Let's Clarify Who America Belongs To


I think it is time for a few new amendments to the Constitution. I'm not suggesting that these will, in any way, improve that document, only that these additions might clarify what this nation is supposed to stand for and whom it belongs to. Since a most of the people who have written to me have absolutely no idea what the original document says, we'll let them try to find a copy for themselves and they can catch up later.

The most important statement that any additions must make clear is exactly who or what this nation centers on. I submit the following:

As this nation was founded on the tenets of personal freedom for each of its citizens, proclaiming the hallowed freedoms of the pursuit of happiness and of assembly and of the press and speech and religion, this nation must always move forwards with the understanding that all Americans must be treated equally; that Americans must be provided by their nation with the basic necessities of life including a quality education, universal health care and physical safety.

Every American who wishes to work must be provided with an opportunity to do so.

Every American who works must be provided with a living wage capable of providing the basic needs of life such as nutritious food and clean and safe housing.

Every American must have the right to organize at their place of work without fear of firing or reprisals. Individual workers are defenseless against the power of the corporation. Only through organizing can their voices be heard in the corporate offices.

There can no longer be a debate regarding jobs versus the environment. The environment can be protected while decent paying jobs are being created. It is only the refusal of Corporate America to try to do both which is in the way of success.

Finally, the true meaning of "family values" must be enforced by ensuring that all families have all of the basic necessities of life and the opportunity to spend as much time together as possible. All of the far right's definitions of "family values" will naturally follow in such a world, if humanity chooses to go so low.

I'm certain that this list can be improved upon by other caring Americans. The most important aspect of the changes which are now necessary is that business is not America nor is America business. America is and always must remain its people and their welfare. The idea that we, the people, or our government must bend our knees in worship to commerce is nonsense and harmful to the American people.

The political power of business in government must be minimized if the rights of Americans are ever to be protected. When our government sells our very jobs away in exchange for more and more campaign contributions then it is far past time for Americans to take control of our nation, again. It is time that America remember that it is its citizens and not its corporations that have made America whatever it is today.

Most importantly, the greed and meanness which has become the hallmark of far too many Americans must be neutralized through the rest of us simply ignoring their spiteful name- calling and belittling labels. The rest of us must simply pass them and leave them behind, still hating and damning anyone different from them but now completely ineffectual in their narrow little worlds.

Dear readers, you alone are more important to America than all of the corporate "leaders" combined. It is you who our founding fathers fought and died for in the process of creating this nation. It is you who the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and all of the long honored documents of our past were written for. It is you who have the right to fight for your freedoms against the constant attacks from the right and from their corporate masters. If you choose not to, then America will quickly deteriorate to the level of the Pat Buchanans and Jerry Falwells and Ronald Reagans and Bill Clintons and Newt Gingrichs. That is a very long fall from where we have every right to expect to be.

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Write me at:jcannon@anotherperspective.org

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Copyright 11/15/97