democracy, Economics, latest, United States, USA
Comments 13

The US democratic circus

by Jesse Marioneaux

Annual party convention season in the United States combines comedy, farce, and melodrama in one rip-roaring package of unadulterated entertainment that is to democracy what the Emperor Nero was to fire prevention.

The American people, and the world, are currently being treated to an annual parade of charisma-challenged, very rich and predominately white mummies, appearing on vast stages bedecked in Stars & Stripes and other symbols of US exceptionalism, reading prepared speeches from an autocue in front of audiences of placard-waving, holler-whooping people bused in from every town in the country.

Meanwhile, outside the auditoria where these circuses are being held, the people from downtown are protesting, doing their best to avoid getting their skulls cracked by police batons in the process.

Is there anybody anywhere who still believes that democracy and America are words that belong together in the same sentence? Rather than a government of the people, by the people, for the people, the truth of American democracy is, in the words of US economist Joseph Stiglitz, a government of the 1 percent, by the 1 percent, for the 1 percent.

Both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, rather than glowing examples of democracy in action, instead afford the 99 percent a ringside seat at the struggle between rival political representatives of the super rich for the privilege of being the one who will screw them over for the next four years. It is a contest to see which group of rich patrons, campaign donors, and corporate sponsors will gain most from whoever is in the White House next. A US presidential election is less about governing the country and more about dividing up the succulent, juicy pie of corporate welfare between those who already have too much yet still want more. For it is greed not democracy that drives politics in the land of the free, greed for money, power, prestige, status and fame.

This particular election year comes at a point where it is no longer possible to continue the pretense that America is the greatest country on earth, that shining city on the hill of which every dewy-eyed patriot boasts. In truth it is a country, political system and society in crisis, wherein a war of all against all is raging in its towns and cities, pitting police departments kitted out with more weaponry than your average army against low income and minority communities, inhabited by people who have seen their lives decimated under both Democrat and Republican administrations over the years, administrations in thrall to the rich and corporate America, whose theft and larceny would make Al Capone blush it is so outrageous.

In 2016, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are squaring off for what is already one of the most vicious and acrimonious campaigns for the White House ever fought.Is there anybody anywhere who still believes that democracy and America are words that belong together in the same sentence? Rather than a government of the people, by the people, for the people, the truth of American democracy is, in the words of US economist Joseph Stiglitz, a government of the 1 percent, by the 1 percent, for the 1 percent.

But, yet, when it comes to foreign policy, at least Trump is not promising to wage war without end on the world and is less than enthusiastic about NATO. This alone marks him out as a refreshing departure from the norm.

Clinton, meanwhile, is a woman for whom foreign policy and cruise missiles are two sides of the same coin. She comes to the race as the progressive candidate, though only by dint of a grotesque mangling of the English language, could anyone willing the destruction of entire countries, gloating over the murder of an African leader, and threatening to unleash war on anyone that dares stand in America’s way be described as progressive.

Moreover, for someone presented to the American people as a champion of the poor, working people, and those struggling to make ends meet, she and her husband have some interesting friends and supporters – Wall Street and George Soros prime among them – who aren’t exactly struggling to get by. Then, too, the sympathy she’s expressed for the increasing number of black victims of police brutality and shootings is belied by her vociferous support for her husband Bill’s notorious crime bill, which his administration drafted in the early nineties and which ushered in the mass incarceration of black people and other minorities.

This democratic circus of the RNC and DNC takes place as the presidency of Barack Obama winds down to its ignominious end. It is a two-term presidency that can he measured by the answer to one simple question. How many mothers are childless and children orphans as a result of the decisions his administration made over the last nine years? The question answers itself, as it does when applied to every US president and administration since the end of the Second World War, condemning each and every one with crimes against humanity committed on a mammoth scale.

It is why the gulf between the Hollywood circus that is the Republican and Democrat National Conventions – with their nauseating celebration of US exceptionalism – and the reality for the millions who have suffered and will continue to suffer regardless of who enters the White House this year exposes US democracy as a sham. It is the best that money can buy.


13 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Forwardeconomics and commented:

    There is very little politics can do to remediate the state of democracy within the constraints of a neoliberal economic framework where the system itself is a zero sum game. To make one person better off, another person has to be made worse off replicating and even increasing income inequality. These underlying forces push individuals to make a choice between self preservation and the betterment of society. Thus our frustration can be easily displaced towards a discourse of hatrate and distrust of our fellow Americans, the same ones that help make this country great every day. How can any political party, even with good intentions fight against a system built on pure structural violence?

    Like

    • Richard Le Sarcophage says

      Oh, yes. End-stage neo-feudal Free Market Absolutist capitalism is irreformable. It is a system built by and for psychopaths who HATE other people, and when the time is ripe, or when they feel threatened enough, they’ll do away with the ‘useless eaters’, without hesitation.

      Like

  2. deschutes says

    The Wikileaks DNC leaked emails could have provided even more damning evidence backing up this article’s thesis that the USA is not democratic, and that its circus show presidential conventions are democracy only for the highest corporate donor– and nobody else.

    Last week’s Wikileaks release of 20,000 emails from top DNC officials reveal that Wasserman-Schultz did everything she could from the beginning of the democratic primaries to throw the nomination to Clinton. So much for impartiality or actual elections, the leaked emails reveal a snide hatred and hostility to Sanders and especially to Sanders supporters.

    On another point, Vaska suggests Trump to be different on foreign policy-

    “But, yet, when it comes to foreign policy, at least Trump is not promising to wage war without end on the world and is less than enthusiastic about NATO. This alone marks him out as a refreshing departure from the norm.”

    You’ll be relieved to hear that Trump has since changed his tune, and is now an avid supporter of NATO, and now is doing his best to be more pro-Israel than Clinton. Why did Trump change his opinion? He needs campaign money: Trump could speak his mind as long as he was paying for his own election campaign, but now he is running low on campaign funds, and is now begging key wealthy Jewish donors such as Sheldon Adelson for massive donations to refill his coffers. Adelson money comes with strings attached: fall in line and be pro-AIPAC or no campaign donations for you! From this we can safely conclude there will be no change from the status quo regarding Israel-Palestine, NATO-Russia for that matter. In America, whomever bankrolls the winning candidate decides U.S. domestic and foreign policy.

    Like

    • Richard Le Sarcophage says

      The Israel First presstitutes have gone ape-shit in hatred of Trump. Krugman accuses him of being Putin’s ‘Siberian candidate’, and the fragrant Noah Goldberg, one of the heroes of the Iraqi genocide, grew quite demented even by his loathsome standards. I almost hope Putin did do it, but who cares? The control of the Democrats by the Israel First push is there for all to see. Clinton is their property, and even a fellow Jew like Sanders is not good enough for these Fifth Columnists.

      Like

  3. Kathleen Lowrey says

    I am looking forward to all the feminist arguments for why we should be excited to vote for a woman candidate with an anti-choice running mate. The whole thing is a tire fire.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brian Harry, Australia says

    Memorable quotes from George Carlin.
    “In America, anyone can become the President……..That’s the problem”
    “By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth”
    “Whoever coined the term “Buyer beware” was probably bleeding from the a##hole”

    Like

    • Kenneth Lindemere says

      And one of my favourites – “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”

      Like

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