I continue to be amazed at how Americans have become so apathetic with our political process and democracy in general. America was founded on a constitution that guarantees basic civil/human rights, religious liberty, political rights, independent courts of law, and fair and free elections. A true Government of the people, by the people, for the people. A democracy in which the ultimate power rests with the people and administered by people that are elected to represent them in the day-to-day business of the people’s government.
Our two political parties have always been opponents, but ultimately they would do what was best for the country and the people they represent. Now they are enemies, full of hatred for each other, with their own interests put ahead of the people’s needs. Their loyalty and focus has transitioned from the needs of the people to the demands of their overlords – their financiers.
In the past, those politicians that were “bought and paid for” by those with money, who obviously expected favors in return, were limited to just a few politicians. When exposed, these “bought and paid for” politicians would eventually get voted out of office.
Today, “bought and paid for” is the norm in politics. Not only politicians, but entire political parties, at all levels of government, are “bought and paid for” by ultra-rich billionaires. Even to the point of having their special interest “think tanks” writing the bills for the politicians to submit and pass.
As in the old Medieval Feudal System, these overlords are at the top of the pyramid and demand allegiance from their minions below. Of course, at the bottom of the pyramid rests the peasants and laborers.
A prime example of this was in the news recently. When running for Governor in Louisiana, Bobby Jindal had the backing of Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). However, to get Norquist’s backing, Jindal had to vow allegiance to Norquist and his “no tax increase” policy. Governor Jindal has continually insisted that the Louisiana budget be balanced without tax increases, despite the prospect of devastating cuts to higher education and health care. Because of his “no tax increase” allegiance, Louisiana is now suffering. Gone are $800 million from the Medicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly and $450 million for providing development incentives, and the rainy day fund has dropped from $730 million to $460 million on his watch. As Louisiana’s legislature urgently tries to find a solution, the governor has threatened to veto any budget plan or tax bills that does not have his overlord’s, Grover Norquist, blessing.
So the economy and welfare of the State of Louisiana and it’s people are at the mercy of an anti-tax lobbying group, founded by Grover Norquist, a guy that was caught laundering money for Jack Abramofff and whom the New York Times has called “one of the Republican Party’s most influential policy strategists”. Of course, Norquist has his own overlords, the Koch brothers and other big industry giants.
We have sat on our hands while our democracy has slowly transitioned to an oligarchy. We have sat idly by while our basic civil/human rights are under attack and being relinquished, all in the name of security; our religious liberty has been taken over by in-your-face extremists that don’t accept other religions and demand politicians follow religious beliefs when passing laws; our political rights are being taken away from us by our politicians as they pass laws aimed at voter suppression; our fair and free elections are a thing of the past as our elections and representatives are bought and paid for by super rich billionaires; and our independent courts of law, including the Supreme Court, are totally politicized.
One of the primary goals of these ultra-rich overlords is the privatization of government services. In other words, they want to transition services that are currently provided by the government, funded by the people’s taxes, to services provided by for-profit corporations, which are owned by the overlords. The Center for Media and Democracy has called this privatization goal “a hostile takeover of our schools, roads, prisons, drinking water, and even government itself”.
An oligarchy is a form of government in which most of the political power effectively rests with a small segment of society, typically the people who have the most wealth, military strength, ruthlessness or political influence.
I would say this just about fits our current state of affairs, and we got here by giving up without a fight.
To understand how the Koch brothers have mastered this process, watch the following video on how the Koch brothers are attacking Social Security.