The Founding Fathers understood something very important:
You can’t trust the people in power.
They understood that people in power will always put keeping that power on the top of their lists of priorities.
It’s not that politicians are corrupt. It’s simply that people don’t like to lose power. Have you ever seen someone get demoted at work? Usually, they don’t take it well. Whether it was deserved or not, they rarely just accept it with a smile. People with power usually want to keep that power.
Sadly, it’s human nature.
The Founding Fathers recognized this and they brilliantly built a system that uses the lust for power to help the country.
How’d they pull that off?
Well, that’s the brilliant part.
They used the lust for power against itself by creating three separate branches of government. They created the legislative branch, the executive branch, and the judicial branch. Each branch is designed to regulate the power of the other branches.
We call it “checks and balances” but really, that’s just a fancy way of saying we turned the power-hungry people against each other. Each branch wants to retain as much power as possible so they’re always making sure the other two branches don’t gain too much power.
It’s truly a beautiful system.
And for decades, only one thing threatened that system:
You see, the political parties realized, “Hey, if we can control all three branches, we’ll have all the power! We can make the laws in the legislative branch, we can enforce the laws in the executive branch, and we can interpret the laws in the judicial branch!”
Luckily, multiple parties have always existed in this country, so the “checks and balances” still worked (to varying degrees). The different political parties kept themselves in check while the different branches of government did the same.
So we still had a system that benefited from this adversarial atmosphere. It was fragile, but it worked. Thanks to the fact that our Founding Fathers didn’t trust people in power, our system managed to thrive by pitting those in power against each other. It made progress extremely slow, but at least the government held together, if only by a thread.
But then something happened that even the Founding Fathers didn’t predict…
The corporations took over.
And these corporations figured out how to control the government.
They realized that the key to control didn’t come from trying to take over the three branches of government. They understood that real power could be achieved by controlling all the political parties.
And that’s exactly what happened.
We have innocent sounding names for it (like “lobbying”), but the bottom line is this: The corporations bought the politicians. They basically initiated a hostile takeover of our political system.
And that’s where we are today.
We have democrats fighting republicans and republicans fighting democrats, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter which party wins, because they both work for the same people.
The democrats and the republicans work for the corporations.
And the corporations want us to fight with each other based on our political alignment. That is the best thing in the world for them.
As long as we embrace the fight, progress doesn’t happen. We just keep fighting and blaming each other while the corporations control our laws.
Justice… fairness… they don’t exist anymore when it comes to creating laws. Our laws should protect the people and they should restrict those in power… today, our laws protect those in power. They protect the people who own the country. And no, I’m not talking about Congress or the Supreme Court or even the Presidency. I’m talking about the corporations.
They’re winning because they keep us busy fighting each other. The system has been flipped upside down.
Don’t believe me? I can prove it.
Go to a social media site and post the following statement:
“According to a A 2009 Stanford University study, George W. Bush’s AIDS program saved a million lives in Africa and HIV/AIDS rates declined by 10 percent in countries that received funding. So yeah, whether you like Bush or hate him, you gotta tip your hat to him for that.”
Then just wait. You won’t get many replies that are reasonable. The replies you’ll get will either say something like, “TOTALLY! I swear, Bush did great things, but you’ll never see THAT talked about by the liberal left-wing media!” or they’ll say something like, “Yeah, that’s really great! He let our own country fall to absolute ruin and he completely destroyed civil liberties in America, but hey… at least he helped people in other countries! Bush is disgusting, any way you slice it.”
The replies will either use your comment as a springboard to bash democrats or they’ll use your comment as a springboard to bash republicans. Very few people will say something like, “Yeah. No matter what I think of him, I guess it is good that the program saved over a million lives.”
Or, if you’d like, say something nice about Obama. Doesn’t matter what you say. It doesn’t matter how universal the compliment is. Hell, you could compliment his singing voice and the replies would be either “I HATE OBAMA!” or “I LOVE OBAMA!”
You know why?
Because we’ve been trained to choose a side.
We’ve been trained to believe the “you’re either with me or against me” philosophy.
Here’s a newsflash for you:
There are some good republicans in DC and there are some bad ones. There are some good democrats in DC and there are some bad ones.
But that doesn’t matter because we’re trained to pick a side and the other side must be the enemy.
Hell, it’s actually designed that way now. Each party has a damn list of topics they support. And these topics are completely unconnected, yet they belong to the parties instead of belonging to individuals. From abortion to fiscal spending to the death penalty, each party has its own list of completely unrelated issues and the people in that party (for the most part) support those issues. Not all of them, but most do.
Why? Why do parties have stances instead of people?
Well, I’ll tell you why.
Because it keeps the fight alive. It makes the parties into enemies instead of just people who disagree on the best way to help the country.
It keeps the hate alive.
And the hate is all the corporations need to own you. As long as you’re busy hating the other party, you won’t notice the many ways the corporations are hurting you.
So keep it up… keep fighting… keep hating people just because they belong to a certain party…
Fight the good fight…
Because your fight is the corporations’ victory.
p.s. I know I’m over-simplifying things a bit here. This is a very nuanced issue and I will be addressing it on a more nuanced level in future blogs. I just wanted to lay the basics out here.