Since I announced my election bid in Illinois’s 5th Congressional District, former home of Rahmbo Emanuel, I have heard every brand of “you’re insane” imaginable, often from my closest friends and confidants. People are curious as to why an “un-experienced” peace activist/ French teacher would find himself qualified to serve in the United States House of Representatives.
The first and most cogent response is: We’d be better off with a 435-long pack of hounds than what we currently have. I am insulted that anyone would dear compare my moral fabric to the corrupt lawyers and businessmen who pretend to represent us in Washington. To even reduce my credentials to the point of uttering my name in the same breathe as these foul and disingenuous people is demeaning and unsettling.
The “Other America” has been rapidly gravitating to my campaign: everyone from Progressives to Paleos knows that it’s not worth a second of their time to consider the usual establishment crooks. When I challenged the other candidates to rise to a level of moral decency by refusing checks from corporate interests, they all sloughed me off as crazy. Luckily, from an early age, my dear parents prepared me for the plight faced by functioning minds in the United States, so I am quite used to being considered crazy for my rational pursuits. I thought I would at least convince one of the other minor candidates, or someone posturing as a progressive, to take up the cause. But, alas, it will be just Matt Reichel refusing those corporate donors.
My next step is to make the other candidates, 19 and counting, commit to cutting off aid to Israel.
Oops! Did I just say that? I should probably be sent off to the nearest nut house and loaded full of big pharma drugs, sucked of all ambition, and planted in front of a television. Maybe then, after a few months of visual bombardment by Murdoch’s pawns, I’ll come around to understanding why the American taxpayer need fund Israeli atrocities year in and year out.
Instead, I gave AIPAC their couple hours of lobby action a few weeks before Christmas. I can imagine that it would be one hellish nightmare for the organization to go from Rahm Emanuel to me, so I at least wanted them to see that I am a real, breathing ambitious human being.
We met at a Starbucks downstairs from their office on LaSalle St in Chicago, just upwind from the brooding Board of Trade. The place was packed with important looking people, as we sat there leisurely chatting about the recent history of Israeli murder and the military benefits brought thus to the United States.
My rapidly moving eyeballs bounced back and forth between Vladimir’s eyes and his lapel pin (the one with the Israeli and American flags in union). I pressed him on what he thought of the numerous UN resolutions condemning Israel that have been singly stamped out by American vetoes. Firstly, he explained, you have to understand that the United Nations General Assembly is made up of people who are a small step above pirates on the evolutionary latter. There is a reason that the Security Council exists, he assured me, and it is to give a heightened voice to the respectful people of the world.
I responded: “I can’t believe you think so highly of Stalin!”
Vladimir continued (I paraphrase): “The other thing you have to remember is that France would veto those stupid resolutions as well, but they prefer to have the U.S. take the lead so as to not disturb their leverage in the Arab world.”
I couldn’t come up with any quick witticism, because I had just heard one of the most ridiculous assertions ever from someone sitting in a Starbuck’s next to a bunch of important looking people.
We then stopped shootin’ the bull and started moving on to business. Actually, I would have been content to continue chewin’ the ol’ rag all day, but AIPAC came to accomplish something. And that something, accompanied by an attractive glossy brochure, was convincing me of all of the benefits that come to Americans as a result of our investment in Israel.
One example is the Bradley Reactive Armor Tile, currently being used by American tanks in Iraq. Unsurprisingly, Israel is at the forefront of the development of military hardware, and, thanks to their experience in bulldozing through civilian neighborhoods in the occupied territories, they have made it safer for American troops doing the same in Iraq.
They are also particularly skilled in the domain of security and law enforcement, a fetish they hold in common with the United States. Increasingly since 9/11, various state, federal and municipal law enforcement bodies have regularly visited Israel to gain priceless tutelage on how to manage an Apartheid state. Among other things, this training has focused on “urban combat,” which has paid enormous dividends in our efforts to target civilians in our convoluted Empire building in Iraq.
American aid to Israel is an investment that just keeps paying off. Since they don’t accept any of that wasteful, socialistic humanitarian aid, and instead take only military handouts, the money comes boomeranging back to Americans in the form of contracts for our wonderful merchants of death i.e. Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.
Meanwhile, voting against aid to Israel is made purposely difficult by our friends in Washington. The Congress stuffs this figure into the larger foreign aid bill, so that you have to vote against real humanitarian aid in order to vote against military support to Israel. Even if you were a man or woman of principle on Capital Hill, the crooked lawyers and bankers who run the Big House would never make life simple on you.
However, they prefer to not let you get there at all by rigging the electoral charade. The easiest and most time tested way to get elected is to convince all of your investment banker friends to shoot you a quick 2 g-notes, while your boys involved in the big media swindle trumpet your run as something monumental.
So say you don’t have any wealthy and powerful friends? Your interest is running a campaign rooted in principles of peace, internationalism and workers’ rights. You seek to re-frame the nation’s understanding of the American dream by re-focusing our cultural energies on communing with the world, re-committing ourselves to a liberal arts based education so as to re-invigorate the national discourse, while urging the citizenry to respect and live foreign cultures and languages. In this case, your only option is to challenge the other candidates on their moral credentials until they crack.
Despite living in an era where our political system is in shambles due mostly to the disastrous effects of corporate lobbies, none of the other candidates in Illinois’s 5th district are interested in raising the moral bar. Absolutely none of them expressed any readiness to pledge with me against the acceptance of corporate donations.
And despite living through another humanitarian crisis brought on by an over-zealous outpost to the American empire, I’m sure that I will be the only candidate in this race ready to rise to the challenge of ending these crimes being committed in our names with our tax dollar.
Anyone in the Congress with a moral backbone should be pledging to immediately cease American aid to Israel. Likewise, anyone running for federal office at this hour should do the same. You can call me insane all you want, but I call myself the only man running in this primary that is willing to question Israel and corporate financed elections.
With a little luck and a lot of public pressure, we can get the mainstream crooks to crack.