Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Democratic and GOP Parties are just sects of the "Business" Party?

  A weekend ago, campaigning for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Bernie Sanders spoke to an overflow, enthusiastic crowd of 28,000 in Portland, Oregon and a cheering crowd of 25,000 in Seattle, Washington the day before. Hillary Clinton, the presumed nominee, has never reached a crowd of 6,000.

   Why is Bernie Sanders so surprisingly popular as he speaks at rallies across the country?  Perhaps because he is speaking the language of a populist to people's earnest hope, despite so many previous disappointments from other politicians, to hear from someone they actually believe might if elected then do his best to fulfill the wants, needs, and desires of the great majority of people in this country who currently feel left out of the economic growth that so benefited their parents and grandparents.

   It is apparent that the Democrat and Republican Parties are simply two factions of what Noam Chomsky refers to as "The Business Party."  Turnout for recent elections by progressives has been very poor (in comparison to the evangelical or militant nationalist right wing voters, who seem like abused spouses, reluctant to deny them their vote, even though the conservatives continually pass laws and policies that economically suppress and abuse most of them.)  In the end however, we all, conservatives and liberals, go into the voting booth, and mark a ballot, deceiving ourselves into thinking we have had a chance to affect government policy, while in reality the outcome of the popular vote matters much less than we think.

   Elected federal politicians, immediately after the election, begin fundraising in earnest for the next election, and in the past, responding to this begging for money were the large corporations. More recently ultra-rich individuals have jumped into this feeding frenzy with the same expectation of altering laws and policies to their own personal benefit.  As Donald Trump truthfully said "I give them money so they will do something for me."   THIS is where policy is predominately determined, not at the next election, where a candidate with modest funds has essentially no chance of winning.

   As the obvious example, people have for many years by overwhelming majority responded to multiple polls by indicating they want higher taxes on the rich.  Yet, year after year, the elected congress does exactly the opposite because they are effectively in the pay of the corporate and individual wealthy.

   The congress members publicly speak platitudes that decry this influence of money, but in the darkness of last-minute votes and in the anonymity of hidden amendments to larger bills, consistently do the bidding of big pharma, big fossil fuel companies, multinational corporate giants, armament companies, and the ultra-wealthy, while the corporate media provides the mechanism whereby they all together brainwash the American public into thinking that it is the "other party" that is the cause of their misery, obscuring the fact that the concentration of wealth into fewer and fewer persons is likely the greatest existential threat to our country (maybe other than the world threat of global warming).

   Baltimore, Watts, and other mass protests/riots are in large part a reflection of the rage felt by large segments of our population who in their local neighborhood see no way out of their lousy situation, while they see CEOs across the country taking home $10's of millions in compensation, even if their company is in a decline and laying off workers by the thousands.  These mass reactive demonstrations/riots will not cease by firing or convictin a few police officers, but only by the correction of years of socioeconomic suppression, including providing better job opportunities, greater than poverty wages to anyone willing to work 40 hours a week, fewer prisons (especially for-profit prisons), better health care, and good educational opportunities.

   We never were a pure democracy, but a republic of laws.  Now, a small, wealthy elite of the population is having the laws amended and rewritten to even further enrich their pockets and distill the wealth of the nation into a small extract.  No, we are not a democracy and not an egalitarian republic, but an Oligarchy, managed by a small group of ultra-wealthy who demonstrate little concern for the citizenry at large, and wield their power through the Democratic and GOP factions of the "Business Party".

   . . . and the newscasters seem surprised at the popularity of Senator, Independent, Socialist Bernie Sanders?  I'm not surprised at all.