Witnessing so many people fight over politics can be a very disheartening experience. We have become a nation of bickerers who would rather unleash torpedoes on each other instead of working together to solve problems. With each successive election, we get more and more divided as fringe voices set the tone of political discourse while the wealthiest few dictate policies. On both sides of the divide, politicians feign outrage and dismay at the state of our nation yet none have the courage and authenticity to actually lead a conversation that can bridge the chasm that is subsuming society.
Instead, we have a coterie of faux populists and fake progressives who promise to “drain the swamp” or deliver “hope and change” in America. They never do of course, they head to DC and become co-opted by a system of governance that benefits few by trickling up the livelihood of the bottom 90% in order to enrich the unimaginably rich. The only reason so many people are not hip to this upward pyramid scheme that our nation has become is because too many are addicted to the pornography that is politics.
America has been split down the middle between Democrats and Republicans. At least we are led to believe this to be the case; in reality, the vast majority of Americans—when you include independent, third parties and people who refuse to participate in our elections—don’t identify with either party . Instead of presenting the reality of this situation, the establishment is vested in depicting a nation that is perpetually splintered and our government hopelessly gridlocked between the two parties.
There is a reason for this of course; portraying a government that is at an impasse gives credence to the “us versus them” playbook. Consensus is made impossible, outrage is always manufactured while we are conditioned to view politics through idiotic blue or red state—as if we are a nation of gangs fighting over turfs. Both parties traffic in this type of outlandishness because it’s a brilliant way to keep them unaccountable to voters; Democrats and Republicans get to blame each other for nothing getting done. Sadly, their base is so beset by sort term indignation and long term amnesia that they keep falling for the hoodwink while voting for change that never comes.
My fellow Americans, I am here to tell you that the infighting going on in DC and the supposed gridlock in our nation’s capital is nothing but carefully staged theater. If you think that the WWE has perfected the game of storytelling and personality based conflicts, they have nothing on politicians in Congress, the White House and their minders in the media-politico complex. If you need proof of this, please go back over the two decades alone and review laws that were enacted and policies that were implemented related to defense industries, financial sectors and multi-national corporations. In every instance, both parties worked in tandem to advance the interests of Wall Street while hurting the poor, working and middles-class.
Presto! When moneyed interests demand something of our government, Republicans and Democrats snap to attention like army privates and salute while doing the bidding of their corporate owners. Where was the gridlock when Obama gave trillions of dollars to the same crooks who demolished our economy? Where is the paralysis in DC when, just a few months ago, one of the largest defense spending increase in our nation’s history was passed with overwhelming support of both Democrats and Republicans.
No you see, gridlock only kicks in when it comes to issues that matters to the broader public. While they pretend to be engaged in a mortal combat on TV, behind the scenes both parties are playing footsies while kissing the hands of their plutocrat extortionists. Until we stop being manipulated by the symptoms of our broken government and understand the intentionality of the system, we will keep getting a Merry-Go-Round of insincere donkeys and insidious elephants and getting the same results for our votes. Don't be bamboozled by the perception of change, when both parties are under the thumbs of CEOs and billionaires, alternating between two equally compromised factions is an exercise in false choices and hopes. Click To Tweet
In this way, Donald Trump is the perfect president for our time. More than any politician in the past, he has successfully diverted our attention from finding a way forward by entrenching us in the cult of personality that we have become. Instead of holding politicians accountable and demanding that mainstream media does the same, too many are spun up into either derangement or devotion to a man who has an ego the size of Texas and the maturity of an ant. The stock market is teetering, endless wars continuing to ravage humanity throughout our planet but we would rather focus on the temper tantrums of America’s first infantile president instead of paying attention to policies that hit our pockets.
For the record, I love my country. Calling out the short comings of our government and demanding better from those who lead us is what patriotism is about. Our nation is headed down a perilous path, the more the economic pie shrinks for the vast majority of Americans, the more upheaval and conflicts we will see throughout our land. We should be very careful about trying to fight hatred with anger, falling for the antagonism that is being injected from the top will only lead to tribulation for all of us.
The only way that we can truly change this predicament and reclaim our government is if we stop falling for the carousel of personalities, declare a cease fire on wedge issues that are foisted upon us to divide us and arrive at a consensus grounded on the notion of economic equity for all and inclusive justice. As long as we are fractured by identities and ideologies, we can expect this never ending shell game to continue. The change we want will not come from the top, we need to change and stop being ruled by our tribal instincts so that our government can be responsive to us.
Politics is not the answer, it is the source of our problems::
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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.
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