Talk about days that will live in infamy. On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, the United States of America – after years of corrupt, establishment, insider politicians enriching themselves at ordinary workers’ expense – decided it had enough. Voters pushed a self-destruct button called Donald Trump and now the entire world is at the mercy of the most reactionary, incompetent, dishonest person ever to run for the presidency. With a Republican-controlled Congress at his back and only a small cadre of committed progressives to block him, the damage Trump could do is impossible to guess at. Continue reading
No serious scholar of history or political science considers the United States a democracy. Nor is the country a Constitutional Republic, which is sometimes given as the technical term. We like to think of ourselves as democratic, but America is, more or less officially, an oligarchy. This means the people have very little influence over policy, which is instead implemented by and in favor of private concentrations of wealth.
With election season in full swing, this simple fact gets overlooked and the platitudes about democracy are pushed harder than ever by pundits and politicians. Ironically, no time in America reveals more about our democracy deficit than the presidential election cycle. Between campaigns that are bought wholesale by billionaires and a news media that frames the election in the perspective of big business, Americans really aren’t invited to participate in the process much at all. Continue reading
After months of Republicans dominating 2016 election coverage, the Democrats finally had their chance in the spotlight. Their debate was certainly a more down-to-earth presentation than the hysterical Republican spectacles, but it wasn’t without moments of surrealism. Overall, though, the debate served primarily to reveal the superficiality of our political system.
If anything, that superficiality really speaks to the need for more debates. The Democrats aren’t having another one until November 14. All the candidates really had time to do at the first debate was speak in talking points. It wouldn’t have been that different a show if candidates just took turns reading blurbs from their campaign websites. Continue reading
On November 4, millions of Americans will take to the polls for midterm elections. They will not be joined by hundreds of thousands of voters who have been disenfranchised by restrictive polling requirements. Many states have introduced legislation that makes voting more difficult for poor and minority citizens, but in Texas the situation is perhaps most restrictive, most corrupt and most dire. Continue reading