Friday, April 08, 2022

Calling It As It Is: The State of American Politics


Let's just come out and say what we all intuitively know. America is going to hell in a handbasket on roller skates down a greased hill. America has been engaged in a race to the bottom for decades now. The Democrats and the Republics still pretend they're in charge and know what they're doing, but the fact is that they don't have a clue.

The media is not about reporting the facts. It's about entertainment. It's owned by a mere five corporations whose job it is to perpetuate the myth of "fairness" and "balance". It's a farce and we all know it and for some reason we play along.

Our "Republic" is an illusion. We don't have a "Republic" any longer. It's all smoke and broken mirrors. America's great experiment in a constitutional democracy long ago succumbed to the power of money. Just like Ancient Rome which subtly slipped from a representative Republic to a militaristic empire led by an emperor and corrupt senate, America now hides behind a similar facade.

Thanks to partisan gerrymandering, unlimited terms, a "winner-take-all" political system, and Citizens United, politicians are openly and legally bought and sold. Both parties are mere extensions of the  corporate factions which own them. Their lobbyists write the bills that our pretended "representatives" are suppose to do.

They've turned the political system into a vote for the lesser of two evils, which is still not just a vote for evil, but also corrupted the election system to keep out third parties and Independents, who are the nation's largest political bloc.  No wonder the U.S. placed 30th out of 35 of the OECD nations in voter turnout (OECD is the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development which is the world's leading economically developed countries).

America is a neo-fascist Corporatocracy, and like any good corporation, it has a board of directors who are beholden to no one but themselves. It seeks to control through manipulation by the media and manufactured crisis's to keep us confused and frustrated. It's all about control. Be it control of assets, resources, or you and me. They use intimidation to get what they want, be it an individual, a business, or a country. They will use any means at their disposal, often leaving chaos or carnage in their wake. 

When someone comes along and attempts to lift the veil and display the mechanisms of power, they swiftly shut them down using various strategies ranging from "shadow blocking" or "disappearing" them from social media, financially ruining them, discrediting them through innuendos and outright lies to character assignations (such as Trump or the January 6th protests) and even the real thing (ie: a "Jeffery Epstein suicide"). They play for keeps. You and I and our opinions mean absolutely nothing. 

With election season fast approaching, we can expect to hear the same pollster generated and test group approved speeches about how they're going to "stand up" to the status quo or change this and that. With the average American shelling out an average of $3500 more than last year (thanks to inflation) while big corporations are making record profits, these Beltway elites roll up their sleeves, take off their $1000 suit coats, loosen their hundred dollar ties, don blue jean and sneakers or cowboy boots and pretend their "one of the people". We know better. They're not fooling anybody. We are a necessary inconvenience they have to tolerate every two or four or six years. 

A recent Rasmussen poll showed that 3/4 of Americans are unhappy with the direction this country is going.  That's 3 out of every 4 voters. President Biden is viewed a doddering old man totally out of touch with reality. His approval ratings have ranged from the upper twenty percent range to the low thirty's.

To put it another way, 70%+ of Americans, regardless of registration, disapproval of his handling of issues. At his lowest, Trump still polled higher.  On the world stage, opinion of Biden ranges from pity and embarrassment to contempt and fool. Respect, however,  doesn't comes up much.  

Incidentally, the highest approval rating for America's direction was in 1999 with 71% under Bill Clinton and our lowest was 7% in 2008 during the world financial crisis and U.S. recession under George W. Bush's tenure.

Biden's vice president, Kamala Harris doesn't fare any better. In fact, she's viewed as among one of the worse VP's in recent history with a 52% disapproval rating according to a RealClearPolitics' poll. To make matters worse, at least for Democrats, is the fact that with Biden's decreasing cognitive facilities, is the prospect that Kamala could be a lame duck replacement should Biden be forced to resign!

Could you imagine? A Trump redux in 2024 is looking like a good distraction strategy, which may be the reason the corporate media is still trying to keep him in the public eye in order to take the public's mind off the current disaster unfolding in front of them.

As an aside, the above Rasmussen poll also showed that 54% of voters though Kamala Harris was unqualified to be Vice President.  45% of those didn't think she was qualified for high office at all! Additionally, the poll showed a 57% disapproval of Ms. Harris in general, with 47% strongly disliking her.  Among the Harris "hold-their-nose" respondents, 79% were (unsurprisingly) Republican. 17% were Democrat, and 49% were Independent.

Congress, regardless of corporate party ownership, isn't doing any better. Recent numbers show an 18% approval rating (some polls show 20%). Either way, that means roughly 80% of Americans think Congress sucks! Wanna know what's even funnier (a sick twisted sort of way)? Last year, Congress was all giddy when they had a 20 year high approval rating of 36%! That still means that the majority of the nation thinks they're idiots and they're happy about it!

Our opinions of most institutions aren't much better. According to a February 22 Pew Report, just 29% of Americans feel good about doctors and the medical industry while 78% still have a fair amount of confidence. The same holds true for scientists. When it comes to the military, it's not much different. 25% have a moderate amount of confidence while 74% trust the military.

With all the high profile shootings over the past few years along with the "peaceful" Breonna Taylor and George Floyd riots, police officers garnered a 31% "no confidence" rating.  That still leaves a fairly high amount of trust rating. Of course, that figure will vary greatly from place to place.

When it comes to religion, it looks like most don't have a prayer. 45% have no faith in them at all. However, 55% still have at least some confidence in "those of the cloth".  When it comes to school principals, 35% didn't make the grade. 55% got a passed.

In a unrelated Gallup Poll, only 36% of adults had any confidence in the education system in general, which means an overwhelming 64% have little or no trust in our education system. But the "good" news is that the 36% is up from a low of 30% in 2016, which is the highest in eight years.

When it comes to the media, 60% of those surveyed placed no trust in the media regardless of format (including newspapers and television). A pathetic 6% still believed what they were told with the balance having little faith in the media (excluding this blog of course) while the balance was on the fence.  

As for business leaders in general, it wasn't any better.  Only 4% said they had any trust in business (which includes Wall Street) while a whopping 60%  had no confidence in our current business leadership (and presumably our current business model) while the rest express some trust.

As for politicians, only 24% had any faith in them at all. Of that, a sad 2% had a lot of faith in them (I wonder if they were related to someone in office?) while a gobsmacked 76% said no way no how. When it came to wealth inequality, a Hill-HarrisX poll showed that a clear majority of Americans---56%---thought that wealth inequality was a serious problem facing the country.

The poll, which was broken down by political registration, indicated that 77% of Democrats wanted to impose higher taxes on the wealthy while just 35% of Republicans did. America's largest voting bloc, Independents, disagreed with 55% in favor of raising taxes on those who could afford it the most.

As an aside, 3 in 5 voters also favor raising taxes on Big Business and Wall Street, which is some badly needed positive news for Biden's infrastructure plan  (I'm sure the corporate lobbyists who write the bills will be sure to find a way to exempt themselves and their paymasters).

So, where does that leave us? Obviously, we're in deep kimchi as a nation. Economically, we're in decline with China on the cusp of becoming the world's biggest economy with countries like India and Brazil not that far behind. Politically, our influence globally isn't worth much (especially after our 20 year failure in Iraq and Afghanistan), while, like Rome in its Late Republic Period, we still have a powerful but exhausted military. The days of our self-appointed world's policeman and moral arbitrator are over.

Internally, we have some very major issues, and sadly for our allies like Japan, South Korea, and the EU, as well as those dependent on U.S. aid to keep their economies afloat, it's time for us to turn inward if we're to survive as a nation.  

We have an open border to our south which is being flooded by illegal immigrants; most of whom not equipped for a life in America. They don't speak the language. They lack a proper education or job skills, and come with no means to support themselves, leaving grossly overtaxed working class Americans to again foot the bill.

Crime is not only a exponentially growing problem, but our judicial system is in desperate need of reform along with our correctional system. Our infrastructure is crumbling under our feet and tires. Our public transportation system is literally a joke around the world. We're not just years behind most countries, we are decades behind! Our healthcare system is 27th in the world and we're the only developed nation whose life expectancy  is actually declining along with quality of life.

When it comes to education, we don't even make it into the top tier (we typically rank at the bottom of the second tier). Too much emphasis is placed on getting a college education (and with it massive debt), especially for those with unmarketable degrees or with majors like "Women's Studies"  or "African Studies".  Where are the trade schools? We desperately need people proficient in carpentry, machine shop, welding, plumbing, HVAC, auto body, etc. Trade degrees are fast, low cost and high paying.  

Lastly, our entire political system is on life support and history has its cold hand on the plug. Our elections are an illusion. Instead of the U.S. sending monitors to third world country to monitor the validity of elections, monitors are coming here from other countries!

Freedom of speech and expression are in serious trouble. Tolerance of opinion is virtually nonexistent. We talk about "canceling" people who disagree with us.  Social media platforms "fact check" (code for censor) and shadow block us  in order to stifle public discourse.

Corporations literally own and control the political system thanks to judicial mistakes like Citizens United. Political parties pick their voters through gerrymandering instead of us picking our representatives. Third parties and Independents are frozen out of elections through unfair and illegal election laws. Wage inequality and an unfair tax code are eating away at our core.

Unlimited terms ensure virtual lifelong terms, which are often passed down like some royal appointment. How can we have a 98% reelection rate of incumbents with perpetual 80% disapproval rating?  Our "winner-take-all" system ensures that only one segment has a voice. The question is not how much more can we take, but how much longer we will take it?

 

If you want to know more, please take a look at the links below. If you enjoyed the article, please consider passing it along to others and don't forget to subscribe. It's free! Lastly please be sure to ""like" us on whatever platform you use to read A/O. It helps with the algorithms and keeps our articles in circulation. Thank you!

 

Gallup Poll: Three-Quarters of Americans Dissatisfied With Country's Direction


What does America think of Kamala Harris?


Last Trump Job Approval Rating 34%; Average Is Record-Low41%


Biden's job approval falls to lowest level of his presidency amid war and inflation fears


Congressional Approval Sinks to 18% as Democrats SourFurther

 

Confidence in Public Schools Rallies


Americans Trust in Scientists, Other Groups Declines


Poll: 56 percent say wealth tax is part of  solution to inequality


  

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