The Dispossessed Majority

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

The bumper sticker on the beat-up pickup truck read: “Friends don’t let friends vote Democrat.”

The driver was obviously not affluent.  Yet, despite all the news about mega-trillion dollar bankster bailouts, mega-million dollar bonuses for financial crooks, and unimaginable compensation packages for corporate CEOs who have moved middle class jobs out of America, something made the down-and-out pickup truck driver associate with the political party of the super-rich.

As I wondered at this strange alliance of the dirt poor with the mega-rich, I remembered that in 2004 Thomas Frank wondered about how the Republicans had managed to convince the poor to vote against their best interests. Frank’s answer, or part of his answer, is that the Republicans use “social issues,” such as gay marriage and Janet Jackson’s exposed nipple to work up indignation over the threat to moral values posed by liberal Democrats.

The working poor have been convinced by Republican propaganda that voting Democrat means giving the working poor’s tax dollars to the non-working poor, to providing medical care and schooling for illegal aliens, and being soft on terrorism.

To the pick-up truck driver, standing up for America means standing up for bankster bailouts and the military/security complex’s multi-trillion dollar wars.

The Karl Rove Dirty Tricks Team has honed the Republican propaganda. Republicans send each other via email an endless number of nonsense stories about Obama being a Muslim, about Obama being a Marxist, about Obama being a Manchurian Candidate turning America over to the New World Order or the United Nations, or to some other dastardly plotting organization.  But never is Obama accused of turning the US over to Wall Street, the military/security complex, or Israel.

There is never any citation or source for the accusations in the emails.  None are needed, because the words are what the Republicans want to hear. Ask them why Obama would be killing Muslims in seven countries if he was a Muslim, or why Wall Street and the military/security complex would put a Marxist in the White House, and they turn purple with rage. Just by asking the obvious questions instead of joining in the denunciations, a person confirms the propaganda that America is threatened by Obama dupes who won’t stand up for the country.

The non-affluent who rage about welfare, medicaid, Obamacare, and public schools can’t seem to put two and two together. The $750 billion TARP bankster bailout, a small part of the total and ongoing bailout, would have sufficed to cover any holes in these budgets for a long time. Instead, the money went to reward those who caused the financial crisis and threw millions of Americans out of their homes. As far as I know, the pickup truck driver is one of the dispossessed.

The same brainwashed Americans who rage against Obamacare and are lined up to vote for Romney are oblivious to the fact that Romney, while governor of the eastern liberal Democratic state of Massachusetts, had his version of Obamacare enacted at the state level.

The greatest irony about Obamacare is that it was written by the private insurance companies and diverts Medicaid and Medicare funds to their profits.  It is socialized medicine alright, but it is socialism for the private insurance companies.

All it took to convince Red staters to go along with the military/security complex squandering $6 trillion on the Iraq and Afghan wars was yellow ribbon decals and a slogan, “support the troops.”

Obama, Republicans claim, won’t stand up to Syria, or against Iran, or for Israel. But Republicans are proud when Romney goes to Israel to slither on his belly pandering to the crazed, blood-thirsty Israeli prime minister Netanyahu, who called Israeli top generals “pussies” for warning against attacking Iran. Romney told Netanyahu, just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it; I am loyal to Israel.  Apparently, flag-waving Republican patriots are not bothered when their presidential candidate announces that as soon as he is in office he will turn over US foreign policy to Netanyahu and send more americans to death and bankruptcy for Netanyahu.

Karl Rove didn’t have any trouble at all in brainwashing red staters to support their own demise.  The pickup truck driver could just as well have sported a bumper sticker that read: “Don’t support a Democrat. He might do something for you.”

Yes, I know. It is almost as easy to beat up on Democrats. Bush and Cheney and their neocon hoodlums destroyed the Constitution and, thereby, America.  But the Democrats let them. It was Nancy Pelosi, who as Speaker of the House stridently declared Bush’s impeachment to be “off the table.”

Bush and Cheney unquestionably violated both US and international laws and the Constitution. Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to hold them accountable established the precedent that the executive branch is no longer accountable to law or to the Constitution.  In effect, the executive branch now comprises a dictatorship.  It acts outside of law and constitutional restraints.  On some issues it still has to consult with Congress or the courts, but as the executive branch’s power and audacity grows, consultation will become a formality and then drop away. Congress will have no more influence than the Roman senate under the empire, and courts will become stages for show trials.

Americans elected Obama president expecting that he would restore the rule of law. Instead, he codified the Bush regime’s transgressions and added some of his own.  No one of my generation could have imagined the president of the US sitting in the Oval Office signing off on lists of American citizens to be murdered without evidence or due process of law.

So which do you want?  The Republican panderer to the rich and Israel whose foreign policy is war or the Democrat panderer to the rich and Israel whose foreign policy is war?  As Gerald Celente wrote in the July issue of the Trends Journal, Americans “argue among themselves why their freak is better than the other freak. They will get angry with you if you call their freak a freak. They will actually fight and die to defend their freaks.”

It is extraordinary that millions of Americans actually believe fervently that it matters whether Romney freak or Obama freak gets elected. If americans had any sense, they would stay home and not vote. The 1% control the country, and the 99% had just as well own up to it and stay at home.  Nothing is going to change because of the ballot box.

What do you suppose the Ron Paul supporters will do?  Will they see Romney as the less socialist of the two and vote for the Republicans who stole the nomination from Ron Paul?  (Jaret Glenn, “How the GOP Establishment Stole the Nomination from Ron Paul,” published on August 6 on the OpEdNews website.

The US is ruled by a private oligarchy. The government is merely their front. The country’s resources are diverted to the pockets of Wall Street, the military/security complex, and to the service of greater Israel.  The oil, mining, timber, and agribusiness companies control the Environmental Protection Agency and the Forestry Service, which is why regulation only pertains to the small individual, while fracking, mountaintop removal mining, and pollution of air, water, and soil run wild.

The oligarchs have succeeded in making americans a dispossessed majority in their own country.  In November americans will again give their approval to one of the oligarchy’s two candidates.

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal.  His latest book,  Wirtschaft am Abgrund (Economies In Collapse) has just been published.

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is How America Was Lost.

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
July 29, 2015
Mike Whitney
The Politics of Betrayal: Obama Backstabs Kurds to Appease Turkey
Conn Hallinan
Ukraine: Close to the Edge
Joshua Frank
The Wheels Fell Off the Bernie Sanders Bandwagon
Stephen Lendman
What Happened to Ralkina Jones? Another Jail Cell Death
Rob Wallace
Neoliberal Ebola: the Agroeconomic Origins of the Ebola Outbreak
Dmitry Rodionov
The ‘Ichkerization’ Crime Wave in Ukraine
Joyce Nelson
Scott Walker & Stephen Harper: A New Bromance
Bill Blunden
The Red Herring of Digital Backdoors and Key Escrow Encryption
Thomas Mountain
The Sheepdog Politics of Barack Obama
Farzana Versey
A President and a Yogi: Abdul Kalam’s Symbolism
Norman Pollack
America’s Decline: Internal Structural-Cultural Subversion
Foday Darboe
How Obama Failed Africa
Cesar Chelala
Russia’s Insidious Epidemic
Tom H. Hastings
Defending Democracy
David Macaray
Why Union Contracts are Good for the Country
Virginia Arthur
The High and Dry Sierras
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, the Season Finale, Mekonception in Redhook
July 28, 2015
Mark Schuller
Humanitarian Occupation of Haiti: 100 Years and Counting
Lawrence Ware
Why the “Black Church” Doesn’t Exist–and Never Has
Peter Makhlouf
Israel and Gaza: the BDS Movement One Year After “Protective Edge”
Carl Finamore
Landlords Behaving Badly: San Francisco Too Valuable for Poor People*
Michael P. Bradley
Educating About Islam: Problems of Selectivity and Imbalance
Binoy Kampmark
Ransacking Malaysia: the Najib Corruption Dossier
Michael Avender - Medea Benjamin
El Salvador’s Draconian Abortion Laws: a Miscarriage of Justice
Jesse Jackson
Sandra Bland’s Only Crime Was Driving While Black
Cesar Chelala
Effect of Greece’s Economic Crisis on Public Health
Mel Gurtov
Netanyahu: An Enemy of Peace
Joseph G. Ramsey
The Limits of Optimism: E.L. Doctorow and the American Left
George Wuerthner
Bark Beetles and Forest Fires: Another Myth Goes Up in Smoke
Paul Craig Roberts - Dave Kranzler
Supply and Demand in the Gold and Silver Futures Markets
Eric Draitser
China’s NGO Law: Countering Western Soft Power and Subversion
Harvey Wasserman
Will Ohio Gov. Kasich’s Anti-Green Resume Kill His Presidential Hopes?
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode 4, a Bowery Ballroom Blitz
July 27, 2015
Susan Babbitt
Thawing Relations: Cuba’s Deeper (More Challenging) Significance
Howard Lisnoff
Bernie Sanders: Savior or Seducer of the Anti-War Left?
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma’s Profiteers: You Want Us to Pay What for These Meds?
Joshua Sperber
What is a President? The CEO of Capitalism
John Halle
On Berniebots and Hillary Hacks, Dean Screams, Swiftboating and Smears
Stephen Lendman
Cleveland Police Attack Black Activists
Zoe Konstantopoulou
The Politics of Coercion in Greece
Patrick Cockburn
Only Iraq’s Clerics Can Defeat ISIS
Ralph Nader
Sending a ‘Citizens Summons’ to Members of Congress
Clancy Sigal
Scratch That Itch: Hillary and The Donald
Colin Todhunter
Working Class War Fodder
Gareth Porter
Obama’s Version of Iran Nuke Deal: a Second False Narrative