Action needed, not elections

I’m sick of the lies, the scandals, the incompetence, the mudslinging, all motivated by unbridled greed. Don’t expect either presidential ticket, when elected, to be able to deliver on its promised reforms. Our legal system, education, and health care are all dragging us down. And the list goes on. When systems and organizations are badly broken, it often takes a major catharsis to bring them around. Given the states of our economy and government, this is beyond the capability of the best candidates and their teams. The only way is for we, the people, to grab the reigns and do it ourselves.

Previously, there was no viable mechanism to do so. Now, with the Internet, we have the means. Through the power of the Web, we can organize and implement boycotts nationwide. Products, services, candidates, elected officials, and government policies can all be exposed, rated and boycotted using a central, non-partisan Web site which reviews and recommends action. Cottage industries would blossom and flourish to provide alternatives of higher value and integrity, while creating millions of new jobs and businesses in the process.

Local chapters of the nationwide boycott would form and meet to tailor the effort for individual regions and markets. University and think tank guidance will intervene, and new, true leadership will emerge. There are no bounds to American ingenuity when times demand it. We, the voters, would hold industry and government directly accountable, not through elected professional politicians who sell vague, sugar-coated promises and then quickly melt into the statehouse or D.C. establishment, but with the true power of the vote through our pocketbooks.

We are already saying no to astronomical energy prices through enhanced ridesharing, pressure on automakers to get with it, and entrepreneurial advances into alternative clean energy production. We can sponsor independent candidates. We can even withhold a measured portion of our taxes on a nationwide, concerted basis to demand an end to outrageous pork barrel spending. The Boston Tea Party may have to be revisited. Drastic times require drastic action. It’s how this government was formed and it’s how this government can be Transformed. Our government officials won’t do it, so we must.

You can elect whomever you want in November. Barring a national emergency requiring military action, the result won’t make much difference. No matter how badly the candidates want to effect real change, our broken systems are so entrenched and self-serving that our leaders won’t have the power to change them without our help. It will take time, and it will be tough going, sometimes going without. Change isn’t easy, but neither is watching four more years of Washington gridlock. If we work together, we can still fly the American flag every day, with a new “Power of the People” banner right below it.

The call to arms is now. Needed: community organizers everywhere!

Alan E. Ballou

Oak Harbor

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