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Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Written by: Rick Staggenborg, MD on Jun 27, 2009 9:02 AM PDT

This chapter is devoted to Thomas Jefferson, the intellectual father of this country. While he did not always walk the walk, his talk became the basis for a dialogue between conservatives and liberals, whose labels change at various points in our history, but whose song remains the same.

When in the course of human events, it became necessary to alter or abolish a government exercising tyranny over its people, Thomas Jefferson provides inspiration. He believed that the tree of liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots. In this latest stage of the American Revolution, the battle to establish a single payer health care system in America, we are fortunate that our country does not ask of us a sacrifice of blood, but only one of sweat.

We are fortunate to once more have the aid of the French in forwarding the cause of liberty on the North American continent, if we are not too proud to accept this time around. We do not need to ask out of shame or weakness, for the French only found democracy through the American example. We need only admit that we became complacent in our early success and with the seemingly endless resources we possessed, having wrested them from the indigenous people. They did not seem to understand the nature of the power was granted by God over his environment, or so the arrogant English invaders believed. 

It is time that America consider the advantages of the French recipe for democracy, one that the French feel serves deliciously. Now that selfish cultists of greed who control the Untied States government have nearly destroyed the world economy, they would deny Americans the social benefits the French enjoy as a result of a different reading of the social contract implicit in democratic societies. 

Because the French have demanded access to health care, decent wages and working conditions and a social safety net for those whose security is threatened by the wild swings of the globalized economy, they are labeled socialists. To the average American who does not know the differences between socialism and communism and who have been trained to react with horror at the prospect of either, the fact that France came through the global economic meltdown with relative ease is irrelevant.

The time has come to begin the guerrilla warfare that will restore democracy to the people, from whom the powers of government may only be derived justly. We will begin our assault on the bastions of corporate power next month, the anniversary of America’s declaration of independence from British tyranny. 

Time grows short to plan our assault, but I hope that we will be ready to stage a major assault by July 14, 2010. This is Bastille Day, the French equivalent of our own national independence day. Let us designate this Interdependence Day, and dedicate it to working together to abolish corporate control of the US Senate in the interest of promoting liberty, justice and the common welfare.

The elements of our forces remain poorly organized, but already brilliant leaders are establishing the internet communication network that will enable our ultimate victory. We must use this to unite the disparate forces that are currently divided and holding rearguard actions against our common enemy. 

Only by working together can we plan the final assault on the antidemocratic forces that have seized control of the reins of government. There will naturally emerge from our current leaders generals who will coordinate the planning, but we need volunteers to serve as foot soldiers for the cause, carrying out the myriad difficult and seemingly thankless tasks which are necessary to sustain an Army in combat.

We will need the wisdom and experience of those who have already served their country in the armed forces of the United States of America. Senior NCOs are the most valuable of these, as any military man worthy of the title will tell you. They are the ones who will train the junior officers and enlisted men to develop and implement the battle tactics that will ensure our success. 

Men who have faced death in the defense of American ideals understand most clearly the difference between what is important and what only seems important to those who do not understand the larger struggle. Having undergone their trial of fire and understanding the consequences of failure, these men and women can be trusted to do what is necessary to win the coming war.

Those of us in the trenches of the current battle are beginning to agree on our aims and tactics. However, this is not enough to achieve victory. Given the cost of failure, we must begin to work together to develop an overall strategy to achieve success. 

It is fortunate indeed that we conduct this war in a society that remains relatively free, despite the assaults on our freedom conducted under the guise of the “war” on terror. We do not act under the threat of death, for none dare call this treason. We have no need for secrecy or deception, for truth is our weapon.

If we have spies, they are only those currently in positions of power who want to work with us, but who have not had the opportunity to act freely, out of fear of losing what little power they possess to influence events. Let us rise up and free the honest, idealistic politician from his or her shackles by challenging the authority and positions of the bought and paid for political hacks who currently control the political process.

In the name of the yet-to-be announced supreme commander, let us join our forces, for our strength lies in the power of our numbers and our shared vision of America and the larger world. Shake the shoulder of your neighbor and wake them from their long slumber! The time has come to fight. To arms, all good Americans!

Rick Staggenborg, MD

Juneau, Alaska

1 comment:

  1. This essay interweaves a number of themes and images in a style that I try to use throughout the book.

    It is of course a direct appeal for patriots to serve in the Army of Soldiers For Peace International, both those who have not served in the military of any country and for all willing to work for social justice.

    While the issue around which I hope a movement would be built was single payer, the American public remained to divided (as did the movement itself) to successfully run the media blockade that kept most citizens from realizing that real reform was possible.

    We have an ongoing need for others to join the effort to build a virtual Army with the strength to crush the corporatocracy that has brought us the threat of endless war. The key in my mind is to unite around the one issue that is the key to all further progress: The abolition of corporate personhood.

    My intent in forming this group was to link average individuals into an ever-tightening network and to eventually make a coordinated effort to educate the public about the need to abolish corporate personhood through Constitutional amendment, a theme elaborated on in in later essays.

    Another theme of this essay is that ending war is that this is an international effort. Referring to the glory of the French proletariat rising to create its own version of democracy is very relevant to our larger effort. The essay reminds of us of a time when the American and French efforts to establish democracy in a way that is too often forgotten.

    The French Revolution may have started out as a bloody mob who failed to distinguish between the honorable and the dishonorable among the French aristocracy, but the country has become a model of what a democratic society can provide for the people of its nation, who are in fact supposed to be the ultimate decision makers of the nature of society and government in a democratic society.

    The reference to Bastille Day was a personal indulgence that seemed to fit the theme. It was the day I held my first large event in support of the effort to bring single payer to America. I had formed a local group in my current home in Coos Bay, Oregon and our first big project was to bring Anne Feeney's Sing Out for Single Payer tour to our community.

    An unexpected five month paid leave from the VA gave me the opportunity to transition from state and local advocacy to traveling the country on behalf of the movement. This allowed me to eventually meet nearly every major leader in the fight to bring single payer to the United States, connections that I hope will prove increasingly valuable as my work for Soldiers For Peace continues.


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