Friday, May 26, 2017

America for Sale

Miraculously, I’ve mostly been hopeful in the midst of the lowest cultural and political bar I can remember in my lifetime. But just when you think that we’re going to get to kick the football, Lucy snatches it away yet again and we fall flat on our back. The Montana Special Election fiasco is just the latest amidst Trump’s pushing Montenegro’s Prime Minister aside to get in the center of the photo op, the 100 plus civilian deaths our military caused in Iraq without apology and …well, take your pick.

The Montana story summarized everything wrong with our farce of a democracy. Consider:

1.     Republican Greg Gianforte won the Special Election even though he is charged for assaulting a reporter. If he was black, he’d be behind bars with a felony charge that would prevent him from ever voting again. But because he’s white and Republican, he can hold office.

2.     Voters defending their choice hid behind, “Well, you can’t trust the media” even as Gianforte admitted doing it.

3.     “It” was body-slamming a reporter for doing his job—asking a question. The question was a simple request for a commentary on Trump’s so called health-care bill.

4.     I’ve been receiving pleas for $3 every day to help fund Rob Quist’s campaign. Meanwhile, the Koch Brothers and other “dark money” folks are pumping in millions. I understand money means ads and political presence in the media, but the unspoken ethos is that American voters have no values or criteria for voting and elections are not to be won through civil discourse, but bought by big money. Money that began accumulating capital from slave labor, then worker exploitation, then increased by Wall Street greed.

Now I dare you to look me in the eye and claim that “this is the land of the free and the home of the brave.” When a reporter gets beat-up for asking a civil question, the assailant not only gets off scot-free but wins an election backed by big money and the citizens chalk it up to another shoulder-shrug of “oh well, what can you do?” I’d say that Democracy is officially dead in the Dis-United States of America. Except for all of us who happen to still believe in it and are frantically pumping its chest to keep it breathing. Stay tuned.

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