Skip to comments.The Two-Tiered System of American Government
Posted on 01/15/2014 4:14:13 AM PST by markomalley
We now live in a two-tiered system of governance. There are two sets of laws: one set for the government and its corporate allies, and another set for you and me.
The laws which apply to the majority of the population allow the government to do things like sending SWAT teams crashing through your door in the middle of the night, rectally probing you during a roadside stop, or listening in on your phone calls and reading all of your email messages, confiscating your property, or indefinitely detaining you in a military holding cell.
Then there are the laws constructed for the elite, which allow bankers who crash the economy to walk free. Theyre the laws which allow police officers to avoid prosecution when they shoot unarmed citizens, strip search non-violent criminals, or taser pregnant women on the side of the road, or pepper spray peaceful protestors. These are the laws of the new age we are entering, an age of neo-feudalism, in which corporate-state rulers dominate the rest of us. In other words, we have moved into an age where we are the slaves and they are the rulers.
Unfortunately, this two-tiered system of government has been a long time coming. As I detail in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, the march toward an imperial presidency, to congressional intransigence and impotence, to a corporate takeover of the mechanisms of government, and the division of America into haves and have nots has been building for years.
Thus we now find ourselves at a point where, for the first time in history, Congress is dominated by a majority of millionaires who are, on average, 14 times wealthier than the average American. Making matters worse, as the Center for Responsive Politics reports, at a time when lawmakers are debating issues like unemployment benefits, food stamps and the minimum wage, which affect people with far fewer resources, as well as considering an overhaul of the tax code, our so-called representatives are completely out of touch with the daily struggles of most Americans--those who live from paycheck to paycheck and are caught in the exhausting struggle to survive on a day-to-day basis.
While Congress should be America's representative body, too many of its members bear little resemblance to those they have been elected to represent. Chauffeured around in limousines, flying in private jets and eating gourmet meals, all paid for by the American taxpayer, they are far removed from those they are supposed to represent.
And then there are the lobbyists, the source of much corruption and exchanging of money in Washington. With an estimated 26 lobbyists per congressman, it should come as no surprise that once elected, even those with the best of intentions seem to find it hard to resist the lure of lobbyist dollars, of which there are plenty to go around.
This lobbying is in turn buoyed by a congressional lifestyle which demands that our representatives spend the majority of their time fund raising for campaigns, rather than responding to the needs of their constituents. In November 2012, the Democratic House leadership offered a model daily schedule to newly elected Democrats which suggests a ten-hour day, five hours of which are dominated by call time and strategic outreach, including fund raisers and correspondence with potential donors.
When half of ones time is devoted to asking for money from rich individuals and special interests, there is no way that he can respond to the problems which pervade the country. Even well-meaning Congressmen face a Catch-22 where they are pushed to fundraise to secure their seats, but then once in office, it is basically impossible for them to do their jobs.
What we are faced with is a government by oligarchy--in other words, one that is of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. Yet the Constitution's Preamble states that it is "we the people" who are supposed to be running things. If our so-called "representative government" is to survive, we must first wrest control of our government from the wealthy elite who run it. That is a problem with no easy solutions, and voting is the least of what we should be doing.
How can we change this state of affairs? The government is too big, too powerful, and its overlords too entrenched to willingly give up any of its power or wealth. The wisest option is to employ the tactics of past protest movements such as the Bonus Army, the Civil Rights Movement, and the 1960s anti-war movement, all of which used sleep-ins, sit-ins and marches to oppose government policies, counter injustice and bring about meaningful change.
What these movements had was a coherent message, the mass mobilization of a large cross section of American society, what Martin Luther King Jr. called a philosophy of militant nonviolent resistance and an eventual convergence on the nations seat of powerWashington, DCthe staging ground for the corporate coup, where the shady deals are cut, where lobbyists and politicians meet, and where corporate interests are considered above all else.
Kings advice still rings true: We need to put pressure on Congress to get things done. We will do this with First Amendment activity. If Congress is unresponsive, well have to escalate in order to keep the issue alive and before it. This action may take on disruptive dimensions, but not violent in the sense of destroying life or property: it will be militant nonviolence.
Clearly, its time for a mass movement dedicated to change through militant nonviolence. If not, the shadow of tyranny that now hangs over us will eventually destroy every last semblance of freedom.
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, Martin Luther King Jr. warned in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail. It must be demanded by the oppressed.
Here they come:
Sounds like the very definition of Fascism.
Ck Greenfield today: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/3111860/posts
We have a unique responsibility at FR to center this movement. It requires extensive outreach and substantial viral activity.
John Whitehead is in the forefront of the fight against dictatorial government.
His website is worth checking on a regular basis:
Undo the 16th and 17th amendments. The 16th allows the federal income tax and the 17th changes the way senators are elected. At some point the states may decide to get some of their power back. The Feds are really going to have to mess things up though.
Undo the 17th and that would go along way on fixing the rest.
I’d settle for that.
Obamacare is the perfect example of the who’s who among the exempt. Why are our representatives not protecting the people...why did Justice Roberts fail on Obamacare...why should the young pay for the elderly in Obamacare...that too is absurd for a supposedly free country. The doctors didn’t stand up, teachers didn’t stand up, unions didn’t stand up against Obamacare...too much federal money behind all those groups...it not only sounds like Fascism....Obamacare etc. is the Face of Fascism.
It took the better part of forty years to convince us, but America finally bought the snake oil of progressivism in 1913. At the moment the 17th was ratified, we went from a federal to a democratic republic. Our framers knew from ancient as well as recent history, that democratic republics were short lived and terminated in tyranny.
Arrogant judges, overspending, disregard of the constitution, lifelong politicians who become rich at the public trough, social turbulence are symptoms and not the cause of our demise.
We must re-federalize our republic. There is little time.
I would agree. Senators are the most useless form of the US federal government in existence. One per state ought to be the norm, and they ought to be limited to simply a one-time six-year tour. After that...head on back to Texas or wherever you came from.
People in TX and TN are prepared to launch Cornball and Lamar! to new terms. There must be something there we are missing.
>>>There must be something there we are missing.<<<
You’re not missing anything. Up here in Alaska we have two unrepresentative senators, too. Once the system becomes democratic in the political sense, the powerful can purchase votes through promises of federal largess. It’s like Tammany Hall writ large. The founders knew about this possibility, which is why they wisely prevented the mob from electing senators.
Most of history is a slow motion train wreck with brief periods of enlightenment. There is plenty of time to go either way...
Yesterday, the House all but gave up the power of the purse. If Obama didn't get all of the spending he wanted, he promised to “shut down” the government and blame the pubbies.
Are we not where the Framers feared? Are we still a free people?
Free enough for the time being. We still have elections. I think the way ACA was passed, is an example of what the framers were trying to prevent.
The house leadership sticks their fingers in the air and sees what way the wind is blowing. They have vacillated back and forth on ACA. One minute it is the law of the land, then last fall they try to defund it. I don't watch Congress that closely, but it seems to me they weren't very interested in providing oversight during the implementation of ACA. They had no real documentation that it was awful before trying to defund or repeal it. They didn't really make their case. And now that they lost, it back to attacking conservatives.