This is a call to action. It is really, really important. If you like conspiracy theories, drop the “theory” part and this is, in fact, a conspiracy. The details are secret, but what IS known is not good for the average American. The window of opportunity to have your voice heard (loud and often) is short, perhaps a month or two, at most. You can be sure that before the internet existed, this would have been a “done deal” already and we would just be left with the ugly consequences forever after. Not today. In 2015, you have a voice. I am begging you to make it heard. “Fast track authority” and the trade deals that will quickly and mercilessly follow do not represent what a democracy stands for. They do, however, echo what America is in the process of becoming: a corporatocracy. Make no mistake, allowing a US President to have “fast track authority” will further marginalize most Americans, leaving only the richest and most powerful to further decide how the rest of us will live.
A little backstory: the United States has 20 active free trade agreements (FTA) in place, such as NAFTA. But there is a new one being concocted and kept secret and it’s brewing right under our noses. And it is the worst one of all.
Back on December 7th, I wrote an article on this website called, “Rotten, from the inside out,” which was about the Department of Energy’s frenetic authorization of long-term (20-30+ years) contracts for the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG). These authorizations were being issued on a case-by-case basis (because, by law, they had to be evaluated in such a way) to countries that are NOT a partner in US trade agreements.
Please read my “Rotten, from the inside out” article for the hypothetical example I made up of how trade law works, and, in the case of the Department of Energy, how even the POSSIBILITY of a trade agreement between two countries at some point in the future is enough to drive really bad policies SO far down the road that “we the people” can’t even see the tail lights in the distance.
Even though this ThinkProgress article is in my December 7th piece, I’m going to insert a snippet of it here that is very important:
Now, America, in the age of information, where we should be able to have ready access to information regarding our own governance, by those elected to represent OUR best interests, and not theirs or those of corporations, how the HELL does Halliburton, Monsanto, the (most evil) American Petroleum Institute, Chevron, etc. have access to treaty text, and therefore, to the decisionmakers involved, and WE who employ THEM do not? In what country, other than NORTH KOREA does this kind of crooked, back room negotiating get so close to succeeding?
Please read this article by Michael McAuliffe in the Huffington Post for more about the “fast track authority” being shoved through for passage by Mitch “the turtle” McConnell (you’ll see the photo which inspired my meme). McAuliffe is, by the way, the journalist who wrote the article about the Congressional land grab of Apache sacred lands and who kindly threw in the connection to Iran (which I wrote about last month).
This Huffington Post article by Zach Carter is also really good, with analysis about what these trade deals may mean in a broader sense.
And finally, a call to action below:
This will take, perhaps, 5 minutes of your time. It could save you and other Americans decades of bad policy, loss of jobs, poor healthcare choices…the list goes on and on.
If you will please go to this website http://www.contactingthecongress.org find your state, click on it and get your representatives email addresses and write to them. It can be REALLY simple. In the subject area of the email, simply write: “NO to fast track authority and no to TPP” It doesn’t have to be long and protracted, but it CAN be, if you wish.
Then, click on this link: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments and send President Obama the same message. Again, I am promising you that it will be the most important 5 minutes of your day. Really.
This is a democracy. This is your chance to be heard. These people do not want you to even know this exists (until it’s too late). Please, do not waste this fleeting opportunity.