Partisan Politics, Part 3
One of the Biggest Problems: The Rule of Money
Furthermore, another big part of the problem is that it is fueled by money, which has invariably led to corruption. And that becomes even worse when you consider that 80 percent of the funding for the political campaigns of both major parties is invested by the wealthiest one percent of the population, who also pay for all the lobbyists who continually influence and bribe members of Congress.
Unfortunately, die-hard Republicans are in denial and cannot see that things are now as they were in 1929 after three successive Republican presidents in a row favored and gave license and free rein to the wealthiest few, at the expense of everyone else, and brought the Great Depression down upon America.
America was divided long before that, of course, because in certain ways, the American Civil War that flared up in 1861 existed long before that, and has never stopped completely.
There was a brief respite from 1941 to 1945 when Americans came together to defeat two very strong common enemies during World War II, but Americans went right back to it, and it started to get really bad again in the 1960s. The battle lines may change location, and the issues may change slightly, but Americans are still fighting each other. In fact, the American people are more sharply divided across ideological partisan political lines than they have been since 1861. We are dangerously divided and in conflict, and even if Barack Obama is able to establish a bit more unity during his term, it would not last if we continue and perpetuate the political-economic system that brought us to this point.
It should be obvious that we need to thoroughly reform and improve the whole political-economic system. And we also need a truly free press with unbiased, ethical investigative journalists who are willing to keep politicians honest — because the news media has failed miserably in that regard.
Actually, we need a thorough reformation of government, along with a reformation of religion, to put an end to theocratic imposition, an end to partisan party politics, an end to division and polarization, an end to bribery and corruption, an end to congressional oligarchy, an end to the juvenile competition for the "throne" of sovereign power, and an end to the presidential form of monarchy.
We need to face the fact that the present American political-economic system is not merely wasteful, divisive and damaging. It does not produce government of, by and for the people. Not really. What it often does produce is government of, by, and for the rich, regardless of which party wins control of Congress and the White House.
Because partisan politics breeds and fosters dishonesty, greed and corruption, it can turn otherwise good people into disingenuous and dishonest demagogues who launch misleading, slanderous attacks against each other. After each election we become either winners or losers, and usually far more than half of the population is not represented by our government. In fact, only the wealthiest few are truly represented.
We would know that if the commercial news media did their job. In fact, if they had done their job, President George W.Bush would not have gotten away with denying habeas corpus and due legal process to any human being or his own fellow citizens. He would not have gotten away with violating the Constitution; starting illegal wars on false premises; committing war crimes; allowing torture of prisoners; violating national and international laws and the Geneva Conventions; assuming dictatorial powers with impunity, and avoiding deserved impeachment. If they media had done their job, things would be very different today.
We are in deep trouble now because the reality has been that the most money talks, and the most money rules. And great wealth can not only richly reward those who can very cleverly pull the wool over your eyes. It has even bought elections, as we saw particularly during the 2000, 2004 and 2010 elections.
If we do not reform the system, another right wing demagogue will rise up, who has learned that he or she must not merely wave the flag, thump their bible and rattle their sword. They would know they must not so blatantly favor and enable the wealthiest few, and they would probably promise to provide more help to the middle class, the working poor and the poor. But, he or she would thus be even more deceptive.
After all, consider the political rhetoric of extreme right-wing ideologues. Their rhetoric has been very divisive and deceptive, and some of it has even created a hostile and dangerous political climate in America. Their misleading rhetoric has falsely tried to deny that global warming and climate change is caused by careless human industrial activities and products. They falsely tried to connect President Barack Obama to socialism and "Big Brother" government; to equate clinical abortion to murder; to equate international diplomacy with "placating the enemy and putting America at risk," and to equate universal health care as "government takeover."
All those claims were deceptive lies, serving the interests of the wealthiest few and their corporations and insurance companies, at the expense of all the rest of us. Health insurance premiums keep going up higher and higher, with higher copays and higher costs for procedures and medications.
The irony and hypocrisy of it is that most of those who are enabling the greedy claim to be freedom-loving, bible-believing Christians, and they repeat the decades-old "Moral Majority" mantra that they want to "restore God to America." They hold rallies and swear "obedience to God," masquerading as Christians.
They march to the same drummer, whether they are politicians or talk show hosts or authors or televangelists or "journalists," and they are divisive hatemongers and character assassins. Most of them try to slander and falsely depict Barack Obama as a Hitler-like Nazi and/or a Stalin-like Socialist. And many gullible and desperate people swallow the propaganda of these deceptive, right-wing demagogues who appeal to hegemonic nationalism, emotions and prejudices, and falsely feign religiosity to further their bigoted, extreme right-wing political agenda.
Their arrogance and self-importance were demonstrated by Tea Party members who were elected to Congress in 2010 when they got angry that Congress dared to pass legislation during the lame-duck session. Tea Party politicians want a permanent extension of Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, and they want a full repeal of the estate tax, which would give another huge windfall to the wealthy. And, to top it off, they are angry that Congress did not give Tea Party politicians more leadership positions in Congress.
Of course, there are left-wing extremists too, but outspoken leftists are usually not deceptive or slanderous, even though they sometimes exaggerate, often indulge in mockery, and are sometimes nearly as offensive, divisive and polarizing are the right-wing extremists are. And that, frankly, is because right-wing extremists are the worst offenders because they cannot be honest. If they were honest, only the greediest of the wealthiest few would support and vote for them.
Therefore, we need to face facts. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution established "freedom of speech, and of the press." However, that does not mean one can lie, slander, or deceive. It means we can be free to tell the verifiable truth even if it criticizes those in power. We all have the right to tell the truth, and even voice our opinion. However, when claims and opinions are voiced in public or broadcasted or published, they should not include lies, slander, or deception. If they do, the guilty should be held accountable.
See, there is a very big difference between legitimate political dissent and "whistle blowing," as opposed to the divisive, misleading, deceptive, slanderous hatemongering. That is unethical and undemocratic. That kind of deceptive and inflammatory rhetoric has fomented political paranoia and anger among right-wing conservatives, some of whom who are very gullible, easily roused, and easily incited to anger.
It could even be said that their kind of rhetoric even incited gullible, malicious people to violence and even murder. There have been several recent examples of that, the most recent being in Tucson, Arizona. It is divisive, malicious hate speech that stokes the paranoia and inflamed the misguided passions of malicious people who claim to be patriotic and religious. And, in that sense, these misguided, self-important, self-righteous hatemongers can be equated with the leaders of any other terrorist group that claims to be religious in an attempt to gain power. They masquerade as good, and even think they’re good, when they are far from it.
Their hatemongering and fearmongering is also designed to fight needed reforms and regulations, and thus it is very deceptive. Even though they are responsible for the inequitable political-economic system and want to perpetuate it, they push the buttons of hate, fear and prejudice, to fool gullible people who have been victimized by the system.
Some leaders of the Tea Party movement have gained followers by exploiting and misleading people who are frustrated with government’s inability to deal with injustice, inequity, and unfairness. But they are hypocritical, because Tea Party leaders are among those who have supported and enabled those that created the mess we’re in. A Gallup poll in 2010 revealed that 80 percent of Tea Party members are Republicans. They are simply right-wing extremists, and the ire they raise creates gridlock and prevents progress.
Granted, even though those who revived the John Birch Society's ideology and originated the Tea Party Movement during Bush’s reign were essentially Reaganite Libertarians who were "against big government," some of them were actually against political and corporate corruption. But, while most Libertarians believe that "big government interference" is at fault, they do not recognize that the corruption was caused by government’s failure to sufficiently regulate business and industry to protect the public welfare.
Besides that, the Tea Party Movement is now merely one of many misleading right-wing extremist elements that are part of the underlying infection that we must be aware of and guard against, because they all divide us and pit us against each other.
However, even more dangerous is the newly formed right-wing American Action Network (ANN), which paid for slanderous, misleading and often false attack ads on television against Democrats in the 2010 mid-term election season. The organization was created by right-wing politicians and their funders as soon as the Supreme Court enabled the ultra wealthy and their corporations to spend more money than ever influencing elections. Its board is filled with right-wing Republican politicians and millionaire and billionaire businessmen, industrialists and financiers. They falsely claim that the Democrats are responsible for ruining the economy and creating the deficit, and that the Democrats will raise your taxes. But these wealthy hypocrites are responsible for the crisis and are simply afraid that the Democrats might succeed in forcing them to start paying at least a little more fair share of taxes. That’s why they indulge in such dirty politics.
However, today some Republicans fully realize the unpopularity of the Bush era Republicans, the Libertarians and the “Tea Party” Republicans, so they are now trying to re-frame their message and narrative. However, their new message is merely the same old Reaganite message, put in different words in an obvious attempt to seem progressive. They unwittingly expose the phoniness of their partisan politics, and especially the phoniness and delusion of Republicans who think Reaganism should be maintained and perpetuated.
In the final analysis, even though there have been times when partisan politics created choice between valid conservative and progressive ideas, it usually does not. Partisan politics is a winner-take-all competition for political and military power, and often that power has been won by pretenders and deceivers who masquerade as good.
That’s why the term "Imperial Presidency" was coined in a book written in the 1970s, critical of the Nixon Presidency. It was used again in criticism of Ronald Reagan, and more recently of George W. Bush, such as in the book titled The Limits of Power: the End of American Exceptionalism, by Andrew J. Bacevich, Professor of International Relations at Boston University, West Point graduate, and retired Army officer who submits that the Bush Administration negated genuine democracy, ignored the Constitution, and declared that the Executive Branch is not accountable to Congress. And, rather than establish proper Constitutional policies and reforms, the Obama Administration conveniently takes advantage of the precedents established by Republicans regarding executive privilege.
Americans should learn and recognize how the imperial Bush Regime’s secrecy, power grabs, abuses of power and violations of national and international laws and the Geneva Conventions set dangerous and perilous precedents that we must abolish and not follow, as the Obama administration has done. Even more important, we should not expect President Obama (or anyone else) to play king of the world (imperial president), because the extent to which that occurs is the extent to which a president represents the Beast-King of Babylon, playing god.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration's arguments of legality are similar to Bush’s regarding policies about presidential power and prerogatives, and the use of covert operatives in other countries. That is reflected in everything from institutional momentum to the continuity of the power of career employees in federal departments and agencies in which the same cultures and mind sets endure. And it is even reflected in the Obama administration’s refusal to prosecute the people who perpetrated many of the illegal and wrong acts authorized by the Bush Regime.
Ultimately, the fact is that no president can lead us to unity and harmony, or to government that is truly democratic. We simply cannot have government of, by and for all the people as long as we have a sovereign head of state, especially a partisan one who won power over others through the divisive process of partisan politics.
However, we can and will have government of, by and for the people as soon as enough people get the message. Then we will never again be divided, and Obama will not be replaced by a partisan "pretender to the throne." We will share the "throne" as equal joint heirs, and, at long last we will have government that is truly of, by and for the people. We will be able to govern ourselves, determine our own destiny, and use the common wealth for the common good.
Democracy can exist only if government operates with the consent and the direction of the people as a whole body politic, when they have equal voice and equal opportunity to name who they want to represent them in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. Unfortunately, as it is now, we do not have truly representational government, and thus we do not have true Democracy.
That's why the message from the Spirit of truth is so very important. It shows how we can end the abuse of power and the divisive competition for power, and instead share it as we should.
On the pages titled 21st Century Declaration of Independence and How the Meek Shall Inherit the Earth, it is explained how, if we the people choose wisely, we can actually be represented by a government that is truly of, by the for the people. We can put an end to political partisanship and religious bigotry. We can establish true political democracy, equality and equity, and we can establish true religious freedom and equality.
America can become a good example to the world, when we treat all religions, races, nationalities and cultures equally, and when we establish real democracy. We can lead the way in liberating humanity, if we have the courage and the faith to do so.