Real Power
 By Isaac Peterson

Contrary to what the mass media in the United States seems to want us all to believe,
we've witnessed the biggest, most blatant power grab in the history of this country.
Anyone who says differently is ignorant, in denial, or part of it.

Some very powerful people and organizations who believe that it is their birthright to rule all the rest of us
manipulated our system to the advantage of a very few, to the detriment of the great  majority.

A large part of the power grab actually happened out in the open. The arrogance of the people involved
was, and is, monumental. Tremendous power is concentrated in the hands of a very few, and every
branch of our government contains huge numbers of people whose job it is to further and maintain their
cause. The Presidency, the judicial branch, and until recently, both houses of the legislature are in the
palms of a few oily hands.

There isn't much indication that, even though the Democrats are (nominally) running the Senate that
much of anything will be done to slow the tide of rampant, evil power and corruption that has not one bit
of interest in my or your life or well-being. The Democrats sat back and allowed more than eight years of
abuse of process, innuendo, character assassination, and much worse over mostly imaginary "crimes".
Now that the Democrats are in control of the Senate, they are in position to shine a much needed light on
the wrong-doings that have brought the public's spirit to the lowest point I can remember since the
Vietnam War era. The psychic scars on the general public are deep and will take a good deal of time to
heal, provided that at some point we can change course.

We have witnessed such shameless power mongering that many, many people are in a sort of psychic
shock. Many people I communicate with are feeling a sense of helplessness and despair, wondering what
any of us can do. Wondering what ordinary people can do in the face of the kind of power we are up against.

We all have power, we just don't always realize it.
This is about power, imaginary and real.

First is imaginary power. It is what most people think of as power. It's the power that we have when we
control something that is not ourselves or of ourselves.
Owning large amounts of money, official positions of influence with people taking orders from us, owning
weapons, the list goes on. This kind of power is often negative for the effect it has on others.

The other kind is real power. It's the kind of power that allows someone to make changes that will improve
him/herself, to build, to create, to help other people. It is positive, constructive power, and we all have it.

Imaginary power takes advantage of other people and is usually only temporary.
Rapists, murderers, and spouse and child abusers fall into this category.
Also many heads of corporations and political figures are right at home here.

A recent example will show what I'm talking about. Jim Jeffords left a party that indulges in the first kind of power.
He grew more and more uncomfortable with the direction and the form of power his party was exercising.
Their response to him was to try to punish him, humiliate him, teach him a lesson, and intimidate him.
When he let it be known that he was leaving, their efforts went into bribery and coercion.
I am not privy to exactly what offers were made, but it is obvious that the party leadership didn't understand
the kind of power he was interested in. Plainly, he was committed to doing good, positive work for his constituents
and his country.  Offering him positions in the party didn't come close to addressing his concerns. His detractors
claim he was bought by the other party, but the offer of the chairmanship of a committee that would let him
exercise his power positively was what interested him.

Imaginary power does not last. People who have been coerced don't stay coerced without constant
pressure, and people who have been bribed don't stay bribed.
They will come back for more or be open to bribes from a higher bidder. Imaginary power is used by
small people and is a way to be big without being better. I call it imaginary because it must always be maintained.
When you have someone under your heel, you have to put a lot of attention into keeping them there.

Real power can't be taken away, and the effects are positive and long lasting. When we use our power
to build up someone else or to make ourselves better people,  that power spreads and grows on its own.
Whom do you believe will be remembered more positively in the long run, Newt Gingrich or Mahatma Gandhi?
Michael Millken or Mother Teresa?

We have some real problems in this country, and we're using the wrong kind of power to go about
changing things. The last election has many, many people upset and angry. I get e-mail on a daily basis
from people who are outraged and are not sure how to go about changing things. Many people do not want
to see this travesty repeated and are not sure how to put things right. We have gotten told in plain English
that we don't matter, and many people are not accepting that. People who never paid close attention to
political matters are suddenly paying attention. Something is very, very wrong, but what can be done?

You won't find answers here.
What I can give you is examples of the power we already have.
If enough of us use it, we'll find the answers.

We have the power:

          To communicate. That hasn't been taken away. Yet. One of the monkey wrenches in the
     current scheme is the internet. I can recommend a couple of places to go on the internet for
     people who are wondering where there are other people who feel like they do about this country.
     If you are reading this, you already  know of one place.

     Another great place is Democratic Underground. If you haven't been there, you can find them here:  They have a great message board.
     These are intelligent, articulate people who get into very interesting e-conversations.
     I always feel the level of conversation is pretty high.
     They're the opposite of Free Republic.

     You may want to consider joining the Lying Socialist Weasels.
     The only way I know to join is through the link at the bottom of Zepp's page:
     You will want to stick around and read Zepp's pieces too. He's a great writer, and he has a way
     of putting the issues of the day into thoughtful, insightful perspective. About the Weasels though:
     You will get a LOT of e-mail every day. They are positive, supportive, well  informed people who
     will send you articles, information and commentary from every source you can imagine.
     You will be warmly welcomed and with open arms. Some of my pieces even show up there.

     To organize. Find candidates who believe what you do (there are some out there) and volunteer
     to work on their campaigns. Participate in the marches    and      demonstrations that have
     mushroomed in the last 6 months. (The ones you won't see on TV).
     Many websites like Bushwatch ,
     BBBR ,  and Democratic Underground will carry announcements
     about when and where actions are planned.

     To question. I find the best way (personally) to counter the far-right garbage I run into on a
     personal level is to ask questions. When you run into a Stepford Ditto-head, ask them what is
     behind their statements and beliefs. Most of the ones I meet can't back up their opinions because
     no real thought has gone into them. Don't argue, question, and question some more.

    Write letters to your local newspaper, ask them to justify the slants on the stories they run, and how
    and why they choose the stories they print. You may not be printed, but large numbers of people
    constantly questioning will possibly be noticed.

    Call the hosts of the radio talk shows and hold their feet to the fire. When a topic comes up that
    you are knowledgeable about, let them know that you are on to the lies and distortions.

          To inspire.

          To create.

          To speak out.

          To think for ourselves.

          To be extraordinary

You get the idea. This isn't intended so much to inform as much to remind. We still have more power
than many of us realize. Things in this country are the way they are because not enough people here
exercise their power. If enough of us do, we can put an end to this situation. If we don't, then maybe
we do get the government we deserve. I'll have more suggestions in future pieces.

There are people counting on us not to use our power, to just sit back and take it. They want us too
numbed and too overwhelmed to even try to do anything about it. We are not powerless; it's just that too
many of us accept that we are. The mass media isn't going to do it for us-they're in on it.. Most of our
elected officials won't-they're in on it too. And Superman doesn't exist. That leaves you and me. And
imaginary power can't stand up to enough people using their own, real power.

I forgot to add one more to the list of powers: We have the power to kick some serious ass..

Coming soon to a neighborhood near you: A Vast Left Wing Conspiracy

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