It’s almost laughable if it was not so tragic and outright pitiful. To see once ardent war hawk Republicans become Russian loving doves and to witness once fervent dovish Democrats all the sudden become bellicose war mongers is an exercise in situational morality in ways I could never have imagined. By the way, let me state that I too once inhabited this space of irrational pandering as I let my political and partisan loyalty get in the way of common sense and logic on a regular basis. My outlook on justice was tainted by my ideology; in that way I was actually part and parcel of perpetuating injustice as I feigned to be fighting it. Anything that is done in the name of loyalty to a label, party or dogma ends up being the mortal enemy of universal justice.
But a sudden swerve and a curve ball thrown at this journey called life loosened me from the prison of ideology and finding identity through labels. Unencumbered by fidelity to someone else’s ideology or no longer a slave of the Democratic party, I am now free to assess the state of our nation without the penitentiary of partisan talking points or political double-talk. And boy oh boy did this new found freedom enable me to put into context the state of our nation vis-à-vis our current political climate. Perhaps it’s always been this way, partisanship is nothing more than tribalism—ideas nullified by ideologies. But something tells me that we now live in an age of surreal outlandishness as otherwise clear thinking adults take to social media to declare jihad against their fellow citizens. An endless procession of people are willing to go through the fires of hell to defend crooked politicians on both sides of the isle who thrive by sticking hooks in us.
Take for example the insanity involved with Jeff Sessions. We are so entranced by the cult of personalities that we have become, we only focus on the sensational aspects of our politics and refuse to actually pay attention to policies and those who set them. Let me give you a little hint, our democracy exists to hide the hands of the truly powerful gnomes who run this world. Ever since the Magna Carta was signed, the aristocrats and gentry have used the guise of democracy to hide the “invisible hands” who run nations. From nations, the nefarious gentry have turned the whole globe into their personal fiefdom. By leveraging generational wealth and bank accounts bigger than the GDP of some first world countries, a cabal of insidious fiends have effectively colonized the entire globe. By buying up one media entity after the other—did you know that upwards of 85% of the “news” we consume is owned by six individuals—a few have effectively cornered the marketplace of ideas.
The mass media, for all intent and purpose, has been weaponized and is being unleashed upon us. The truth is thus murdered daily by a procession of corporate lackeys and partisan toadies who have no interest whatsoever in doing right. Their only interest is that their corporate masters do what is write—as in write that check so that they get paid while the rest of us continuously parrot the lines we are being fed by firebrands and grievance peddlers. From Van Jones, Sharpton and Maher on the “left” to Hannity, Limbaugh and Coulter on the “right”, we are being inundated with assholes who fan at us flatulence of victimization and yet convince us they are spraying us with the perfume of justice. At least they are getting paid though; it’s us, the schmucks who self-identify as “Democrats” or “Republicans” who are willing to take bullets for the ideology of the famous who believe in none of it.
I use Van Jones as an example because I once thought this clown of an alternative-soul was actually a civil rights hero during my heydays of being a political hack myself. Nothing like reality’s mugging and hindsight to wake one up to the deception of the entire system. Van Jones is a shyster who has perfected the art of crying on demand (C.O.D.) in order to garner eyeballs on CNN. One second he is raging against some injustice but when the camera lights go off, Van Jones is partying it up with the same Republicans—from Newt to Ted Cruz. You don’t have to take my word for it, go visit Van Jones’s page on Facebook and you will see this neo-coon smiling it up and hamming it up with Newt Gingrich. Van Jones is no different than all the politicians in DC, including the uber politicians Obama and Trump, who have fine tuned their acting skills in ways that Sidney Poitier would be intimidated over.
But jackals will do what jackals do. Politicians are what they are, they are born with a defective gene where lying comes easy to them and enriching themselves at the cost of others is second nature to them. What perplexes me are the rest of us, otherwise clear thinking and rational adults, who keep falling for this carnival show that is our democracy on a regular basis. There is no education in the millionth kick of the mule, except we keep getting kicked and keep going back for more. We are told to vote the bums out by being given a choice between two equal bums. Just like lemmings, we go on voting and expecting different results. The result is situation dire; as our economic system keeps relegating the masses to the periphery of insolvency, the uber-wealthy are living it up while we are stressing it out.
We are so distracted by politics, we lose track of the very economic policies which are running roughshod over all of us. When the political winds change, partisans pick up and move to the other side of the political and social divide. Not too long ago, during the George Bush era, I—along with the rest of my “left leaning” denizen—used to be in love with Russia because Putin was standing up to the imbecile GWB. The left swore by Russian Times (RT) and were against war in ways that would have made Gandhi proud. On the other side, Republicans hated Russia and loathed Putin. There were many conservatives I was following back then who were advocating a confrontational approach to Putin.
Then a funny thing happened on the way to Damascus. After the equal warmonger Obama started to drone around the world and destroyed Syria with over 20,000 bombs dropped by our overgrown military-financial complex, Russia started to stand up to Obama as well. I’m not here to endorse Russia, when it comes to geopolitics, there are a myriad of reasons why they stood against our governmental aggression. All the sudden, the script flipped. Once Democratic base voters, who were against wars, were all the sudden sounding as war hawkish as Dick Cheney. On the flip side, Republican base voters, who were once vehemently against Putin, all the sudden started to become his vocal supporter and started to fawn over Vladimir’s shirtless torso. A lot of Republicans who were against gay marriage were sounding very much in touch with their gay side as they kept drooling over Putin.
This is situational morality at its worse. Most people raging against injustice these days don’t have a principled bone in their bodies. Probably not the best “business practice” to insult people who find their identity through politics for they are the most vociferous consumers of political news and are the ones who go hunting for stories that fit their narrow agendas. But tis better to speak truth and walk a more solitary path than it is to speak to the myopia of people and be celebrated for it. To be honest though, I really do think that there is a true silent majority out there who have just gone quiet frustrated by the noise created by the unhinged partisan fringe on both sides who let their fealty to party carry more weight than their fidelity to humanity.
To those who get mad when I bash Republicans and Democrats, please understand that there is a wide gap between being an “insider” and being the base. I’ve said this before, but aren’t you a bit flummoxed and miffed that you are being referred to as the base of any party. You do know the base is something you build on top of and is the “beneath” on which foundations are erected upon. They are calling you the base as an insult! It’s just another way of saying that you are a useless idiot to them. Why take this level of abuse from two immoral parties which are really just two factions of the same broken ideology.
You are no more of a Democrat or a Republican than I am a Washington Redskin. Unless you work at Congress or the White House, your are not a Democrat or a Republican. You are the BASE of the party and nothing more. Democrats and Republicans get paid, the rest, those who identify with those parties, are not Democrats or Republicans, they are just fans looking in from the outside. Unless you are sitting at the table and making decisions on politics and policy, and unless you are getting paid, you are not a Democrat any more than I am a LA Laker. So stop letting loyalties to parties which are disloyal to you taint your perspective of the world and color your pursuit of justice.
Do you really want to know what is going on? Google the words “bread and circus” and you will see the same blueprint that worked successfully in the past is now being deployed on all of us. We have become a society of one big Truman show where we are fed outrage and sensationalism to keep us constantly distracted from the next punch. You know what the next punch is? Go ahead and look at the raging bull market. Markets work inversely; the wealthy get out when the bulls are running and enter when the bears are mauling. Markets run up before they implode for a plethora of reasons, from people selling their positions to cover their puts to day traders manipulating the exchanges to realize profits by way of arbitrage, usually irrational exuberance is an indicator of imminent market doom.
Why? Because the end of every bull market is followed by a vicious downswing as the markets “normalize” back to homeostasis. The notion that Obama saved the economy in 2008 is as laughable as the notion that Melania Trump married Donald Trump for his dashing good looks and personality. The structural issues that led to the “crash” in 2008 were never fixed, Obama just applied bandages to the economy by borrowing trillions of dollars from the future to forestall an implosion during his administration. Political courage nowhere to be found, too big to fail was never addressed and if you think you can borrow your way out of debt, I have a bridge to sell you in Peru. So maybe you should stop and ask yourself “is it possible all these conflicts are being ginned up so that we can be distracted from a shoe that is about to drop?” Or continue falling for the catnip, just know that the rich and powerful are operating with full information as they play us by feeding us continual disinformation.
Justice should be pursued from a universal perspective. Otherwise, if people place primary importance on labels, artificial constructs and ideologies, the end result will be the perpetuation of injustice even as we think we are making a difference. So stop letting situations dictate your morality and be outraged not based on affiliations but based the notion that an injustice committed against one is an injustice against all of us. Notice, by the way, that I barely mentioned Jeffery Sessions in this article. That is because I refuse to fall for that catnip; Jeff Sessions is just another tool who will implement the policies as he his told. I focus on policies that feed into endless immoral wars, economic terrorism being unleashed on all of us, and the continued disparity between the haves and the have nots—policies which are enacted by Democrats and Republicans alike. I will leave up to others to condemn or defend Jeff Sessions, I refuse to take part in the carnival of situational morality and outrage #SituationalSessions
Too many would rather just yap with half knowledge as they get manipulated by those who have the full information.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.
Latest posts by Lij Teodrose Fikremariam (see all)
- Ethiopia’s Choice: Poverty through Grievance or Prosperity through Unity - September 9, 2019
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- A Matter of Life or Death: We Cannot Afford to Ignore Mental Illnesses Any Longer - August 17, 2019