You know how “liberals” and “conservatives” are constantly in a state of war? Notice how those who self-identify as Republicans or Democrats are constantly bickering with the “other side”? This is the state of our politics, endless processions of labels and ideologies are pitted against each other and in the process a perpetual state of conflict prevents all sides from hearing each other. All sides convinced that “their side” is right and the other side is the perfection of evil. Otherwise rational adults revert to the meanest insults and ad hominem attacks declaring a political crusade on their “enemy” intent on subduing their adversary with fiery rhetoric and petty pejoratives.
The problem are the labels themselves. Instead of debating on the merits of ideas, too many slavishly follow the tenants of ideologies as if political platforms were edicts given straight from the mouth of God. We have turned politics into a religion while treating political scoundrels as though they are Moses. We bow before talking points and the pundits who utter them as if we are Mayans bowing before Kukulkan. This is why our politics is devolving into chaos and violence; hateful language being spewed on all sides as society keeps inching closer and closer to open hostility. We are prodded by our sensationalist mainstream media and our soulless politicians to attack each other as if we are gladiators in Roman coliseums. The privileged aristocracy watch with amusement from their ivory towers while we bludgeon each other with spiteful words and hostility.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. You know, not too long ago I too was part of this carnival as I ascribed the worse of intentions to “Republicans” while piously preaching the virtues of “Democrats”. I use quote marks for a reason, I realize now that we, the common folk, are not Republicans or Democrats. We are just outsiders who are being used by Democrats and Republicans to do their dirty work. We are nothing more than useless idiots to those who sit at the table and are afforded access to policy decisions. The only Democrats and Republicans are those who get paid to divide us. Unless you get a paycheck by the DNC, RNC, a lobbyist, or some wealthy billionaire gnome, you are just an outsider looking in. There are a lot of similarities between sports and politics in this way; those who say things like “we are going to win this year” or “we have next year” are fans and nothing else. The only ones who can say “we” are the ones who being paid to play or paying the players to play the rest of us.
If we put aside our fixation on parties and labels, we could actually make inroads to ending the various outrages we all rage against. Let me submit to you one simple proposition that “progressives” and “conservatives” could actually agree on. The truest threat to freedom is when power gets consolidated in the hands of a few and in the process tyranny is made evident when the few are able to implement their agenda without the consent of the people. Well my fellow Americans, this is precisely what we have before us here in the U.S. as a few have monopolized our government and the media in order to dictate foreign, domestic and economic policies. The two parties are a farce in this way, they are not an opposition at all since both parties are wholly owned subsidiaries of the multinational corporate agenda and are beholden to their billionaire patrons. Our government is illegitimate and rules without consent; when only 30% of the people vote and Congress has a 7% approval rating, that is the very meaning and definition of illegitimacy.
All revolutions are initially birthed by the blood of idealists and then eventually aborted by the greed of malignant oligarchs. The American revolution is no different as a once noble experiment in a representative democracy was nullified by cunning con artists who inverted the constitution on its head in order to funnel money and influence their way. The original idea of a decentralized government was quickly thrown overboard. Thus was born the first political conflict in America as a vigorous debate materialized between the Democratic-Republicans who advocated a limited government and the Federalists who called for a strong national government. These two opposing ideas were encapsulated perfectly by the visions of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson wanted a small government and for the country to be more agrarian; Hamilton fiercely advocated for a powerful central government and a financial-industrial economy.
Greed and money won the day as Hamilton’s model was implemented. At the root of most conflicts since the days of Hamilton and Jefferson has been about money and how the nation creates and distributes wealth. We have Hamilton to thank for the mind bending gap between the .1% and the rest of society. Hamilton’s idea turned America into one huge pyramid scheme where money is created by the government, passed on to private banks, laundered through the people, and then ends up being transferred to the privileged few who sit atop the pyramid. You know how they tell us the Civil War was about slavery, Google Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech and you will realize that history is full of shit. Once again, war profiteers on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line got the masses to fight each other and then used propaganda and the suffering of people to paint over their malicious intentions. The Civil War and every conflict since, as well as most of society’s ills, can be traced back to an utterly unfair economic policy that redistributes wealth from the working class to the billionaire class.
Robber barons like JP Morgan, Rockefeller, and Mellon effectively initiated a hostile takeover of our government during the early 1900’s and in the process turned the fifty states into their personal franchises. A banking crisis initiated by Morgan in 1914 led to banking implosion and a near economic meltdown. Using his media empire, Morgan started a whisper campaign that the private banks were insolvent. The public panicked and started to withdraw their money left and right. Within a couple of weeks, the banks went from stable to belly up as one by one banks started to run out of their reserves and shutter their doors. Nefariously, Morgan stepped in as the “white knight” and offered to save the economy. The United States took out a line of credit from Morgan in order to capitalize the banks. This is how the Federal Reserve, a non-government agency that is wholly owned by the multi-national banks, was birthed. You read that right, the Fed Reserve is the biggest bank in the world and it is owned by the banks themselves. Those who run money run the world, Congress and the White House are given derivative powers to give the people the pretense that their vote matters.
Of course, Morgan’s kindness was in reality malevolence. There was a steep price associated with Morgan’s loan. By the way, isn’t it crazy that a nation had to take a loan from one man in order to save itself? This is what happens when debt is used for a service today so it can be paid tomorrow. Tomorrow eventually comes and those who own the debt become the masters of those who are debtors. It was after 1914 that America effectively ceased being a nation and became a corporate entity instead. What JP Morgan did in 1914 was nothing compared to what took place during the Great Depression. Another economic crash was used by the wealthy demons to consolidate power and complete the “pyramid-ification” of America. Maybe it makes more sense now why they have a pyramid on the US dollar—we are the base and those who sit atop of us refer to themselves as the “capstone”.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who himself was a wealthy baron, was elected at the behest of the plutocrats in order to save the pyramid from being burned down by a pissed off populace. After the life savings of the average American was wiped out, FDR threw them crumbs by way of federalized programs like Social Security and Medicare. I know these programs are sacrosanct and to even mention them is almost a capital offense. I am not disavowing that we as society should have a social safety net but the more I think about it, the more I realize that a federalized program is not the answer. We are literally being taxed to death as nearly 50% of our income is eaten up by levies, fees, and inflation. We are financing an ever growing bureaucracy in DC which exists solely to serve itself and it’s robber baron patrons while squeezing the vast majority of us into financial distress and insolvency. What do we get for our headaches? Every year more gets taken from us yet each successive year the gap between the haves and have nots keeps growing and the struggle to keep our heads above financial waters gets harder and harder.
Let me explain this in a way that both the most fervent progressive and the most passionate conservative could actually agree on. Who would you rather empower, your local community or bureaucrats in DC? Would you rather the money is invested locally and administered by local officials who live in the communities they live in? Or would you rather the money be transferred to agencies in Washington who end up lavishing themselves with pay raise after pay raise and spending only a fraction of the money they receive on the people they are supposed to serve? Almost all of the corruption and graft we see taking place daily in DC would be mitigated if the money stayed in our communities instead of swilling around in the troughs of Congress and the White House only to be eaten up by corporate pigs and bureaucratic swine who feed on our collective hopes and aspirations.
The original vision of our Republic was supposed to be a representative democracy where our elected officials go to DC a few months out of the year and the rest of the time live among the people they were supposed to represent. While the original vision was flawed because too many people were left out of the equation, the idea itself was actually actually honorable and decent. Instead what we have is a run-amok federal government which keeps consolidating power by taking more and more away from us. And just as JP Morgan initiated a banking crisis in 1914 by using his media empire report salacious news of impending doom, the billionaire class has perfected this art of diversion and distraction by having us at each others throat so that we don’t pay attention to the pyramid scheme that is making all of our lives miserable.
What I wrote above was not a Republican nor a Democratic talking point. This is common sense, the more power is consolidated and monopolized by a few, the more that power will become tyrannical. Most of you reading this agree that our nation is not in a good place; all sides are justified in being miffed and angered by the state of our country. Sadly though, we let politics get in the way of common sense and in the process we end up firing at each other instead of aiming our energies towards those who are bleeding all of us financially. Instead of snipping and yelping at each other, maybe the answer is to come together as a people because if you take a minute to reflect and talk to someone who occupies a political space that is radically different than yours, you would realize that you and that person actually agree on most overarching themes.
The overarching themes I refer to are these: 1) right to privacy 2) less taxes on the working and middle class who have gotten a raw deal from Democratic and Republican administrations alike 3) empower communities instead of corporations 4) let small businesses be the true engine of America 4) end the perpetual state of immoral wars 5) scale back economic treaties that enhance the power of corporations at the cost of the workers
Unless we agree somehow to tackle the vexing issues of our time based on overarching themes we can agree on and instead fight each other like toddlers over the red meat that is thrown at us, the noose around our collective necks will continue to tighten. Who among you can say you are economically secure? The answer is not too many because the average savings of Americans is now negative. All of us are one or two paychecks away from a life of cardboard signs and soup kitchens. In a land of plenty, more and more of us are being treated to a reality of penury. The reason for this is simple, the whole of our economic system exists to transfer money to the “capstone” of society by way of fractional reserves banking and inflation. What sustains this perverse pyramid scheme—which has turned our nation into the tower of Babel—is a consolidated power in DC that uses authority to sustain a system of economic terrorism which has been unleashed on all of us.
Federalism is the problem. We are naive enough to think that politicians who get paid by DC will go to DC and give us the change we have been waiting for. The only answer is to somehow scale back the powers from DC and retain it right in our communities and localities. Wouldn’t the people in Flint, Chicago and Baltimore as well as the people in Wichita, Lubbock and Tallahassee and all in between agree that it is better to retain accountability and responsibility locally instead of trusting crooked politicians in DC? Do we wan to entrust power to those who live in apartments and town homes within our localities or do we want to keep submitting ourselves to the greed and avarice of policy makers in DC and Wall Street who wear $10,000 suits and live in Chalets we could not afford if we worked for a million years.
If we don’t act to turn back this creeping despotism, the continued consolidation of power in DC is going to get worse as globalism is leading to a coagulation of power in the hands of the global elite. What NAFTA did to destroy the middle class in America is nothing compared to how the system of interconnected central banks does to transfer money from the masses to the global few. Federalism is the enemy of the people in this way, it is time we reject the broken ideology of Hamilton for the financial-military complex is the fulfillment of Alexander’s dreams. Why do you think the $10 bill has Hamilton on it and right under his name it reads “in God we trust”. The god they are trusting is not the God we are led to believe, Federalism is nothing more than a means to make gods of men and to make slaves out of the rest of us. #FederalismSucks
Republicans kneecap people into poverty; Democrats then give the people crutches of dependency. Both parties are co-dependent and co-conspirators in bleeding all of us.
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.