Power to the people
Retired Air Force Lt. Colonel is on a mission to restore the Constitution
Government in an ideal country would “serve the needs of the people, not the greeds of the wealthy elite”—that is, if political activist Robert Bowman were ever elected president.
Bowman, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, spoke to nearly 50 people at the Trinity United Methodist Church Tuesday evening (Aug. 17) as part of a two-month tour around the country. His message is simple: He is striving to return political power to the people, restore the values of the Constitution, and take away corporate clout.
“The very far-right conservatives in this country agree with most of us far-left socialist liberals on about 95 percent of the same issues … both of us love our country and fear our government, with good reason,” he said. “Both of us want security for our families; most of us don’t have it…. We find ourselves in a situation now that has gotten worse and worse.
“The key to ending fascism is to separate big money and political power,” he continued.
Bowman, founder and leader of the nonprofit organization The Patriots, describes the current government as a fascist dictatorship “where there is a marriage of corporation and government.” After an extensive career in the military, Bowman said he realized that Americans do not have as much freedom of speech as he once believed.
The speaker flew 101 combat missions in Vietnam. He also directed the Department of Defense Strategic Defense Initiative—or the “Star Wars” programs—designed to use ground and space-based technology to protect the country from a nuclear attack. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Eisenhower Medal, the George F. Kennan Peace Prize, the President’s Medal of Veterans for Peace and the Republic Aviation Airpower Award.
Additionally, with an executive background in both government and industry, he has a doctorate in aeronautics and nuclear engineering from Caltech. He has spoken at the United Nations, the National War College, congressional caucuses and the House of Lords. Recently Bowman ran for president in the Reform Party in 2000 and was the Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress from the 15th Congressional District of Florida in 2006.
For 28 years he has focused his energy on trying to restore power to the people. The talk in Chico was sponsored by Chico State’s Peace Institute and the Chico Peace and Justice Center.
During his speech, Bowman said “the people are considered just a source of labor,” and multinational corporations, such as insurance and oil companies, as well as large banks, are profiting from what he describes as “wars of aggression,” referring to the United States’ role in Afghanistan and Iraq since 9/11.
He said there is an illusion that we have a democracy, noting that there should be an independent investigation of 9/11 because there are “outright falsehoods of the official 9/11 reports,” and offering that the public still does not know the full truth about the attack. Also, he notes corporations are making money off the war while Americans continue to lose their lives in the Middle East.
“The truth about 9/11 is that after nine years, we still don’t know the truth,” Bowman added.
If anything, his vision is that all Americans “drop pebbles in a pond and make some waves” regarding the struggle against corporate control. He urges citizens to join The Patriots organization, and to run for office. While there is a chapter of the organization in Chico, Bowman is looking for a local leader.
Most important, he said it is critical to “exercise these constitutional rights” as he waved a small copy of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. He said laws such as the Patriot Act are “garbage” and need to be repealed.
As part of his speech, Bowman asked the audience to pretend he had just been sworn in as president of the country and that he was giving his inaugural address. His vision includes one in which he wins the race without help from corporate funding and he can put an end to “corporate personhood.” In his mock address, he also revoked all dictatorial powers the president currently has in government; he put an end to all nuclear testing; he eliminated insurance companies’ profits in health care; and he helped bridge the gap between worker and executive salaries, among numerous other changes.
“What we have long needed is a government that reflects the values and goodness of the American people,” Bowman added. “My faith is that you, the American people, will not let the vision die with me.”