Americans have a wonderful tradition of fixing things. Our inclination is to attack problems; to determine what’s wrong and and figure out how to eliminate the problem. We have in general a militaristic mind set whereby we tend to treat the remedial processes as war. We conduct culture wars against poverty, crime and drugs. And we so admire the grit of cancer patients who valiantly fight against the ravages of their disease.
Unfortunately our urgent desire to address what we perceive of as problems, often causes us to rush into attacks on the symptoms of our problems rather than their more difficult to discern causes.
We fight cancer by attacking the tumors – rather than seek to discover the reason that the tumors grow in the first place. We battle poverty by doling our chump change to our poor – rather than figure out why it is that the one the greatest economies in the history of man cannot fully employ it’s own people, even while employing millions of workers in foreign countries. We jail drug users at considerable expense to society – rather than addressing the psycho-social issues that lead to rampant drug abuse.
Our political process is no different. We live in an era of political stalemate where almost none of the problems and challenges which beset society can find any resolution. Conveniently herded into two opposing camps, the problems of our country are forever the fault of the opposing party and their representatives. The ills of our nations the symptoms of their misguided mismanagement and corruption.
Meanwhile in administration after administration we are subjected to systemic failure in regard to the promotion of our general welfare, the protection of our freedoms.
Barack Obama is the figurehead of the moment, the man chosen to occupy the office of the presidency during what were inevitably going to be very difficult times for this country. The difficulties we face today are the results of many decades of errant leadership, financial and corporate malfeasance, political corruption and overall failure to adhere to core ideals and principles that were fundamental to the growth and development of this once great nation.
Our financial institutions have been allowed to devolve from vital instruments for capital investment to something like mob-run casinos, where the crooked owners are allowed sit at the rigged tables and place their own bets against the unwary dupes like us. This unleashing of malignant Wall Street greed has twisted our economy away from a proper focus on tangible manufacturing and production, to one obsessed with the financial agendas of the decreasingly-national and increasingly-globalist banking and corporate elite.
If you really wanted to pick someone to blame for this situation – and I know you do – Bill Clinton might be a reasonable choice. He was, after all the one who signed the bill which repealed the Glass Steagall Act which had protected us from Wall Street since the Great Depression.
But Bill Clinton is not the problem.
During the Clinton Administration, our country experienced a period of great prosperity. Millions of average americans experienced a new sense of wealth via the Dot com bubble and the Real Estate bubble economy that followed. The collapse of the Soviet Union caused a massive decline in military expenditures and the government for the first time in modern history experienced a budgetary surplus.
Then came the Bush Administration.
Improbably, 19 Saudi terrorists armed only with boxcutters were able to commandeer 4 planes, fly them expertly into 3 buildings without interference from the most sophisticated air defense systems in the world, and cause the collapse of three World Trade Center towers (one of which was not even hit) and the destruction of a financial department in the Pentagon. Bush pledged an immediate and full investigation (which was grudgingly initiated over a year later) and immediate dusted off a war plan which had been drawn up 8 years earlier to invade… Iraq.
Twelve years later we have experienced the endless, budget-busting war on terror. Military expenditures have gone stratospheric. The productive capacities of our country has been out-sourced to the third world, corporate profits and taxes are sheltered in island havens, corporations are sitting on massive piles of money, and yet we Americans suffer unemployment at levels not seen in 80 years. The Bush administration pushed through constitution-destroying measures with its Patriot Act, and ushered in a new era of Police State Fascism with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, so that today we may have the right to remain silent, but anything we say on the phone, type on the computer can be used against us.
But even George Bush is not the problem.
Clinton, Bush, Obama… none of these men were the problem… they were merely symptoms of a diseased political system. Cut them out and another one replaces them.
See, we believe that the President is the Most Powerful Man in the World and thus endowed with the ability to impose his personal will on the massively large, mostly secret, and incredibly complex network that constitutes the matrix of power in this country and the world… this is naiveté of the highest order.
What we refuse to recognize is that there are elements in our society which are infinitely more powerful and far more persistent and long-lived than any temporarily elected official could ever be. These are individuals and organizations whose 10 thousand Lobbyists spend $3 Billion each year to influence and control the 535 members of Congress. The same people who, thanks to the Supreme Courts dismantling of long-standing campaign finance limits, now effectively control who can run for office as well as who will ultimately win. And they are the same people who own our media, our military industrial complex, our financial, oil and pharmaceutical industries.
The real problem is that our government is owned. We persist in believing that our elected officials work for and represent us… but the sad fact is that their true constituency – the only people who’s “vote” they really care about – are the money masters who place them and keep them in office, who lavish them with privilege and wealth, and who offer them rich private sector positions once they leave government.
Obama, Bush, Clinton… they are not the problem.
The Power Elite are the problem. They have corrupted our politicians, they have rendered the electoral process meaningless, and they have for many years enforced upon our government political and social agendas aimed – not at the betterment of the American people – but focused solely on the increase of their behind-the-scenes control and the perpetuation of their power over this country and the rest of the world.
And until we become aware and recognize the true source of the problems in this country and the world… nothing is going to change.