What Can One Say?

You may have noticed Sparrow Chat has been unusually quiet over Christmas/New Year. The reason is quite simple: I’ve had very little to say.

The holiday period provided a measure of relief from the ongoing political farce being played out in Washington. Any swing towards the right displayed by this nation in November was nothing like as large as John Boehner would have us believe, but Obama’s capitulation on tax cuts for the wealthy, that ended the lame duck session of Congress, must have sent top Republicans scurrying back to their homes believing they’d already been visited by Santa Claus.

Hardest to bear, while watching and listening to American politicians, is the knowledge they’re really exceedingly stupid. Whether the gene pool of elite America is shrinking through inbreeding, or the education system has just become so degraded it allows simpletons to achieve degree status, the quality of intellect of those individuals taking their places in Congress this week pertains less to what is going on in their heads, than to the area of their anatomy closest to the seat cushions they’ll be occupying in the House or Senate.

It’s truly remarkable that this country, supposedly leader of the world, can be run by a bunch of spoilt brats behaving in a manner reminiscent of grade school kids bickering over a candy bar. The infantile character of these people doesn’t just result from parental over-indulgences in their formative years; corporate America has now taken over that role, and its not just Republicans who are having their noses wiped and their pockets lined by the lobbyists for big business.

If those Americans who voted Democrat in November believe their representatives are independent of corporate influence, they need to think again. Obama’s apparent impotence over the repeal of tax cuts for the wealthy was caused as much by Democrat opposition as Republican intransigence.

Much is being made of “bipartisanship” by the Democrats. It’s a central tenet of Obama’s presidency and one that, recently, Nancy Pelosi has become equally vociferous about. “Bipartisanship” means ‘to reconcile the desires of both parties’, in this case, both political parties.

The result of bipartisanship in everyday politics is disastrous for the electorate. It may be a necessary way to run a country at war, under threat of invasion, or in times of dire crisis – as a short-term strategy – but despite George Bush’s inaccurate description of the aftermath of 9/11 as the ‘War on Terror’, America is not at war with anyone. Of its own choosing, it’s fighting an invasive, empire-building, series of battles in Afghanistan and Iraq. The homeland is not under threat of invasion by another nation.

This appeal for bipartisanship comes from a weak political party (the Democrats) under pressure from a much stronger party (the Republicans). The weakness of the Democrats is not due to a lack of seats in the government (they were just as weak when they had control of both Houses) but because of turncoats within the party itself.

The Democratic Party is being consumed from within.

Greed is the cancer eating away at the heart of the Democratic Party, and in American politics, greed takes the form of corporate influence. Lobbyists are magnets exerting a pull on all members of Congress. It’s not easy to resist their advances, and though not all Democratic politicians fall victim to their lure, sufficient are co-opted to ensure the corporate masters get exactly what they want from their servants in the political halls of Washington.

Despite Obama’s campaign pledge to “clean up Washington”, he’s either fallen victim to the corrupt practices of corporate influence himself, or is too weak a personality to exert sufficient pressure where it’s needed to gain control of his party and government.

The collapse of democracy in the US Congress is cause for concern, but of far greater disquiet is its reflection of the country as a whole. What occurs in Congress is only a mirror of what is happening throughout the United States.

Just as corporate power is taking over the government and bending it to its will, so that same power is having a similar effect on the population as a whole. Through advertising and media control, the American citizen is being brainwashed to accept government by corporation, rather than – as the US Constitution states – by the people themselves.

We now know the Tea Party movement was an artificial creation of big business, designed to temporarily further the interests of corporate America. It succeeded. Now, for all practical purposes, it has been put to bed, no longer required, but capable of being re-awakened should it prove useful in the future. Sure, there may be a few elected representatives of that organization who will attempt to cause trouble for the Republicans once Congress gets under way, but just like any unruly puppy can be coaxed with a juicy bone, a fat wad of dollar bills waved under the nose will no doubt pacify most errant Tea Party politicians, who, if truth be known, only really used the movement as a vehicle to get elected.

Do Americans care anymore how their country is run? Some undoubtedly do. Barack Obama bears comparison with Louis XVI of France. He, too, was an indecisive and weak leader who would often back down when faced with opposition. In the late 1700’s, France – just like America today – was bankrupt from too many wars and a grossly inadequate system of taxation. Louis’ political enemies distributed pamphlets displaying false or grossly exaggerated information to the populace, to agitate public opinion against the king, (though they neither suggested he was a Muslim, nor accused him of not being a French national!).

The bloody French Revolution exploded out of resentment for the elite in society, of which Louis was the figurehead. Much of the sad state of the nation was inherited from his predecessors, who were responsible for numerous wars, including France’s part in the American Revolution. But the French populace of 1789 had a short memory, as have Americans today, a fact Obama discovered when he found himself blamed for many of George Bush’s misdeeds.

The similarities between the France of 1789 and America today are hard to miss. There was, however, one major factor responsible for igniting the fires of revolution in France that is missing in modern day America: the French peasantry were starving.

Thanks to two brothers from New Hampshire, Richard and Maurice McDonald, the peasants of 21st century America are fed beyond the point of obesity. These pioneers of the fast food outlet were, unwittingly, responsible for a gluttony epidemic that’s spread throughout America and the western world. Had they been in Louis XVI’s France there would never have been a revolution and the monarchy would likely still rule that country.

Corporate America should be very grateful to ‘Dick’ and ‘Mac’ McDonald. Thanks to them the US peasantry are too well over-fed to consider revolution. Many can barely manage the journey from sofa to TV, but then they have a remote control, so they don’t have to.

There will be no revolution in America. The people are too fat and lazy. They’ll complain about their lot, but do nothing about it. The corporate bosses will have their way; Democratic Party politicians will toe the line; “Days Of Our Lives” will broadcast ad infinitum, and the smell of burnt cow will continue to emanate from half the buildings on Main Street.

I guess that’s why I’ve had nothing much to say over Christmas.

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2 Replies to “What Can One Say?”

  1. Great piece RJ! Can’t argue with anything – except maybe the expression “well-fed” in connection with the Golden Arches eating places. As Crocodile Dundee said commenting about the grubs, bugs etc. he presented to his companion to try out in the Australian Bush “Nyeh! Ya can live on it – but it tastes like shit!”

    Things aren’t bad enough yet for anything close to revolution, here in the USA.
    The landmass is too big for any concerted effort to grow, in my view. Whereas in Greece, France and the UK – smaller areas by far – the community revolutionary spirit can flouish more easily. Any revolutionary spirits in the USA (and there are some) are too widely scattered for physical action, they can only, together, protest online.

  2. Twilight – your point concerning the phrase “well-fed” has been noted, and I’ve amended accordingly.

    I’m afraid the internet is no more than a ‘safety-valve’ to allow citizens to harmlessly blow off steam, without creating any true sense of togetherness or purpose. That’s probably why the powers that be have been happy to leave it alone. Though, note the sudden outcry to ‘control’ it, from the powers that be, when Wikileaks went viral. Suddenly, they felt threatened.

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