Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Who will be the next Plutocrat of the United States?

(U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.)

(Former First Lady and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.)

It's quite likely that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic Party's nominee for president, despite the fact that some well-heeled progressive backers are wary of her. She'll get enough support from the powers-that-be in the Democratic Party, and enough money from the big banks, to thwart any progressive movement to hold her back.

And we now know that U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is running for president too. Not every Republican is inspired by Cruz of course. For example, Congressman Peter King (R-NY) said this of Cruz's intent to become president: "Shutting down the federal government and reading Dr. Seuss on the Senate floor are the marks of a carnival barker not the leader of the free world."

Still, it's quite possible (perhaps likely) that we will be cursed with a Cruz vs. Clinton race. And the only Americans who will truly benefit from this will be stand-up comedians.    

Cruz routinely receives campaign cash through organizations like Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse Group, and Koch Industries. 

Clinton routinely receives campaign cash through organizations like Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase.

Many of the organizations generating campaign cash for Cruz and Clinton have engaged in wide-scale fraud, have polluted the environment, have helped wealthy Americans illegally evade taxes, have sent debt collectors to prey upon struggling Americans, and so on. In sum, they are the major reason why "The middle class has seen its wages change little since the turn of the millennium, while high-earning individuals keep making more and more each year" ("The Middle Class Has Gotten Smaller In Every State Since 2000," Huffington Post, March 19, 2015).

And yet, if Cruz and Clinton are indeed our two final candidates, millions of middle and low-income Americans--the very people who are harmed by the Cruz and Clinton funders--will vote for them. They'll vote for them, perhaps, because Cruz doesn't like gay marriage, or because Clinton is the lesser of two evils and/or has a name they're familiar & comfortable with. In any event, neither Cruz nor Clinton will work very hard for the middle-class and poor because they'll be too busy catering to their super-wealthy backers - backers who don't give a damn about struggling Americans (except for how much additional cash they can wring from their economically battered hides).

This is insanity, and yet this is reality. And so, the question is not who will be the next President of the United State; the question is: Who will be the next Plutocrat of the United States? 

Let's title the job and the outcome accurately.

Above: In this audio, we hear FDR's opinion of organized money in politics. The super-wealthy class was very upset with FDR for creating policies that hindered their ability to do whatever pleased them (e.g., fraud, insider trading, child labor, and the creation of dangerous workplaces), and also for creating policies that helped struggling Americans (e.g., work programs for the unemployed, Social Security, energy for rural Americans, and FDIC protection for the bank accounts of the non-wealthy). Today, we see the same phenomenon, where many (not all) in the super-wealthy class despise any government program that helps the less-fortunate. They pour hundreds of millions of dollars into the campaigns of politicians who are working towards the elimination of Medicaid, Social Security, unemployment insurance, SNAP (food stamps), public education, and so on. They are doing this for a number of reasons, not the least of which is to keep their tax rates low and to maintain a steady pool of desperate, financially terrified workers willing to work for pathetic wages (lower wages = higher investment returns for the super-wealthy). Pay close attention to the last four words in the audio above. They are the greatest words ever spoken by a president, and words we should all take to heart. Because as long as we submit, for fear of our protests being labeled "radical," "ranting," "immature," "socialism," or "class warfare," the longer (and more forcefully) we will be run into the ground by those with great power and wealth. We're already in a class war - we just need to recognize it.

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