By Raymond Freeman 07/24/2014
You fill up with gas. Next morning, it’s gone. You fill up again. Next morning, it’s gone. This goes on. You go to the police. Surely there’s a serial thief? The duty officer isn’t concerned. “No, sir, it’s perfectly legal.” But, but, you splutter, it’s happened six times! He’s not bothered. “Well, sir, you probably voted for it.”
Yes, pretty soon, it’ll be legal for corporations to siphon your gas out. They’ve been doing it since 1975 on a far grander scale. You voted for money to be siphoned out of your wage packet if you voted Republican. You’ve kissed lots of it goodbye (Sharper Focus, “Short of Money? 8/1/13). Workers’ productivity has soared, but wages have remained stagnant. Super-rich conservatives now laugh all the way to the bank. Poor conservatives simply don’t realize they’ve been played for fools. Fabulously rich plutocrats are now being subsidized by the dirt-poor! Brilliant, I tell you.
Republicans have been pursuing an agenda designed to benefit powerful corporations, the super-rich and religious bigots at everyone else’s expense. They’ve sold it superbly, with the misdirection of a magician. In a sorry, twisted way, I actually admire their skill. If you vote Republican, and aren’t rich, you shoot yourself in the foot and feel good about it! It’s brilliant, I tell you.
For a shock as to just how much you’ve been ripped off, go to “9 Out of 10 Americans Are Completely Wrong About This Mind-Blowing Fact” on YouTube. It’s the biggest rip-off since the British Empire. And it happened right here, in broad daylight, in the Information Age, in a democracy. Impossible, you say; what about the free press? Dream on.
Five profit-hungry corporations now control 90 percent of America’s media. Of course, most people aren’t reallyinterested in politics. So Republicans spent millions on “think tanks” studying American voters. They became masters at gaming the system. As a result, the Founding Fathers’ ideals of rational debate have ended up as TV attack ads, sound bites, framing, spin and outright lying. Integrity was driven out by raw politics.
The Republicans’ greatest political strengths are their utter brutality, complete disregard of truth, total lack of shame, brilliance at manufacturing phony crises and, above all, superb marketing. They will say anything, howsoever illogical, reprehensible, false or hypocritical, if it suits their extreme agenda. They’ve been doing this with impunity because the corporate media don’t call them on it. NBC’s Chuck Todd said right out that it’s not his job to challenge Republicans’ lies.
When you vote, you fondly think that America will be run for the benefit of “the people” because our system of government is the envy of the world, the shining city on the hill, etc., etc. I’m sorry, my friends, but that’s simply not true. As economist Joseph Stiglitz points out, America’s economic policy is now “of the 1 percent, by the 1 percent, for the 1 percent.” This started around 1975, grew under Ronald Reagan, and really took off when Americans let Bush Junior steal the election from Al Gore. We then got political conjuring on steroids. Just follow the money.
Money became transmuted by alchemists into “free speech” and corporations became transmuted into “people.” These alchemists utter mystical incantations, wear black robes, and sit on the Supreme Court. One vote, cast by Sandra O’Connor, which she now regrets, overrode the intention of “the people.” Bush proceeded to stuff the Supreme Court with hard-rightwing activists. Unlimited amounts of money now dominate elections.
But where, precisely, is it written in ye olde Constitution that ye olde Supreme Courte can strike down laws it doesn’t like and even pick the president? Answer: absolutely nowhere. The Founding Fathers said nothing of the sort. Yes, I’m aware that Marbury vs. Madison (1803) supposedly created judicial review. But that’s not in the Constitution. The Constitution simply states that Congress makes laws and the President approves them. It states absolutely nothing about the Supreme Court meddling with them. It’s not elected. The court was merely supposed to hear interstate commercial disputes, in place of the Privy Council in London (used by Canada until 1935).
So America took a fateful turn in 1803, worsened it over time and is now stuck with it. Worse, we’re stuck with these judicial geniuses for life. The conservative majority lets raw politics run wild. Everything is taken to a logical extreme, howsoever illogical. A corporation running a business for profit, like Hobby Lobby, is now a “person” engaging in the “practice” of “religion.” This is sheer lunacy. Expect lots more.
That’s why every vote is needed to stop these rip-offs, economic and legal, from spreading further. If you value privacy in your bedroom and the gas in your tank, stop voting for political wizards who promise one thing and deliver another.