War on..., US? By Groff Schroeder May 2012
War on..., US?
By Groff Schroeder
The United States Congress has not declared war since 1941, yet we hear of "war" on Christmas, drugs, guns, poverty, science, terror - you name it. The war on drugs and the (oxymoronic) war on terror clearly are wars, whereas wars on poverty and science appear as mere hyperbole. So in today's overpopulated "war on [insert target here]" environment, what actually constitutes war?
In reality, “black and white” issues are extremely rare. Virtually everything is associated with a range correctly described by different words or phrases. There might be: opposition to [insert target here], action against [insert target here], protests against [insert target here], or even (non-violent) attacks upon [insert target here], none of which qualify as war.
War can be defined as politically motivated, violent conflict between groups of people employing deadly weapons in which the autonomy, rights, or survival of at least one group is threatened, human and civil rights are revoked, and both combatants and civilians are wounded and killed. Wars are expensive, painful, ugly, and wasteful, and almost always require a vigorous propaganda (engineered political deception) campaign to incite supporters and conceal tactics, targets, and strategy.
Serious threats to societal groups, discharge of weapons, revocations of existing rights, and violent deaths suggest existing wars upon: abortion, gender equality, regulations, reproductive medicine, and taxation.
Wars usually also include shrewd politics and tactical “flanking” maneuvers. In many states, external “lobbying" organizations like the "American Legislative Exchange Council," super-rich individuals, and multi-national corporations appear to have quietly swayed state representatives with bri... , uh, “campaign donations," passing numerous laws restricting abortion, civil, medical, reproductive, human, and most recently, voting rights. Recently, the Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives killed 37 important bills with a filibuster, “shut[ing] down the entire legislative process” to prevent passage of a civil unions bill. The Wisconsin Legislature has prohibited “collective bargaining” by state employees, ostensibly protecting Wisconsinite's individual Constitutional assembly, petition, security, speech, and pursuit of happiness rights – but not their ability to exercise these rights simultaneously. The Michigan Legislature has even passed “financial martial law” legislation allowing the governor to appoint “emergency managers” and grant them near dictatorial power, including the ability to dissolve incorporated cities and remove from office the representatives elected by their People.
Common targets, tactics, and strategies employed in wars on abortion, gender equality, religious freedom, and access to reproductive medical care (including contraception) suggest a wider war on women. The wider war on gender equality effects both women and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community. The wars on abortion, gender equality, and access to reproductive medical services suggest a wider war on religious freedom. Law enforcement has clearly experienced a shooting war waged by those opposing regulations, taxation - even government itself.
Regulations (laws) and taxation (revenue) are the legal and financial foundations of the United States, and equality under civil, human, and religious rights its bedrock. Our nation rests upon the idea that we can solve our problems together through access to facts, compromise, elections, and shared ideals of freedom. If elections are to mean anything and if our nation is to advance, the damaging politics of brinkmanship, corruption, disinformation, dishonesty, filibuster, rigid ideological partisanship, misinformation, “wedge” issues, stealth policy making, and war must end.