Saturday, June 04, 2016

What Has Happened To Political Discourse?

There is something very wrong in America today. It's hard to pin down. It's more than just the "mood" of the nation. It goes much deeper than that. With the past four or perhaps five presidential election cycles, we've the quality of the potential occupant of the White House diminish. We have super wealthy individuals with little connection to ordinary Americans vying for the highest elected office in the land, all the while pretending that they mirror us. Most of us have come to accept the politics, especially at the national level such as this, as rigged. We know that our apathy and short attention spans have resulted in the forfeiture of our democratic republic. We've discovered that those who care more are the very ones we should fear the most, and thus, we've allowed ourselves to become a defacto oligarchy. We've given the illusion of choice by being allowed to pick from wealthy pre-vetted individuals who will tow the line and do as they are instructed, despite their faux-center Right or center-Left campaign rhetoric.

We've elected twice now an individual who normally wouldn't have qualified for even a state governor, let alone a two term president. We've witnessed a befuddled Congress capable of little real change; at least change that would improve the lived the most Americans. Even the Supreme Court has seen fit to ignore its Constitutional boundaries and rewrite legislation. Then there's the ongoing terrorist threat; recruited, trained, armed and supplied by us while at the same time our so-called "leadership" in Washington, as well as various State Houses, have encouraged not just illegal immigration, but accepting "refugees" from the very nations we are militarily engaged at as well. The same sort of individuals who have all but destroyed Europe! We're told by politicians in Washington that "We" should be more accommodating: that "We' should conform and adapt. Really? What happened to the ideal of being American? When did we, as citizens, decided it was ok to forgo learning English, or abiding by our laws, or accepting our values? When did we decide to remove our nation's flag or removing our religion's symbols out of fear that we might "offend" someone? That, nevertheless, is what's happening in the name of "multiculturalism". We are allowing this nation to become small enclaves representing other nations much like some of the failed empires of old did---Rome, Holy Roman Empire, and Austro-Hungarian Empire just to name three.

Now, something else is happening, which is perhaps even more sinister, though not totally unexpected. We are seeing open and organized attacks in the name of politics. However, these assaults, which are usually violent, seem to be coming from just one side---the Left. These individuals are organized locally (some are bused in). Their aim is to disrupt, harass, intimidate, and physically engage anyone who either is supporting the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, or simply those who want to hear him speak, leaving many bloody and bruised. They have blocked highways, streets, entrances, parking lots while some have thrown glass bottles, eggs, tomatoes, rocks---anything really. They have sneaked into various speaking venues and stormed the stage, shouted down speakers, started fights, and anything else they can to cause chaos. There's been more than few incidents where the police and/or security have been assaulted, cars (including police vehicles) pelted with rocks, overturned and burned. Meanwhile, the media either ignores or downplays these events while attempting to make it look like it's Trump's fault. When his crowds are small, the media claims Trump is losing stream among his supporters when in fact, they most likely don't want to get beaten up! The same goes for his poll numbers. The media likes to point out that Trump is trailing behind Hillary Clinton, the anticipated Democrat nominee, in polls generally conducted a few days after they've reported on violence at a Trump event (which is, of course, slanted against Trump).

So, who are these "protestors" anyway? Well, some---a minority---are actual active supporters of Clinton, however, most are part of various Left wing organizations as well as illegal immigrants, black or Hispanic race oriented groups, LGBT groups, and a few minority oriented gangbangers. As pointed out above, some are bused in, given instructions and signs, and paid. While the specific makeup may vary from protest to protest, the one thing you can be sure of is that these are not random or spontaneous events. The next obvious question would be whether Hillary Clinton is behind these attacks or at least aware of them? In my opinion, I would say yes and no. I don't think Clinton is directly behind these attacks. She can't afford to be; not as a presidential candidate. However, I wouldn't be surprised in the least if there is some indirect or loose coordination going on. Campaigns are complex organizations at times; employing dozens or even hundreds in top tier elections. Many things happen without any direct knowledge of the candidate or their immediate staff (a lesson of "plausible denial" learned through Nixon's Watergate fiasco and subsequent adoption of the adage about not employing amateurs). Recent Federal Election Guidelines (thanks in part to the misruling of the Supreme Court's "Citizen's United" matter) have made it possible for groups and organizations to "campaign" or promote a candidate or other issues without the approval of the candidate.

As for the second half of the question, I have absolutely no doubt that Clinton and her campaign staff are fully aware of what's being done in her name. How could she not? It's constantly all over the corporate news and Internet. Yet, despite the mayhem being done allegedly on her behalf, Hillary Clinton has barely acknowledged it publically, nor has she stepped up and directly asked that the violence stop or taken steps to disavow any group or individual involved with these acts (I'm sure that if she does, it will be at best only a tepid reprimand and then, only to the severity of the attacks).

With respect to Donald Trump and the conservatives, they have been remarkably civil and calm. Trump can more than handle any heckler and thus far, those who have attended or attempted to attend a Trump rally, have handled themselves quite well when there has been attempt at disruption. Of course, they have defended themselves, as they should, when physically assaulted and most tend to ignore the verbal harassment directed their way. The police and security too have been impressively restrained despite their patrol cars being vandalized, egged, dinted, and so forth (again, the corporate media has not reported on this aspect very much at all). I am also impressed by the fact that thus far, none of the Far Right groups have responded in kind. I would have thought that they would have been out in force, but no. However, if they did, doubtless that the corporate media would seize on it in order to imply that Trump and/or his supporters are "racists", or "Nazis" or whatever the scary word of the month happens to be.

So, what can we make of this? First, this is a side of America that I hoped I would never see. This is what one saw in early Nazi Germany, just before and after the election of Hitler as Chancellor when the Brownshirts under Ernst Rohm would attack the political opposition in order to breakup meetings, marches, speeches, and so forth. Italian dictator Benito Mussolini used his Blackshirts in a similar fashion during the 1920's just before obtaining power. Of course other dictators and wannabe dictators throughout history and the world have sought to disrupt , dissuade, and demoralize their opponents. Sometimes it fails or has the opposite effect and the people come out in droves to support the other candidate (of course, coups have occasionally followed, and in recent history, with the assistance of the CIA and/or US military. Pinochet is a good example). However, more often than not, many have stayed away from the polls out of fear. I would be surprised to see that here. In the last two presidential elections, there were documented reports of whites being turned away from polls by a black racist group as well as the dead mysteriously coming back to vote (I guess we should start referring to that as "zombie voting").

What we are seeing is yet another example of our decline as a nation. Actions such as the ones described above or what you see on TV or the Internet is, frankly, what we would expect from a third world nation or perhaps even a second tier country. But it's happening here. Hillary Clinton must win this election if for no other reason than to avoid possible criminal proceeding for her actions (or lack thereof) as Secretary of State (whether or not she can actually be prosecuted is another matter). There has already been several investigations undertaken by the US Senate and House as well as by the FBI which would give credence of the seriousness of her actions. Donald Trump seems to represent the last hope of many Constitutional conservatives to preserve something of our Founding Father's intent for our nation. Yet, many of the status quo Republican "leadership" see him as a direct threat to their authority over the party and its dogma (some on the Democrat side feel the same way about Hillary).

Most Americans have abandoned both political parties as being to corrupt, inept, and no longer in touch with the values of ordinary Americans. Neither have shown to represent or act in our interests. The majority of Americans (just over 43%) are now Independent, including the overwhelming majority of the nation's largest voting bloc, the Millennials), and that number is growing rapidly. Democrats remain a factor, though a waning one while the GOP is a distant third. Thanks in part to Bernie Sanders, a slight majority of the Millennials have found a revived interest in democratic socialism while the minority have picked up on libertarianism. The media, which are controlled by the same clique which owns both political parties, continues to act as if Americans have only two political options---Democrat or Republican---while completely ignoring other parties such as the Green Party and the Libertarian Party, despite to renewed interest by the Millennials and other turned off Americans. It seems that the only thing keeping the economic and political status quo intact is the lack of a strong viable candidates running as Independents, Green, Libertarian or another third party who are willing to challenge the system. The Oligarchs who now rule America would like to keep that from ever happening, and thus the game will continue until we, as a nation, decide that we don't want to play by their rules any longer.

Perhaps, in the end, the violence being taken on behalf of Hillary Clinton may underscore not just a decline in civil politics or even our decline as a nation, but also point the way out for us as a nation. Perhaps the violence represents a last gasp of the failed status quo to maintain power by inciting the uninformed with bread crumbs. It certainly shows what happens when a nation---any nation---ignores it responsibilities in protecting its liberties and permits an economic and political class to make our decisions for us. I think it's past time that we take back this nation. How about you?

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