It is fitting really, the fact that we have a reality show clown as the titular head of our nation is a perfect encapsulation of our time. We have become a nation addicted on the pornography that is politics, the back and forth between team red and team blue in Washington DC has become our national narcotic. We are in urgent need of an intervention from this grotesque game of partisanship, the hour by hour developments and the never ending breaking news has turned us into a society of zombies.
Watching news has morphed from being an act of informed citizenry into a habit of crack addicts. Driven by mainstream media that is more concerned about capturing ratings than speaking truth to power, the public has been transmuted into drama feigns as people flock to their televisions and smartphones to get their political fix. Trump sits atop an addiction epidemic that has swept across our nation; love him or hate him, Americans just can’t quit him.
We live in dangerous times, the stock market is wobbling as Wall Street is a few more selloffs away from a depression that would make the Great Heist of 2008 look like child’s play. We are closer to World War III than at any point since the Cuban Missile Crisis and income inequalities in America is breeding contempt between families, friends and neighbors. America is a tinder box that is but one spark away from being engulfed in the flames of upheaval or worse. Sadly, at this most precarious times, we are being led by preening juveniles and the public has been lulled into a coma by the barbiturate of politics.
Instead of holding people in power accountable, we use news as fodder for entertainment. The incoherence of Trump and the duplicity of the Democrats is akin to ingested Molly that drives us into delirium as we sway back and forth between outrage and adoration. Jim Jones and David Koresh would be envious at the abundance of faith too many Americans have invested in their political idols, this level of obsequiousness has warped common sense.
There are no consistencies to be found other than the reliability of hypocrisy on all sides, yesterday evening General James “Mad Dog” Mattis resigned only for the political parrots to go into hyper drive. Mattis was the same man who the establishment warned was an out of control lunatic who could very well start a nuclear Armageddon with Russia when Trump tabbed him to become Secretary of Defense. The minute Mattis tendered his resignation letter, the same establishment were driven into a tizzy as they lamented the loss of a “calming voice”. This is what mainstream media does, they are not reporting news as much as they are ginning up conflict to keep eyeballs fixed to their brand.
Likewise, Trump’s announcement that we are going to pull out of Syria was greeted with hysteria. It doesn’t surprise me that the likes of MSNBC, CNN and mainstream media would put on their pompoms and lead cheers for perpetual wars. After all, they are owned by the very same military-financial complex that is making a killing from the killing of millions of people around the world. What is dismaying is witnessing otherwise rational people turning into unthinking robots. Think about this, the same people who were up in arms over Bush’s illegal and immoral war in Iraq are now openly expressing shock that we are about to pull out of Syria. They are using the same slogans and meaningless catch phrases that neocons used to justify our continued occupation of Iraq. “We can’t cut and run”, they say, as they channel their inner Dick Cheney all because they want to get their daily high of raging against Trump.
The other side is just as irrationally absorbed by the gravitational pull of Trump. They have so bought into the idea that Donny boy is taking on the deep state that they grab on to any strand of news or just make facts out of lies to justify their beliefs. No matter how many times Trump betrays his campaign promises and weds himself to the status quo, they keep preaching patience and swear he is playing three dimensional chess. Trump is not some renegade who is taking on the establishment, he is just performing the role he was selected for. After apprenticing his shtick on NBC for fourteen years, he imported his brand of buffoonery to the White House to keep us perpetually distracted with his antics. #PolitiPorn Click To Tweet
No matter how outlandish his behaviors and nihilistic his conducts, Trump’s supporters will stand by their man in ways that makes Tammy Wynette seem like Lorena Bobbitt. They rationalize it all away by stating that if everyone hates him, he must be doing the right thing. Everyone hates diarrhea too, that does not mean that it is good for your health. Trump is an out of control megalomaniac who is so addicted on seeing his name in headlines that he is willing to be America’s most hated man if only to stay on our minds. Sadly, we fall right in line. Like a nation of junkies, we are transfixed on Trump the way cats are mesmerized by laser lights.
Not to be outdone, the Democrats insist on matching the irrationality of Trump with their own version of hyperbolic duplicity. The fraudulence of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and their ilk on their side of the aisle makes Enron look like the Cub Scouts in comparison. Democrats have perfected the art of pretending to care about pressing issues of inequality and justice when they have no power only to rush into the waiting arms of their corporate benefactors the minute they gain either the gavel or the White House. They are so bereft of ideas these days that the only way they can maintain the deadenders who remain in their party is by fear mongering and pretending to be against Trump.
We are a few hours from the government yet again shutting down and revealing that our politics is broken beyond repair. Instead of this moment being one that will galvanize Americans to demand better from those who lead us, people who will feel the pinch of interrupted services and benefits will run to their political corners. We are so splintered by manufactured identities and ideologies that we have lost sense of our contentedness. The only thing that matters is that “our side” wins even if that means that all sides will lose in the end. CNN and Fox News will display the shut down count down as if it’s New Year’s Eve. This is gang mentality that will lead to our dissolution.
Politics has become the greatest show on earth, what we don’t understand is that the clowns we are gazing at are the ones who are playing us. It is said that toads jump out of hot water immediately but if you put that same toad in cold water and slowly turn up the heat, it will stay in place until it eventually gets boiled to death. The shit show of politics is the water that is simmering about us, we stay in place and tweet about the latest controversy or outrage not realizing the fate that awaits us.
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
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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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