“We cannot afford to not take corporate money, or we disappear.” That was a Tweet David Dayen sent this morning quoting an anonymous Democratic National Committee member. This Tweet induced a cross between a guffaw and a deep sense of consternation in my heart before I was able to enjoy my first cup of coffee. There is a wide gap between audacious misrepresentation and mendacious fabrication and then there is the DNC deception. This anonymous DNC member is either a useful tool who actually believes the bullshit he is peddling or he is a willful liar who is part and parcel of this farcical two-party system—both parties nothing but a front to obfuscate the continued transfer of wealth from the masses to the gnomes of Wall Street.
There was a time in my life where the partisan hack in me would have been following today’s DNC chair election as if the future of the world depended on it. I was such a lackey for the Democratic party that I suspended all logic and reason in order to stay true to my “democratic principles”. I really believed that if we only elected more Democrats to take on the evil empire that is the GOP, the injustices that rob too many lives of opportunities and basic human dignities of affordable housing and livable wages would be eradicated. I spent years convincing people that the Democrats were the party of the people and that Republicans were the party of plutocrats; in the process I worked like a slave to elect the “first black president”.
Today’s wisdom is tomorrow’s foolishness—nothing like hindsight to give one crystal clear understanding befitting of the Oracle from Delphi. What a fool I was, thinking that Obama was going to change the system when his whole candidacy was financed and built on the backs of corporate donations. For those who believe, like I once did, that the Obama for America campaign was financed by “small donors”, let me introduce you to the statistical concepts of mean versus median. If 999 people donate $1 and the 1,000th person donates $1,000, the average donation ends up being roughly $2.00 a person.
In the same way, if a mass of people donate a few dollars a piece and then a couple of wealthy pricks donate the maximum amount allowed by FCC laws, the lie is pushed where the “average donor was less than $10 dollars”—talking points being used to hide the fact that political candidates are paid and bought for by the gentry class in NYC and DC. A better way to actually find out the level of graft and corruption inherent in our political system is to use the median donation which shows the middle point of contributions (read bribes) instead of using averages which are easily manipulated.
But let’s move beyond the ways statistics are used by a few to lie through their teeth when it comes to these two malignant political parties. The truth is that there is a whole other universe of corruption that lies outside the scope of the Federal Election Commission which has turned the two political parties into nothing more than appendages of multi-national corporations. The Citizens United decision just removed the last pretense of decency and good governance associated with Democrats and Republicans and replaced it with legalized extortion. We live in an age of bandits and scoundrels as both parties are now free to chase tens of millions of dollars by trading access to power so they can access the bank accounts of billionaires. As Al Gore once famously stated, when it comes to fund raising and cash embezzling, “there is no controlling legal authority”.
Using Political Action Committees and Super PACs, both Democrats and Republicans are now able to raise unlimited amounts of money from Americans and non-Americans alike. Our governance is being flooded by dark money on a daily basis, the notion that “we the people” are somehow in charge of this country is about as laughable as the notion that Melania Trump married Donald Trump for his charm and good looks. The nerve that our government has, to declare wars and initiate human suffering throughout the world in the name of Democracy when we have none of it here in America. The level of graft and corruption in DC makes Robert Mugabe look like Mother Theresa. Those who have the guns get to dictate morality and those who have the wealth get to mandate policy.
It is fitting actually that an Obama holdover, Tom Perez, was nominated today to be the Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Tom Perez was Labor Secretary during Obama’s tenure, a tenure parenthetically that oversaw the continued fleecing of America through economic terrorism by way of fiscal and monetary policies. While the average American continues to be distracted by the banalities of politics, the aristocratic class have monopolized power and cornered the foreign and domestic policy markets. Through rent-seeking and lobbying, our government has been turned into one big money laundering scheme where money is exchanged like sex and favors are curried like Thai food. Tom Perez, while Labor Secretary, did absolutely nothing to stand up for the working class. He backed TPP, a “free-trade” (slave labor trade more like it) and he did absolutely zilch when it came to standing with the workers and, using subterfuge, was actually greasing the wheels for the corporate agenda.
Statistics are bandied about by prevaricating empty suits in various federal agencies to make it seem like Obama was the greatest leader since Moses. The reality is the opposite, why do you even have to believe in shaded statistics pushed by the agencies which are part and parcel of the very government they are supposed to be keeping tabs on. All you have to do is ask yourself this question: “do you feel economically secure?” All else is bunk and as far as Obama saving the economy, this is akin to a dead beat who crows that he saved his house from being foreclosed by getting a high interest payday loan. All Obama did was borrow trillions of dollars from the future in order to prop up the same bankers who bled this economy. For the rest of us, we were told to eat Monsanto GMO cake as a mix of inflationary theft, deflating wages, and secondary jobs became our new normal. Meanwhile, the same monsters who shattered the economy were handed over $14 trillion dollars by way of Quantitative Easing, ZIRP and endless acronyms and big words which are used to hide a scale and scope of theft that we can’t even begin to imagine.
By the way, don’t take my ire at the double-dealing Democrats to mean that I am somehow in favor of Republicans. I know more and more of you are waking up to this but I will keep writing this until my fingers lose their agility. These two parties are not parties at all, both Republicans and Democrats are in reality factions—the flip side of the same coin—who use the pretense of gridlock and partisan infighting to keep us perpetually focused on political rancor while behind the scenes both parties are working for their corporate patrons. The paralysis in DC is on purpose, notice how Obama did not run into any political obstacles when he guided through the bailout for the derivative traders who broke our economy and demolished the lives of tens of millions of Americans in 2008? Notice how Trump is not running into any political opposition when he appoints Goldman Sachs executives to run the Federal Reserve and the Department of Treasury?
The problem is that we keep letting the cult of personality dictate our stance on morality. Just like how folks on the side of the isle I once was entrenched in were so overjoyed in having the “first black president”, there are now some who are crowing that we have elected the first “Latino DNC chair”. We are letting our fidelity to identity overwhelm common sense and reason, as if the first Latino or “black” to gain access to power and status translates to benefiting the communities these sold out toadies come from. It is this type of identity politics which Donald Trump used to get elected, political pied pipers on all sides play on the fears of the people and sell them false hopes based on their identity. They use our pains and leverage our suffering to attain their ambitions only to turn around and nourish us with lies and feed us to the wolves of Wall Street.
Isn’t it high time that we stop falling for these antics? When are we going to wake up from this deception that is being sold to us and realize that our politics is nothing but one big sham that makes the theatrics of WWE wrestling seem authentic. While we are at it, let’s stop following the disinformation that is presented as news by the mainstream media. There is no difference at all between CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News neither is there an iota of a distinction between the Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal. It’s ironic actually; in a few months the same fools who pretend to be holding the government in check are going to be partying it up with the very same politician who they pretend to be repulsed over. Wine and cheese for politicians, pundits, and plutocrats—for the rest of us let us eat Twinkies. Democracy indeed.
It is truly sad, how we get gamed by both Democrats and Republicans alike and then conditioned to hope for the better if we only believe in the criminal enterprise a bit more. Every four years, we are encouraged to “fight like hell” to get one party or another elected and once we are invariably sold down the river by the same party we elected, the talking point becomes “we need to fight harder to elect more of the same party that just sold us a bill of goods”. This is insanity at it’s purest, this is why they refer to us as the base of the party by the way—as in the foundation and slaves they are building on top of. Haven’t you had enough of being played for suckers as both parties use their “base” in order to elevate themselves at the cost of the rest of us.
The DNC elected Tom Perez by way of closed voted, party insiders determined the direction of a party that supposedly speaks for the people. After screwing over the “progressive base”, political parrots started squawking immediately saying “we need to work harder to elect more progressive candidates”. Don’t people see, the system is irredeemably tainted. The only answer is to empower localities and strip away as much power from the federal government for absolute power corrupts absolutely and absolute power sustains itself by squelching the hopes and aspirations of the people. Congress has a 7% favorable rating, an indication of a government that has lost the confidence of the people.
70% of Americans don’t vote which belies the fact that our government is illegitimate as any totalitarian government in the world. Yet the 30% of the people who do vote reelect 95% of the same politicians who have a 7% favorable rating. This is how .01% oppress 99.99% of the people; group think leads to group pilfering at the hands of a few who are able to think and manipulate the masses unconstrained by political or ideological boundaries. Please stop saying “our party”, they just showed you once again it’s THEIR party and they view those not sitting at the table and sipping Dom Perignon behind ivory walls as nothing more than useful idiots and a base to step on.
As for me, Democrat no more. No longer do I parrot the talking points of malicious liars who invert history to make it seem like Democrats are all for the people. In a lot of ways, Democrats are a lot more nefarious than Republicans. At least Republicans have the decency to tell us they are against us as they keep espousing tax cuts that only benefit the moneyed gentry. Democrats though, theirs is a whole other level of perniciousness. They are like the spouses that buy flowers on Valentine’s Day only to bash our heads in with their duplicity for the rest of the year. I refuse to be in that abusive relationship anymore and cease to be loyal to political frauds like Tom Perez and the rest of his Democratic jackasses. No more being a partisan parrot, I am now fully independent. I highly urge everyone else to be independent too. Or choose the opposite and continue to be the parakeets of either Republicans and Democrats, parroting talking points which were written by Republican political consultants who are most likely sleeping with their Democratic “opponents” tonight after getting drunk yet again at Old Ebbets Grill in DC.
At least Polly though occasionally gets crackers. What do partisan parrots get beyond the rhetoric of “hope and change” and “make America great again”? Don’t think too long though, all you have to do is flip to either MSNBC or Fox News during the White House Correspondence Dinner and watch the same Democrats and Republicans who are supposedly engaged in a political Armageddon laughing it up and drinking it up as they take part in the “nerd prom”. Don’t laugh too hard on the evening of April 29th, trust me we are not laughing with them as they party it up as we are stressing it out about rent and buying groceries. The political hacks dressed to the nines will be laughing at us—those who find their identity through labels like progressive and conservative—while the elites only identify with their cash and accumulations. Just like Tom Perez is guffawing it up tonight as he got elected by peddling lies and selling dreams so that he can continue doing these same things as the head of the Democratic National Committee (read corrupt corporation). #DNCorruption
The divide us, we conquer ourselves.
Let me give an acknowelegment to the folks over at the Intercept. Everyone from Glenn Greenwald, Betsy Reed, Jeremy Scahill, Sam Biddle and David Dayen who inspired this article with his Tweet, seem to be giving us an alternative to the drivel and garbage that is being fed to us by the mainstream media whose sole interest lies in chasing corporate cash and eyeballs. Our hope lies in independent media who remain true to the precepts of journalism and who aspire to keep power in check. Though my faith in those who have been afforded access to the podium and given a megaphone has been severely shaken, I will give the Intercept the benefit of the doubt and will follow them as source of information with of course a discerning eye. Shout out the Intercept, follow them on Twitter @ and follow David Dayen as well @ and check out their website at www.theintercept.com.
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.