No one is more powerful than the institution he or she serves. For some odd reason, this fact keeps being lost on too many people as voters keep turning to political saviors to fix the ills of politics. Henry David Thoreau once said “there are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” He was noting that too many people would rather attend to symptoms instead of treating underlying diseases. Well my fellow Americans, we are a nation of branch hackers; we keep voting and hoping for a new day only to realize the excesses of our government never change regardless of who wields power.
That is because we keep being blinded by the very politics we keep seeking. We’ve been indoctrinated to believe in the two equally malicious political parties and to dismiss all other alternatives to the duopoly as wasted energy. We keep disregarding the disease of entrenched interests, rigged elections and Wall Street hijacked campaigns that have allowed two parties to monopolize power and eradicate viable competition on ballot boxes across America. Unless and until we loosen the grip that both parties have and unwind the clout Democrats and Republicans have garnered by way of gerrymandering and collusion, we will keep hacking at branches as the disease of corruption and larceny by way of economic policies fester.
The first step to end this nonsense is to stop looking at politics through tribal blinders. This requires a mass awakening where people stop self-identifying through imposed labels and ideologies. I understand the need to find similarity with people who think like us or look like us, but love for self should not come at the expense of alienating or vilifying someone else. The root cause of most injustices is economic inequality, irrespective of our complexion, gender or outlooks, the vast majority of humanity is being fleeced by a system that transfers wealth from many to the few. Economic inequality is the disease that gives birth to and exacerbates a litany of social ills and isms.
Sadly, we keep taking our eyes off the sparrow and being distracted by two-faced vultures who peddle identity politics and ideological strife. The whole of our governance has turned into an entertainment complex as personalities compete for our attention with a mix of manufactured outrages and feigned concern. Politicians have perfected the art of fake empathy, they go in front of cameras and seemingly look us right in the eyes and tell us they feel our pains. The minute the studio lights go dark and they are out of sight from the public, Democrats and Republicans drop to their knees and take orders from their wealthy patrons and screw the rest of us over. Click To Tweet
On the other end of empathy is the antipathy that is intentionally injected into the public conscience as opinion leaders across the political spectrum engage in a vile game of antagonism while pointing fingers. Our pains are not caused by people who are struggling just like us, the source of our troubles is not found by those who are being weighed down by the same financial anxieties we are being burdened with. Yet we disregard this fact and keep aiming our ire and our fury at people who can otherwise be allies. Divide and conquer has laid waste to many people throughout the world, we too are being sliced and diced with the Ginsu knives of dogmas and false constructs.
Politics is a sport the rich play with the lives of poor people as too many of us cheer on the players. We are enabling the victimizers to continue victimizing the downtrodden and kneecapping the rest of us. Both parties are bought and owned by the corporations and the neo-aristocracy, if we do not find a way to neutralize the clout Democrats and Republicans have and return the power to the people, we will keep watering the root of evil and pruning the leaves of the duopoly.
New blood and fresh faces cannot resuscitate these cadavers that are passed off as competitive political parties, what good is accomplished by painting a House that’s infested with termites? We urgently need a paradigm shift where we support ideas instead of being fixated on political idols. Or we can keep playing politics and letting the establishment splinter us as we bicker and fight each other. Doing so only leads to more economic suffering and financial distress, this is what happens when we keep focusing on symptoms and letting diseases fester. It’s no wonder we have Trump leading us, poetic if you think about it, Donald is just a symptom of the disease that sickens our nation but too many would rather hack at his branches while ignoring the root of our problems.
Wolves hunt in packs, they eat well; sheep like to scatter, they get devoured. This is why the 1% own the planet while the rest of us bicker about petty politics and trivial differences::
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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.