Saturday, August 01, 2015

America's Sham Democracy

America’s Sham Democracy

by Stephen Lendman

America’s political season never ends - a monied interest-driven perpetual electoral cycle too corrupted to fix. Voters are deluded to think they matter. They have no say whatever. 

Duopoly power rules. Powerful interests decide everything. Democrats and Republicans are virtual clones of each other, differences between them too minor to matter on issues mattering most.

Co-founder of the Industrial Workers of America (the Wobblies) and five-time presidential candidate (first as a Democrat, later the nation’s most prominent Socialist) Eugene Debs (1855 - 1926) once said:

“The differences between the Republican and Democratic parties involve no issue, no principle in which the working class has any interest.”

Politicians breach campaign pledges when elected. Ignore what they say on the stump. Follow only what they do.

All announced presidential aspirants march to the same drummer - not a dime’s worth of difference among them on major issues, including war and peace, corporate empowerment, social injustice and hardline crackdowns on nonbelievers.

Bernie Sanders was the only overt Senate supporter for universal healthcare. When it mattered most, he voted with Democrats for Obamacare. 

His no vote would have killed what Ralph Nader calls a "pay or die" system - a rationing scheme benefitting insurers, drug companies and large hospital chains.

The problem with Sanders is his rhetoric belies his record. He votes 98% of the time with Senate Democrats - supporting many policies he publicly rejects.

He'll back war goddess/corporate shill/anti-populist Hillary Clinton if she's nominated. "Maybe I shouldn't say this: I like Hillary Clinton," he said.

He refuses to attack her appalling record as senator, secretary of state, and influence-peddling worth tens of millions of dollars for the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Foundation. When asked if he'll support the Democrat party nominee, he said: "Yes. I have in the past." 

He refuses to run as an independent. "(A)bsolutely not," he said. "I've been very clear about that." Instead of challenging America’s corrupt duopoly, he’s part of it like all the rest. In his case, a rhetorical populist, concealing a hardcore business as usual agenda.

Previous articles said 2016 presidential aspirants from both parties look more like an FBI most wanted list - a rogue bunch no different from Bush and Obama or maybe worse.

No matter who’s elected president or to key congressional posts next November, endless imperial wars will continue, whatever Wall Street wants it’ll get, other corporate favoritism will continue at the expense of social justice, and police state toughness will crack down as needed.

A Sanders presidency assures business as usual. He says one thing and does another. He’s been a phony populist throughout his political career. Ralph Nader once called him a loner, unwilling to work with civic groups on issues he claims to support.

As Burlington, VT mayor in the 1980s, he reassured monied interests saying “I’m not going to war with the city’s financial and business community, and I know there is little I can do from City Hall” to change things.

He supported business interests at the expense of ordinary people he pledged to serve. In Congress, he backed lawless Iraq sanctions responsible for the death of around 1.5 million people (mostly young children) and Clinton’s rape of Yugoslavia.

In 2001, he supported unlimited Authorization for the Use of Military Force - the green light for endless phony “war on terror” aggression against one country after another.

Though rhetorically against Bush’s Iraq war, he voted for the March 21, 2003 resolution stating:

“Congress expresses the unequivocal support and appreciation of the nation to the President as Commander-in-Chief for his firm leadership and decisive action in the conduct of military operations in Iraq as part of the ongoing Global War on Terrorism."

He supported Afghanistan and Iraq occupations, saying “I don’t think you can do (an) immediate withdrawal…I don’t think that’s practical.”

He opposed impeaching Bush and Obama - despite their horrendous war crimes demanding accountability. 

He unapologetically supports Israeli criminality - including last summer’s Gaza war, a bandit act of naked aggression. He opposes Palestinian statehood based on pre-1967 borders - 22% of historic Palestine.

He backed the 2006 Iran Freedom Support Act - authorizing funding for groups wanting Tehran’s sovereign independence replaced by pro-Western stooge governance.

He voted for the 2014 Ukraine Freedom Support Act - authorizing lethal and other aid for the US-installed, Nazi-infested coup d’etat junta masquerading as legitimate governance. The regime continues waging war on its own people while committing horrendous human rights abuses against anyone resisting its tyranny.

He supports prosecuting Edward Snowden for connecting important dots for millions about lawless NSA spying - while calling information he revealed “extremely important.”

He’s anti-immigrant. He wants federal visas restricted or suspended. He pretends it’s to protect US jobs.

He’s a hardcore Democrat party member - calling himself independent or socialist is rhetorical deception to enlist popular support.

The race for the White House in 2017 involves all candidates from both parties supporting a race to the bottom for ordinary Americans - along with no letup in endless wars. Next November, vote independent or stay home.

A Final Comment

Candidate Sanders again rhetorically backs universal healthcare. “The time has come to say that we need to expand Medicare to cover every man, woman and child as a single-payer, national healthcare program,” he said.

It’s a fundamental human right. So why did Sanders vote for a corporate-run system - excluding millions, overcharging, making it unaffordable for millions more, and making America’s dysfunctional system worse? 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.