If doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, US politics is the apex of lunacy. We just can’t help ourselves, we perpetually prostate ourselves as we idolize the rich and famous. The adherents of Jim Jones were absolute free thinkers compared to the cult of personality we have become.
Ten years ago, millions of Americans (including myself) were hoodwinked into believing in a charlatan from Chicago based on nothing but symbolism and sloganeering. Obama proved that an empty suit who can recite brilliantly from teleprompters can become the first bank president. After eight years of catering to Wall Street, cratering Main Street and continuing the war in perpetuity legacy of Bush, Americans had enough and decided to replace one corporate shyster with a reality show carnival barker.
In less than two years, Donald Trump has already worn out his welcome with most Americans. Outside of his core supporters—who will stick with Donald if they saw him barbecuing the Easter bunny on the West Lawn—Trump’s childish antics, incessant narcissism and boorish behaviors have alienated a majority of the electorate. Naturally, people are begging for change and can’t wait to vote out this most petulant POTUS.
So who would be the best candidate to replace this carnival act we have in the White House? Surely, we’ve had enough of political personalities? I mean after two terms of the first bank president and four years of Trump, it’s time we look beyond personalities and actually start supporting people based on their policy positions right?
Wrong! We are two years out from the next presidential election and already people are lining up behind a who’s who of corporate supported, cult of personality driven sock puppets. The newest flavor of the month is Beto O’rourke, otherwise known as Obama-lite—or is that Obama light? Some on the left are going gaga over a man they barely know anything about and swear he can be elected president even though he lost to Ted “the Zodiac Shiller” Cruz.
This is the same Beto who, according to a report by the Guardian, frequently “voted for GOP bills that his fellow Democratic lawmakers said reinforced Republicans’ anti-tax ideology, chipped away at the Affordable Care Act (ACA), weakened Wall Street regulations, boosted the fossil fuel industry and bolstered Donald Trump’s immigration policy.” In other words, Beto is another corporate wolf in a progressive sheep’s clothing who is betting that our love of flash will outweigh his dearth of substance on his way to the presidency.
Beto joins a list of vacuous voices and feckless corporatists who aspire to capture the White House. Hillary, after being twice rejected by the American people, is hinting at yet another run, proving that the Clintons truly are the herpes of politics. There next to her is Joe Biden, who after awarding George W. Bush the Liberty Medal for his “contributions to veterans”, is currently on his way to posthumously award Pol Pot the Humanitarian Award for his contributions to orphans.
But wait, there’s more. There is also Kamala Harris, the prosecutor who had no problems locking up impoverished Californians yet let Steve Mnuchin skate free without nary a slap on the wrist after he committed fraud against homeowners by foreclosing on more than 16,000 people using a most grotesque reverse mortgage scheme. The list of empty suits and skirts is endless, a broad diversity of mannequins who all have one thing in common—they are all being pushed by the establishment and all of them are the lapdogs of neoliberalism. Click To Tweet
Yesterday afternoon, I read about how Trump’s supporters started a Go Fund Me account to raise a billion dollars to build the wall. What is truly sad is that countless of Trump’s supporters are going to part ways with their money in order to fulfill the pipe dreams of a billionaire who made his fortunes by bankrupting regular people like them. On the left and the right, people who are struggling to keep up with their rents are so star struck by the rich and famous and addicted to the reality show of political idol that they are donating their time and cash to people who make more in one day than they make in one month.
I know everyone thinks that their favorite politician is different, that their idol is cut from a different cloth. But the truth is that people who climbed the political ladder and attained power by working within the two established parties only did so by proving their loyalty to the status quo at the cost of the rest of us. How many times will Lucy keep pulling the football away only for us to keep falling on our collective asses before we wake up and realize that the game is rigged. Here is what you can take to the bank, if a politician is getting mentioned by mainstream media and being pushed by the establishment, no matter who that person is, let that be your cue that he or she is compromised.
The smoke and mirrors of our politics is meant to distract us from this one overriding truth. Elections in America are but a facade; in reality the candidates we vote for are pre-selected by the establishment after first being vetted by plutocrats. As long as we keep voting between Democrats and Republicans, we will keep getting the same results no matter how much we keep asking for change. One of these days, we will stop falling for personalities and actually embrace people who represent our interests. Until that day arrives, American will keep drowning in the red and blue Kool-Aide cups of political cultists.
The politician you hate is no different than the politician you idolize::
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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.