2016 Election: A Truth Serum for American Democracy
The nomination process for the 2016 Election has had the effect of injecting a truth serum into the body politic of America. This ongoing process of selecting the next US president has resulted in revealing many hard and even ugly truths that currently shape, control and manipulate what is left of our democracy. The ugliest truth being revealed is in fact whether America is more oligarchy than democracy. A definition of oligarchy is “a small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution.” The anger millions and millions of voters are feeling is because there is no doubt anymore that the wealthiest among us control the vast majority of our politicians. What is left of our democracy is hanging by a thread and voters want their power back.
The level of control by the wealthy in our country is profound and will take extraordinary measures to halt and reverse. Hillary is offering a measured even incremental approach to to changing this direction. At the same time she is taking huge amounts of money from the billionaires that are controlling elected officials. Bernie is promoting big ideas and most importantly not taking any money from these members of the oligarchy. Supporting HRC at best is a fear based position that is attempting to avoid making things worse. For a decision of this magnitude which will have far reaching effects for our country and the planet, we need to not only use our intellect but look deep inside primarily because fear can easily cloud our vision and mask our most profound emotions. Yes, there is a time to play it cautious but this is absolutely not that time. The choice is obvious to this writer. However, there is only one opinion every voter should follow and that is the voice the that comes from the deepest place inside of each person willing to engage in what is left of our democracy. When making a judgment on any matter the three most obvious factors at play are intellect, emotion and intuition. For the intellect the classic Ben Franklin list of pros and cons listed side by side is very helpful. If you have reasonably strong feelings both ways there is a simple test there is a simple test to determine which candidate you FEEL is the best. Close your eyes and mentally weigh each side. The side that is the heaviest is how you really feel about XYZ. This exercise also brings into play intuition. Intuition is sensing a presence that is basically invisible to the conscious mind. Intuition feels the presence of energy that the conscious mind is unaware is at play. It is what visionaries use when projecting a course into the future. These three factors are all vital however any important decision needs to be filtered through one last layer of energy. That brings us to to the wild card of wisdom. It is fairly rare but it does exist. If you believe you have do your best to invoke it into your consciousness. If you question whether you have any or enough of it seek the counsel of someone who you believe does have it as wisdom trumps all other factors. For the record another truth revealed in this election is that maybe just maybe about .01% of the media have some wisdom. Greed and fear often cancel out lessons learned that lead to gaining wisdom. My choice for a public figure with a healthy portion of wisdom regarding today’s politics who is more or less on the periphery of the media is Professor Robert Reich. He looks wise, talks wise and feels wise. He also happens to know the Clintons from a personal and professional basis about as well as anyone in politics. He is all in for Bernie Sanders.
There is only one presidential candidate right now who is fully committed to helping every single man, woman and child in America. He is our Vermont Visionary. This man has shown a lifetime commitment to this end. There are millions of good people who believe we ALL have a right to the pursuit of happiness and that we should support each other in this endeavor. Regretfully, it appears there are far too many right now who do not have the courage and willpower to fight hard for absolutely everyone to have it. Which brings us to another heart-rending hard truth revealed in this election which is that many of the good guys and gals of the media, organizations and the government are caving in to maintaining the rotting flesh of what is now a dying democracy. It is beyond disappointing that during this time when America has an opportunity to at least begin to usurp the selfish self-serving power brokers of the American government, way too many good people who could really help are laying down not stepping up. There have always been public figures, politicians, and members of the media who have over time shown themselves to be smart and principled defenders of democracy. All of these “insiders” know at some level of consciousness that Hillary is a corrupt cog in a corrupt system. She quite obviously takes pay for others to play with our government. Yet supporting a presidential candidate who is not part of the corrupt element of our system of government is somehow not the priority of so very many of them. Somehow supporting someone who is totally committed to flushing out the sickness of corruption that is killing our democracy is not their priority. This position reveals a shocking level of weakness as opposed to someone choosing between two candidates. There will always be powerful people who are completely driven by greed and self-interest. That is to be expected. However, it is quite disheartening when people you count on to do the right thing fall down instead when you need them the most. The motivations of those that choose HRC appear to be a combination of cynicism, delusion and fear of being taken out of their comfort zone. To one degree or another the desire to elect a woman president is of course at play. However, placing more value on that over the reinvigoration of an important and vital democracy is one tragic tradeoff.
The crass media whose obvious number one priority is making money not reporting facts or giving insightful unbiased opinions is clinging to the status quo like someone in a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean. Important quality organizations like Planned Parenthood have now become embedded into the political establishment. Way too many think tanks are also embedded in the establishment and typically do important analysis unfettered by bureaucratic concerns. However, at the moment many of them are instead creating spin to sell the HRC status quo sales pitch to the minions. It must be eating up some of them up inside to be party to possibly subverting the only real progressive transformative candidate of their lifetime. Obama has been a very good president but not a transformative one. This brings to mind the cautionary tale of Lee Atwater. At the end of his relatively young life dying of cancer, Atwater was overcome by guilt for lies he crafted that led to Reagan transforming America for the worst. This election process is playing out like an epic Greek tragedy. There is so much at stake. The sweep is broad and there are plenty of heroes, villains, the strong of heart and the weak of heart taking part.
The villains are the ones that will seemingly do anything to gain and maintain power.
This includes out right cheating and skirting of the rules during primaries and caucuses. It is heartbreaking when good people get swept up into the tide of a politician’s unrestrained desire to gain power. When a voter for whatever reason aligns themselves with a politician they become to a degree, party to both the good and the bad connected to that politician. It is everyone’s loss but mainly that voters loss if they look the other way while the pol they back is willing to subvert democracy if thats what it takes to win an election. There is no doubt this is in play when Brazen Bill Clinton with the mayor of Boston at his side broke an important law not to solicit votes in any way shape or form within 150 feet of a polling place. His presence also circumvented many citizens from being able to vote. This is a telling example of why there is a potential tragedy being played out today in American politics. Is one woman’s possible ascent to the presidency of the United States really worth the price she is willing for everyone to pay to achieve her goal?
Fortunately, there are also heartwarming truths that are being revealed during this election season. Many formerly apathetic citizens have woken out of their slumber and are engaging in this election process. These players are balancing out the ones that are letting us down. Also many successful people who have something to lose are stepping up and showing the courage of their convictions by supporting the one presidential candidate who is fighting for everyman. Tulsi Gabbard a rising Democratic star just gave up her vice chairmanship of the DNC in order to do her level best to get Bernie elected. If Bernie does not win, this will no doubt hurt her young very promising career. Nina Turner a state of Ohio representative, early on went full bore for Bernie. Both were warned of consequences if they went against Hillary. The well respected Robert Reich who worked in Bill Clinton’s cabinet and has known Hillary Clinton since she was 19 has relentlessly been working to get Bernie elected. He will be lucky to get a Christmas card from the Clintons. Ben Jealous formerly head of the NAACP is working hard to elect Bernie. A good guess is that a lot of his friends in the African-American community are not too happy with him about this. There are many more and they all have earned our highest respect by going against the powerful tide of the vast majority of Democratic politicians and insiders that are fighting to maintain the status quo in the form of HRC for president.
The final ingredient to the truth serum of that has completely revealed the full extent of the emptiness and ugliness of our government is Citizens United. This is a great irony because Republicans created CU as a way to counter the big money Obama raised by small contributions over the Internet. Citizens United had the unintended consequence of revealing to everyone that an oligarchy of billionaires has for the most part been controlling our government. Back in September this writer predicted that the middle class Republicans would go on a rampage against the status quo Republican politicians. It was also predicted that the candidate that best addressed this anger had the best chance of winning the Republican nomination. Trump has been that candidate. He has had just the right combo of profile, personal qualities, message and charisma to convince many of the desperate and deluded in the middle and working classes that he can be their savior. CU laid bare that the rich and powerful completely control Republicans in government. Republican voters could no longer deny the obvious and their selfish little hearts exploded in anger at their impotence. This has been especially true of the haughty middle class Republicans who can barely believe how little their needs are protected when in conflict with the .1%. Their anger has been like a tidal wave that is about to destroy the GOP. The thing about anger is that it most often leads to self-destructive behavior. This is especially true of people who have allowed their minds and hearts to be weakened by greed and fear. It takes a strong person to use anger as a means to really improve their life. Truth can be a harsh mistress but with some luck and self-effort, she can eventually be a sweet one.
US democracy can at this time start to be saved from the laziness, apathy, greed, ego, and ruthlessness that transformed the US government and economy into a cesspool of self-interest for the rich and powerful. The question is to quote Elridge Cleaver, “Are you part of the solution or part of the problem.”