Friday, August 5, 2016

Like fighting chickens in the ring: How our political parties keep us from demanding change

WHAT I WANT, WHAT YOU WANT, WHAT WE ALL WANT

Are we political folk just fighting-chickens caught in the ring of our masters?


Have you or someone you know begun to dislike former friends over politics? 

I will not even try to prove to you that we, as a nation, have been brutalized. That, like fighting dogs, we have been turned loose upon one other by our Republican and Democrat "owners." If you want to doubt this or to be skeptical, I really don't care.

On the other hand, if this article rings a bell for you, please let me know.

But first, if you would please be so kind, let me explain what we, the working-class, wage-earning  Americans and many small business owners really want. I think you will agree. Most Americans want basically the same things, but we have been fooled into a false us versus them dichotomy, and this has been done deliberately: Certain people and industries stand to gain big money, all at our expense while we try to tear each other to shreds in our online arguments, arguments that devolve into name-calling, insults and put-downs that are void of content.

Rob and blame

Our ideologies are indeed false: We are dickering over false -- cartoon-like realities that have no bearing in the real world (the world of working-class America). Our political scene is a smoke-and-mirror show in which, at every turn, a demon pops up to point us (or to scare us) in the other direction.

Our politics is a shameless game of Rob and Blame. Both parties rob us in one way or another, while blaming their  competitors. Our ideologies are made to order by (and for) profiteers on both sides of the aisle: They pick our pockets while blaming our woes on "the other guys."  Anyone who makes money off of our misery is suspect while we follow the money trail and ask ourselves, "What is really going down?"

The party bosses encourage us to take sides and demonize the other guys, but the other guys, as things have turned out, are us, the American people!   

For any religious readers, there is actually a scripture in the bible that describes this phenomenon: "If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other." (NIV)

Given the wild ride that describes this political primaries season, it seems we are close to doing that now: Destroying one another and perhaps the world besides, and over what? Over rhetoric, that's what. There is no substance to all the political posturing. When it is all said and done, the parties will keep on doing what they have always done, preserving the status quo, making the rich richer, and the poor poorer, and pitting us against one another.

We support these hand-me-down political  ideologies unthinkingly, and sometimes viciously, while the big bosses, the gods of our society, enjoy the bounty and the working class continue to struggle with an ever falling standards of living.

Yes, we are Democrats or Republicans or some minority party, but we all have been fooled by these tricksters who into emptying our wallets. Many of us have even donate to their coffers voluntarily, and they don't seem to mind that their ploy has plunged us into a downward spiral, into the horrors of war and, economically, into a race to the bottom in which we are in danger of  succumbing  a third-world lifestyle.

Meanwhile, we deal with "increased mutual feelings of alienation and enmity,"* that is, an unholy hatred of our neighbors.

And it is not as if we had made up these false ideologies  for ourselves: They were handed down to us, generation after generation. We have been spoon-fed with political garbage that is not good for us as individuals, nor is it good for our nation's health, nor for the world. Please bear with me just a few more seconds and allow me to explain.

What we all want

If I am wrong, please correct me, but I think most Americans really want the following things. I have found few people who do not want these things.

We Want

  • For able-bodied people to work, or put another way, we want full employment. The first being the Republican meme, while the second phrasing is another way of saying the same thing without the negative implications.  
  • Peace: Overwhelmingly, and regardless of our political affiliation, we all want peace. Most of us do want both domestic and worldwide peace. Nobody wants our sons and daughters to die needlessly in foreign lands. And we want to get along with our neighbors.
  • We also want foreign nations to behave themselves and to limit their aggressive tendencies.
  • We want a full day's pay for a full day's work. Employers want the same thing, only worded differently: We want a full day's work for a full day's pay. We want to be financially viable.
  • We want responsibility and accountability in the banking industry. 
  • We want businesses to compete with each other, not be dominated by monopolies or near monopolies. 
  • We want a level playing field when competing for jobs: We want jobs to be created in the United States of America as well as overseas.
  • We want reliable social networks: We want an excellent, world-class education for our children. We want good health care at a reasonable cost. We want job security and stability. 
  • We want fairness and Honesty: Fairness and honesty in our courst, in our elections, in the prices we pay for goods, in the way our children are schooled, in the way our laws are enforced by police. 
  • We want a stop hordes of refugees fleeing wars and economic blight. 
  • We want a free and open Internet where we can communicate with each other unhampered.

I honestly don't believe I have ever met a Democrat or a Republican who did not claim to want these things.

The fake concept maps

The thing we need to ask ourselves, however, is this: "How well have the platforms and implied or explicit ideologies of Democrat and Republican parties succeeded in getting us to where we want to be? How well has our system worked to resolve these problems, and I mean, regardless of who held power at the moment, whether Democrats or Republicans controlled the Presidency, the House and the Senate? Folks, we have been lied to, and her is how they lie: They lie with Fake Maps of Reality.

We have at this time what is arguably the most liberal White House in decades, yet we have outrageous, race-based killing of innocent victims by police. After eight years of liberal, Democrat Presidency, the first two of which Democrats controlled the Senate, we are still at war.  Yes we avoided a major war with Iran, but we are still at war. During the Obama Presidency -- And I have been a big fan of Obama -- yet during the Obama years we have seen innocent victims killed at home and abroad, and numerous Americans killed or maimed in war. We have seen American citizens murdered in Benghazi, undoubtedly as a result of their under cover activities that involved, as I understand it anyway,  the smuggling or covert buying and selling of arms, from whom and to whom I am not entirely certain but those Benghazi victims  were not out for a weekend deer hunt.

Republicans should not be sitting there smugly. I need not go into the history of the Iraq war, the aftermath of which the world is suffering now (decades after our unwise invasion of Iraq), or the politics of austerity that is really only austerity for the working class and the poor. The rich keep getting their benefits from the best government that their money can buy.

So why are we still pointing our fingers at one another, down here at the bottom of the barrel, as if we as Republicans and Democrats wore different uniforms or marched under different colors?  One reason is that we are following these fake maps, designed to get us nowhere fast.

A political ideology is a concept map, nothing more. It is a theoretical explanation of how the world works, or in this case, how our economy works. Our political ideologies claim to explain the differences in our parties and to act as road-maps to a better America, if only we will choose one map and stick with it.
And if only that were the case, but we all know this much:

We will never do that! Never.


We will never do that because our political system is set up to be a bi-partisan, rigged-for-the-rich system. The Republicans have their concept maps, their ideology, and the Democrats have theirs. I seriously doubt that either is an accurate map of the territory of American politics. And I have read elsewhere that many or most Corporations donate to both political parties!  What are the implications of that?

A Republican Concept Map (as observed by me, not objective in any sense)

  1. Our nation's debt is the result of too many social programs. Cut these programs and we will be solvent.
  2. Cutting taxes will create all the jobs we need. Giving tax breaks to the rich will improve conditions for the poor, if they will just stop being indolent oafs. 
  3. People should stop complaining about rising costs of drugs and health care: If they were not so worthless and lazy they could afford the best health care.
  4. Government is always too big (unless it is borrowing to fight wars or expanding to give corporate handouts and lucrative contracts.) 
  5. (Ironically) Threat of wars is our first line of defence for our nation.
  6. (And most importantly) Democrats are the cause of all our problems.
  7. Most domestic problems (unruly citizens, drug abuse, social unrest and unemployment) can best be addressed by either (A) proclaiming a "war" on it and introducing more violence, guns, bombs , deadly robots, the militarization of police etc.) or (B) by starving the problem to death through budget cuts.


A Democratic Ideological  Map 

This one is more complicated or so it seems to me, because the Democrats claim to be the opposite of the Republicans but when showdown time comes they often make the exact same, brutal decisions as Republicans
  1. The government's budget is so big that there is virtually nothing we cannot do.
  2. Cutting our military spending will resolve most of our budget problems (Although we have never cut these enough to pay for our social nets.).
  3. We are the party of peace: Wars are caused  by Republican intransigence. (This ignores, of course, the Democrats' direct involvement in all of our wars to date. There was never a war that was fought over the objection of a majority of Democratic Senators, for example.)
  4. Raising taxes on the rich will solve our problems: We can spend our way out of every problem just by raising taxes but not on We the People of course.
  5. We are the party of social justice. This one flies in the face of a ton of evidence.  During Democratic administrations we have encountered some of the most intractable racism on the part of government officials, police and others.  
  6. We are the party of open government while the Republicans are the opposite. (Republicans will be quick to see the irony of this) 
  7. We are the green option. (Except when it comes to our own lifestyle choices.) Republians are the wasters, the destroyers of oceans lands and the atmosphere. 

 Note: If you take exception to these examples, please keep in mind that neither of these "maps," Republican or Democrat is intended to be complete, and both are entirely subjective, representing my point of view..You could make up your own versions and they would undoubtedly be different. I just wanted to get the concept across.

Now if we compare what we want, with what our road-maps tell us will get us there, we note that there is a big discrepancy. We have had periods of Republican rule, periods of Democratic control, and yet the economy seems to chug along with a will of its own, sometimes doing well, sometimes not, often with little obvious relationship to the party in control. Some Presidents are very lucky, and the economy treats them well. Mostly when that happens I think it is a combination of luck and skill.

One reason it is difficult to determine whether one party is better than the others is that they work hard to sabotage each other. The Republicans, in my opinion, have worked very hard to keep President Obama from being successful by any measure. That they have largely failed is something of a modern marvel.

Another trick that I think both parties use is to attempt to crash the economy when it becomes apparent that a regime changes is pending.  Or to suddenly add a ton of debt for the other party to deal with. Or to start a war and then leave it to the opposing party to deal with the results. These are the evil ways of partisan politics. And I think many or most of us realize this, at some level. But why oh why do we keep playing the roles, the parts that have been assigned to us?  Why do we get in the ring like fighting chickens for parties we know to be corrupt?

What if there were another way?

But now,with the advent of the Internet, perhaps there is hope. There is hope that we can create an entirely new form of government that does not play the "fighting chickens" game, that does not pit the bulldogs against the pit-bulls,all  for the delight of the crowd, and of course for the enrichment of the "owners" of our political system, because while we are fighting, they are taking advantage of the distraction to pass laws that favor only themselves and people like them.

What if a new, third way were to arise, that says, "Enough already."

What if we chose to overthrow, not only Citizens United and the Dark Act and TPP, but also to reject the partisan lies and half truths that are really only there to get us looking the other direction? What if we focus on what we really want, and on  how to get it. What if we took a really hard look at what we have been doing, and ask ourselves, "How well has this worked?"

What if we stopped even for one election cycle, and became not Republicans or Democrats, but Americans in search of the dream of a better life for all, not just the few? What if the Republican and Democrat parties collapsed due to their own corruption and a newcomer on the block offered honest solutions and an opportunity to fix the things that are broken about this system.

Well, one can always dream, and we can take off the spurs that only harm us, and benefit only our masters. Instead, we need to focus on fixing real-life problems and making our nation better for ourselves and for our children.

Okay, that's all I have to say for now.

Please comment. Thanks


#politics, #politicalparties #primaries #fightingchickens  #anewpolitics

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