A Eulogy for Democracy
Let us now hang our heads and remember the good times we had with capitalist democracy.
She was a grand ol’ gal in her day. Everyone envied her. She certainly wasn’t perfect — no angel, she. But she did her best to elevate the downtrodden with hope and the promise of opportunity and entrée to a better life for those with the gumption to pursue their own success.
Today she is no more … her light extinguished by the very people obligated to protect her — We the People.
We have abandoned her principles. Sold her out for a barrel of entitlement money and empty promises from those who took her hostage — the self-dealing politicians we elected and the corrupt special interests for which those politicians wantonly prostitute themselves.
I’ve watched it happen as an accomplice. I’m just as guilty as anyone in her demise. I helped elect some of America’s worst politicians of the last half-century. My vote was one of those that, sadly, put the second Bush into office — arguably the single worst presidency ever.
I then helped elect Obama, because I was rebelling against the neoconservative and militaristic Bush doctrine of continual war, domestic fearmongering and illegal and immoral usurpation of the very liberties that gave birth to our country. But Obama was just as much of a loser and has served only to expand the nanny state and foster the dumbest of all beliefs in America today: Everyone deserves an equal standard of living.
No, Mr. President — they most certainly do not. To each his own from his own effort.
Now we teeter on the edge of political and economic destruction from which repair will take generations.
Before us stand the two worst major-party candidates America has ever known. Given the circus-freak sideshows masquerading as presidential debates, who wouldn’t relish Baby Bush versus Obama at this point?
But no. We have — defined by their own reluctant supporters in many cases — a petulant and narcissistic buffoon with a fifth-grade vocabulary, a wife-beater’s temperament and a loose grasp on truth and knowledge versus a lying, duplicitous and conniving chameleon who will use the Oval Office to propel America deeper into a Nordic-style cradle-to-grave state, despite the fact that the poster child of such a political economy — Sweden — collapsed into hyperinflation in the early 1990s only to re-emerge more capitalist that America.
A vote for one is a vote for the other, in as much as they both have limited, bordering on zero, understanding of the economy, and neither gives a flip about democracy, nor do their core supporters.
Trumpistas seek to expunge America of the immigrants that single-handedly made this country the envy of the world, and they trumpet the idea of patrolling streets like fascist vigilantes stalking Muslims — despite that both actions violate constitutional rights. And yet they squeal like stuck pigs about Second Amendment gun rights, willfully ignorant to the daily killing sprees that define modern America.
Clintonites are no less hypocritical. They rant, indignant and self-righteous, about the little guy — the 99-percenters that Wall Street routinely rapes. Crocodile tears. For eight of the 10 wealthiest members of Congress are Democrats, and some of Wall Street’s biggest dollars land in Democrats’ pockets, including Hillary’s. Some of the wealthiest donkey donors are Hollywood-types who assuage their wealth guilt by preaching about income inequality as they dine extravagantly, fly around in personal jets and hire low-wage help to manage their children and their lives.
And while Democrats unite in railing against the excesses of the mortgage industry that destroyed middle-class lives, they conveniently forget it was their own kind who set the industry up for failure: Former Democratic Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank almost single-handedly forced Fannie Mae and mortgage lenders to lower their lending standards (creating the subprime industry) and underwrite mortgages for borrowers who never should have owned a doghouse, much less a McMansion.
And then there’s Bill Clinton, who repealed Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era law that kept banks from becoming too big to fail in the first place. You’d think someone on his staff would have reminded Bill that the lawmakers who lived through the Great Depression saw the damage banks wrought on the economy and, just possibly, had a damn good reason to place bookends on the banking business.
Simply put: Neither Clinton nor Trump is fit for the office of the president of the United States of America.
One will breed economic destruction that will collapse the economy under excessive debtand a completely fakakta understanding of foreign trade and geopolitical realities.
The other is equally inept at economics and will steer America toward a political economy — soft socialism — that is 100% unworkable in a multicultural and heterogeneous population where no one in Mississippi cares a lick about the well-being of anyone in Maine and vice-versa.
This, however, is what we’re stuck with: Loser versus Loser, in an epic battle of playground insults to see who will lead America further down the economic ladder.
We Have Another Option
But, as I said early on, this is all our fault — mine and yours.
We created the atmosphere that allowed two political troglodytes to crawl out of the muck and to reach a point where both have the potential to exceed both Baby Bush and Obama as the worst president in American history.
We have continued to support a two-party state.
We have continued to swallow lies, such as the whopper that Democrats are profligate and Republicans are small government, when incontrovertible facts show both spend egregiously, only Republicans are worse with our purse.
We have failed to fight back when our liberties are stolen and when the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government systematically dismantle our Constitution.
We’re better than this. We’re better than what we’ve allowed our capitalist democracy to become — namely, brain-dead.
Once we were Reagan’s “shining city on the hill,” a light in the darkness for oppressive societies hijacked by totalitarian and theological dogma. We showed the world what was possible — the greatest society our blue rock has ever known — when we allowed our version of capitalist democracy to thrive.
Sadly, we’ve also showed the world what happens when we ignorantly and disinterestedly allow politicians and special interests to pee in our pool as if they own it.
What can We the People do to save democracy?
For starters, don’t vote for either loser next month. Cast a vote for a third party. (I’d say Gary Johnson, despite his warts. At least he and his running mate have meaningful experience running state governments, are middle-of-the-road politicians who are fiscally conservative and socially liberal, and aren’t economic retards — and, no, I’m not politically correct. But, honestly, this isn’t a vote for Gary piece.)
I know lots of commentators argue that voting for a third party is a wasted vote and likely ensures a Trump presidency, which, admittedly, will be an unmitigated disaster on America and the world. Nevertheless, that “never a third party” logic is ridiculous.
If Republicans and Democrats insult us with these two monstrosities as the best political talent America can muster, then we absolutely should vote for a different candidate and send a harsh message that We the People are no longer patsies who blindly hew to party lines when party dons offer us candidates with all the appeal of flatulence in a crowded elevator.
We are better than this.
Unfortunately, we are assured of a loser in the White House come January.
Until next time, good trading…
Jeff D. Opdyke
Editor, Total Wealth Insider