Remember remember the fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and plot
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot
The English know that ditty as part of the history of Guy Fawkes, leader of the Gunpowder Treason and a plot to blow up Parliament and kill King James I. Many Americans know the poem from the movie, V for Vendetta, which told the story of a futuristic England rules by a despot with strong parallels to the Presidency of George W. Bush.
And on Monday, the Fifth of November, supporters of Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul, used Guy Fawkes Day to make history – donating $4.3 million to Paul’s campaign – a single-day online fundraising record for a GOP candidate.
Organized by music promoter and Paul supporter Trevor Lyman, the fundraising show of strength made a lot of people suddenly sit up and take a look at Paul, a long-shot candidate with a fanatical following among disaffected voters fed up with traditional politics and the domination of parties by cookie cutter candidates.
While Paul’s chances for capturing the GOP nomination are still a 100-to-1 shot at best the show of support by those willing to give money and the voter anger that provides the base of his support cannot be ignored.
Status-quo politics and the so-called leaders the system spawns not only anger voters but lead to a growing groundswell that signal a growing undercurrent of dissatisfaction in America. Both Bush and the Democratically-controlled Congress suffer the lowest job approval ratings in history. Public confidence in the system is failing at all levels. Americans grow increasingly pessimistic about the future of this nation and anger quickly erupts in any discussion of politics.
But while voter anger grows, politics in America is still controlled by a traditional system of big-money donors, powerful special interests and political professionals who have little regard for the will of the people or the future of the nation.
Politics is a business where the bottom line is delivering at least 50.1 percent of the election results on the First Tuesday of November. If the system must be manipulated to deliver that bottom line then so be it. Democracy ceased to exist in this country decades ago, if it ever in fact existed, and the system of government today is a far cry from the Democratic Republic envisioned by the framers of the Constitution.
The anger that pours $4.3 million into Ron Paul’s campaign coffers in a day’s time is growing and present but anger alone cannot change the course of American history. The system still favors the status quo and it is controlled by those who benefit most from it.
The story of Guy Fawkes did not have a happy ending. The Gunpowder Rebellion and Plot failed, Fawkes was captured and hung.
Tyranny prevailed in England, just as it does in America today.
Still, the English remember the Fifth of November.
And so should we.
Revolutions must start somewhere.