Oligarchy: noun ol•i•gar•chy \ˈä-lə-ˌgär-kē, ˈō-\ a government structure where a small and elite group have power.
It was a good run. Bernie sanders excited the Progressive and Liberal base, and could have won, if this were truly a functioning democracy. Instead the US is not considered and fits the textbook definition of Oligarchy. That is not simply a cynical opinion, but the results of a study by Princeton and Northwestern Universities. That report found that average Americans have near zero input in their government, while a small number of wealthy individuals and corporate interests dominate the US government. Talk radio, the Tea Party and even Occupy are populist ruses or distractions designed or harvested to channel mass public opinion while providing the illusion of individual empowerment, and to identify and discredit dissenters.
Bernie sanders was first to feel the sting, and is being marginalized more with each passing day in a corporate controlled media and the elite and corporate ruled DNC. That was fully evident with Howard Dean Sunday on a Sunday talk show threw his full weight behind Hillary Clinton, calling her the most qualified candidate. The network political shows filled with speculation about a possible Joe Biden run, hinting he was talking with Elizabeth Warren as a possible running mate. Bernie Sanders, who attracts more people to his rallies than other candidates combined is increasingly being erased from coverage and from discourse, despite a surging growth in popularity. Sanders reacted positively to the Black Lives Matter protest several weeks ago in Seattle, taking a more pro-active position and engaging witrh the movement by appointing BLM Symone Sanders as his Press secretary.
Now the target is Donald Trump. The wild-eyed couch republicans dreamy-eyed and irascible at Trumps veiled racism about immigrants and how he would “handle” BLM protesters, are also soon to feeling the emerging wrath of an insider run political apparatus. That apparatus has already begun dismantling the Trump parade. The difference between Sanders and Trump is two=fold. First, by all indications Sanders is running on actual issues with a statesman-like demeanor respectful to the process and the country. He eschews the powerful and idealistically asserts that in numbers citizens can have their country back. Trump is a populist self-aggrandizing media clown.
Second, as Sanders continues to be shut out of the system, the media, the election and the discourse, so too will expire his grassroots funding. Trump has the money to maintain his sugar-coated clown parade that actually affirms racial and class divisions and the confirmation of a political and social elite. While treating him as the comic foil and hate driver for the election, he may serve a purpose, but the real elite, the interbreeding power protectionists of the upper echelons of the GOP and DNC (Your favorite congresshead or most hate are simply passing flavors of the day) will not let him get close to the White House.
It would be inaccurate to blame the corporate elites and political echelons of power alone. The American people have squandered their democracy through neglect, ambivalence and reactionary social and political masturbation. Too many on the Left, predominantly fickle white activists, abandoning the noose and blood-tinge fight by Blacks and women to gain the vote abandon that necessity to protecting a healthy democracy by discrediting the vote out of some childish conception of changing the world fundamentally to a yet undefined hipster paradise populated by all electric Volvo SUVs and locally sourced Starbucks. On the Right, they pander to their all too prevalent fears of immigrant, non-white and Islamic boogey men, flagellating themselves over Christian values, nebulous concepts of Freedom filtered through the oligarchic prism of greed trade and through their own imbued and as yet unacknowledged and undiagnosed notions of their own paranoia and latent homosexuality. They proselytize about returning to good old days that never existed, except as a transient pretense of a place where white people could presume to always be dominant.
The lion share of the blame goes to the vast middle; all those “reasonable” Americans channel flipping lazily through the social and political realities of the day waiting to be sold or to find an opinion that fits with their pothole perspective of the world. They have become the great sea of grass. Only too happy to whip with the media and political winds while choking slowly and steadily the self-serving policies of a select few. Worse, of all of these people, Left, Right and Middle, as fewer than 7% will ever leave the country for any educational or enlightening period of time, they are prime to be fed myths about “socialist” Europe, that Canada’s healthcare system pales in comparison to Americas (Despite Canada’s alarm at the flood of Americans attempting to enter for healthcare and medical reasons), or the myth that the world is a dangerous place by highlighting isolated and often contrived terrorist threats. Americans are happy, it seems to wallow in their own graves, as long as they have a WiFi signal and cable TV.
Finally, in our cheerleader, don’t make waves anglo-dominated society, inaction is the call of the day. More than a month ago a rally to organize for Sanders was held in Chicago. Apart from the fact that most were elderly and all of them white all 100 or so clapped and cheered at the theatre event led by Progressive Democrats for America. There was no engagement by the Sanders’ campaign, worse nothing has come of that event. There is no organizing, no aggressive outreach, no significant events. Sanders, in not building even a loose affiliation with a central organizing effort, as well as the “you go first” attitude of those who attended the meeting is fundamental. Indeed, it is a fundamental failing of the culture and allows or commands that we are to be led and exploited to enrich a few, regardless of party of affiliation, or whether you engage or disengage from the “system.”
That is a greater disease. Trump and the electoral process as it is fed to us now in 2015 is but a symptom of a greater disease. Sanders might have been the cure, but with each passing day, as his voice is steadily silenced, we may never know.
Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com
The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting. Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.