|USA Edition||Today Is Monday December 9th, 2013|
|We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob - Franklin Delano Roosevelt|
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Since the Elephant on the National Mall appears likely to become a permanent fixture, given the inattention given to its purpose, or its message, we asked some ordinary Americans what they thought about its existence – and whether or not Washington was likely to ever notice its presence.
Readers are invited to add their voice to this and other commentaries. Submissions that meet our published standards for probity and language will be considered for publication under the writer’s name.
Clearly no one has seen an imaginary elephant milling about the National Mall. It’s also clear, from what I hear from people online and at gatherings, that if such an elephant doesn’t exist, it clearly ought to. For like unwanted elephants in the room we’ve all had to deal with in our own lives, a symbolic pachyderm wandering about the National Mall represents an issue no one in charge in government wants to deal with.
The issue is not complicated. Nor is it obtuse, or unfounded. For millions of Americans who have to suffer consequences for their actions and decisions, the issue is one of Investigatory Zeal, Prosecutorial Energy, and Dispositive Judgment.
While the Occupy Wall Street groups have not made clear their demands, what I hear from ordinary Americans are ideas the Occupy folks might wish to consider.
The issue is not political, nor economic.
The foundations are in part belief in trustworthy governance, faith in American tradition, and reliance upon constitutional certainty.
The central theme is equal treatment under the law.
The issue is, as one chap succinctly assured me recently, “Why the hell aren’t the bastards who fucked up our country being held accountable for what they did to the rest of us?”
Not everyone says it so clearly.
Beyond the Beltway there is seething anger driven by disbelief at the failure of government in general and Washington in specific to do what’s right.
To treat the rich and powerful with the same zeal, determination and certainty of outcome as those who fight for and whose labor generates the wealth that empowers the nation we share.
Were there an invisible elephant wandering about the National Mall he’d be seeking redress for millions of Americans whose lives were disrupted, damaged, or ended by the criminal behavior of bankers, dealers, traders and deal-makers.
What he’d be looking for would be a responsible adult in whom he might trust and believe.
Someone who might restore his faith in the America he learned about in school.
The America where truth matters.
Where justice is blind to the rich, powerful, and shrill.
Where right and wrong matter more than political ideology or powers of persuasion.
Earlier this week, a news item from the FBI reported on the sentencing and restitution order against a 76 year old man with a consuming desire for child pornography.
America knows what to do with people who violate our laws, sense of decency, or seek to abrogate our rights or property.
Every week we see many stories about criminal sentences for people who possess images we find distasteful on their computers.
What we don’t see is the same level of investigatory zeal, prosecutorial energy, and judicial outrage against those who cheated, lied and stole until their collective actions brought down international credit markets — at immense cost, pain and suffering for millions of ordinary Americans.
As a nation we need to talk about the imaginary elephant on the National Mall.
For we have a deaf ear here inside the beltway when ordinary Americans seek justice for crimes committed against them.
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