As a wizened old man who has had (& continues to have) a most interesting life, I find my thoughts below to be not only tragic, but comical as well. I first developed a keen interest in American politics with the election of Ike in 1956. So, point being: I've lived through quite a variety of Presidents and members of Congress. Compared to those of the past, most of the current national office holders in DC don't seem to be at all interested in representing the will of the People...all the People, not just 25% of the population. The politicos of today are beyond the pale in a way that's darkly hilarious. For whatever reasons, they see little to no cause to hide the fact that they are Plutocrats/Oligarchs leading us down the path to NeoFeudalism. It's astounding...and comical.
Here's why the USA is in dire straits, in no order of importance---
1. The Powers-That-Be apparently have convinced the population that Debt doesn't matter...especially Gov't Debt. The Repubs (& some Dems) plus the current Oval Office Occupier have increased our National Debt by about two trillion dollars in only two years. And I thought Dubya Bush and Obama were bad in that regard. Ha! Public and private debt here is at record levels. Corporate debt is beyond incredible. The Debt Bubble is the mother of all bubbles, and all bubbles burst.
2. Despite what the Gaslighter in the Oval Office claims, our GDP is decreasing.
3. Trump continues his childish, ridiculous Gaslighting. Most of us simply are bored with it, but many (maybe most) of his supporters still take him at his word, or worse, if he's proven wrong beyond any doubt (which happens often) about something, they don't care. Not only is that potentially dangerous, I find it to be hilarious. They don't care that (as the old joke goes) the lunatics are running the asylum. Go figure.
4. Whether inadvertently or purposely, the White House Crew and The Don are encouraging both lawlessness and racism in our Land.
5. Encouraged by the Fed Gov't and deregulation, as well as by Propaganda, our Bubble Economy is bubbling on. If you look at the time intervals between the Booms & Busts from the severe Recession of 1973-1975 up to present day, you'll see that we're overdue for the next Bust. Unfortunately, the public and private Powers-That-Be seem to have convinced most Americans that's not true, that it's all under control now, that the economy "is booming"...no worries they say. The Gaslighter-in-Chief is especially adamant about that. Please, are you kidding us, or simply lying to us? I find it comical that anyone believes it's all under control, and the economy is doing great.
6. The median income of workers here is now $32,791. So, half the workers in the USA make less than that...HALF. That doesn't sound like the richest country in the world to me.
7. Trump has alienated all of our Allies in the world except for the few who essentially are dictators, such as the Leaders of Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, the UAE, & Brazil...maybe another one or two, can't recall. This is not good for us or the world.
8. Our Two-Party System in politics is rotten to the core. It's oligarchical in nature, and its practices rarely represent the will of the People. Not long ago, a Princeton study found that politicians ignore that will 70% of the time.
9. Our Gov't has managed to institute a State of Perpetual War. The crazy idea that we are the police of the world is now taken as a given by most Americans. Never mind that most of those actions are utterly unconstitutional, and many violate International Law.
10. In most cases, the protections of the Fourth Amendment are totally ignored by Gov't in this day & age...all in the name of "safety". Who's keeping us safe from those who violate the Constitution?
11. Too many Americans no longer seem to understand the difference between nationalism and patriotism. The former engenders arrogance and superiority; the latter engenders responsibility. Trump and Crew promulgate nationalism.
12. For this next point, I'll exaggerate a bit. Exaggeration often drives home a valid point. More and more, Americans appear to be dividing up into "tribes", so to speak. Whether political, or religious, or economic, or cultural, or something else, these tribes often are less & less tolerant of each other than in much of the past... and more & more self-righteous. For example, in politics the Left-leaning folks accuse the Right-leaning people of being intolerant, self-righteous, etc. In fact, though, the Left side of the spectrum also is intolerant---of the Right side---and, self-righteous about it. What's tragic and comical about that whole situation is that neither side thinks it's that way. It's only the "other side" who demonstrates those failings.
13. Finally, all across the political spectrum here in the USA, people are gulping down the Edward Bernays style Propaganda Kool Aid coming from Corporatists and Plutocrats as if there will be no tomorrow. Certainly not everyone is, but most are. That's the primary reason that we are in today's tragic situation. It's not only a tragedy; it's a cosmic comedy.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Friday, March 8, 2019
Monday, March 4, 2019
"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies."
~ Groucho Marx
"An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought."
~ Simon Cameron, one of the USA's first political "bosses". He died in 1889 at the age of 90.
"Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich by promising to protect each from the other."
~ Oscar Ameringer, known as the Mark Twain of American Socialism. He lived from 1870 through most of 1943.
"I have the most reliable friend you can have in American politics, and that is ready money."
~ Phil Gramm, a national politician who began as a Democrat and then switched to the Republican Party in 1983. He sponsored many legislative bills favoring financial deregulation.
"There’s a whiff of the lynch mob or the lemming migration about any overlarge concentration of like-thinking individuals, no matter how virtuous their cause." [Amen, amen, and amen to that.]
~ P. J. O'Rourke, an American political satirist.
It isn't that all politicians are rotten and despicable; rather, it's that the Two-Party System within which they operate is such. That system is not required by the U.S. Constitution; neither are political Parties. Early political bosses invented both. Perhaps it's time to re-think the entire set-up. Any unbiased examination of history reveals that set-up has not served us well. Plus, despite popular opinion to the contrary, the Two-Party System (including "winner-takes-all") is not set in stone.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Sunday, March 3, 2019
They need to be changed often, and for the same reason. 😄
The above is from the movie, Man of the Year, with the late, great Robin Williams...
and it's so true.
In 1975, the "liberal" Think Tank, the Trilateral Commission (founded by David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski) published its first book-length report, The Crisis of Democracy: Report on the Governability of Democracies. The Report was written by Left-leaning/Liberal authors. Their conclusion was this: the crisis is that democracies have too much democracy, and that's what makes it difficult to govern them. According to the authors, that had to change.
Since 1975, in the USA we've had an increase in the pace of the fairly steady march toward total Oligarchy and Plutocracy, and a fairly steady retreat from genuine, participatory democracy. One, and only one, of the reasons for that is: voters don't vote out politicians often enough. People such as McConnell, Cornyn, Pelosi, Schumer, and the like all should be returned to private life.
Politicians are a lot like diapers. They need to be changed often...
Not only my opinion. Be Well