Click here to go to the Home Page Eyes Off the Ball - The Other Side of the Tracks - By Perry Redd - Columnist

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This time in America is pivotal. This is the time that candidates prepare to challenge the affections of the people and place their souls on the table. Running for president of the United States is a bear-all proposition. BC Question: What will it take to bring Obama home?Unfortunately, there are some paramount issues on our backs that can’t be veiled as this ritual takes center stage. Immigration, the war in Afghanistan, human rights, torture, civil liberties and Healthcare reform - or the fight against it - can’t be ignored. We can’t take our eyes off the ball.

What does “eyes off the ball” look like, you may ask? It is simply anything that causes you to miss, defer or neglect the imperative objective of life, liberty and/or the pursuit of justice (you thought I was gonna say happiness, didn’t you?) There is no happiness when men can’t find work, women can’t feed their children, children are malnourished and under-educated. There is no happiness when gas cost more than rent, when mortgage payments are behind, when bread rivals bus fare for priority in one’s budget.

These are the realities in today’s highly-esteemed, westernized, superior, capitalist nations - in particular, the United States. Realities of repairing the fiscal malformities caused by corporate greed. In America, credit default swaps, deregulation and home mortgage bundling led to the hardships currently under repair during this Obama administration. While the likes of Elizabeth Warren make valiant attempts to right the upside down economy, we’re being derailed by sideshows like billionaire Donald Trump’s call for Obama’s birth certificate or titillating scandals that are none of our business.

Currently, in the news is the possible indictment of former Presidential candidate, John Edwards. His saga is a pitiable one: wistful lust turned a wunderkind Presidential candidate into a disgraced pariah. John Edwards’ 2008 candidacy embodied many elements necessary to tackle the multiple issues confronting our nation at the time. In 2012, these elements continue to be crucial to restoring my country’s sanity. Whether America knows it, or not, she’s insane. Of course, I mean those who’ve contributed to her messianic rise. We are now witnessing her slow descent into a maddening awakening; the veneer of a self-described superpower is peeling.

But I digress. John Edwards refuses to plead guilty to using campaign funds to hush his mistress during the 2008 campaign. Really, I feel he shouldn’t. For such a plea, he faces certain disbarment. What’s important in the John Edwards’ saga is that today, it is a distraction. We should learn from Edwards: don’t take your eye off the ball.

With an expected contingency of more than 200K, Rolling Thunder marked its 24th annual Memorial Day demonstration with a guest. The roaring thunder of motorcyclists included not-yet-declared Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. Clad in traditional black leather biker regalia, she made no public remarks, nor did she interact with dignitaries present for the annual rally that raises awareness of issues related to prisoners of war/missing in action soldiers. Were I participating in this respected event, I would’ve been perturbed at her theatrics. Rolling Thunder spokesman, Ted Shpak, described her appearance as a “big distraction.” There again is another attempt to take our eyes off the ball. We critically ask, why would the press intensely cover someone who is not running for anything? This is how we miss the critical proposals, debates and votes that are taking place in the halls of Congress.

While Republicans are defunding the programs that uphold a decent quality of life for Americans (e.g., education-related funding, WIC, Planned Parenthood, Medicare, etc.), mainstream media feeds us these distractions. Don’t take your eye off the ball! When you do, you get decimation of Planned Parenthood; you get reauthorization of the Patriot Act, but that’s another story.

The bottom line is we’re getting duped into looking right when the action is happening on the left. There are agents of disinformation and distraction working hard - for pay - to hold your sensibilities captive. Sensationalism is the vehicle used to win elections, thus win power. If this battle for America’s soul were a football game, those agents are moving the ball downfield. You are on the defense; you can only stop them by gaining possession of the ball. I beg you to stick to substantive matters and for the love of God, keep your eyes on the ball. Columnist, Perry Redd, is the former Executive Director of the workers rights advocacy, Sincere Seven, and author of the on-line commentary, “The Other Side of the Tracks.” He is the host of the internet-based talk radio show, Socially Speaking in Washington, DC. Click here to contact Mr. Redd.

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June 2, 2011 - Issue 429
is published every Thursday
Est. April 5, 2002
Executive Editor:
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BC Question: What will it take to bring Obama home?
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