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GOVERNMENT, DEMOCRACY AND MYTHOLOGY – A COMMENTARY

August 30, 2015

GOVERNMENT, DEMOCRACY AND MYTHOLOGY – A COMMENTARY

We have an old saying that “Things aren’t always what they seem,” and we are seeing that played out in   trying to come to grips with our “socialism for the rich” political economy and our attempts to govern those who are ungovernable, i.e., haters, misogynists, and a white laboring class who believe (via Trump’s and other such politicians’ clueless chatter) that “the Mexicans are going to take their jobs.”

We haven’t really come up with countervailing ideas and their bold  and fearless enunciation by  responsible politicians (other than by Saunders, who is unelectable) that would counteract Wall Street’s incessant propaganda of government for the rich or a Trump-like machete chop view of women and minorities in Republican political posturing. Republican politicians of all varieties (from their nihilist-Ayn Rand wing to centrist Ike Republicans, if any are left of the latter variety) are too timid and fearful of political reprisal to stand up to such in-your-face atrocities. Republicans are letting the bullies win and democracy lose, and we Democrats (some of whom are enjoying the Republican implosion) are not helping. Trump’s attacks on segments of our society are much worse than attacks on women and minorities per se; they are attacks on democracy itself and this cannot be tolerated by anyone of any political persuasion. America’s survival is more important than any politician’s lust for power and glory whether he or she is right or wrong on the issues and of whatever political cover.

The preservation of our democracy, or what’s left of it, is thus more important than the results of any election. We can have democracy only by the consent of the governed, and Trump has taught us that there are a significant number of Americans who have not consented even after an election to be governed, preferring instead to sit around bars or club meetings sullen and brooding and unhappy while nursing their supposed slights and mistreatment, and who are open targets for propagandists such as Trump to sell his racism and misogyny. Such mal-informed voters are voting against something and not for something; they are accentuating the negative and their state of mind is reminiscent of that of some these days who have decided to pick up stakes and join ISIS. They will not be governed by a black or  half-black Muslim president, opting instead and unwittingly to be governed by rule of the rich and corporate class, which in turn presages loss of our democracy and ultimate Third World status.

Contrary to many views expressed these days and while acknowledging that there remains racial hatred in politics, I think most Obama-haters use him as a symbol of their discontent and that his designation as a black man or a Muslim is a convenient means by which to express their hatred of authority of whatever color or religious preference. These unhappy brooders are unhappy with their own lives and perceptions that they are being left behind and need a target other than that one in the mirror to blame for their plight. Trump and other such clueless thinkers are starting the game on third base with such voters; they have already plowed their fields and it is time for Trump to plant if for the electoral harvest.

If I am correct or nearly so in such assessment that such voters hate authority and use race and religion as a cover for their own shortcomings, then it will not matter who is elected since such election does in fact confer real authority to the winners. The presidential winner could be a male WASP, pro labor, pro feminist, an All-American and Eagle Scout as a younger man, married to his grade-school sweetheart etc., a walking and breathing Norman Rockwell sort who never misses church – and it will make no difference to those who detest authority, which feeds on itself and needs no validation. People who vote based on goalless negativity and inborn antagonism to authority are voting not on a sober consideration of what the candidate proposes as policy if elected; they are voting on emotion.

A lot of tomorrow depends upon what you did or didn’t do yesterday. You don’t start from third base; you start at home plate, and sometimes with two strikes against you in your only at-bat. We need to look at more mirrors and listen to less bombast. There is a lot of deception in the political marketplace.

In this connection and expanded into another area, the dictionary defines November from the Latin novem (or nine) as the ninth month of the year, but also defines November as the eleventh month of the year. It can’t be both, or can it? Further investigation shows that both are correct, since the ninth month definition assumed that in the Latin world the year began in March. Thus where you are depends significantly on where you were in calendars and, I submit, in politics and economics as well, as can be seen with the Wall Street view that “trickle-down” economics in which we give the money to them for distribution will lead to prosperity for all in a free market economic atmosphere, which is an exercise in  mythology whose adoption would make the Greek gods look like pikers. It did not work that way in the past, nor is it working in the present, nor will it work in the future. Such propaganda supplied by Wall Street socialists who view government as their bank has a deceptive purpose, to wit: their bottom lines.

So where are we today in evaluating presidential candidates for nomination and election? Where have we really been as opposed to where the propagandists tell us we have been? Are we voting for candidates based on emotion and negativity who put forth no positive agendas for governing, and even if they should be elected, are we too ungovernable to even submit to governing by those we voted for?

Are we so fragmented and uncaring of our fellow citizens that we are ready to sacrifice our democracy to fit our own ends? Do we still believe we live in a free market capitalist economy when it is clear that we live in an abusive and monopolistic socialist economy that bought politicians fashion to cater not to the wants and needs of the people but to the moneychangers who exercise undue influence over our political class? Considered objectively and based on the evidence of our chronic economic malaise, wage inequality and tax breaks and other such goodies handed over to the rich and corporate class (with our money), can there be any doubt that such is the case? If there is, take a long and hard look in the mirror.

With Citizens United and big money poised to take charge of America’s political future (if it hasn’t already), what is going to happen to the democratic ideal of government by the consent of the governed when it is plainly government by the consent of the rich and corporate class that counts? Even Zeus and his 3,000 year reign in Greek mythology was elected king of the gods and lord of the sky, not appointed by reason of wealth or parental succession, which may have given rise to a fundamental tenet of Athenian democracy we copied with our Constitution.

So when are we going to flesh out the democratic idealism our Constitution provides us in the real world where a society consents by its vote to be governed, and then keeps its end of the bargain by being governable with whatever electoral outcome is provided by election? How about today?   GERALD    E

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