With all that's going on in our country, we have to face some ugly truths if we are serious about changing things.
Once again, the United States of America finds itself at a boiling point. Whether it’s the militarization of police forces who are waging war against citizens, the absolute corruption of our government, or the dismal state of our economy and job market, the illusion of this country being the “greatest on earth” has been shattered and that’s a good thing. What is happening now in America is the logical result of this nation’s actual history that has been whitewashed by our educational system at the behest of those who have always held the true reins of power. However, the TRUTH has been there the whole time in plain view but we have been very reluctant to cast our eyes upon it because it challenges the foundation of our beliefs. In psychology, it’s called cognitive dissonance which is the feeling of uncomfortable tension which comes from holding two conflicting thoughts in the mind at the same time. We can no longer remain in this state and I hope to snap you out of it with this article.
Since America's so-called inception, poor people have been the target of oppression. At the same time the Thieving Fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, they had massacred the indigenous people who were already here. African and Irish people were enslaved and if you weren’t a White male landowner, you didn’t matter. Even after the Civil War, Blacks endured another 100 years of oppression in the form of Jim Crow laws. Chinese people were exploited and brutalized to build America’s railways and even had to endure segregation and special taxes after being paid so little In comparison to their White counterparts. Italians suffered from discrimination in this country when they started immigrating here in the 1880s. Women also found themselves without rights until they started the Suffrage movement in 1848 and it still took until 1920 for them to achieve their goal. If anything makes this country great, it is the oppressed people who fought back against government-sponsored mistreatment.
Today, racism, classism, and all the other “isms” are intersecting and robbing citizens of their collective will and power. We all cling to superficial labels that were created by others to make us feel separate and less compassionate toward each other as human beings. We don’t have the time or luxury to cling to artificial constructs of race, sexual orientation, religion, social status, political affiliation or any other impediment to bonding when we’re all in the same boat. The difference in what is going on presently is that the oppression is now affecting everyone regardless of superficial labels. If you aren’t an elected official in “middle management” or corporate CEO/major shareholder in “upper management,” your individual voice and interests are being ignored.
Many people are under the assumption that exercising the right to vote is some magical cure-all that will fix all of our problems and nothing could be further from the truth. Our political system was not created for the masses to control. For example, the supposed checks and balances in the Constitution are not wielded by us but by the very people who need to be put in check. We cannot impeach Congress members. Only Congress can impeach its own members with a two-thirds majority vote by that same body. Think about it. With all the corruption, legalized bribery, and the ability to vote for their own pay raises, why would they impeach each other? Public office has become a way into an elite club where you get to enjoy privileges above and beyond the citizens you are supposedly serving. Even if we wanted to call a constitutional convention to rectify these things, we have to petition our state legislatures to approve the convention and the legislatures have to forward that to Congress for their approval and they have 7 years to make that decision. Do you think Congress would ever approve such a thing? Hell no!!
The truth of the matter is that we are believing in a fairy tale about our two-party political system. The face of the Democrats and Republicans changes in cycles. During slavery, Democrats were largely in favor of slavery and Republicans were against it. Now, it seems that their philosophies have reversed but in reality, both parties serve the corporate elite to the detriment of their citizen constituencies. There are lots of people who would argue that modern day Democrats have the people’s best interests at heart and are vastly different than the Republican party but it’s nothing more than dinner theater to perpetuate an illusion of choice. When George W. Bush was in office and the Democrats had a “super majority” in Congress, he was still able to advance the “Republican agenda” by invading Iraq, establishing the Patriot Act, creating tax breaks for corporations and the rich, bailing out banks with our money, and even making torture legal. Did the Democrats do anything to obstruct Bush and Cheney from doing these heinous things? No. Yet, we have President Obama in office with a Republican majority in Congress and they have blocked him and the Democrats at every turn. If that’s not a clear sign that we’re being played for fools, I don’t know what is.
For all those who believe that we can vote our way out this mess come November, here’s some things you need to consider. People who vote Democrat or Independent never voted in Republican candidates in the first place. The places in America that we call “red states” voted for the GOP because that’s who they want in office due to shared philosophies. How many people who claim to be Democrats engage in civil, productive conversations regularly with Republican voters to change their minds? Hardly anyone does this. Instead, we hurl insults at one another. Voters from both parties isolate themselves in echo chambers and cheer each other on without realizing that they’re being duped by the rhetoric of their respective parties. How many citizens hear from the people they voted into office other than when it’s election time? How many citizens truly have the ear of their Congress members and feel that their issues are being addressed? Judging from the various polls, very few people are satisfied with Congress on either side of the aisle.
These are new times that require new, effective strategies to be developed. Protesting and voting will not resolve a deliberately dysfunctional political system in which legislation that negatively affects everyday citizens is drafted and passed into law without our consent or approval. We have given politicians, people we don’t trust in general, the great power of writing and passing laws and this has put all of our power and safety into their willfully incompetent hands. We’re in BIG trouble and unless we snap out of all this ugly behavior toward one another and start using our brilliance to come up with viable solutions, our horrible fate is already sealed.