Ever since 1980, when we elected Ronald Reagan, an actor, to be the president of the United States, this nation has been in a slow-motion tailspin. A once fairly solid economy and banking system setup after the Great Depression has been destroyed by a million little cuts. Once strong labor organizations have been systematically dismantled. And our political process has devolved into a sideshow of partisan bickering and one-upsmanship. To use a cliche, the United States is a Banana Republic.
The latest example of this devolution is a letter signed by 47 Republican senators to the leaders of Iran for the sole purpose of undermining a sitting president during negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. It’s possible that something like this has happened before, but I’ve not found any example. The letter tells the world that whatever this president, or future presidents, do is only valid while said president is in office. Any agreements made by the president can and will be nullified by future presidents and Congress. The letter is telling the world what we already know, that our government is in fact, a joke. That we, the United States of America, can not be taken seriously.
Had Democrats sent such a letter to a foreign adversary while a Republican president was negotiating with them, the Republican party would be in a complete freakout mode and demanding resignations and possibly charges of treason.
While this will no doubt severely harm the signatories of this letter to Iran when, or if, they seek reelection, the real issue is how this action shows what a sham government the United State has become. And the reason we have this sort of government, is because one of the two political parties has been taken over by those who actually view our government as the enemy. The Republican party is comprised, particularly the younger generation members, of those who are actively working to destroy our republic and the government. They are waging a full-blown assault on the Constitution and american voters.
Some have tried to argue that this is treason, but that’s not entirely accurate because these men and women were elected and campaigned on a platform of hating America. The problem isn’t that these men and women are traitors, which they are, it’s that our democracy has been captured by a few very wealthy billionaires while the vast majority of voters sit on the sidelines. The politics of cynicism has worked. Most Americans truly believe that all politicians are crooked and that the government exists only to harm them rather than to help them.
This all started in 1979 and over the last 30 years the campaign to destroy democracy in America and to replace it with a government sold to the highest bidder has worked. The government is run by a bunch liars, thieves and charlatans. The government often does do more harm than good, just look at the Iraq war, No Child Left Behind and the government’s inability to prevent the Great Recession. Our government is broken. Our political process is broken. And the only way to fix it is for American voters to stand up and do something about it. Until that happens, we will be left with a boom and bust economy racked with savings and loan meltdowns, hedge fund meltdowns and more Great Recessions. We’ll continue to wage unnecessary wars to benefit the war profiteers while corporations spill their oil all over our waterways and towns, often with giant balls of fire that burn for days.
We get the government we deserve, and right now, we deserve this dysfunctional government that sends letters to our enemies and passes bills to monitor every woman’s utterance from conception to birth. It is a sorry state of affairs and one that will not be ended by apathy, but rather engagement.