Plutocracy defines a society ruled and dominated by the small minority of the wealthiest citizens.
Don Jeffries shows how we have taxation without representation
which in the past was considered
cause for revolution.
Makow Comment: Let's not pretend we are serious about democracy. If we were, we'd insist that election campaigns were publicly funded. That's chump change, proof we don't really want to be self governing and free. Right now we pay politician's salaries but private interests pay for their expensive campaigns. Private interests determine who gets elected. I'm reminded of the Woody Allen joke. A man complains to a psychiatrist that his brother thinks he is a chicken. "Why don't you have him committed?" The man replies: "Because I need the eggs." We're all deluded.
Don Jeffries: "In 1988, a typical election year, the turnover rate for Congress was less than that of the Soviet Union's Politburo. That is something every American ought to be utterly ashamed of."
By Don Jeffries
(Abridged by henrymakow.com)
We all remember the rallying cry of patriots during our War for Independence; "No taxation without representation!" For a very long time now, only the wealthiest, most influential Americans have been truly represented in Congress. The rest of us, like the revolutionary era colonists, are taxed without representation.
Each national poll taken in recent years, that measures the approval rate of Congress, has shown Americans to be completely fed up with their representatives. They are invariably in the single digits in approval rate at this point. And yet, in the last election, 96 percent of congressional incumbents were re-elected.
How do we explain such a mind-boggling dichotomy? Are American voters really that stupid, so willing to return to office the elected officials that they tell pollsters they overwhelmingly disapprove of? Or are the votes simply not being counted? As I covered extensively in my book Hidden History, we have strong reasons to doubt that the electoral system is honest, and that the vote totals actually reflect the will of the people....
When the Republicans took over the House in 1994 for the first time in forty years, they promised a number of reforms, popularized by the so-called Contract With America. One of those reforms was term limits, something we've desperately needed for a very long time. Republicans who ran expressly on a platform advocating strict term limits for Congress later rescinded their support, once they tasted the trappings of power, and the incomparable benefit package our representatives receive. George Nethercutt was only one of these, and despite supposedly infuriating the voters with his turnabout, he was easily re-elected to two more terms. Rep. Dan Benishek is a more recent hypocrite, breaking his vow to serve only three terms by announcing plans to run again in 2016. It is impossible to imagine that he won't still be re-elected.
The Trans Pacific Partnership, the new monstrosity of a trade deal, which I covered in more depth in a recent blog entry, was approved for so-called "Fast Track" status by the U.S. Senate recently, by a vote of 62-38. "Fast Track" simply means an absence of debate, which was already reflected in the draconian measures taken to stop those voting on it from actually reading it. Here we had "liberal" President Barack Obama joining forces with Mitch McConnell and other Republican "opponents" to ram this odious bill through without any delay. House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise and Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions both refused to acknowledge whether they'd bothered to read the massive piece of legislation, but still declared that they were going to support their alleged "opponent" Obama's request to fast track the deal, which doesn't bode well for the House's chances of blocking it.
Prominent Republican Senators Marco Rubio, John Boehner and Lindsey Graham also refused to reveal if they read the documents in the "secret room" of the Capitol basement, before nevertheless feeling comfortable in voting for it. Hillary Clinton has danced around the issue, and her campaign chief, longtime insider John Podesta, was caught privately telling donors, "Can you make it go away?" Considering Hillary's career allegiance to the global establishment, and the fact the devastating NAFTA agreement was pushed through during her husband's administration, it should be obvious just where she really stands.
Bernie Sanders, one of the TPP's most high-profile opponents, wrote in The Guardian, "The TPP is simply the continuation of a failed approach to trade - an approach which benefits large multinational corporations and Wall Street, but which is a disaster for working families. The TPP must be defeated."
Polls have shown that the public is strongly opposed to TPP, especially approval for any "Fast Track" status. The horrific impact that NAFTA and other trade bills have had upon American industry is obvious to everyone outside the rarefied air of the One Percent. To push through a disaster like TPP, in the worst economy this country has seen since the Great Depression, is about as wrong-headed as anything could possibly be.
But this is standard operating procedure for "our" elected representatives. Recall that, in 2008, over 90 percent of Americans were opposed to the banker bailout in all polls. And yet, every high profile leader supported it. There is a disconnect between the will of the people, and those who run this republic, that is widening each day. Polls show that Americans overwhelmingly oppose any amnesty for illegal immigrants, but this didn't stop Barack Obama or any of his most notable "opponents" in the other party from passionately supporting it. Polls even reveal that only a small number of Americans believe that Congress listens to its constituents. I think it's pretty clear at this stage that they don't listen to anyone outside of powerful lobbyists and the wealthy elite....
At any given moment, there are no more than a handful of decent representatives in Congress. Ron Paul is gone now, and so are Cynthia McKinney and Dennis Kucinich. The growing discontent in the country really has no voice in Congress. Elizabeth Warren says some nice things, but she voted against auditing the Federal Reserve. Exactly how does that equate with being anti-Wall Street? Bernie Sanders voted to make key provisions of the Patriot Act permanent and supported Bill Clinton's pointless bombing of Kosovo. Rand Paul was courageous in filibustering against the extension of some key provisions of the Patriot Act recently, but he appears to be playing politics too much for my liking, and hardly sounds like his father much of the time. Warren, Sanders, and Paul, like all other political leaders, avoid any "conspiracy theory" like the plague. Thus, all of them buy the official story of 9/11, which is solely responsible for this endless "war on terror" that they frequently criticize.
We really ought to have much higher expectations in terms of political leadership. Does anyone really believe that Barack Obama, any Bush, any Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Charles Schumer, Harry Reid, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Sheila Jackson Lee, Luis Gutierrez and countless others are the best we can do? That they are the most qualified, the best and the brightest among us?
No matter how "mad as hell" the voters allegedly are, or how many term-limit campaigns, or "Clean House and Senate, Too" type of slogans are devised, the reality is Congressional representatives are virtually unbeatable, if they choose to run for re-election. Whether this is because of widespread voter ignorance or systematic voting fraud, it is a reality. And considering the kind of "representation" we receive from them, it is a frightening thought to ponder. In 1988, a typical election year, the turnover rate for Congress was less than that of the Soviet Union's Politburo. That is something every American ought to be utterly ashamed of.
I don't have an answer to this problem. Obviously, we should vote all the bums out, but either the majority of the people just can't bring themselves to do that, or our votes aren't being counted. At least we can focus on the overt deficiencies of these politicians masquerading as statesmen, and stop encouraging them. Do any of them really deserve your applause? We can also educate ourselves about voting fraud, which began well before the 2000 election, as illustrated by the late Collier brothers wonderful book Votescam.
It would impossible to find any cross-section of Americans, regardless of their educational level, who couldn't do a better job of leading us. The state of Congress, like the state of our union, is a disgrace, and it's time we at least started admitting it. Perhaps the sad truth is that "None of the Above" is the best we can hope for.
Don Jeffries has been researching the JFK assassination since the mid-1970s, when he was a teenage volunteer for Mark Lane's Citizens Committee of Inquiry. He is very active on all the JFK assassination forums, and has been a moderator on the London Spartacus Education Forum for several years. His first published book, the acclaimed 2007 novel The Unreals, has been compared to Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz. Hidden History is his first nonfiction book. He is the author of Hidden History: An Expose of Modern Crimes, Conspiracies, and Cover-Ups in American Politics.