In 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower made his farewell speech to the nation in which he warned us about the growing power of the military industrial complex. In that speech he said the following prophetic words:
"As we peer into society's future, we, -you and I, and our government-, must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.
For many of you here, the grandchildren he was speaking of is you! "The insolvent phantom of tomorrow" is what you and I are facing today in the corporatizing of Democracy.
You see it in Resident Bush's promotion of the Star Wars missile defense system, breaking the 1972 Anti-Ballistic-Missile Treaty, along with his abandonment of the proposed international treaty to ban weapons of biological germ warfare.
You see it in Resident Bush's abandonment of the Kyoto Treaty on global warming along with Vice Resident Cheney's ongoing effort to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
You see it in the World Trade Organization, NAFTA and GATT and the effort to use Fast Track to adopt the Free Trade of the Americas Agreement, reducing worker safety and environmental protections while forcing us to subsidize our farmers, as cheap food flows over our borders; some of which is grown with pesticide applications banned in our own country.
You see it in Congress's effort to renew the Price Anderson Act
so the nuclear industry can tell us its reactors are safe, while limiting
their liability from any accidents they may cause.
You see it in the US Department of Energy's decision to consider operating the Fast Flux Test Facility at Hanford after spending years of taking public testimony and preparing an environmental impact statement that concluded it should be permanently shut down.
You see it in the millions of Americans without adequate health care and the crescendoing costs of pharmaceutical drugs, causing old people to charter buses in order to fill their prescriptions in Mexico and Canada.
You see it in the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few and a growing population of homeless people who will be asked to survive on government subsidized faith based handouts; challenging the constitutional protection provided for in the separation between church and state.
You see it in the logging of old growth, the extinction of salmon,
and all the other endangered species struggling to survive.
And you see it in genetic engineering and the refusal by corporations to label the genetically altered food that we are told has no health effects, but we are denied the right to make the final choice to eat.
The examples are numerous and if you want to know how this is happening to us, just ask any of the Indigenous People. They know what it is like to have promises made over and over again, only to have them become broken treaties and more lies. The Trail of Tears has come home and now we are all walking it together.
If there are two themes I would like leave you with it is this: "Money is not Democracy" and "Democracy is only as good as the people involved?" If you do not involve yourself in what saves you, then what do you involve yourself in? Why are you here, if it is not to shed your fear and turn the wheel of change? What do we have to lose in acting from our highest aspirations - but the very chains that enslave us to this "insolvent phantom" of today? I cannot save you, but together we can save ourselves! You can do so by joining the Pacific Green Party. THERE'S PLENTY OF ROOM TO GROW IN THIS PARTY!
You don't have to wait for Democrats or Republicans to enact campaign finance reform. In Oregon we are our own legislators and we can do it ourselves, AND BY DOING SO - ONCE AGAIN SET THE EXAMPLE FOR THE REST OF THE NATION! Our initiative petition would accomplish the following:
After you have signed up for a petition, make sure you visit all the other action centers as well. Like Ralph Nader, I don't think we have gotten to the point where there is too much democracy in Oregon. EXPAND YOUR LEGISLATIVE POWERS! Get a copy of all the petitions that are circulating tonight. You many never know when that urge to be free will come upon you, and having the tools you need is like that old scout motto: Be Prepared!
Finally I leave you with a chant heard at the rally for The Walk for Farmworker Justice:
Ni el agua, ni el viento, detiene el movimiento
Neither the rain nor the wind holds back the movement!