Wednesday, June 6, 2012

American Coup d'état

In the plot of the film “Seven Days in May” authored by “Twilight Zone” creator, Rod Serling, the United States government faces an attempted Coup d'état; a takeover of our government by the military. Seem impossible? I suggest that this very thing is currently playing out in our country as we watch. However it is not the military who is orchestrating this coup – it is the power of money.

The Supreme Court poured gasoline on a smoldering fire of campaign finance reform in it’s “Citizens United” decision, affirming a decision made decades earlier that corporations be considered as having the same constitutional free speech rights as individuals. Money has become the voice for that speech.

In Wisconsin, the recall election of governor Scott Walker failed, in large part, due to the support of campaign spending amounting to seven times that of his opponents; this in spite of a monumental “get out the vote” initiative.[1]  In a nation where the population obtains the overwhelming balance of their political information from television advertising, where people vote their ‘gut’ over their head, the results are easy to predict.

Will this ever change; can it? It is doubtful. The powers of money and influence smell the blood in the water; they will use that same power to thwart any attempt to wrest their grip on control.

I personally fear that our 200-year old experiment in Democracy has come to an end – our economy, once the beacon of the free world, now revolves almost wholly upon using money to concentrate the acquisition of even more. Most of us stand powerless, like lowly surfs as modern day Genghis Khans sweep over our landscape pillaging and ravaging our Republic by those who equate freedom as no loftier a goal than to acquire personal financial gain.

I am Robert the Skeptic and I approve of this message.



Rubye Jack said...

It's so sad to see what is happening to our country and even sadder to see people who don't care. All in the name of money.

Beach Bum said...

We're screwed, and its only going to get worse.

Several of the wacko conservatives that Fox News loves have espoused the idea that only people of "property" should be allowed to vote. The supporters of this idea hold that it was one of the founding pillars of the American Republic and should be brought back. Of course so was slavery but no one has yet mentioned that should come back as well.

Beach Bum said...

On another note, during the worst of the Peloponnesian War the democracy that had flourished in ancient Athens for over a century was overthrown by a group of oligarchs wanting to restore their power.

While I abhor conspiracy theories and feel the vast majority of them do not exist and are only believed by the weak minded I cannot help but believe we have entered a similar period as the one ancient Athens endured.

From Wikipedia:
The Athenian coup of 411 BC was a revolutionary movement during the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta that overthrew the democratic government of ancient Athens and replaced it with a short-lived oligarchy known as The Four Hundred.

The movement was led by a number of prominent and wealthy Athenians who held positions of power in the Athenian army at Samos, in coordination with Alcibiades who promised to deliver Persian support to Athens if the democracy was overthrown. Negotiations with Alcibiades eventually broke down as he proved incapable of delivering his promise. Nevertheless, the leaders of the oligarchic movement went forward with their plans to overthrow Athenian democratic government.

Rain Trueax said...

I still hope Americans will learn that these ads don't tell the truth, that it takes work to figure out the facts of a situation, and that they don't want to be sold down the river. I don't know though. It's very worrisome for the future generations.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Rubye This is the vicious cycle; the middle class becomes too consumed with hanging on by their fingernails - there is no energy to fight this... it's down to what people have to do to survive.

BeachBum I think you are right, if we brought the Founding Fathers forward to today in a time machine, they would probably be dumbfounded at who we have since extended voting rights to.

Many have described already our drifting into a Corporate-run Oligarchy. I am not surprised at the reference to ancient Greece. They say that those who ignore history are fated to repeat it. You are right on!

Rain No, Americans don't seek the truth, they seek confirmation of their already-held beliefs - THAT is what the ads provide. Facts create Cognitive Dissonance, discomfort... they actually cause people to become more entrenched in their beliefs. No, the ads are extremely effect or so much money would not be poured into them. They are an effective return-on-investment.

Rain Trueax said...

Tonight they were saying on the news that the ads that Walker used early on-- that the recall was always a bad idea-- they worked. They should have been rebutted. It's a lesson to any Democrat. Don't assume people will see the truth of anything. Point it out again and again. Kerry made the mistake of assuming it couldn't possibly work to lie. He learned the hard way that it worked quite well. Hopefully Obama gets it.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Rain You are spot on; I was so angry that Kerry didn't "shame" Bush regarding those Swift Boat issues... the Dems could have made a point about Kerring being in a shooting war while Bush was playing safely at home with airplanes. Those maggots at the Republican convention with the band aids on heir cheeks, should have been publicly shamed for berating a war veteran. But the Dems make this mistake time and time again... they try to act dignified - it's nice, but it doesn't win elections. You are right, Obama needs to come out fighting with the gloves off.

goatman said...

I am personally for unions and think that they brought many families into the middle class; but I think the unions took advantage and soiled their nest by demanding, and getting, outrageous retirement packages and perks over the years. Thus, only 12% of workers are unionized these days as governments and business found ways around the demands.

chlost said...

Oh, I love my grandchildren and I fear for the world they will have.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Goatman I have been on both sides of the fence, management at a bank and in a public employee union. I find that younger people in particular do not see the value of unions, they are more of a thing for my (older) generation. Too bad, because employers are forcing longer hours, more egregios working conditions and fewer benefits and people feel they are powerless. It will have to get much worse before it comes around again.

Interestingly, workers in China are starting to form unions to fight employer abuses.

Cholst Honestly, it doesn't look good. I just heard an interview on NPR's "Marketplace" program with author, Joseph Stiglitz. His new book titled The Price of Inequality outlines how we in this country now have less "OPPORTUNITY" than all of the developed countries.

Secret Agent Woman said...

It scares me - it surely does not feel like we are seeing our way clear to a healthy recovery.

Robert the Skeptic said...

SecretAgent Recovery? Yes, I think most people thought it would turn around about two weeks after Obama's inauguration. Now they are pissed at him and will not vote for him 'this time'.

But no problem, Romney knows how to run a business. Expect progress two weeks after HIS inauguration. [sighs]

Heidrun Khokhar said...

There are no solutions. Power has a way of shifting. Capitalism is not helping democracy. It's killing it.
Even the wealthy Chinese will eventually loose huge investments because the foundation of the system is not sound. It's fuelled on demand. But greed and overproduction will topple it. Something new will then evolve. You and I won't ever see it.

Jerry said...

Sadly I have to agree with you, and have felt so for some time. Part of me hopes that these times are a blip in the road and that it will somehow iron itself out. The even sadder part is that we seem to be powerless to prevent it.