Pinocchio isn’t my favorite Disney movie, but its message has stayed with me all these years.
If your head is fashioned from a block of wood, you might need a still, small voice sitting on your shoulder whispering advice in your ear when you’re going the wrong way. If only we could mass-produce Jiminy Cricket and place him on the shoulders of every blockheaded person serving in government!
The depletion of our forests worldwide explains why, more than ever, we need Jiminy’s sage advice. The wooden heads of the establishment have allowed their greedy profits-over-people instincts to kill whatever conscience they may have once possessed. Even more worrying is how they’ve created even more blockheads, willing to do the establishment’s dirty work for a chunk of change and the promise of a board of directors’ seat once these paid-off politicians are out of office.
The Citizens United ruling was only the start of the oligarch’s slash-and-burn technique. They’ve cleared the hardwood forest of ordinary Americans’ best interests, replacing them with termite-infested soft wood. Soon the TPP and other related trade agreements will give unlimited powers to multinational corporations who are “people,” or so we’re told. (They just can’t be tried for crimes against the humanity, such as poisoning our water with chemical and oil spills. How convenient.)
How do ordinary Americans keep the elitist-termites out of our woods? How can we preserve our great institutions and clear out these devouring pests? Only by exposing the oligarchs’ self-centered ways can we resurrect the still, small voices of compassion for all Americans.
The crimes and abuses of power used to be exposed by investigative journalists, such as Woodard and Bernstein during the Watergate scandal. There are still many capable investigative journalists–Greg Palast and Abby Martin come to mind–but they’ve been forced to work independently since the corporate-owned-and-operated mainstream media has been tasked with spewing propaganda to cover up their avaricious owners’ actions. Investigative journalists and activists in the 21st century need help, and they need it badly.
This is where whistleblowers come in. The oligarchs are very adept at hiding their tracks. It takes a skillful hunter familiar with their paths to track them down and expose their doings. An insider with a Jiminy Cricket whistling on his/her shoulder, acting as a guide, can make all the difference. By blowing the whistle on their bosses’ crimes, whistleblowers help those who can’t see the entire forest for the trees gain a better picture. They shine light into the darkness, illuminating how our rights are being slowly whittled away.
On this tenth anniversary of Wikileaks, let us take a moment to reflect on how much we owe the mostly anonymous whistleblowers who have revealed the establishment’s ugliness. We can never thank them enough for showing us what the one-percent wanted kept hidden. Whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning have risked their lives and freedom so we can form a greater understanding of the world we live in and gain insights into the evils perpetrated by wooden-headed, lead-hearted individuals.
Are we better off for knowing this leaked information? Once a fact is known, it can’t be “unknown,” and knowledge in itself is a powerful tool. We ordinary Americans need all the power tools we can get to build a better world free from these termites of greed. Therefore, the answer is yes, we need whistleblowers now more than ever.
Listening to the establishment candidates, some voters might assume whistleblowers are dangerous. This is where our personal Jiminy Crickets come into play. Our conscience tells us criminal activities aren’t to be condoned. Our government needs a clean sweep. Recent email leaks demonstrate how the establishment covers up its criminality with pay-offs and threats to the very fabric of our democracy. So, in reality, it is the establishment candidates who are dangerous, not the whistleblowers.
Many voters listen to their still, small voice, and it tells them to support Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party for president. Dr. Stein states she supports whistleblowers who reveal the corruption in the system, and together we’ll build a transparent, accountable government which serves all Americans.
It’s time to clean house. Give a little whistle and always let your conscience be your guide.
Bio: Cindy A. Matthews is a freelance writer, novelist and editor of Our Revolution Continues–The Bernie Blog: http://bernie2016.blogspot.com