Time to Fight the Power

Our political leaders need a quick block of instruction in the concept of the chain of command. It goes like this, in descending order of rank:

#1: Us Citizens.

#2: You elected officials.

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I really prefer writing long pieces on why Ernest Borgnine, Lee Marvin and Johnny Rotten rule. It’s more fun to talk about how everything in popular culture that everyone else likes actually sucks, and I’m even going to provide some inspirational music selections below. But duty calls. Right now, a bunch of people whose salaries you and I pay and who work for us are telling us to shut up and do as we’re told.

That’s just not gonna happen.

Message to our representatives: Hey Bub, I didn’t swear allegiance to the Constitution and deploy twice to defend it to shrug my shoulders and say, “Well, guess that old First Amendment thing doesn’t apply to me” just because you're tired of hearing about how completely and thoroughly your plan to turn our health care system into another DMV sucks. Here’s how it’s going to be: Like it or not, you’re going to stand there, zip your pie hole for once, and listen to your constituents.

You may not like us mere citizens daring to question you. You may turn to your entourage, gasping in horror because some mere business owner has the nerve to ask you why you think shooting his taxes up over 60% so some deadbeat who doesn’t want to fork over the money to buy his own policy can get covered for free is a good idea. I know it must be a shock to realize that you aren’t some minor potentate, immune to criticism and answering only to yourself. But that’s too damn bad. This is a democracy, and you work for us.

It’s time to remember that the key word in the phrase “public servant” is “servant.” You’re not our “masters,” not our “rulers,” and not even our “new insect overlords.” You’re our servants. So serve. Start off by bringing me a draft Dos Equis lager, with a lime, pronto. Oh, and vote against socialized medicine.

And another thing, Mac. Like the rest of your employers, I don’t dig being called a “Nazi” by one of your little lefty functionaries. First, it’s inaccurate. Maybe your flunkie’s commie professor at Bennington never taught him enough to know that the Nazis were on his side of the poli-sci spectrum and not mine. The word “Nazi” is short for “National Socialist,” not “National Free-Market Supply-Side Libertarian with a Strong Grounding in Traditional Values.” Perhaps I could be called a “Nfmsslwasgitvi,” but I’m sure as hell not a “Nazi.” Second, me and my ancestors have protected this country from Nazis, commies, thugs and other assorted scumbags for generations, and if someone freaking calls me a Nazi to my face someone’s getting knocked on his fifth point of contact.

And stop impugning my motives, Dude. Supposedly all of us who aren’t thrilled about this health care reform abomination are speaking up only because we’re in the pay of the evil Big Insurance and Big Pharmaceuticals. To that, I ask a question – Where’s my check? I don’t want to be saying that this is idiotic for free like a sucker.

Now, if we speak, will they listen? Oh yeah. In 1986, I spent the summer drinking Rolling Rock and chasing girls in Washington, activities I interrupted occasionally to intern on the Hill for Congressman Duncan Hunter (Duncan ruled – he kept a 12 gauge in his office closet and thought we should give the Contras the Bomb). The point is that I remember the intense interest the representatives had in constituent contacts – they counted every letter, categorized them and paid very, very, very close attention to the mood of the voters.

You better believe that every member who doesn’t represent a district to the left of Berkeley is feeling the heat and shuddering in terror at the prospect of having to find a real job in January 2011 if he or she votes wrong on this one. Not everyone gets to run for re-election in a district where 72.5% of the voters agree with the proposition “U.S. out of North America.“ Write, call, fax, email, and best of all, show up at a town hall meeting or at the local office – it matters.

And when you speak out – and you must speak out, even if your name goes into the big database of wrongthinkers at Central Committee headquarters (Note to der Commissar: There are two “H’s” in “Schlichter”) – here are some basic principles that you should demand that any health care reform plan incorporate:

1. Health care is not a right. You are not entitled to someone else handing it to you for free any more than you are entitled to free Special K, a free condo in Maui or a free Nintendo Wii.

2. Everyone is responsible for obtaining and paying for his own and his family’s health care. But isn’t it true that some folks just don’t have the money? Well, here’s a powerful wealth-building strategy that I’ll let the freeloaders out there in on for nothing: Get a job. Then you can buy your own damn health insurance. I work three jobs and I’m getting a masters degree. I’m not loving the idea of paying your freight too, so roll off the couch, do a push-up, and start eyeballing the Craigslist want ads.

3. I actually sort of respect illegal aliens – anyone who will swim a river, cross a desert and dodge cops to work for minimum wage cooking me Big Macs is the kind of guy I want in America. But that doesn’t mean I want to pick up the tab when one gets a rash. Go home, get in line, then welcome back when your turn comes.

4. The government is so wrapped up in health care that right now you effectively have no choices. I know this because I pay for my employees’ health care and I have a wide variety of one choice at one price among two companies. Thanks for “helping” me choose by eliminating all choice, California.

5. As a lawyer, let me draw the fire of my peers. The malpractice system is nearly as big a scam as global warming – the only difference is a few people actually believe in global warming. Everyone in the legal field knows that the malpractice system is a racket.

6. The government must have nothing to do with providing health care. Nada. Zero. Zip. There’s no need to extend its unbroken track record of failure right into my doctor’s office. Time to get yourself pumped up and ready – and to give me something to talk about that tangentially relates to pop culture.

*****

Here are six great tunes to get you in the frame of mind to do your job as an American citizen – to make yourself heard:

1. Get a Job by The Silhouettes. Obeying this concise directive would go a huge distance in solving the problem of the uninsured.

2. The Ballad of the Green Berets by Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler. This, the most literal song of all time, is a potent reminder that the right to speak out we are exercising didn’t come free and didn’t come cheap. Don't waste your rights - dissent is almost as patriotic as fighting your country’s enemies or backing up those that do.

3. Fight the Power by Public Enemy. Embrace the chorus and ignore the rest of the lyrics, along with the silly Malcolm X imagery. Catchy, motivating and who can resist old school Flavor Flav!

4. The Theme to the Magnificent Seven by Elmer Bernstein. The ultimate psyche-up music for Americans fighting against all odds. But as the Seven showed, when we’re united we’re invincible – and we’re not about to let ourselves be vinced by a bunch of collectivist doofuses, lefty hacks and their union thugs.

5. God Bless The U.S.A. by Lee Greenwood. The best thing about this song is the way its raw sentimentality and naked patriotism tends to make liberals so uncomfortable. That’s the spirit animating this campaign to preserve our country as we know it, and a little faith in our country’s principles is nothing to be ashamed of. I just wish it had some snarling guitars.

6. I Fought the Law by the Clash. Okay, here’re the snarling guitars. And yeah, I know the Clash thought they were leftists. I don’t care. Anyway, here’s my tortured reasoning as to why this song is relevant here: The law is our Constitution and the First Amendment, the liberals are fighting it, and we’re going to win. Okay, it’s just a really great song that I use to get me amped up for court.

So, ignore the people telling you to sit down and shut up, get pumped, move out and make your voice heard. And I’d sure appreciate it if someone out there could let me know where I can pick up my check from the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

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