Sunday, July 03, 2016

Independence Day Hypocrisy, Not Democracy

Independence Day Hypocrisy, Not Democracy

by Stephen Lendman

On July 4, 1776, America gained independence from Britain. Everything changed but stayed the same under new management - the way the framers planned it.

Today we'd call them a Wall Street crowd - a deplorable bunch, including bankers, merchants, planters, ship owners, lawyers, politicians, judges, slave owners and traders, speculators, smugglers, privateers, and other type wheeler-dealers.

“We the people,” meant them, not us. They created a government of men, not laws. Property owners alone had rights. Ordinary people didn't matter, entirely left out.

America’s first chief Supreme Court Justice John Jay said America should be run by men who own it. John Adams stressed having “the rich, well-born and able” in charge.

Government of, by and for the people was doublespeak, the general welfare for the privileged few, democracy verboten. America’s founders had their own interests alone in mind.

The Constitution they created was no masterpiece of political architecture. Alexander Hamilton called it “a shilly shally thing of mere milk and water…a frail and worthless document.” Benjamin Franklin had doubts, America’s grand old man, an enfeebled figurehead at the time.

Mischaracterized father of the Constitution James Madison said “I am not of the number, if there be such, who think (it’s) a faultless work.” After its adoption, he explained “(s)omething, anything, was better than nothing.” Later he spent years disapproving of what’s in it.

None of the 55 framers believed the Constitution was the glorious achievement it’s portrayed to be. Only 39 signed it. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were abroad at the time, serving in ambassadorial roles to Britain and France respectively.

Adams was the leading constitutional theorist of his time. He spent years criticizing it privately. Jefferson was disaffected. Until it was added, he objected to the omission of a Bill of Rights - belatedly included to protect the interests of the nation’s privileged, not its ordinary people.

Jefferson believed America’s founding document couldn’t stand the test of time. He urged a new convention every 20 years to fix problems and make the Constitution relevant to the times.

It was the product of duplicitous framers and close allies, scheming to cut the best deals for themselves, democracy never considered.

Expanding America from sea to shining sea followed, the beginning of its global imperial project, today threatening world peace and humanity’s survival.

The supreme law of the land deters no president or sitting government from doing what they please, inventing reasons as justification. We the people are entirely left out.

Powerful interests control things, usurping coup d’etat authority, duopoly power with two right wings in charge. 

Elections are farcical when held, mocking legitimacy, an illusory veneer of democracy. America’s sham system disregards the real thing. The framers designed it this way.

“We the People of the United States,” the constitution’s opening words, are meaningless window dressing. Free-wheeling/self-serving politicians operate in their own self-interest. Popular needs and concerns don’t matter.

America’s deplorable state reflects Franklin’s warning about “(a) republic, if you can keep it.” He understood significant challenges ahead, likely never imagining how bad things would get. 

Tyranny today is on a slippery slope toward becoming full-blown, fundamental freedoms disappearing.

War on humanity rages, survival perhaps threatened like never before. Celebratory weekend activities distract from what’s most important.

America’s shameful state should focus attention on how to change things. Otherwise we’re all doomed.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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