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The Buying of America’s Soul

MY TURN--When a country’s major philosophy is the encouragement of capitalism, it opens the doors for both the good and bad.

While we encourage entrepreneurship, vision, and economic growth, those that take the side of power can use those ideologies to expand their own evil agendas. America has been heading down the dark path for a long time, but those that put themselves in the positions of “watchdogs” have brought it to the attention of all and have created laws to try to reign-in the corrupt and power-hungry.

This is no longer so. Since the Presidential campaign, not only did we witness the blatant disregard for any kind of common sense or balance, we also watched in horror as the knuckledragging ignorant supported any kind of power grab, as long as it appealed to their racist and bigoted philosophies. This is no more apparent than in the support of trump and the conservatives by the so-called “Christian” evangelical groups. No amount of bad behavior is low enough for them to change their minds.

The jury is still out on whether America will survive the atrocities that we are going through. Lines of honor and dignity that were never previously crossed were gleefully leaped over with this administration and the Republicans that stand with trump and his cohorts. We now see the error or our ways, trusting that representatives in Washington, D.C. would not take advantage of all of the loopholes that existed to fight against a dictator wannabe administration, and the profiteering that they could influence.

Just how bad has it become? In an article by GlobalWitness.org entitled: FOUR SIGNS THE US IS CREEPING TOWARDS A KLEPTOCRACY UNDER TRUMP’S WATCH, they list the most obvious: 

  • TRUMP IS USING HIS PRESIDENCY TO ENRICH HIMSELF 
  • NEPOTISM (AKA — APPOINTING ONE’S OWN FAMILY TO POLITICAL POSITIONS) 
  • CENSORSHIP AND ATTACKS ON A FREE PRESS 
  • A GROWING CLAMP DOWN ON TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY 

Each of these situations on their own are bad enough, but anyone that has had at least the most minimal class on history also recognizes that these are part of those taken by every fascist dictatorship. An administration cannot accomplish the undermining of a democracy by themselves, they need the support of each of the branches, and in the Republicans have given it freely.

Carnegie Endowment For International Peace has a telling article entitled: Kleptocracy in America, and includes:

“The United States has become a testing ground for that question. The country’s slide into a kind of genteel kleptocracy began many years ago, arguably in the 1980s, when deregulation fever hit. The lobbying profession exploded, and industries began writing legislation affecting their sectors; public services such as incarceration and war fighting were privatized; the brakes on money in politics were released; and presidents began filling top regulatory positions with bankers. An economy of transactional exchanges took hold in Washington.” 

The American People are Partially to Blame

Let’s face facts. Much of what we are seeing today could have happened many times over the years. Americans have not only become complacent on the topic of politics, but have not stood up to yell loud enough or bothered to vote those into power that could change the tide of the extreme greed.

While people are busy texting their friends, picking up their kids from soccer games, and worrying about the latest technology trend, many made the decision that paying attention to political situations and actually getting out and voting was simply not important enough. This lack of voting falls directly on the heads of liberals, because (as we know), conservatives will turn out in droves to vote for a rock if it is listed with an “R” by its name. In more recent years, some so called “liberals” have made the decision that the Democratic Party wasn’t “pure” enough for them, didn’t address their personal agendas, were turned off because their lack of interest allowed Citizens United to come into play and ergo began the battle of the donors for both sides…and conservatives couldn’t be happier. The extreme left can stomp their feet and hold their breath all they want in fighting against a two-party system, but that’s how we got trump. There are ways to promote change and it means getting the people in place that can enact the kind of legislation that creates a balance.

The era of trump entered in the same way that any dictatorship is ushered in: with a combination of brainwashing propaganda and people that just aren’t smart enough to see that they are being played. The two most obvious matches to this game-play was during the rise of both Mussolini in Italy and Hitler, in Germany. The latter took advantage of the desire to play the blame-game for all of their own bad choices, and what began with the Jews expanded to the gypsies, intellects, news media (lugenpresse), intellects, professors, and eventually anyone that didn’t agree with the administration. In our current case, those that had a base of hate and bigotry have always existed and trump gave them permission to step forward, ranting and screaming.

This became the red flag alert for all of the conservatives to join in the frenzy, bringing forth the many plans that they had been making to pull the rug out from under the country, promote profiteering of corporations, delete all of the educational aspects (such as science) that might contradict their goals, and line the pockets of all of the donors that have been eagerly awaiting this moment.

Republicans have been participating in the long-game for many years. Slowly, state-by-state, they have established gerrymandering and voter suppression. They know that their numbers are smaller and the only way that they can win, is to cheat. Democratic leaders as well as so-called “liberals” didn’t pay attention, and now the price is being paid. 

Not Even Interference from a Hostile Foreign Government is Enough

If your stomach can handle it, reading some of the comments of those that support trump and his greedy cohorts will throw you into a state of pandemonium. One can only read a few statements before the word “morons” enters your mind. Their blind support of Putin and Russia, while cursing all of our allies is enough to make you want to throw something at the screen. They see nothing wrong with walling in our country, putting children in detention camps (sound familiar?), and getting rid of all people of ANY color.

Their extreme hyper-nationalistic view of so-called “patriotism” usually includes American flags plastered everywhere, and they yell against liberals because we know and understand that blind patriotism is the worst error of all. They promote less government intervention because in their limited brains they only see it as interference instead of protecting against those that will catapult the country into unbridled greed and chaos.

They approve of profiteering on the backs of the people and the planet, while refuting anything that smacks of science. These same idiots enjoy many of the benefits that liberals have brought to “we the people” and in some twisted way can’t seem to understand that the conservatives have NEVER suggested or passed any legislation that would bring them better lives.

It appears that the bar has been set so low that even when proof is brought forward that trump and the Republicans have been involved in affected a U.S. election, they simply don’t believe it. Of course, this can easily be explained because the main source of information that they receive is from Fox, and Politifact has already shown that Fox only reports an average of 18% truth. 

Will America Go the Way of Ancient Rome?

The world is looking at the United States with a combination of disgust and shame. Many countries are moving forward with the good idea that the U.S. may not survive what is happening. They know that it is of our own doing and are using this as a learning lesson.

In the same referenced Carnegie Endowment For International Peace article above:

“I am a bit skeptical of “tool kit” approaches to fixing such deep-seated problems. But if a committed reformer (or, ideally, a network of reformers) were able to capitalize on the widespread indignation at the United States’ brand of kleptocratic governance and gain power, he or she should focus less on punishing overt corruption after the fact than on establishing behavioral norms that would head off such wrongdoing before it takes place. This reform movement would bring an end to the practice of writing the rules of the political and economic games in ways that favor those who have already amassed excessive power in both domains. It would craft and enforce the rules so as to afford a dignified living to those who perform underappreciated tasks (schoolteachers, those who care for the elderly, small farmers) or who have chosen to build their lives around nonmonetary values.

A policy program to achieve that kind of change would begin with placing sharp curbs on campaign contributions and ending the anonymity that many significant political donors enjoy. Shifting to public-only financing for campaigns may seem radical, but that would be the best solution. Lobbying regulations must be tightened and fiercely enforced. Conflicts of interest must be defined more broadly. Ethical breaches must be swiftly sanctioned in a rigidly nonpartisan fashion, so as to change the incentive structure that currently rewards impropriety and not simply single out isolated offenders. Recent events have demonstrated that the gentleman’s agreement governing the ethical practices of officeholders is toothless in the face of a determined violator. Unfortunately, it is now clear that the U.S. Office of Government Ethics needs disciplinary, not just advisory, powers. In general, federal regulatory agencies must be provided with more resources and independence, not less.”

 

(S. Novi is a journalist who worked in the media and continues to seek out truth and integrity. A liberal and one who is suspicious of cults and empty promises. Her posts originate at Medium.com. She is a contributor to CityWatch.)

-cw

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