How is the US government really run?

Refuee family at Grk-Mac border (REUTERS:Marko Djurica) Mar 9 2016

The presidential elections raise the question of how the US government is run. The social studies catechism teaches all that stuff about three branches: judicial, legislative, executive. They don’t mention Wall Street, lobbyists, think tanks, special advisers (like Kissinger), or other ways the oligarchy intervenes to make sure their interests are best served.

How otherwise do we explain Obama, elected because he promised the moon but who hasn’t come through on a single pledge? It’s a hard thing to own up to, but the president doesn’t run this country. The monied interests are not so reckless with their international investments that they would put a rookie like Obama in charge. He has “advisers.”

People want to believe if Sanders becomes president (file that under fat chance), he’ll be easier to pressure–though it’s something of an insult to their own man to say he’s so wishy-washy, so uncommitted. Is lily-livered what you’re looking for in a president? Enough with the pipe dreams. Sanders knows exactly how this country is run & has long-since made his accommodations with it.

Starry-eyed naiveté is understandable in youth but those who were part of pressuring presidents like Nixon in the Vietnam era or Reagan in the 1980s, when we massively opposed the US in Central America, know well that all of them are subject to pressure if enough people mobilize against them. We know that partially from the Pentagon Papers. We know it full well from history.

Mass mobilizations are how revolutions are made. So the ruling elite at all times gauge their options in relation to how much they can get away with & how much active opposition there is. If elected, Drumpf isn’t going to bring the onset of fascism to the US even if he wants to. That is not how fascism develops; that is not how the US is run.

If things change in the US (& they must) in a progressive direction, it will be based on principled politics, not expedience. Expedience is what got us to the mess we’re in now with endless wars & massive refugee crises. Principled politics call for action to defend human & democratic rights & to oppose their monstrous wars. Therein lies the rub because it is easier to do nothing & vote a chimera than it is to take action to end what we cannot allow.

Whoever is elected, the only way forward is to take our place with millions of others in defending justice here & around the world.

(Photo of refugee crisis as a result of expedience. By Marko Djurica/Reuters)