It's like Israel and Palestine, and the idea that actions taken on both sides are not in any way rooted in sheer bigotry, and that the bigotry has not had negative repercussions for our nation. By now we've seen and heard enough to know otherwise. At times, it seems it would be much better if they just figured it out for themselves, no matter what people try to pitch to us, or how they attempt to sex it up.
Likewise, by know we no longer believe most politicians when they say they do what they do because they care about people. We know that what motivates them, when it comes to what bills get signed into law, has to do with the amount of money going into their campaign coffers, and what elements put that cash there. They are also just as motivated by what cushy six to seven figure job, or jobs, they will land once they leave public office, and what people and/or interests can give them the best offer regarding that.
It doesn't have to be that way, of course, but that is what our system has come to – the sense of honor and nobility exiting the American political arena and being replaced by self interested actors and actresses. Politics is a business, and the goal is to convince people that any and all actions are taken are on their behalf, while making sure that all the actions you actually take, favor those with the big cash – the less than 1% of the nation.
As a well known journalist once said regarding the consummate Washington power seeker, “That person is highly circumspect, highly risk averse, eschews new ideas, flatters his colleagues to their face (while trashing them behind their backs), and is always careful to avoid career-threatening confrontation.” Those kinds of people rise in Washington, and though they tell us they will confront away, few of them do, outside of some scripted piece of theater, and there is usually some big money puppeteer pulling the strings when it's happening.
Blame aside, we simply no longer have a political system in America that does anything more than pay lip service to the plight of the middle income citizens or impoverished Americans. We once had a growing and ever booming middle class. People that had been forced into living lives of the impoverished and underpaid had been empowered by workers movements that grew into trade unions. Those unions built the American middle class, without which we would have had a small handful of extremely wealthy people, and a large swath of impoverished Americans surviving paycheck to paycheck, despite the fact those Americans would be responsible for helping to propel those wealthy owners to the stratospheric levels of wealth they attained.
We would still have the child labor in this nation that was so rampant before unions stepped up and demanded wealthy corporate owners and executives acknowledge that a child's place is in school, not the workplace. We would still have unsafe working conditions where the mentality was safety was not the right of the worker, only something they could hope would be with them, by happenstance, as they went through their workday. We would still have no maternity leave and health benefits for workers, as it was labor unions that forced management's hand across America.
Politically there is supposedly one party against the workers and one for them. That's how they keep us dialed in to the scam they perpetuate against the American public in lockstep. Democrats say, “oh yeah, we're for everyday Americans first.” They bellow it out and repeat mantras during campaign season. The big show for us all to be moved and convinced by.
They say, vote for us, and we'll protect you. Let's look at that, though. When the supposed middle class man, Bill Clinton, got into office, Americans thought it was going to be a move away from the corporatism favored by the Reagan/Bush era GOP. What we got coming out the other end of that presidency was a man leaving the office after disgracing the country and the office of the presidency numerous times, and being tagged with the moniker, “NAFTA” Bill – among the other hard earned nicknames he clumsily pirouetted out of office with.
By the time he left, he had sold American workers out by making it easier for wealthy people to go get money elsewhere, and leave American workers going further and further backwards by signing off on everything from NAFTA, to the dismantling of Glass-Steagall Act, along with approving derivatives trading. He had nothing to worry about, as by the time the chickens came home to roost it was 2008, and we were bailing out the firms of the Wall Street friends of the Clintons that has been appointed in their administration, to advise on economic policy. Remember, this is the one guy, of all the past presidents, that knew the math on this stuff – he knew it would lead to a bubble, only benefitting the wealthy.
President Bush made things worse via uncontrolled, impulsive and reckless deregulation. He made things perilous by making sure regulatory agencies with powers of oversight over Wall Street, slowed enforcement to a standstill. To top it all off, he suggested the best course was to allow Wall Street to police itself. I don't remember him taking such a stance towards potential criminals in Texas, but those were easier marks for getting contributions from the private prisons industry, of course.
President Obama promised, when campaigning for president in 2007, to stand up for unions. He famously said, “And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I'm in the White House. I'll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I'll will walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of America, because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.” ( But, he never once did.
He went around touting Detroit's recovery during his campaigning for the 2012 elections (until people began pointing out that Detroit was considering filing for bankruptcy). Now things in Michigan have gotten so bad that the state one known for its strong unions has passed laws weakening unions, and all he has done was mention it once in a speech. So, “On Dec. 11, the state passed a pair of sweeping bills designed to cripple unions by barring the requirement that workers pay dues as a condition of employment. The freshman governor signed the controversial bills the evening of Dec. 12, making Michigan the 24th state to adopt so-called 'right-to-work' laws.” (
During the 2012 Democratic National Convention the supposed party of the middle class talked union this and union that. They got union reps to stand on stage with them. But where is the protections for the unions that helped raise the station of the poor, indigent and minority classes? What party is making sure the people that build the middle class are protected. We know the GOP won't, but they never try to hide their contempt for the less than wealthy. Democrats lied. They are useless when it comes to protecting American jobs, and have even been responsible for opening the doors to ruining unions, and shipping jobs overseas.
Right now, there is no party protecting the middle class, only good actors and excellent pretenders. The two party system will continue to fail us, until we realize two parties just aren't enough. They opened the door to the economic crash, the bail out and the slow recovery – not to mention the disastrous foreign policy moves over the last couple of decades. In the end they work behind the scenes more with each other for their own personal advancement, than they do for the nation. More parties would put a check on that, making it much more difficult for larger corporations to get a grip on where to put the money and how to manipulate elections year by year. By starting locally, then moving to the state level and then nationally, Americans could have multiple parties, causing the grip corporations have on our political system to weaken.
All we have to do is try over the next few decades, and we can take back our country – heck it's not like they open factories, pay taxes or desire to hire Americans anymore. Let 'em move to Afghanistan or Pakistan, we can watch it on the news.
To read about my inspiration for this article go to