We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Monday, August 29, 2016

The GOP's Stealth War Against Voters

Click here to access article by Greg Palast from Rolling Stone.

Elections have always been held up as a primary feature of "democracy". However, our ruling capitalist class have learned over the years how to subvert that process of democracy. In this article Palast seems to focus narrowly on the GOP, and I question why.

It is no accident of history that our ruling capitalist class first restricted the vote to white property owning males. You see, our reverently referred to "Founding Fathers" (they have been deified) did this intentionally because they feared the rest of the population. At that time they discovered that mixing people into large voting areas tended to dilute any real democratic pressures from below. (Remember that roads were poor and the means of communication was limited.) It has been taught to us, along with a lot of other garbage, that the system of checks and balances that is a part of the design of our government was to protect against autocrats from coming to power. The truth is that the new American ruling class led by Hamilton and the banker Morris had a terrible fear of citizens and designed the new government to protect them from the "unwashed masses". (Read Unruly Americans by Woody Holton and An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States by Charles Beard.) 

Since then we have witnessed the extension of voting rights to most of the rest of the population, but this was only allowed because over time the capitalist class tightened their grip on the media and education to instill ideas that were favorable to their rule. They also used a variety of other tricks to subvert any meaningful democracy by their control over what political parties were allowed to participate, gerrymandering districts, poll taxes, and now with the purging of voter rolls. 

(If all else failed, they never hesitated to hire private hooligans (for example, the Pinkertons), or us the FBI, the National Guard (for example, the Kent State massacre) to insure that their interests and policies are protected. Nowadays they are using aggressive local police forces trained in crowd control by the Israelis.)

Judging by the extremely slanted coverage of the current presidential campaigns by corporate media, it is clear that the deep state wants Hillary Clinton as the figurehead president. Donald Trump is too much of a maverick who likely cannot be bought or intimidated to follow their orders. They will insure that Hillary is elected and that neoliberal and neoconservative interests are well represented in Congress.  

So the way that Palast frames this article, he seems to be promoting the idea that only Trump and the GOP are seeking to subvert the elections. This is only a shameful step away from promoting the idea that Hillary Clinton should be elected.

2 comments:

  1. Palast has been a gatekeeper (a color-only-inside-the-lines "reporter") for probably nearly a decade; perhaps he always was and it's taken me time to fully appreciate the art of gatekeeping. It is an art. No question. Making it look like you're "the opposition" when in fact you're serving as an escape valve, aiding irritated member os the unwashed masses in "letting off steam" harmlessly. Harmlessly, because it's all focused in the wrong direction.

    That said, excellent commentary, Ron! Great summation of the "big picture" and good lists of the owners' gatekeeping tactics (gerrymandering, etc.) I'd suggest adding the "Electoral College" to your commendable list.

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  2. Thank you for your response. I think you have accurately answered my doubts about Greg Palast.

    And you are, no doubt, right again with regard to the Electoral College as being another device to prevent the "unwashed masses" from interfering with the business of capitalists.

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