Partisan Politics, Part 2

(Continued From Partisan Politics: 
The Best Way to Determine Leadership? Or a Corrupt, Failed System?)

Stopping the Partisan Conflict and Division

We can stop empowering deceptive hypocrites who claim to be patriotic and religious, and we can make partisan politics obsolete. We can prevent any person from being able to sit on the monarchical "throne" of the presidency, and put an end to the divisive competition for the throne.

After all, why should we be divided and fight for power over each other? 

Why should we follow, support and empower egocentric individuals who seek power over those who disagree with them? Why should we be either winners or losers in a continuous, winner-take-all partisan contest for power? Why should we perpetuate an unstable partisan political system that creates, fosters and perpetuates corruption, conflict and division?

Why should hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars be wasted on commercial television for political campaign advertisements that are generally misleading, offensive, and terribly annoying, when all that money could be far better invested in our country and in our people? 

It is a very sad commentary on our system when more money is spent on misleading, deceptive, slanderous mud slinging at political opponents than are spent on advocating a positive, constructive political platform. And it’s tragic that such dirty politics work to get deceptive candidates elected.

Even if the "best man" wins, at least half the people usually lose. And even a relatively good democratic president cannot do what must be done to unite us.

Even if a good progressive president were not attacked and slandered by deceptive attacks and impeded by obstructing tactics, as a politician he does what is politically expedient and fails do do what must be done. That's partly because Reaganism is still dominant in politics. 

That is why government programs, except for military and police spending, have been cut to the bone, and corporations and the wealthiest few pay far less than their fair share of taxes, to the point where some pay little or none at all.

Obama continued the military and foreign policies initiated by the Reagan Administration, as well as those initiated by the Bush Regime (even though they violated U.S. and International Law). Obama apparently accepted the Reaganite and Bushite idea that almighty police and military forces are the only way to establish law and order in the country and in the world.

Unfortunately, that ignores these crucial facts: 1) Good leadership recognizes that establishing fairness, equity and justice for all are crucial in establishing peace and tranquility in the nation and in the world; and 2) Leadership that thinks it must resort to armed military and/or police forces to control the people has failed to do that.

Reaganism ignores that fact, and the hegemonic Reaganite and Bushite world view is that the U.S. Military must be the Policeman of the world, at any cost, which is why Reagan’s 1986 budget included $553 Billion for the military. In contrast, Bill Clinton's last budget called for $371 Billion for military. But then George W. Bush's last military budget was $771 Billion. And now, even though Americans elected Barack Obama because he promised change, his defense budget has called for spending $813 Billion on military.

Furthermore, it must be repeated that it has become very apparent that in spite of Obama's rhetoric he tends to appease the rich and powerful who are still robbing us blind.

Granted, Obama was able to get some health care reform legislation passed, but it falls way short of what’s needed. Equally inadequate is their so-called banking and financial reform. The Dodd-Frank Act did provide some needed regulations, but it was a rather weak slap on the wrist of the forces of greed and self-interest (even though Republicans want to repeal it as soon as they can). 

That’s why it is now crucial and imperative that we significantly reform our political-economic system. For unless and until we put a stop to it, the partisan political pendulum would probably swing back to the right. It’s happened many times before, and it would happen again.


The Basic Partisan Political Divide

Those who sit on the right side of the political isle operate on the belief that right versus left means right versus wrong. However, they the word "right" in this case does not mean correct. And, as is explained in the article about Sheep vs Goats, Jesus foresaw and explained the conflict and division two thousand years ago, and the modern son of man provides further clarification.

It’s somewhat like the political divide in 1800 between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Their conflict was similar in some very basic ways to the present conflict.

Reaganites, like the Hamiltonians, believe in "Meritocracy." They believe that people should be self-reliant; that government should not need to promote the general welfare (despite what the Declaration of Independence says); that private charitable organizations alone should provide help to those who need it; that government is best when it regulates least; that big businesses, corporations and banks should be free and unencumbered by government regulation and oversight; and that legislation and laws should enable the wealthy to get even wealthier without restraints, because their "earned" prosperity will naturally trickle down on those below and benefit the whole country.

Unfortunately, their Laissez Faire right-wing political ideology wrongly assumes that the wealthiest few and their large banks, businesses, corporations and insurance companies will operate honestly, ethically and fairly. But, the truth is that unregulated and given free rein, they usually do not earn their income honestly and fairly. Furthermore, private charitable organizations cannot possibly provide all the help that is needed.

These truths have been painfully evident many times, especially in 1920s and early ‘30s, and increasingly again during the last 30 years.

History has shown time after time that the Republican claim is deceptive and their logic is flawed. After all, our current economic crisis was caused by three decades of Reaganite policies, legislation and deregulation, because they didn’t learn the lessons of history.

That’s why the rich have gotten so much richer, the middle class has shrunk, the working poor population has grown, and poverty, hunger and homelessness increased. It is similar to the historical consequences of Republican dominance in the 1920s, when the rich got richer and corrupt and caused the financial crisis and stock market crash of 1929, followed by the Great Depression.

Unfortunately, Right-wing Republicans, Libertarians and the “Tea Party” love Laissez Faire government, which again means government that lets banks, corporations and industries do as they please and leaves them to their own devices. That’s why Ayn Rand and Ronald Reagan are their heroes, because they were champions of Laissez Faire government. That’s why Reaganites have put Ronald Reagan on a pedestal and carefully built his image, and it is why they more privately praise and follow the advice of Ayn Rand. However, Americans should understand that both Reagan and Rand were grossly mistaken about many very crucial issues.

The article on The Real Legacy of Ronald Reagan discusses his folly and errors. But since most Americans are not aware of  Ayn Rand, you should know that she was an author whose work has influenced many right-wing Americans. She was born in 1905 in Russia, and her family was financially ruined after the Russian Revolution of 1917. She grew up hating Russian Communism, so she moved to America. But then, when the wealthiest few Americans and the capitalist economic system became so corrupt in America that it caused an economic collapse in 1929, followed by the Great Depression, she made a terrible mistake in judgment. She misunderstood, and therefore feared, the New Deal of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The problem was that Ayn Rand did not understand the cause of the American economic collapse in 1929, nor did she understand the cause of the Great Depression. It was unbridled greed, enabled by lack of government regulation and oversight, and Laissez-Faire government that had left banks, corporations, industries and the stock market to do as they pleased and operate out of self-interest.    

For some reason Rand misunderstood that. Because of her deep fear and hatred of Stalinist Russian Communism, Ayn Rand was suspicious of any government power being used to control and regulate commerce. She did not realize or recognize how needed and necessary Roosevelt’s reforms, regulations, safeguards and protections were, and she feared his regulations would be like those of Soviet Communism in Russia. And, since she hated government control because she had seen what it had done in Russia, especially under Stalin, she continued to support Laissez Faire government that left capitalism and commerce unregulated. She believed it was the only social political economic system that "protected individual rights" and ensured “free enterprise.”  

She couldn’t have been more wrong.

Unfortunately, in the 1980s Ronald Reagan and the Neo-Conservatives revived the Randian ideology because they hated Roosevelt's New Deal regulations and programs. Like Rand, they touted “free enterprise and free markets” and claiming that “big government” was antithetical to freedom.

Unfortunately, as we can see now, all that was propaganda and rhetoric designed to make the American people forget or ignore the lessons of history, and forget or ignore how and why Laissez Faire government had almost brought about the ruination of America before Roosevelt saved it in the 1930s and ‘40s. That's why the wealthiest few were enabled to made the same mistakes again, indulge their greed, and cause the economic and financial crises of 2007 and 2008, from which America has not recovered.

That is why real Democrats and real Christians believe in Jeffersonian Democracy, and in Roosevelt's New Deal. They believe that government must promote the general welfare, ensure justice for all, and properly and sufficiently regulate and oversee big businesses, corporations and banks; that we must provide an adequate safety net to provide for those who need financial assistance and other care; and that we must legislate to make the vast majority prosperous, because widespread prosperity will benefit the whole country in many ways.

That ideal is the opposite of what Republicans fight for, which is to legislate to assist and enable the wealthiest few to prosper by giving them special privileges (and various ways to avoid paying their fair share of taxes), claiming that their financial success will ultimately “trickle down” and benefit all society in many ways. But as been shown repeatedly throughout American history after Republicans have had control of government for a while, that claim is false. For example, the fact is that the financial crises that emerged in devastating ways in 1929 and 2007 were the direct consequence of Republicans and their forces of greed and self-interest.

In stark contrast, Roosevelt's New Deal and Democratic success in the 1930s and ‘40s enabled the Middle Class to grow very large and great by the late 1940s and ‘50s, making it very clear that widespread prosperity produces widespread well being. Moreover, it produced more prosperous taxpayers who contributed more to make the whole country better.

Unfortunately, during the last 30 years both Democrats and Republicans have been responsible for enabling the rich and looking the other way as the middle class steadily shrunk and more and more people falling into the working poor population. And that is because Reaganism led to the American partisan political system being far more corrupted by greed and self-interest than it has been since the 1920s.

But that’s just one symptom of the partisan political system. It is corrupted by the self-importance and self-righteousness of partisan politicians, and it is especially corrupted by the bribery of corporate lobbyists and corporate influences.

It has enabled the greedy to gain and abuse power to the detriment of the majority of the people, and to the detriment of the environment, the infrastructure, and humanity as a whole, while enabling the wealthiest few Americans to increase their wealth exponentially.

We need to advance beyond partisan politics, because as it is, most people think there is no better way to determine who shall have the power and authority of leadership. Each party chooses a competitor-candidate and hopes theirs will win the "throne," and even the losing party hopes they will win "next time," so the divisive, polarizing, counterproductive, winner-take-all contest for monarchial presidential power continues.

One of the things that most Americans don’t realize, however, is that it continues even though very few people actually determine who the winner is.

In the 2000 presidential election, only 60 percent of eligible voters in the U.S. voted, and far less than half of them voted for George W. Bush. In fact, Democratic candidate Al Gore won the popular vote by at least 400,000 votes in 2000, and he would have won more electoral votes (and even more of the popular votes) if all the ballots in Florida had been hand-counted as the law called for. But, Bush got five right-wing partisans on the U.S. Supreme Court to overrule the democratic Florida Supreme Court in order to halt the vote count and put him in the White House.

That was a crucial turn of events and it inevitably proved disastrous, so we should realize how and why it happened. After the 2000 election the Gore-Leiberman team was working with the Florida Supreme Court to ensure that state law was followed to resolve the disputed election in that state. The problem was a faulty machine count that rejected 179,914 Florida ballots, most of which were undoubtedly in Gore's favor because they were in heavily Democratic regions. But, the Bush-Cheney team got the hand-vote count stopped by resorting to "legal" partisan maneuvers, and to misleading street theater with goons in the streets with signs, chanting "Sore Loserman."  

This is important because George W. Bush actually lost the election in 2000 but managed to gain the presidency by hook and by crook. And yet Al Gore graciously accepted the Supreme Court’s decision that enabled Bush to do it.

This point is important also because when Barack Obama won the presidency fair and square in 2008, Republicans quickly started demonstrating what sore losers they actually are. They have been the opposite of gracious, and as has been mentioned they have resorted to slander and character assassination, trying to label Obama as a "socialists," and even a "Nazi."

Of course, as Republicans point out, in 2004 Bush won the election with a little less controversy about the election process. However, even then only 64 percent of eligible voters voted and only32 percent of them re-elected Bush for his second term.

Furthermore, even though Barack Obama was the best choice for president in 2008, he was elected by only 52 percent of the popular vote. And 43 percent of eligible voters did not bother to vote — probably because they are totally disgusted with partisan politics. And, by the way, in the 2010 election that situation was worse. Only 11 percent of eligible voters under 30 years old voted, which means that 89 percent of them did not even bother to vote. And in 2012 nearly half the people eligible to vote did not bother to vote either, no doubt because many of them realize that regardless of which party wins the wealthiest few still rule, and they are sick and tired of the conflict caused by polarizing, counterproductive partisan politics. 

That reveals how damaging to democracy the partisan political attack ads on television were (and those attack ads were made possible by the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court's decision in favor of corporate rule at the expense of the majority of the people). That's why the vast majority of young people are even more sick of it than the rest of us are, and they don’t trust any politicians.

This is not the way to run a country.

How Did It Get This Way?
Unfortunately, during the last three decades most Americans bought into Reaganism and the corporate culture because it was made to sound patriotic and even religious. That enabled the corrupt attitudes, traits and culture  to spread like an epidemic virus that has increasingly infected most Americans.
That culture of greed has made most Americans think that greed and self-interest is alright, and it’s made them not think about the state of our neighborhoods, communities, environment, society, or the working poor or the poor. Instead, it has made people buy into the mind set, policies and actions of huge corporations, banks, lending institutions, manufacturing industries and the U.S. Religious Military Industrial Complex.
The fact, however, is that it was and is a sham created and perpetrated by and benefiting the wealthiest few Americans who now hold 90 percent of the wealth of the nation, who have been able to rule so completely by simply claiming that what they do is in the name of God and Country.
"Religious" Republicans repeat the deceptive and hypocritical Reaganite-Bushite mantra against "big government" and taxes. But the fact is that they like big government when it suits their purposes, and they simply don’t want to pay their fair share of taxes. And, even though they now wail against deficit spending, they were the ones who put the U.S. government deep in debt because of their tax cuts for the wealthy, their obscene no-bid contracts that enormously benefited and enabled corporate war profiteers, and their policies and laws that benefited corporate exploiters and polluters, predatory lenders, industrial giants, etc.
We can and will fix this, as soon as enough people get the message, and be strong and courageous enough to stand up for the truth. For only we, the people, can ensure that truth and justice prevails. Only we, together, can work toward reforming this political-economic system, its inequitable economic policies, its favoritism to the wealthiest few, its corporate globalism, and its global U.S. militarism, all of which have increasingly widened the already huge income gap between rich and poor, shrunk the middle class, increased the working poor population, exploited people in this and other countries, and wreaked terrible conflict, division, havoc, violence, death and destruction in the world.
Having said that, it is not to say anything against political, social and fiscal conservatives who are reasonable, caring, and honest, and who are willing to sit down with liberal progressives and work together, find common ground, and come up with needed solutions for the common good. Reasonable and honest conservatives should have a place at the table, to provide their perspective.
The trouble is, the American Republican Party was co-opted in the 1980s by right-wing extremists and wealthy imperialists. The late William F. Buckley Jr. and Irving Kristol, the fathers of the Neo-Conservative Movement, enabled them. However, while Buckley and Kristol provided an intellectual rationale for their right-wing ideology, the ones who gained political and military power as a consequence were Ronald Reagan and his administration, and Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson who led the "religious right."
In the 1990s Democratic President Bill Clinton managed, in spite of a Republican controlled Congress, to fend of Reaganism for awhile, and Clinton produced a booming economy and balanced budget. But, in 2000, the Republicans came back with a vengeance, and their goal was to further an agenda set forth in a document titled document entitled Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century, written in September 2000 by a right-wing conservative think-tank called Project for the New American Century (PNAC).
The PNAC document calls for global dominance of the U.S. Religious Military Industrial Complex, and it has been enormously successful. Building on and expanding on Reaganism, it made the wealthiest few Americans very much more wealthy than they were 30 years ago, and that’s why they fight tooth and nail against Barack Obama, resorting to deception and slander to try to stop any initiatives to establish significant reform and regulation. They wanted and still want free rein to continue the inequity and unfairness that has been so devastating to the vast majority of us.
Granted, the political climate has been gradually moving a bit from the right, which allowed the rhetoric of Democrats to begin to address some progressive issues and speak up for the majority and the working poor. Their rhetoric included at least a little bit of awareness of all the poverty, hunger and homelessness which has devastated so many American families.
The problem is that most politicians in Washington D.C. simply ignore the huge problems that impact most Americans, such as food insecurity, job insecurity, housing insecurity, along with the problems of inequity and insecurity around health care, prescription drugs, education, inflated and rising costs, price gouging, a degrading economy, a weakened dollar, global warming, a degrading environment, depleted fisheries, political corruption, corporate corruption, economic corruption, unregulated and unchecked greed, fraud, war, and all the other problems that have been exacerbated by right-wing Republicans in Congress and in the Bush Regime, and by many Democrats who have been almost equally culpable.
Why aren’t Democrats doing what they should? In the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, about 80 percent of the funding for the political campaigns of both Democrats and Republicans was provided by the wealthiest one percent of the population. The wealthiest few learned some time ago to invest in both sides, so no matter which side wins they will get what they pay for.
Democratic presidential candidate Obama did not really change that, even though many Democrats have been led to believe that his campaign funds came from average people who could only afford small donations. But, even though Barack Obama is beholden to Wall Street, he has been courageous enough to nibble just a bit at that bribing hand that feeds him.
However, we think Obama is the most fair politician around. He generally does not demonize or lie about the opposition, but reaches out to find common ground, and he is certainly the best man to be president at this time. But, it could be said that he, like most other politicians, did what was politically expedient in order to get elected, and as president he has said and done things to appease the wealthiest few and their huge corporations. And that concerns me.
For example, Barack Obama has said that the country’s current challenges "are simply too big for government to solve alone." Of course, there is some truth to that. We all have to help in whatever way we can. However, it is a statement usually made by Republicans who merely want to continue Reaganism. And Obama has gone so far as to say he would enhance Bush’s "faith-based" initiatives by steering federal taxpayer funds that were formerly used on social service agencies, to religious groups. But he does so to pander and cater to the religious right, and that would be a tragic mistake.
Unfortunately, all politicians have pandered to the Christian Right, to the point where in 2008 being a Christian became a litmus test for being the American president, in spite of the Constitution and the intent of the founding fathers. After all, we cannot have real religious freedom without religious pluralism and equality of religions.
Of course, Obama feels that talking about his faith was necessary, and it’s no wonder, since right-wing neo-conservatives have been claiming God for themselves during the last 30 years. But it is wrong and unconstitutional to bring a specific religion into politics.
Remember, Thomas Jefferson wrote: "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State."
Most of the founding fathers felt the same way and agreed with Jefferson, who also wrote: "The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man."
That is still true, and just as relevant today as it was in the 1700s. And while Obama is doing what he thinks is politically expedient, it perpetuates the mistakes of Reagan and Bush.
Furthermore, speaking of mistakes, under Obama’s command the U.S. military continues to use depleted uranium munitions, cluster bombs and white phosphorous in densely populated areas in violation of U.S. and international laws and treaties. It ignores the Geneva Conventions that specifically prohibit the use of weapons and materials that cause unnecessary harm by remaining active and deadly after a battle. Consequently, many innocent civilians are killed or maimed, and many babies born in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from illnesses and deformities and brain damage that were caused by the U.S. military's massive and widespread use of toxic and radioactive materials.
Furthermore, justice is obstructed by Obama as long as he refuses to order investigations into numerous and blatant U.S. war crimes committed by the Bush administration, which should be held accountable under the rule of law, since they were in violation of the U.S. laws, the U.N. Charter and Conventions, the Hague Convention, the Geneva Conventions, and the Nuremberg Tribunal Charter. Similarly, Obama has also endorsed the latest FISA legislation giving retroactive immunity for telecoms that engaged in illegal electronic surveillance. But no country or president or company should be allowed to act as if they were above the law, especially international law.
But, even though Barack Obama is really not the agent for the real and lasting change that we need, he is the best that this system could produce, considering its nature. And it's not just politics. During the last elections we saw how the commercial news media focuses on dirty sensationalism and jumps all over stories about conflict and "punching and counter-punching." The commercial media tends not to serve as ethical journalists to help the public be fully informed on the issues. Instead, they stoop to the level of tabloid journalism and cover the mud-slinging, because they think that’s what sells. And sadly, it does, so that what they cover. We didn’t hear much about important issues. We heard about what each side said that was offensive to the other side. And, sadly, the media does not keep politicians honest, they merely encourage them to be offensive.
There certainly was a whole lot of mud slinging from malicious right-wing Neo-Conservatives. They resorted to slanderous, deceptive half-truths and outright lies against Obama, because they typically believe the best defense is a strong offense.
For example, they accused Obama of wanting to "redistribute the wealth by taking money out of your pocket and giving it to someone else." But the fact is that Reaganites and Bushites have been redistributing the wealth of the nation to the wealthiest few for the last 30 years, and especially during the eight years of the Bush presidency. Obama merely seeks fair, equitable economic policies that are in the interests of all the people.
Republican attack ads on television against Democrats in the 2010 election campaigns claimed Democrats would "raise taxes and take away jobs," and even used the term "job killing taxes" to mislead and deceive voters. But the truth is that fair-minded people merely want the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes, and lower taxes for the middle class and the working poor.
Republicans even stooped to even worse tactics in the "battleground" or "swing" states to prevent Democrats from being able to vote, claiming that the 2002 voting act (HAVA) legalized their dirty tricks.
Now Americans should realize that Neo-Conservative right-wing Republicans have done all that to serve, enable and benefit the wealthiest few and the huge American corporations, especially those in the U.S. Military-Industrial Complex that Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us against back in 1961. And America’s status in the world has been damaged by the foreign policies and actions of Reagan and Bush, which have been mostly about obtaining or controlling natural resources and/or maintaining or gaining strategic military footholds in other countries.
Americans need to realize that divisive, harmful, bad and even evil leadership can be very cunning and loves to masquerade as good. It often even thinks it is good, which is why it often succeeds when the political climate is ripe. Many people are easily fooled by demagogues who appeal to the human ego and its tendency toward feeling superior, whether it’s because of wealth or religious beliefs or nationalism or race or political ideology. After all, the murderous tyrant Adolf Hitler easily rose to power in the 1930s by making the German people feel superior and powerful, and he was the epitome of the worst kind of demagogue.
Granted, Ronald Reagan was nowhere near as bad as Adolph Hitler, because Hitler was so blatantly evil that the vast majority of people in the world and even most Germans eventually recognized it. However, the script Reagan followed as a corporate television pitch man made him even more successful, because most people did not recognize him for what he was. He was able to open the doors wide for the forces of self-interest, greed, inequity, racism, nationalism, militarism, and political and corporate greed and corruption.
The attitude and policies Reagan brought to the presidency in 1981, many of which were copied between 2000 and 2008 by George W. Bush, are some of the biggest reasons why we have had such bitter partisan conflict and gridlock; political corruption; corporate corruption; bad relations between labor and management; and huge and unfair income disparity.
Here is a video that illustrates the impact of the Reaganite war on labor unions, for instance:
To make matters worse, along with horribly unfair and inequitable income disparity came diminishing protection of the environment; increasing racism; growing poverty, hunger and homelessness; a shrinking middle class; and diminishing financial status for the vast majority while the rich have been getting a whole lot richer - incredibly richer. And that's just the domestic problems.
Furthermore, if a good Democrat actually advocated the kinds of changes that are needed to establish real fairness, equality, equity and justice, he would be in grave danger. For corrupt people do not stop at deception, fraud and malfeasance. Consider why John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. were killed. It’s the same elsewhere, because moderate Israeli President Rabin, and moderate candidate Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan were killed for the same reasons. They and many other good, conscientious, progressive leaders, who served in the best interests of humanity and the people as a whole, and especially of the poor and disadvantaged, have been assassinated by those who love and lust for worldly wealth, power and domain and will stop at nothing to acquire and/or maintain it. And they are very cunning and adept at covering their tracks and getting unstable, zealous scapegoats to do their dirty work.
That’s why Obama has not appeared "too liberal" or punitive against the greedy, corrupt, self-righteous people who have gotten us into this mess. He sometimes can’t resist rubbing the Republican’s noses in the messes they’ve made, but he’s the least partisan politician in America, even so. He truly seeks Republican cooperation, even though so far they’ve denied it and are in denial about who is really most at fault for our problems.
Of course, Democrats are also culpable. And, no matter what President Obama does, he cannot solve our most serious problems. Remember, the election of Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1992 did very little to stop Reaganism and prevent or deal with its rampant political and corporate corruption. In fact, it continued and increased in the 1990s during the eight years Clinton held office, as was made obvious by the shameful and counterproductive "welfare reform" law, and all the corporate scandals and ripoffs exposed during that decade. Then Reaganism was continued and further enabled and exacerbated by George W. Bush, and it continues under Obama.
Granted, there were some token legal actions against the most blatant and exposed political and corporate corruption, but those actions have dealt only with what is like the tip of a huge iceberg, and only the tip shows above the surface while the rest is hidden. The basic problem is still there. Corporate and political corruption and abuse of power is immense and pervasive, and the army of highly paid corporate lobbyists who bribe and influence politicians in Washington D.C. is only part of the problem.
The basic problem is that partisan politics is hopelessly flawed, inherently divisive, and inevitably corrupt. It does not and cannot serve the interests of all the people. And the biggest part of the problem is that it’s based on the idea that we should choose sides, fight for power over each other, and be forced to accept the results of a winner-take-all partisan contest for presidential monarchical power.
(Continued at Partisan Politics, Part 3, which discusses the rule of money, and provides further analysis. )