Ross Perot was lambasted as a whacko, a nutcase, a strange little man… but whether or not you believe these reports (from both the left wing and right wing media,) you cannot argue that he was right. He was right when he said that NAFTA (the first big free trade agreement our country signed) has caused a “giant sucking sound as jobs head out of the country.” Now the liberals and conservatives use it as political currency as they exchange jabs about the “outsourcing of America” as it is now called. Since 2001, there have been in excess of 3 MILLION manufacturing jobs lost to the US and sent to foreign subsidiaries of our mega companies.

Before you jump on the Kerry/Edwards bandwagon – remember, it was Clinton that signed NAFTA and Clinton that expanded the scope of NAFTA to include other countries and other jobs. John Kerry vowed to give American workers a “fair playing field” if he were elected president. Kerry said President Bush is “selling their jobs out to large corporations” and vowed to close tax loopholes that reward companies for moving offshore. He should know — he voted for NAFTA. He may also have had his wife’s company in mind; she’s the heiress to the H.J. Heinz fortune, a huge multinational company that gets most of its earnings from its overseas operations. But tax loopholes have little to do with the job exodus. It’s cheap labor.

But wait, don’t wave your Bush/Cheney bumper sticker and say “I told you so.” Bush has done nothing to stem the tide of these jobs which are still flowing out of our borders. He has instead touted the growth of the “service sector” jobs. True, we have had a small growth in service sector jobs, but that sector is made up primarily of restaurant jobs – jobs which on the average earn less than 50% of manufacturing positions. Where else is it legal to pay someone $2.01 an hour? Ask a waitress. Republicans weren’t always “free traders.” Protectionism was a big part of the Republican platform when the party was founded in the 1850s. Beginning with President Lincoln, Republicans continued as big protectionists throughout the latter part of the 19th century. Republicans joined the slop-trough once big business was allowed to purchase candidates and now they gorge themselves side-by-side on the money stream with their Democratic “enemies.”

So what is the point? The point is that the independents are the outsiders in national politics. They are the only ones who do not have a vested interest in the status quo. They are not funded by big business – heck, they are barely funded at all. They are maligned by the media as crazy because big business owns the media.

STOP listening to the media. STOP listening to your party line. STOP believing things just because Bush or Kerry told you so. START looking up the facts. START taking responsibility for changing the corrupt system that has taken over the greatest country on earth. START asking questions – especially of those who ask you to follow them.