and self defense that they are simply prey to all other vibrant and free people...
Defense and democracy are cheap... Defense is the most efficient form of warfare, and democracy is the least expensive form of social organization... Our plutocracy demands offense, an expensive and mobile military more than equal to all others, and holding all over the world... Frederick the great said: to hold everywhere is to hold no where, but since our capital is everywhere, there is where defense is required...Since our capital is abroad to evade taxes and avoid the civil and human rights this people demand, it makes us no friends and pays nothing for its defense... Essentially, in the eyes of our rich, we pay to defend something we cannot hope to own only by cashing in more of our rights that come with holding title to the commonwealth...While we have less of the commonwealth, less personal property, less domestic capital, less jobs, more taxes, fewer markets- we must support more and more of the military and their adventures into the wastes of the world...

Ma'am...The time for revolution has come long ago... We have laid so many bodies to rest, and spilled so much blood for the rights we only think we have, only to see them denied and denied again, -that revolution this instant would be forever late...We should have changed the whole nature of property in this land with the Civil War that would not have been in the least necessary if the government had given slavery none of the protection it claimed... The inexorable result of property having the protection only humanity should have, to have corporation treated as people will be as it always has been, of people as slaves serving property, or having no lives what so ever...
Only when talking of some great advance of technology is revolution not a dirty word; but this is a land formed out of revolution by a people who made complete the older English Revolution... Here revolution is legal by our founding document, the Declaration of Independence... Revolution is our right...Only armed revolution is illegal; to destroy the government by force... Force which may be necessary in defense of revolution is not needed in a fraction to make a revolution... All this people needs to do is turn their backs on this government, and resist it... It will fall in a day like a house of cards... And we will live on...This nation must kill its government and form a new government if it will survive...
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:47 AM
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