It is imperative that Americans organize to block the Paulson plan, for it carries a terrible price tag and lasting harm to the public interest. This is our moment to show some "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" initiative. As Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke testify before the U.S. Senate today, Americans must rise up to organize protests, marches, and public opinion campaigns against this plan that strikes at America's economic autonomy. If Americans understood what lay beneath the surface of the proposal, an overwhelming majority would oppose it, for it is little more than a surreptitious economic coup.
In what may be the most inspiring political film available, Frank Capra's "Mr. Smith" saves the nation from outrageous graft (1939). With singular courage and helped by the creativity of a brilliant Senate aide, Smith filibusters so as to stop a greed filled dam plan hatched by financial elites and foisted upon Senators who are in the habit of serving wealthy interests. Smith is fine Boy Scouts leader and the son of a populist small town newspaper editor. He becomes a Senator only through fortuitous appointment by the State Governor upon the sudden death of a Senator. While he has little political knowledge, he does possess what many politicians lack: Moral strength and the decency to resist evil. We need Mr. Smith spunk now! The Paulson plan is a thousand times more contrary to the public good than the graft that Mr. Smith resisted.
Mr. Smith could not have succeeded without common people rallying in his support. We need the same right now — a Martin Luther King moment of peaceful but vigorous protest. Time is of the essence to organize rallies, demonstrations, marches, media events, and lawful pressure upon members of Congress. The U.S. Constitution protects the right of the people to assemble for the purpose of addressing grievances. Let's use our constitutional rights. Let's organize now! Here's the plan.
Work quickly to convince opinion leaders to use their media platforms to go ballistic with resistance efforts. Forget about ideology. Look beyond standard "issue areas." Find common purpose and unite populist groups on the left, right and in the middle. Show the courage of the Bible character Nehemiah who brought the distress of his people to the attention of his king.
There is not a day to waste. We must get the attention of opinion leaders with real time radio and television programs. Dave Ramsey is doing enormous good for America with his radio show on prudent finances. Contact him! Some readers may have connections with organizations on the right, like Dr. Dobson's "Focus on the Family" radio show. Others may know insiders working for daily television shows on the left — shows that could be of enormous help because of their connections to Washington D.C. media. While some of us cannot be a Mr. Smith, we can at least be a Paul Revere, rapidly spreading the message. And we can encourage our U.S. Senators to look to the filibustering example of Mr. Smith. If we fail now, our future will be snatched by Paulson's highly inflationary plan that is biased in favor of plutocratic elites.