Isn’t it great that in America we have a robust democracy where each political party represents a clear coalition and is responsive to the will of its voters?
At a Friday event commemorating the 20th anniversary of the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) hosted by the George W Bush Institute, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke glowingly of the president who instituted the program in 2003. “I’ll just say this honestly, that the Bush family, it’s because of their humanity, their faith, their generosity of spirit, their compassion,” said Pelosi. “Once again, it’s an honor to be associated with President Bush in this.”
According to the way-back machine, 20 years ago George W. Bush was also preparing to launch the invasion of Iraq, which would inflict unfathomable death and destruction upon our world which continues to unfold to this day. Historians in the future will not use “humanity, faith, generosity of spirit and compassion” to describe Bush’s behavior, but Nancy’s praise offers an unintended view into the “supposed” venomous partisanship that bedevils our fair republic.
It’s possible that public opinion plays some role in the functioning of a democracy, but no one has been able to explain what that role is. Instead, they will talk about voting as the way the public is able to express themselves. However, it’s an obvious fact that voting does not change the course the US government. I mean, just look around at the actions of the US government, under Republican or Democratic rule and compare their behavior to opinion polling and see that there is a vast chasm.
Now that monarchies have been reduced to a ceremonial function we are left with autocracy, democracy and oligarchy, usually in that specific historical sequence. In America we celebrate our “wonderful” system of representative democracy even as we are way closer to an oligarchy. It appears that democracies are easy to subvert with money and power. And by oligarchy I mean the relentlessly advancing, immoral rule by the rich, whose predatory governance benefits only themselves.
To understand how we got here it imperative to focus on the function that our political parties play in this transformation from representative democracy to oligarchy, and not be fooled by the cultural wars both Republicans and Democrats utilize to divide and rule for their true constituents. The reality is that our political system has increasingly consolidated into a one-party state controlled by a unified corporate media.
Just as an example of the malign dynamic: Both Democrats and Republicans are braying for a conflict with China, in addition to advocating total war against Russia.
Do you think there might be a backstory to this belligerence towards China that they’re not talking about?
US corporations, with the cover of both political parties, betrayed American workers by moving their manufacturing and production to China. In other words, Republicans and Democrats aided and abetted a massive theft from American workers. $50 trillion to be precise. So who is actually responsible for the rise of China? Western corporations are responsible. If Americans want to blame someone, blame them. Only now our political class, with their corporate media cheerleaders are busy advocating war with China. These same corporate mandarins and other elites are unhappy with China because China will not allow them to take control over their markets, financial system and currency as they have in America.
What’s amazing is that even a few years ago US elites imagined that globalization was unstoppable and they were the “masters of the universe”. We would all bow down before their techno-futurist imaginings of our shared global future. And it was to be too a clear validation that it was they who were on the “right side of history”, in stark contrast to those “others” (Russia, China and Iran) who stood unmasked as history’s autocrats.
Who says that history doesn’t have a sense of humor?
Meanwhile, another train in the US has derailed.
It’s ironic that the party that claims to be the party of workers-the Democrats-is AWOL leaving the field open for Trump and other faux-populist Republicans to grandstand. Last week, ahead of either President Joe Biden or Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Donald Trump paid a visit to East Palestine, Ohio, and denounced the administration for its response to the catastrophic train derailment that devastated that community earlier this month. The Democratic Party has been trending away from representing working-class Americans since Carter but the election of Donald Trump sent this into overdrive. Many commentators ask. “What happened to the Democrats? Why do they support war, why are they aligned with big business, why are they openly disdainful of the working class while embracing Identity Politics?”
The problem, in a nutshell, is that the modern Democratic Party has come to worship markets as the solution to governance, aping Republicans. We can’t have government doing anything positive for Americans, after all. Even after Covid the Biden Administration let broader social programs enacted during the pandemic, like universal free school lunch and an expanded child tax credit, expire before they had time to take root.
What’s fascinating is that Republicans have been forced by their base to adopt a certain amount of populist rhetoric since Trump’s rise. Meanwhile, none of the conditions that led to Trump’s surprise win have abated. Even on the conservative side there is a growing sense that all of these corporations are against us — not only are they trying to screw us over on the woke stuff, but generally, they just don’t care about ordinary people.
Gee, you think?
Unfortunately, both political parties are treacherous, nothing more than delivery systems for the oligarchs, where the Democrats and Republicans are payed handsomely to reliably deliver voters.
I hate to be a drag but absent a calamitous event or authentic revolt I don’t think that our oligarch owners and their Republican and Democrat sock-puppets will change course. All they know how to do is double down.
Update: I repeat myself but you can’t make this shit up.
“Cheney joining University of Virginia politics center as professor” [The Hill]. “Former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) is set to join the University of Virginia as a professor at its Center for Politics. ‘With democracy under fire in this country and elsewhere around the world, Liz Cheney serves as a model of political courage and leadership,’ the center’s director, Larry Sabato, said in a statement. ‘Liz will send a compelling message to students about integrity. She’s a true profile in courage, and she was willing to pay the price for her principles — and democracy itself.’ Cheney will participate in university-wide lectures, serve as a guest lecturer in student seminars, contribute to the department’s research, and participate in university and community events, the center said.”
“Democracy under fire”, to be saved by Liz Cheney?