More than 150 Iowans were rustling in their chairs at a community college here the other night, waiting for John Edwards. His bus was parked and running outside the door, but it was nearly 45 minutes before he finally made his characteristically late entrance.
When he did, Edwards strode in as if he were climbing into a boxing ring. For half an hour, he talked about fighting special interests and battling corporations. He urged his audience to "rise up" against health care companies and insurance executives. Pugilistic until the end, he loudly told a story of how his father ordered him to go out and "kick that guy's butt" after he came home from school with a bloodied nose, suggesting that was a lesson he would carry into the White House as well.
"We have an epic fight in front of us, and anybody who thinks that's not true is living in a fantasy world," Edwards said. "How long are we going to let insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies run this country? Every time this has happened in our country, the American people have risen up and taken action."
This isn't about petty politics or good intentions.
Corporate greed and influence in Washington are stealing our children's future.
The moral test of our generation is whether we're going to allow this broken system to go on without a fight or take on corporate greed and stand up for the middle class and American jobs before it's too late.
They aren't going to just give their power away.
Saving the middle class is going to be an epic battle, and that's a fight I was born for.
In an age of corporate consolidation and dispropotionate power, Dennis Kucinich is the candidate most willing to face the problems threatenting the American dream head on by leveling the economy and supporting growth and stabalization in the small business sector. As Kucinich notes:
The challenge before us today is whether we can maintain a government of the people, by the people and for the people, or whether we will timidly accept the economic, social, and political consequences of a government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations.
Private Armies, corporate-created lobbyists drafting our laws, invading other countries "peremptorily" to prevent them from invading us, a Homeland Security agency which eats up our rights while it protects "Der Homeland", a President governing by "Administrative Action" while ignoring the wishes of Congress and the People, a President appointed by the Supreme Court and not elected by voters... all of these things have come into play in a short six years.
Our Country has changed.
Changing it back is going to be more than difficult. Even listening to the candidates on the left who are our greatest hope, we now hear them ganging up on Hillary because she is the leader in the polls. If it was Edwards, they'd all be ganging up on him. Having seven or eight candidates active more than a year before the election is, in the long run, weakening the system... it will make change even harder.
And we go on consuming more, using up more energy, driving bigger cars and SUVs, eating ourselves "fried-food-silly", and getting ourselves more and more in debt.
There was a perceptible difference between the coverage on the tsunami that hit South-East Asia in December 2004 and the earthquake that hit Pakistan in October 2005. The tsunami received far more extensive coverage in all countries analyzed in both television and print media which in turn affected people's behaviour in terms of private donations.
... the tsunami received ... private donations amounting to $178 millionwhile only $8 million has been collected for the earthquake so far. ----
"Here may lie the most important effect of mass communication, its ability to mentally order and organize our world for us. In short, the mass media may not be successful in telling us what to think, but they are stunningly successful in telling us what to think about." -Shaw & McCombs, 1977