• RSS
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
ADONAI On September - 29 - 2011

 

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
~Abraham Lincoln

 

Lincoln’s words are as true today as they were over 160 years ago when he first spoke them. Since the birth of our nation our political representatives have always worried about this “grand experiment” collapsing in on itself. The world had not seen a true democracy for thousands of years and never one like this. One that had so many different views and opinions, and all were given equal merit and weight. Or at least that was the idea. It was slow going at first. We were still a pack of farmers and hunters suddenly thrust onto the world stage. We still persecuted the native population and still kept slaves. The true ideals of America had not yet been met. Fast forward  200 plus years and we still haven’t exactly gotten there. Once a land of immigrants, we have turned to heavy persecution not seen since the great Irish migration in the 19th century. Civil rights legislation didn’t really get rid of blatant racism, only made it more subtle and institutionalized. And all our citizens still do not have equal rights, namely our LBGT population,  and are no closer to achieving that then they were a century ago.  They’re good enough to die for us but their families won’t be treated the way other families are.  “Here’s your spouse’s medals, now go away, you’re different”.

When the Constitution was being written there were many questions regarding how the document would be worded and what authority it would have and grant. The best idea was to steer away from a proclamation or decree. Instead, the document would be made up of amendments. This meant that the Constitution is what we call a “living document“. It’s a document that can be changed or added to at any time. When the Constitution was written it was assumed that it would change and evolve as the country did. In many respects it did. Amendments to end slavery, limit Presidential terms, take away our booze(?!), protect our voting rights and extend them to all citizens, a crappy income tax, and all kinds of stuff. Many amendments were added but few were ever repealed or revisited. The Supreme Court was charged with interpreting and ruling on Constitutional issues  and does a fairly good job but they are sometime slaves to the wording of the document and not it’s spirit as a living document of a democratic republic.

Still, this country has persevered for over 200 years. It has overcome secession and civil war, 2 global wars, a global depression, and national civil unrest. It did all this on the strength of its people. Good people who gave everything to safeguard future generations. America faced one adversity after another from the Revolution to the end of the Vietnam War. It is in times of great adversity that people’s true intentions come to the surface. The people were strong. They fought and died for what they felt was right. And it was their cold,pointless deaths that finally compelled Congress to act. That is the sad legacy of “progress” in this country.  Only when we are staring straight into the abyss do we pull back from the edge. When FDR looked out at this country and saw the great masses fighting and dying for what was theirs by right, he could no longer sit silent. His entire Presidency became about saving this country. He took his message straight to the people and they fought for him. Together they forced Congress to do what was necessary and the country had a new life breathed back into it.

In 1964, Congress passed a “Civil Rights” bill. The passage of the bill was fueled mainly by the atrocities committed against black citizens in Birmingham, Alabama the previous year. It was a toothless bill when it was first passed. All kinds of language about rights and fair treatment, the stuff that makes white people feel good about themselves, and very little authority to enforce any of it. On April 4, 1968, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated at a hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. Racial tensions were still high as arguments persisted on how the Civil rights Act would be enforced. The black community snapped, and rightfully so. Not only were they still being openly persecuted in the shadow of a supposed “Civil Rights” bill, their greatest leader had just been gunned down in broad daylight and no one was rushing to solve it or catch his assassin. A series fo riots broke out all over the country as decades of building rage came bubbling to the surface. The country was shamed in the aftermath. The death of Bobby Kennedy three months later and the sight of riots on live television finally pushed us over the tipping point, and the Civil rights bill got the absolute authority it had been looking for.

During this time many on the country were also protesting an illegal war in Vietnam. President Lyndon Johnson was a believer in the domino theory concerning Russia. If Vietnam fell under their sway, so would the next country, and the next one, until they are knocking on Europe’s door. A stupid, baseless idea? Yes. But we are talking about politicians here.  Much like Bush with Iraq, the Johnson administration was looking for any excuse to get into Vietnam.  We had already been providing “support” to France, who were the instigators of the whole thing, but Johnson and many in Congress wanted troops on the ground.

Funny side note: My brother believes Vietnam was targeted for its abundant rubber tree population. America most of all had a standing army in constant need of rubber for any number of uses. Vietnam has one of the largest supplies of the substance and losing that to Russia would have really sucked.Probably not the reason but, knowing how we operate, not at all implausible.

 

Anyways, Johnson had to get creative if we were gonna get involved in Vietnam. In August of 1964, Johnson got his gift. Two incidents in the Gulf of Tonkin would lead to American troops in Vietnam.  On August 2, U.S. naval and air forces engaged Vietnamese torpedo boats in the gulf.  It was good but not good enough. Maybe we started it. Maybe the Vietnamese had reason to engage. Congress probably wouldn’t commit the army just for this. BUT, if they openly attacked us again 2 days later, then they might be more susceptible to suggestion.  On August 4, LBJ addressed the nation and said that U.S. naval forces had been attacked by Vietnamese torpedo boats. 3 days later Congress gave Johnson the authority to act in Southeast Asia wherever and however he deemed necessary. Johnson wasted little time and the war escalated exponentially.  Years later it was determined that the second Gulf of Tonkin incident never occurred. Reported radar images where merely “ghost images” or possibly whales as some theorized. Johnson’s administration took no time to confirm this. They developed an elaborate story about a tumultuous battle which the Vietnamese had started.  All a lie.  What followed was one of the worst decades in the history of the country.  Domestic concerns were all but ignored as focus was put squarely on Vietnam. Even when the war ended it was discovered that President Nixon had already written up a plan to further escalate the war and extend it to Cambodia, where he had already been conducting illegal bombing.

The nation was devastated and whatever innocence it had left was gone. Americans were use to being lied to by politicians but never to such a degree and most certainly not by the President of the United States! This disillusionment lasted all throughout the 70’s. A recession set in and people were too busy feeling sorry for them selves to do anything about it. The spirit of the people was gone. People became concerned with looking out for themselves and getting the most they could. President Jimmy Carter attempted to call us out on this but we spit ti back in his face. We felt we had built the world and now the world was betraying us.   European and Asian manufacturers, who had laid in ruin for decades after World War 2, were back in the game and producing a superior product with a more qualified workforce. The fear of losing the “American way of life” led to the unshackling of our corporate monolith.  For decades American corporations had led the charge to the top. But they were well regulated and their success was directly tied to the success of the country as  a whole. This changed at the dawn of the 80’s.

Americans were having a pity party and  felt their best days were behind them.  Ronald Reagan arrived in 1980 to tell us that we were exceptional. More than exceptional, we were entitled.  We were entitled to have any and every thing we wanted simply by virtue of being born American. It was no longer about earning your way and giving a piece of yourself back to this great land. Now it was about excess and enjoying what was apparently ours by right. Reagan had a plan to make every American rich and we jumped at the chance. The American Dream wasn’t about a house and  a white picket fence anymore.  Now it was a mansion with 2 sports cars in the garage and a maid to pick up your laundry. Screw saving and budgeting. Jump into the stock market and “make your money work for you”. Get rick quick and retire at 30. Spend! Spend even when you don’t have the money. Take this credit card and just go. Of course there were many, many people pointing out that this was the stupidest idea in the history of stupid ideas, but they were promptly drowned out by by the sound of cash registers.

Now I have nothing against spending. In principle. We spend money to make money.  That’s how it works.  And the economy actually did improve in Reagan’s first year.  The largest economic expansion in decades. But all boats were not lifted in this tide. When Reagan came into office he immediately fulfilled his obligation to the people who paid for his campaign by drastically reducing the marginal tax rate.  This rate most affects people with large, increasing incomes, i.e. the wealthiest citizens. This was coupled with massive spending programs that led to the largest increase in the “size of government” in generations, but also put millions of people back to work. Reagan then went on to increase tax rates 11 different times. It really didn’t help though. The economy was full of “fake money”. We had always run on debts and obligations but the money circulating would eventually pay for it. It sounds funny but we would “spend our way out of it”. But the money in circulation had a greatly reduced value and  most of our obligations were backed by credit that was quickly spiraling out of control. Real public debt skyrocketed. More Americans owed more money than at any point in history. Debt to creditors, banks, state and federal government, and many were in no position to pay any of it back.

Reagan’s tax hikes were already going to Social Security and Medicare and other government expenses and obligations. New revenue was almost nonexistent. When Reagan left office the top marginal tax rate had fallen from 70% to 28%. Corporate profits were skyrocketing and people were beginning to slip back into unemployment and poverty in large numbers. This mess was handed to George H. Bush and he could do little about it. New revenue had to come in but Bush made a silly pledge to impose no new taxes. So he was fucked from the get go.  Of course he had to eventually raise taxes or watch the country slip into another prolonged recession and this cost him a re-election. Many Americans were happy with the way things were. We still felt entitled. We still wanted to be rich. More than that we wanted cheap merchandise and fewer responsibilities.

When Bill Clinton took office the country was paranoid about slipping back into a funk. Clinton realized the people are easily bought. Deals with China and the passing of NAFTA ensured that Americans would continue to get ridiculous shit at low, low prices. We were happy. When the tech boom hit and ordinary Americans were suddenly becoming millionaires overnight, the greed of the 80’s returned in full force. It was a distraction from the further decreasing corporate tax rates. The disappearing regulation and nonexistent enforcement.  The people dying so we could have a flat screen plasma. And while many people made tons of money in the 90’s, the gap between rich and poor continued to increase. Like the 80’s it was all artificial and never meant to last. Many analysts and economists saw the tech bubble burst coming years ahead of time. Knew there was nothing of substance underneath it. Clinton walked off into the sunset, a hero, and left behind a ticking time bomb at the center of our economy.

Then, the worst possible person to be our next President became our next president. Taxes needed to be raised, the top marginal tax rate definitely needed to be raised before any more spending programs were set out. That didn’t happen. In the first year of Bush II’s presidency, America was attacked by crazy people. Thousands of lives were lost and America severely overreacted. Instead of asking, “What can I do to help?”, the people were told to keep shopping and pretend nothing had ever happened. Well, that is what we do best so that’s what we did. So many were worried that they may have to sacrifice for the “war” effort but Bush II would have none of it. He told us that the war would pay for itself, make us tons of money, and everyone could just go back to their lives.  Even better, Bush II cut taxes for the first time ever during a “war”. Not once but twice! Of course it was mostly for the top 1% but if we hear the word tax break our tails start wagging.

So ti was awesome. Not only did we not have to pay attention to the “wars”, but we were gonna get paid for them!! HOORAY!!!!!  Of course, again, many, many people took to the streets and the airwaves to point out how incredibly stupid we were being but we concluded they were trying to ruin our good time and that they just hated democracy. Then Bush II launched 2 multi billion dollar programs, including a failed education program, and went to work trying to take away our retirement money. Democrats, in a rare show of unity, beat back the assault on Social Security and saved it for at least a few more years. We didn’t care though. I mean, we had a magnet on our SUVs clearly stating we “Support the Troops”. That should be enough.

So everything became an excuse. When food and oil went up, it got blamed on Al-Qaeda and we just went with it. Unemployment begins rising, blame it on the Mexicans. And many did. And not just Republicans, who seem to l9ve this stuff, but many, many Americans who just liked getting something for absolutely nothing. Never being asked to sacrifice anything for the country. So the country collapsed. A vast majority of economists from all over the world saw it coming. Wrote about it almost daily. But no one cared. Pay more taxes? Fuck that! I mean, we’d still be paying lower taxes than any American ever, but still, fuck that. And even when it became just about putting the top rates back to normal, too many people felt it was  a”trick”. That somehow it would effect them and we just can’t have that.

So when Bush II left office we were hemorrhaging jobs at unprecedented levels, another fake market, this time housing, collapsed, and we fell into the largest recession in 2 generations. BUT, you wouldn’t think things were so bad looking around the country. I mean, not EVERYONE lost their job. EVERYONE wasn’t dumb enough to sign up for a house they knew they couldn’t pay for.  So fuck them. They got what was coming to them.  You’d think if things were so bad, business would suffer. It didn’t. Retail and service industries still rake in record numbers. New car purchases actually rose in the first year of the recession and, even though many abandoned housing, high value renting shot up. Money was still being spent, people were still living their lives. When Barack Obama was elected President, he took over a country at the height of not giving a shit.

The American people elected him to fix their problems. Seriously. He was elected on the premise that he was a monarch with absolute control of the country. Also, don’t raise our taxes and don’t do anything in general that would require us to sacrifice. Of course Obama was counting on the American people to do their part. That was  a bad move. The American people feel entitled to what they have and don’t expect to have to sacrifice for anything. Especially wars and poverty. Fuck’em. Twice Obama tried to repeal the Bush II tax cuts. Twice he failed. Twice he tried to encourage people to give more to our “war” efforts. Twice he was met with a “Meh”. I didn’t expect the country to change 30 years of programming overnight but  he’s barely made  dent in 3 years. Now we have kids, the next generation, taking to the streets to try and secure some kind of future for themselves and it is met with the usual apathy. Why should the media cover something most of the nation could care less about?

And so that is why we fail. Not because of politicians or corporations or religious extremists. Because we don’t care.  because, as long as things are just good enough, we can be content. Effort, pride, and work ethic were snuffed out in the 80’s and it has never really returned. It’s all about making money off of other people and never worrying about being asked to sacrifice. Complaining about the same people and the same systems WE put into place. A country of whining children. Just look at polling numbers.

59% loved Obama’s stimulus package. 59% think he is spending too much money regarding the stimulus. WTF?!

Or how about this: 60% of people want stricter regulations on businesses. 60% think we’re regulating business too much.

56% would like to see taxes raised.  Around 56% think we pay an acceptable rate.

And it just goes on like that. It’s fun to say you want to help. Makes you feel good. But actually helping? I dunno about that. But polls are tricky. You can make them say whatever you want. Still, these are disturbing trends.  What I take away from it is a populace that is either conflicted or just doesn’t care. Given the last 30 years, my guess is they don’t care.

If this were a monarchy or a fascist government, I would accept the victim card so many in this country play.  But we’re not victims. Nothing was done to us. We brought this all on ourselves. “Government of the people, by the people, and for the people…”. You can throw off this responsibility if you want but it changes nothing. Our politicians are not our leaders, they are our representatives. Everything they do is in our name and with our consent. All backed by a corporate owned media that few actually watch but still blame for our ignorance.  It will all change though. Things will get better as they always do but I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to a place where most are doing good. I don’t want to get rid of federal government but people do indeed rely on it far too much. And often refuse to pay for it.

So that’s my take. It doesn’t matter who we elect if we don’t do our jobs. America hasn’t failed us, we have failed America. Again, this is why my Presidential platform is “Shut the Fuck Up America”.

George Carlin – Don’t blame Politicians

 

 

 

Written by ADONAI

For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.

34 Responses so far.

Click here to leave a comment
  1. SueInCa says:

    Adonai
    After I made that comment below, I went back and read the whole article. I think, in some sense, I am feeling the same as you stated in this piece. We are a bunch of spoiled people who stopped thinking for ourselves. We allowed Reagan to tell us credit was good and although many got into trouble with credit, the minute they were brought back into the fold(say after a BK) they were right back at it again. But by the time Bush came into office, I, for one, had gotten off that treadmill. Granted I was making a six figure salary that made it very easy for us to use cash but I was also contemplating getting off that corporate treadmill as well. I finally did in 2003 and have never been happier. Perhaps knowing we have the money if we need it makes it easier but we live on half of what we used to and never touch that money so we have adjusted. We still vacation and we still eat out, visit friends, attend events, go to concerts so that tells me we blew through alot of money in the past. And I have a lot more time to do good instead of always thinking of myself. It is a much healthier and satisfying life. But I still think many more people are living in poverty and don’t have the same advantages I did in re-assessing their lifestyle and for those people I feel we need to give them a hand up, not a hand out. Republicans would deny them even the hand up.

  2. SueInCa says:

    Funny side note: My brother believes Vietnam was targeted for its abundant rubber tree population. America most of all had a standing army in constant need of rubber for any number of uses. Vietnam has one of the largest supplies of the substance and losing that to Russia would have really sucked.Probably not the reason but, knowing how we operate, not at all implausible

    Adonai
    Your brother was partially right. In Howard Zinn’s Peoples’ History he covers this on the Vietnam war. It seems to me we always try to get in the middle of other country’s struggles and there was a civil war going on there. Diem’s government was taken over by a coup d’etat and things were never the same. So from 1963 to when we fully engaged, the Kennedy and Johnson administrations had a hard-on to get involved in what was clearly a matter for the North and South to work out on their own. We certainly would not stand for an outside agitator to move in on us if we were in the same situation. Precisely why Johnson had to make up the Gulf of Tonkin false flag attack. Neither side wanted us there. We lost over 55,000 men and women to a war that was a lie to begin with. It is amazing that we have not lost as many in Iraq and Afghanistan. the other side certainly has……

  3. funksands says:

    Adonai, thanks so much for this post. It has made me chew on a lot of thoughts I hadn’t for a while.

    Corporate Socialism has been the law of the land for a 100 years or so.

    Corporatio­ns get protected and backstoppe­d by the government­, and in turn they agree to pay the workers and treat the workers in a reasonable fashion.

    In return, the workers stay off the streets and elect the aristocrac­y to run the government­…

    Who in turn take a little off the top and continue to grease the wheels for corporatio­ns.

    Not a bad deal comparativ­ely and historical­ly speaking.

    Unfortunat­ely, someone got greedy and broke the circle of trust.

    This feels like blowback, but when 75% of voters can’t be bothered to show up to a mid-term election in the middle of a huge economic slump am I fooling my self?

    Can there be “revolution” if 75% of the public doesn’t really care?

    • ADONAI says:

      No funk, if 75% don’t care, it won’t happen. But revolution is highly unnecessary.

      And I know who broke the circle of trust. We did. We got greedy. We have to get away from this caste system we try to apply to people.

      All these bankers and executives are just regular people. CEOs, board members, and so on. They’re just like us.

      People spend more on lottery tickets than they do on groceries. I still can’t stay mad at us though. We’re just people. I think things will get better. i just don’t know how much better anymore. At least in the short term.

    • Sometimes I think “revolution,” is just a quaint old idea. I sure hope I’m wrong about this. The struggle between the “haves,” and “have nots,” is at an all time low, IMO. Maybe the Occupy Wall Street movement will finally restart the people’s passions against the strangle hold the rich have on the middle class and poor.

  4. KQuark says:

    America is failing now because one party has decided that for political gain it’s better to go to war with the other side than compromise and come together to govern the country. Until the Cold Civil War ends and the vast majority of the country cares about what is best for the country over their personal ideology we are doomed.

    • ADONAI says:

      I agree 100% Ideology is killing us. Particularly the Republican fascination with economic stagnation.

      • S-Man says:

        It is difficult to have change without serious intelligent candidates. Did you ever think you’d live to see a political ad where a candidate for the U.S. Senate would seriously say “I’m not a witch”, or the latest fool who thinks she’s qualified because she used to castrate hogs?

  5. choicelady says:

    As a trained historian (do not try this at home) I know things have been much, much worse in earlier periods. I know they have also been much, much better for surprisingly large numbers of people than they may be now.

    I keep wondering -- why do we fall for the snake oil sold us once that failed that is sold again as the panacea for all time? There are people alive today that lived through the Great Depression and its precursors -- unfettered capital, gross inequalities, unrealistic promises. Hell -- we lived through it all in the Reagan years -- are we really that stupid?

    What is different is mass media. Where you once had huge diversity of experience and opinion, today you get a much more uniform sense of opinion. Fewer and fewer news outlets are congealing into one fairly uniform group think. It makes the robust diversity that once existed within a single city almost non-existent. Labor and Wall Street see the same news programs, suburbia and inner city watch the same pundits. No wonder no one has a clue what is really going on.

    When labor took to the streets in the 19th century, at least labor people knew the issues and shared them because they had their own papers as well as a common experience. Now? They have their own emails, but not everyone has them, and they are purposely set against one another. My office postman, calling himself a ‘recovering Democrat’ told me gleefully that all state workers were the cause of California’s problem. Now HE is the problem according to his GOP allies. Funny. He doesn’t stop to talk politics with me anymore…and I would commiserate, but he wouldn’t believe that.

    Yes, Em -- we are sliding toward becoming a Banana Republic. it was predictable. As early as 1973 a wonderful book, “Global Reach” projected EXACTLY this outcome including a chapter, “The Latinamericanization of the United States” in which the authors said that with the elimination of good jobs and depression of wages, that is where we were headed. Many of us -- just using basic good sense -- could see that there was no such thing as “an evergreen revolver” -- an endless supply of riches that would never dry up. But the flim flam man told everyone it would never end. And too many Americans were Peanuts’ character Lucy who asked, “Why does life have to have its ups and downs? I want ups, ups, and more ups!!!”

    We CAN stop this. In part yes we need people in the streets. Lots and lots of them! But we ALSO need the policy wonks who translate that anger into laws. This is and always has been -- Civil War excepted -- a nation that moved forward by law both legislatively and in our courts. We cannot achieve stability without that. So what is done on the streets has to be anchored permanently by law. There is no separation possible or we will get only uproar without correction while correction won’t come without that passion.

    But it HAS been worse -- much worse -- when only 7% of Americans were middle class, a tiny fraction were stinking rich, and the poverty was everyone else. The filth, disease, abuse of all labor, the violence, slums, overcrowding, child mortality, and lack of concern for any human life was the norm. We are NOT that hard hearted as a nation even though we have among us those who cherish that standard and will its return. They ARE the minority.

    Since good people and good hearts ARE the mainstream, we must press forward to reclaim honorable actions and policies as the norm. We are not doomed.

    Yet.

    • KQuark says:

      I think we are really headed to a neo-confederacy where life in each state is going to be even more different than they are today. You are going to have red states that are going to continue to be little banana republics like Texas, mega states like California, little prosperous and liberal states like Vermont that will have their own healthcare systems and such.

      I take the view that I don’t think humans are intellectually capable of handling mega societies without an authoritarian central government which America has become. We see how the EU has crippled continental Europe and every mega country like Russia, China, India etc are not high end societies. It all comes down to what’s manageable and the US is too big to manage now.

      I think people in the streets will only separate the country more and bring states further down this path more quickly. I mean what did the protests in the 60’s and 70’s from the left really change, besides ending the Vietnam War. We ended up with people afraid of the left and the Reagan years. It was different when FDR was president because of WWII and back then the Dems where seen as the best party to keep America secure.

      • jjgravitas says:

        The protests of the 60s and 70s woke people up the the face that something was terribly wrong, and to that end they were successful. The Viet Nam war ended. The civil rights area was able to progress from its bloody beginnings to progressively becoming both the law of the land and common sense.

    • Emerald1943 says:

      CL, the last word of your comment gave me the chills! No, we as a nation are not that hard-hearted, but when people are faced with a threat to their actual physical survival, they can become very hard-hearted very quickly.

      Last night, I scrolled through the site “We are the 99%” and read many of the stories there. I noticed that so many of the young people had been forced to move back in with their parents simply to survive. Some even told of sleeping on friends’ sofas for long periods of time, even panhandling for food money! A few of the women even admitted to “sex work” to earn enough to support themselves. How sad that anyone would have to go to this extent just to buy food and pay rent in this, the richest nation in history!

      I read one comment from a young mother who said she only eats once each day to make sure that her children will have enough to sustain them. How can this be?

      My point is that over-crowding is already happening. We have slums where 20 people may live in a small apartment for lack of any other choices. Shelters are full to capacity, food banks are stretched to the limit, and benefits are non-existent or being cut to those most vulnerable. A lack of health care was another subject mentioned in many of the stories on that website. Many of the stories were so sad…medication or food? What a terrible choice! Any major city in this country has its homeless, living under cardboard boxes and carrying meager possession in shopping carts. Their numbers are growing as more and more people lose their homes and have no where else to go. A number of the stories told of parents losing homes after years of responsible living, through no fault of their own. Of course, joblessness was the #1 cause of most of the problems.

      Granted, we are not where we were during the early days of industrialization in this country. But I am afraid that we are quickly sliding in that direction. When you have a republican governor trying to roll back child labor laws, and others who would abolish the minimum wage, what else can you think?

      I sincerely hope that some legal aid will come to help the movement, but you and I both know that it’s going to be one hell of a fight against the powers that be. I cannot remember such a deliberate and concerted assault on the rights of the American people that we see in our current situation. I am afraid that the short attention span of the voters will put our worst nightmare in the White House and give him a Congress to do his bidding. If that happens, we may well be doomed.

      I still believe that when given the FACTS, the American people are sympathetic to the plight of so many. We just have to keep pushing back hard against the right wing that would take away every safety net from us. Even if it is all “roar” and no action right now, I support the protesters. Perhaps this will wake up the people in this country to get involved.

      Thanks for your insightful comments here! You are a jewel! I am so glad you are my friend! :-)

  6. jjgravitas says:

    What bothers me is the circle we’ve been spinning in keeps getting tighter and tighter. “We” elected Obama to fix the mess we were in. Then “we” packed Congress with a bunch of drooling idiot republicans to guarantee that Obama would never be able to fix anything. So what are “we” going to do next? Put another republican in the white house because “we” accepted the corporate tea party lie that the Obama administration is responsible for the economy being in the toilet? What then?
    Maybe the U.S.A. is finally ready for fascism. Eliminate Congress. Eliminate the tea party and the GOP, who deal entirely in fantasies and who have never done a single constructive thing for this country.

    • ADONAI says:

      It would be difficult to implement true fascism in America. First of all, and probably most importantly, American corporations wouldn’t play along. A fascist government would immediately seize control of all corporate operations in it’s border.

      We can barely regulate them. You really think they would accept full government control? No. They prey on out greed and stupidity to increase their bottom line. Not the government’s. So if fascism did come to America, amazingly enough, GE and Microsoft would suddenly be your best friends.

      Our diversity, and even our stubbornness, will be assets as well. What else do fascist governments do? They take away all weapons. Now, all of a sudden, 80% of the Republican base is on your side.

      See, no matter your disagreements with people, or how crazy they seem or actually are, they most likely love this country and the freedom it gives them. They just have their own weird views on it.

      Fascism would probably help in that it would unify this country. Almost everyone would find something they vehemently oppose.

      And Christians? How about this?

      “The destruction of Christianity was explicitly recognized as a purpose of the National Socialist movement”

      This was from the leader of the Hitler Youth. No one would want fascism. True fascism. It will never happen.

      • If fascism did come about in the US, it wouldn’t involve the government taking control of the big businesses, the government would act as their protector. Pretty much they way it is working now.

    • jjgravitas says:

      I love the responses I’ve been getting to this comment. Just so we’re clear, I don’t approve of fascism in any form. I’m just so frustrated with the disfunction of our own system of government that I’m beginning to grasp as straws. The rich and connected seem to have the rest of us completely locked out of our own government. They give us the illusion of a choice, and when we elect a democratic president, they elect a republican congress so extreme that it becomes impossible to fix anything, and then they blame that disfunction on the president. A visious circle that makes sure that nothing gets done.

      • bito says:

        and when we elect a democratic president, they elect a republican congress

        There is no “we” and “they” there. It was too many people not voting during the midterms and working on GOTV. Too many times people don’t vote in “off-year” elections not realizing that bills come out of Congress not from the Oval Office. The “system” may have many problems but one thing any eligible voter can do is VOTE! (early and often.) The TPGOP voted in 2010, the Dems didn’t!
        There may be many spokes broken in our wheel of government, but some can be fixed with the simple act of voting!

        • jjgravitas says:

          The Reagan era taught me a lesson. I have voted in every election since, up to and including the last one, and I will be voting in the next one.

        • Emerald1943 says:

          Bito, you are so right! But how many people will be so depressed and down that they will even believe in voting anymore? The right-wing controlled media is not doing anything to help either. The corporate financed lies and smears turn people off to the process. Sad to see!

          • bito says:

            Em, to steal and paraphrase Chomsky: ‘ if you are depending on the media to get your message out, you’ve lost.”
            There is nothing better than walking your neighborhood and knocking doors, “pressing the flesh” and talking to people. Nothing!
            To talk to people and “turn” them is near exhilarating. We used to get a group together and make a day of it, knock doors all day and then dine and drink.
            Oh, youth and good health!
            This is not anything new and it needs to be done, Karl Rove on Fox even mentioned it (it’s not news) that “turning” 1 to 2% per precinct can change a statewide vote.
            Think of that. Turn 10-20 votes or get them out to vote can work wonders.

    • funksands says:

      jjgravitas, It’s a fascist-curious phase I bet Europe was hoping we would avoid. They’ve dabbled a few times, and we know how that turned out…

      • jjgravitas says:

        I know what you mean. What bothers me is the similarities I am beginning to see between us now and Germany in the 1930s. Back then, Germany was hurting terribly after losing WW1 and was completely marginalized by the rest of Europe. Then along comes Hitler who unites Germany under the theme of racial purity and glorifying the Aryan race and rounding up the Jews and other into prison camps.
        I would never want any of that of course, I only want people to recognize that the GOP aren’t working in America’s best interests. Their efforts are only directed towards the benefit of the wealthy, the so-called ‘job creators’. What a crock!

        • Emerald1943 says:

          Hi jj! It reminds me of the same thing, Germany in the 30’s just as Hitler was coming into power in the early days. He started off slowly enough with promises of German pride and restoration of the country’s strength. Only a few were really aware that his hatred of the Jews was going to result in concentration camps. He preached against the Jews, but who would have thought that he would actually set out to exterminate millions? No reasonable person would have ever dreamed of that.

          I see the US in a kind of half-sleep right now, knowing that things are not right, but not quite awake enough to see what’s really happening. We have a group of far right religious nuts who are intent on taking over the government, much as Hitler did then. They are starting out slowly, taking local and state positions, but working always to overturn the laws and protections that we take for granted. One example right now is the constant attack on women’s reproductive rights. They are currently sponsoring ballot initiatives in two states with plans for all the rest. This fits right in with the repub’s agenda, or vice versa.

          Some people do not take these people seriously. They are pretty far out there for sure, but don’t underestimate them. They are more than determined and they are pushing their candidates with the support of the republican party. They have merged with the GOP and they have plenty of money behind them. Take Rick Perry’s recent prayer fest in Texas. It was completely sponsored and run by the religious right Dominionists. Perry is their guy to take the White House. Fortunately for us, Perry is not going to make it, but perhaps next time, they will find another candidate who can take the presidency. If that happens, we are so totally screwed!

    • A good dose of fascism just might wake up the American people, but I fear we would never get our democracy back.

      • jjgravitas says:

        The problem with that is the GOP is so dominant in the media and in politics, even with a democratic president in office, that the rest of us have to work ten times as hard just for our voices to be heard. This is how uprisings start.

        • I basically meant that the American people would be at a much larger disadvantage fiscally, socially, culturally…etc. That if fascism should ever succeed, their lives would be much worse than they are now. Maybe bad enough to get them to finally wise up to what’s going on. I would hope that austerity and poverty and lack of good medical care would open their eyes to the utter bullshit being spewed by the right wing machine, which of course, includes the media. But I do fear that if things get that bad and fascism becomes the norm, it may be to late to get our democracy back. It’s already slipping away at an alarming rate.

          • jjgravitas says:

            China seems ro be doing really well, even though they are still Communist … sort of. Not that I would want to live there.

            • China has one of the worst human rights records in the world. But yes, the people are being pacified by material goods, more than ever before. They have the “things.” What they don’t have is very much freedom. They are still pretty much locked in culturally, by their government. There is still a lot of fear and suspicion among the people.
              The Chinese government is really good about putting a veneer of well being on an otherwise grim way of living.

            • bito says:

              China also has very large portion of their society living in poverty, income inequality, pollution, workers rights and a strict authoritarian government.
              One reason the growth of their GDP seems so high is because it has a so much capacity to grow.

              The Chinese government is really good about putting a veneer of well being on an otherwise grim way of living.

              ‘sactly right.

  7. Emerald1943 says:

    Adonai, thanks so much for your article! It is indeed timely and echoes some of my thoughts. I have been thinking that if this country does not change tracks, we will collapse under our own debt and weight! I am not getting any younger…I have two grandchildren who are almost grown, and I am deeply worried about their futures.

    When I was growing up in a small Southern town, we never locked our home or our cars. We could go shopping and leave the keys in the car, parked in front of the stores on Main Street. Now, if you are foolish enough to do that, your car will not be there when you come back. It was a much more simple time of innocence that I’m afraid will not return.

    There is a hard veneer to America now. It’s every man for himself with little or no regard for others in need. America is much too involved in the next silly sitcom or who will win “American Idol” to concern itself with hungry children or homeless veterans living under bridges. Our Congress has been bought and sold by the corporations that urge us continually to buy the latest, greatest…whether we can afford it or not. The debt of the average American family is staggering. Students who attempt to get a college education find themselves indebted for the rest of their productive lives. It is a cruel kind of slavery with no emancipation in sight. And don’t get me started about the outsourcing of our jobs for cheap overseas labor! It is really no wonder that young people are protesting the greed of the bankers and corporations who have robbed our country blind!

    In my humble opinion, unless America drastically changes its direction in the very near future, the Union itself may be in danger of breaking. What it will take to wake up the American people is still a question that I cannot answer. The polarization of our politics is the most drastic that I have ever seen in all my years. As we approach another election next year, the ugly and divisive ads begin again to smear the candidates, deepening the political divide even further. No candidate, whether for local town council or for President of the United States, is immune from unfair and biased attacks. Ideology is king…the true needs of the people are ignored. We continue on this track at our own peril!

    The foundations of our democracy include the active participation of the people. Unless our populace becomes concerned enough to become involved, to loudly and persistently voice our needs to our representatives in government, to work to preserve our own rights, and to vote, our “experiment” in democracy will fail, a victim to our own apathy. We will become a nation by the corporations, for the corporations with nothing left on our skyline but high-rise monuments to greed.

    Your history lesson puts this current situation into a perspective that I have not seen anywhere else. Most thought-provoking! Thank you for posting it!

    • ADONAI says:

      Thanks, Em! So many people have covered our situation from so many good angles, I figured I would just go straight to the people.

      And it’s tough cause we’re good people at heart. I love this country and it’s people. Like anyone else it’s just so easy for us to lose our way and to have backwards priorities.

      It is true that external forces are constantly working to manipulate our apathy but it is ours to end at any time. I hope the Wall Street movement is the start of something big. It has to start with the young people. The older generations are too set in their ways.

      And Obama has had to weather any number of unfair attacks. has he been perfect? Of course not. Has he been terrible? Absolutely not. But so many go to the extreme one way or another. The middle ground is almost nonexistent now a days.

      And I share your worry about the republic but I also know this isn’t the first time people have seriously questioned America’s ability to continue. Not the first time greed and hubris have taken us down a dark path.

      I think we’ll make it. We’ll be stronger. But I understand anyone who worries. Things can get worse. Much, much worse.

      • Emerald1943 says:

        Adonai, things can definitely get much, much worse. The American voter has such a short attention span. We voted in President Obama for the change that he promised. It has been very disheartening that many have turned against him in such a short time, expecting him to work miracles. I cannot remember any president having to face the myriad of problems that he has tackled in two and a half years. The opposition of the repubs has been stunning.

        My point here is that with that short attention span and expectations of immediate gratification, I am afraid that the voters will elect another George Bush! If that happens, I don’t know if the country can survive. You know, as well as I, that the repubs’ policies will do nothing to combat the jobs problem and spark an economic recovery…quite to the contrary.

        I’m not giving up on it. I agree that we are strong, but the basic underpinnings of good jobs, decent wages, solid home-ownership, and a fair representative government are sadly disappearing. This does not bode well for us as a nation. As I wrote last year, “If they take away all our jobs, take away all our homes, and limit our educations, what kind of third-world country will we be in ten years?” And the way I see it, that’s exactly what’s been happening.


Leave your Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Back to top
PlanetPOV Tweets
Ongoing Stories
Features