The Rage of the Common Man

We're not happy

We're not happy

H/T to the Black Informant for finding this bit of information…

As readers may or may not know, I was in my youth, much closer in ideology to being a full on socialist (though with reservations) than a right winger.  Though I’ve since wised up, I retain a healthy degree of socialist skepticism of monied interests (as do all true conservatives) and believe that the two party system is much more of a scam than anyone cares to openly admit.  The real divide in this country is not between Democrats and Republicans, but between the ones who dominate government through monetary means and those of us, the vast majority, who do not, but who are often the ones paying the bills.

These lines in particular caught my attention as the Black Informant talks about socialist John Pilger:

If you do not hear anything else I say, just follow the money. While we peons are out here in cyberspace arguing and debating over the latest comment made by Rush Limbaugh, the name given to fried chicken joints, who compared Michelle Obama to a monkey, money is constantly exchanging hands in Washington. It (money) is probably one of the only things in Washington that does not discriminate. Party affiliation does not matter, neither does the color of one’s skin.

This is profoundly and deeply true.  Barack Obama in particular (and the Democratic Party in general) benefited from hundreds of millions in corporate dollars in the financing of his campaign.  The same monies that poured in to support Bush are the same ones that back Obama, and you can be sure that in politics, as in all things, money buys influence.

Much noise has been made about tea-party protests, the slide in Obama’s popularity, the socialist policies of the new administration, but by and large, many things, indeed most things remain the same.  People on both ends of the political spectrum are frustrated with Obama’s governance, for what they believe are very different reasons.  I believe however that their anger has more in common than they realize.  Pilger is very far to the left, but these words easily resonate on the right as well:

My own guess is that a populism is growing once again in America, evoking a powerful force beneath the surface which has a proud history. From such authentic grassroots Americanism came women’s suffrage, the eight-hour day, graduated income tax, public ownership of railways and communications, the breaking of the power of corporate lobbyists, and much more. In other words, real democracy.

The American populists were far from perfect, but they often spoke for ordinary people and they were betrayed by leaders who urged them to compromise and merge with the Democratic Party. That was long ago, but how familiar it sounds.

Now of course Pilger sees this populism being put to the use of long standing socialist/leftist ideas which as a conservative I reject as being both impractical and inimical to liberty. However, he does touch a very clear nerve and describes well what I believe to be a bipartisan, grass roots frustration with being ignored by a ruling class that sees itself not as our servants, but as our rulers.

In this kind of system, the voter is nothing more than a group to be manipulated by this or that politician or party. Evangelical Christians discovered this (belatedly) during the Bush administration as his embrace of evangelical faith did little to advance their concerns about homosexual rights and abortion.  Liberal feminists are likewise waking up to the cynical way their concerns about “reproductive rights” (i.e. abortion) are used to keep them voting for Democrats no matter how much they disappoint.  Black Americans it seems are the slowest to begin to wake to see dnc slaverythat the race politics of the Democratic Party aren’t really serving their interests.  Again the Black Informant:

For the Black voter, Obama quickly became an easy sell once Obama won Iowa ( a state made up of mostly Whites). We became willing to ditch all those concerns about the war, the economy, politicians who profited from the same “evil” corporations they blasted on the campaign stump in order to take part in history.  Whites loved him–that is all that mattered. We even took it a step further by suggesting that a vote against Obama was a vote against your own race. So despite all the questions a person may have like “Why did Obama and his party continue to court lobbyists even after he repeatedly dissed them publicly”, your loyalty to your race was now on the line. Shut up and vote. Talk about a vote guarantee!

When the economy continued to go south after Obama’s promise that his efforts with his stimulus bill would hold unemployment @8%, criticism has been very light to say the least. In fact, when you do hear criticism, it is directed towards the all-encompassing “government” (even though the listener really know that they are really talking about Obama). When criticisms do make it out of the fold, they are usually confronted with the huge hand of denial that says “It’s way too early to judge Obama.” In the meantime, when a small committee in Oslo decided to JUDGE Obama and give him a Nobel Peace Prize, it was paraded as another “First” that Blacks everywhere should celebrate. Blacks, just like other ethnic minorities, women, members of the GLBT community, the anti-war crowd, the anti/pro-abortion crowd, the disabled, the poor, the uneducated–you name the group–are nothing more than cards in a deck that are played in the game of politics. It’s never about the card itself. Instead, it is all about how the card can be played to achieve a certain goal. Pilger nails it with this quote:

“Real activism has little time for identity politics, which, like exceptionalism, can be fake. These are distractions that confuse and sucker good people.”

The anti-war crowd is only realizing this now.

This is why I always find it interesting to hear how Republicans feel that by engaging in identity politics based on race like Democrats that somehow they will become more liked. Democrats engage in identity politics based on race all the time, yet they cannot point to one city that has improved as a result of their policies under their authority. They had decades of practice and all they can do is blame the other guy.

Right on brother. What he’s saying is very true. Ultimately I believe that the protesters of the tea party movement and the rank and file liberals who were tossed under the bus in the Democratic primary (who mostly dutifully voted for Obama in fear of what McCain / Palin represented) have much in common.  They are equally annoyed that their votes, their concerns, their fears, their agenda, their well being don’t matter at all to the powers that be in Washington.

Liberals are hopping mad that universal health care isn’t being passed.  Conservatives are mad that years of supposedly conservative governance has led to massive deficits.  Both are mad about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, though for different reasons.   Obama rode to power on this wave of discontent, but is proving to be more of the same, but worse.  God help us all.

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16 Responses to The Rage of the Common Man

  1. Pingback: Posts about Rush Limbaugh as of October 20, 2009 » The Daily Parr

  2. yttik says:

    I see a divide in this country between those who advocate socialism and those who hear the word “socialism” and remember housing projects, standing in line for food stamps, Indian Reservations, despair and poverty while awaiting the doling out of your crumbs. Most of those who are advocating socialism are not coming from the bottom, they have no awareness of how disabling it can be to depend on the Gov for your basic needs.

    Ultimately I believe that the majority of Americans, if we wash away our party affiliations, all have a healthy fear of government dependence. Nobody in America when given a choice between owning your own home or being trapped in government funded housing, would chose anything but freedom.

    • This is true. Elite opinion has always driven the call the socialization of society while those at the bottom tend to be inherently more conservative because they have much more to lose. It has always been the case in Marxist/socialist thought that the proletariat masses had to be radicalized before implementation of socialist schemes, and under every such scheme it has been those same masses that have suffered the most. The wealthy non-socialist elites have enough resources to escape or otherwise avoid the horrors of socialism. The middling classes are ground down to poverty over time (which has been happening steadily in the US under both Republican and Democratic governance) and the poor get a bare minimum improvement in their living standard albeit at the cost of an iron clad economic ceiling to advancement.

    • yttik – spot on!! That is eloquently stated. I think that is reflected in polls on the public option. In many polls, the public option in health care shows surprising popularity. But when further asked whether they would prefer to have private or public insurance plans, they choose private plans overwhelmingly. Nobody wants to be in the public plan.

      Massive dependency on government is a fundamental necessity, though, to retain power for socialists.

  3. Pingback: Holy Deficit ObamaMan ! « bloghopenchangery

  4. mainenowandthen says:

    “Follow the money”. Better insight is not to be found.

    How true it is that the 2-party system is in reality the one group of elitists who have manipulated voters for so many years. As long as they can foster envy, dissent and hard feelings that will continue to divide us they will retain their privileged status.

    The current administration has closer ties to Marxism than any previous ones, but their goal of domination is not that far removed from the policies that have existed for decades – it’s just that previous administrations retained some fear of the electorate.

    Only if we can unite against the corruption endemic in our current system will we be able to make real changes and regain our economic and moral centers.

    Yttik has some excellent points.

  5. Pie in the Sky says:

    Excellent essay. I’m hoping all the common men can work together – soon!

  6. Chuck says:

    Being a DC “regular” I truly believe you to be “on the money” here.
    I guarantee you that there is much more political idealism buried in the depths of WordPress than in Washington. It is about money, power, and…did I say money?

    I hate being cynical about my country, but my firsthand experience supports your thesis.

    Great Post
    Chuck
    Head Muscle

    • Cynicism or at least skepticism is one of the best defenses against tyranny. The founders didn’t work so hard to protect individual liberty because of naivete but because they were acutely aware of how money and power corrupt even the most well intentioned of leaders to say nothing of the scoundrels currently running the show

  7. BaldManMoody says:

    Great post TBC. I am a firm multi-party system advocate for this exact reason. Business/interests cannot payoff every party to get all of their votes if there was a true plurality in Washington. OR Business/interests would at least go broke trying to do so I hope.

  8. Great post! I think the coming elections for the next several years are going to be VERY telling.

    Are American’s going to continue buying this crap over and over from both political sides or are we going to demand in our preliminary elections true change from these political rock star incumbents.

    The other side of the same coin is if we stop buying this crap what are we going to buy into? Those of us here debating and lifting up our opinions would likely buy into more traditional ideologies based on moral absolutes and freedoms inherent in nature. But their appears to me a real risk that we (in the figurative societal sense) take the easier path instead of the one less traveled. And opt for even more of a governmental savior type. Just because Obama didn’t “save” us doesn’t mean the next technocrat won’t be able to get the right formula.

    As for Obama not “saving” us that is another factor. Their is the real possibility that the economy could recover pumped up by printed dollars and debt and that China and the world continues to buy and hold our dollars allowing us to believe we’ve been saved those in power are going to take the credit. In all reality though any credit for our economic recovery go to those willing to finance the recovery. The largest of which is China and the American people with printed dollars.

    However, eventually it is no longer in the worlds interest to fund our consumerism when China could use the dollars held in reserve to invest into their own economies and people. Then we’ll see true economic slavery handed directly to us through the hands of long running political ideologies and misplaced go intentions.

  9. mainenowandthen says:

    TFT, it is a very bothersome question as to where we are going to be able to find something to “buy into”. So many of the current crop of Washington poobahs have so thoroughly stacked the deck in favor of their own re-elections that any challenger has a difficult road to travel to success and we are not going to move forward unless we have new people with new ideas (and ethical and moral outlooks) infuse the Washington culture.

    If our economy continues to decline, the chances for a totalitarian government increase because history has proven time and again that frightened and hungry people will turn toward leaders who employ increased control.

    A theory came out of Columbia University a few years back advocating “overloading the system” in order to create a chaos that would pave the way for a Marxist takeover.

    A Tom Clancy novel, “Executive Orders” depicted nearly complete annihilation of America’s leadership and along with the struggle to maintain our society, the opportunity presented to start fresh.

    Makes one wonder, does it not?

  10. These are scary questions being raised and there are some who would say paranoid questions. But it isn’t paranoia if they really are out to get you. While I don’t believe that any one person (Certainly not Obama) is out to overthrow America, neither am I ignorant of history and the myth of American exceptionalism I think makes it hard for Americans to somehow think that something sinister or evil could happen here; that we are not subject to the same human foibles and failures of other people groups in other times. Then again no one would have thought the Holocaust could happen in Germany, as it was a center of culture, science, and education, or that communism would happen in Russia, steeped as it was in the Russian Orthodox faith and inherent social conservatism

  11. mainenowandthen says:

    It has oft been suggested that paranoia in moderation can be an asset to long life and yeah, sometimes “they” are really out to get you although I have yet to see a lot of evidence outside combat situations to suggest a world of plotters with me in their sights.

    Still, it is wise to recognize warning signs and I see a lot of them building up within the past few years.

  12. Eloquently stated, TBC. There are 2 parties: the Ruling Elite and the Ruled. Wake up and follow the money.

    End. The. Fed!!!

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