American Leadership is Dragging Us Backward

The more you read about culture changes in Europe, South America and even Asia, its striking how much further developed they are than us. They refuse to allow Monsanto control the entire food chain by turning over their seeds; Britain Business Minister tells corporations that they should invest in hiring and training more UK employees and forego making large profits; Brazil commits to higher levels of renewable energy; European Banks announce limits on financing to fossil fuel industry, etc.

However, here in the USA, we can barely get a commitment on renewable energy, and Monsanto seeds with their heavy doses of chemicals poison our food and land is given free reign. We even have US government officials accompanying Monsanto executives when traveling abroad to convince other governments that turning over control of their food production is in their best interest. Elected officials and researchers in Ghana this week, said no thanks, and accused the USA of interfering in trade negotiations.

And the reason Americans can barely get a commitment from Washington on renewable energy is, according to Fox and the Tea Party, “We are controlled by the liberal elite and have a liberal media shoving its agenda down our throats”.


I thought Europe was full of socialists, yet their lawmaking is based on what’s best for their people. Same in Brazil, and Japan. In fact, the people in those countries have more control over their government than we do. If the government refuses to listen, they take to the street and protest. We’ve seen it happening all over the world, but the corporate owned American media nary a word.

Here in the US, we post surveys reminding us how dissatisfied we are in our leaders. Congress has an approval rating in single digits and has for quite some time. Why aren’t we marching? Why such apathy?

The reason we can’t get a commitment out of Washington on renewable energy is because Washington is controlled by Big Oil who spends money lobbying politicians to place their interests above Americans. The Koch brothers and their billionaire counterparts have invested millions in buying up former reputable organizations like the Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation. They give money to 150 colleges, including Ball State, in exchange for professors promoting free market agendas in the classroom and anti-climate change research. They pay for the salaries of “academia” like the State Policy Network which in Indiana is Cecil Bohannon and Andrea Neal who write frequently in the conservatively biased media giant Gannett which owns The Muncie StarPress.

In fact, an article written in the Indy Star recently, the Gannett owned paper in Indianapolis, actually addressing GMO’s and labeling, allowed a company called CropLife to make the claim that, “None of our studies have proven that GMO’s are harmful.” It took two minutes to check out who CropLife is on Wikipedia which states, “CropLife International is mainly driven by BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, FMC Corp., Monsanto, Sumitomo and Syngenta. These companies are sometimes referred to as Big Ag.”

So, here we have a “journalist” for a corporate owned media outlet telling consumers/citizens/voters that GMO’s are safe based on studies done by the very companies who own the GMO patents. You think they might be a little biased?

A recent article in the Miami New Times reveals, “In fact, the U.S. government has become Monsanto’s de facto lobbyist in countries distrustful of GM safety. Two years ago, WikiLeaks released diplomatic cables showing how the feds had lobbied foreign governments to weaken laws and encourage the planting of genetically modified crops in Third World countries.”

The facts are Big Ag owns the intellectual property on their seeds, so the Federal Government protects them by not allowing any independent studies to be done, so we accept the word of Big Ag, that Big Ag’s products are “safe”. Ever see the pictures of the guys spraying monsantochemicals on the crops? Does it look safe?

Even though 97% of scientists concur that we are facing a global climate crisis, the USA, supposed leaders of the “free world” are lacking leadership because the Kochs and Big Oil are protecting their fortunes. They don’t care that our climate is changing in front of our eyes and the air we breathe is dirty, they care about MONEY. Can you believe the local pool was closed in late July because the temperatures weren’t warm enough when last year we had 100 degree heat with crops baking in the fields.

If we listen to Fox pundits and their faithful Tea Party followers, Europeans have less freedom than us because they fall under the dictates of socialism, but the governments are refusing to finance fossil fuel business; are making aggressive commitments to renewable energy; refuse to allow Monsanto to spread GM seeds across their landslide; and when they do allow GMO’s, they are required to label it as such.

Sounds like these “socialists” have a government for the people while our government is sipping afternoon cocktails at the local country club or jetting across the globe lobbying for corporations.

Washington is so heavily influenced by Big Industry, they cannot do what is right for Americans even though we have a “representative democracy” and should have more government protections than a “socialist country”.

We are trailing the world in changing our culture to reflect our post industrial age society because Big Industry wants to retain their profits and need to meet high expectations of Wall Street analysts. So, in order to meet their goals, they’ve bought our government and rendered it useless in regulating industry. They defund the EPA and FDA. Inside the beltway, the whole system has become gridlocked – completely unable to accomplish the work needed to transition our society from industrial manufacturing into an information economy.

If you track the bills across the country in red states and in Washington; they are anti-environment; anti-abortion; anti-healthcare; anti-women; anti-poor; anti-immigrant; anti-minorities; anti-minimum wage; suppress voters; anti-worker; anti-union; anti-education; anti-government, etc.

What’s the plan with all these opposition bills? How is this moving us forward?

By the time they’re done, we’ll drop even further behind our competition.

This senseless push back into the pre-1930’s is preventing new technologies and industries from emerging. New urban designs lack the financial resources for development. Our elected officials need to place people first while using our economic system to help shape a new culture reflecting how things are evolving. We are not an industrial power any longer. Those days are gone. This race to the bottom so we can compete with Third World countries must stop.

We must empower people to be the driving force of our new economy, not corporations. Our systems are flawed because they represent a top down hierarchy which worked well during the Industrial Age but will not work with a flattened out society emerging due to access to information at the individual level. Therefore, we must rebuild from the ground up, not receiving orders from an executive boardroom.

America was known for being a leader, but we are falling behind a world that is changing rapidly. The headlines from across the globe are telling us a story and right now it’s saying, “Our leaders better turn this ship in the same direction of the other countries or we risk falling behind even further.”

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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.
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