â€œYou say you want a revolution. Well, you know we all want to change the world â€¦ But when you talk about destruction, donâ€™t you know you can count me out.â€
The Beatles wrote these lyrics during a time of prominent civil disobedience and social change. I share their sentiment.
Last week I wrote about how a revolution lead by militias is misguided and ultimately unviable. This week I offer an alternative.
Across the country, Americans are getting more and more frustrated about our governing authorities. There is a near consensus that politicians have lost touch with public opinion and that we are governed by tyranny.
Where Americans disagree is at the root of the problem and the remedy to solve it. I agree something has to be done to redirect our country; America can do better.
But a violent revolution that risks the lives of innocent civilians is not the answer.
People who advocate for violence and a physical removal of our politicians do not understand the base of the problem and seem unwilling to fully think it out.
This line of advocacy is flat out lazy and thoughtless.
We agree that our politicians have lost touch with public opinion and a moral sensibility. But whose interests, if not ours, are our politicians catering to?
They have been bought by big business and corrupt corporations who have one overriding agenda: To line their own pockets with money.
If we are to correct the gulf between the interests of the public and our policy makers, we have to limit the influence business has over our politicians.
Politicians should enter government to serve the people, not to make a fortune.
It is time for a consumer revolution. This revolution has the power to dramatically redirect the course of American politics and to restore power back to the people.
This revolution can take place with no violence and no casualties.
For this revolution to be successful, however, it will require daily attention toward our consuming and purchasing habits. We have to recognize which companies are using their massive profits to dictate government action.
The idea is simple, really. Deprive big business and corrupt corporation from their source of money. We have to stop purchasing from those that have no social morals or environmental consciousness.
Instead, let our money flow to local businesses that have and invested interest in our communities. Let our money flow to those who make it their mission to promote social and environmental stewardship.
And most importantly, we have to suffocate those who have something to gain from the militant direction of our nation.
Dollars are power; every one spent is a vote. Donâ€™t vote for those who have a monopoly over our politicians and disregard social conciseness.
Each individual has the ability to join this revolution.
This is the first step, but it alone isnâ€™t sufficient to deny big business of the absurd amount of influence they have over the state of politics.
The U.S. government is a huge employer of private contractors. As we fall further and further in debt, questionable businesses are making a fortune receiving their paychecks from the American people. If we are going to pay for their services, we must also demand better practices.
Our government needs to make a commitment to citizens that it will hire consciously. They need to commit to us that they will only employ businesses that have a mission of social and environmental stewardship and businesses that operate in other countries with the same level of standards and morality as they do in America.
We should no longer hire businesses that manipulate foreign workforces and degrade the environment of other nations. We should not hire businesses that employee illegal immigrants or outsource jobs to underpaid nations. Demand that corporations operate with the same integrity abroad as they do on our own soil.
It is time for a revolution. Revolt not with your rifles and explosives, but with your dollars. To restore power to the people, we must take it back from purchasers of our politicians.
Wade McManus is a senior political science major. His column appears Thursdays in the Collegian. Letter and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.