FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

America’s Trump, Not Trump’s America

Photo by Carnaval.com Studios | CC BY 2.0

“Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy rotten system.”

— Dorothy Day

Strong words from a brave woman unknown to most Americans because her bravery and boldness didn’t just concern a minority group but all of humanity. She demanded radical change in a system and not just one or another representative to operate that system in a more beneficial way for her group. And the Catholic Worker, the organization she founded and led, operated on behalf of the poorest of americans while working to both help them and everyone else by advocating and working for radical social change of a system and not just its board of directors. She called a spade a spade, unlike most political leaders of her time and ours. They give euphemism a really bad name and are more likely to identify a spade as a club, hypocrisy as democracy, war as peace, and humans as a market.

Euphemism in words and phrases can be thoughtful when used to protect feelings, as in “he passed” rather than “he died”, but they can also be employed to hide truths for more malevolent purposes. Even when used in innocence or naivete, language softening or word substitution can be harmful in covering up material reality with labels as harmful as calling a bottle of arsenic a health drink.

The present near hysterical public mental state  brought about by a far worse material situation is a clear and dangerous case in point. Visiting a therapist to confront a psychological problem when one is actually suffering  a crippling physical disease could become fatal. Social assaults on physical reality  covered by language to make them seem personal problems more suited to therapy, meds or individual criminals can mask  the need for social transformation to end the illness before it kills far more than individuals but society itself.

A failing system is one that benefits fewer and fewer people while costing more and more and making the benefits enormous for the few and the costs almost beyond belief for the many. Thus American capitalism that rewards a tiny % of the population with incredible wealth while increasing numbers descend into poverty with larger numbers in danger of joining them the moment their credit is cut off. People rightfully concerned and demanding change can be herded into seeking criminals – some very likely – but miss the systemic root of the problem and so kept searching for villains and scapegoats when a social disease is what must be cured before the epidemic kills everyone while they’re kept busy lynching doctors, drug sellers and delivery crews.

Cancer is not a multi billion-dollar industry because of evil oncologists, mendacious pharmaceutical workers or greedy truck drivers. It is subject to the rules of a system dependent on the procurement of private profits at the market and as long as cancer treatment is a bigger profit maker than a cancer cure would be,  investors in treatment will prosper, the disease will increase in the population, and the cancer death rate will rise.

We do not comfortably house tens of millions of our pets while hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens live in the street because we are nasty individuals but because the private profits available in sustaining those animals is greater than that of housing those humans.

All of us, whether accepting or hiding behind labels like liberal, conservative, democratic, republican, of color, no color, straight, gay, bent, crooked or transpecies, are part of that system. We play roles at vastly different levels of power but we need to understand that value system which Dorothy Day passionately labeled filthy and rotten. And in a system in which my dog is deemed more profitable than your child, maybe words like filthy and rotten are euphemisms.

While it may seem easier to provoke dislike for a company CEO  or a political representative of supposed democracy who really stands for corporate capital, pursuit of such villains is often supported by the richest and most powerful dominators of the economic system who can thus focus attention away from themselves and be rid of some scapegoats while remaining the leading profiteers in the anti-democratic politics of capital.

The number of americans who sank into poverty went up by 8 million during the term of the last resident of the subsidized housing at 1600 Pennsylvania avenue, but simply blaming that on him is as dumb as believing the “success” of the economy – for the rich and their professional servant class – was all his doing. Replacing a smooth talking figurehead parroting the usual lies with an outspoken clod who does the same but in more honest everyday language means nothing different except which minority will be doing well at the expense of a majority who will do worse.

Current obsession with Trump is a strong case in point of a misdirection in which an individual, however much his personality, character, intellect, or  coverage by media warrants concern, becomes a relative scapegoat for a system which is far more in need of “resistance” than this rich egomaniac. Trump is probably over-qualified to lead a nation nearing ruin due to its wealth, arrogance and global menace. We need to change the focus of the enterprise and not simply concentrate on who or what it employs as chief spokesperson for warfare, pet care and other things deemed more profitable than social justice, democracy and humanity.

Under capitalist market forces of private profit, public loss, individualism and dog eat dog competition, anti-democratic government is a subsidiary of ruling class wealth and acts against the interest of most of the people. This invites the kind of criticism from conservatives and liberals that says, understandably, get the damned government off my back, or, get it to support and work for me and not you.

In a truly democratic system government would be controlled by the people and act for public profit first, and there would be far less, if any, contradiction between it and the people. Whether we think of that as political democracy as opposed to political hypocrisy, or social as opposed to anti-social economics, we have neither now and that is the problem. We need both, which is the only solution.

More articles by:
April 25, 2018
David Schultz
Why Donald Trump Should Not be Allowed to Pardon Michael Cohen, His Friends, or Family Members
Mel Gurtov
Will Abe Shinzo “Make Japan Great Again”?
Binoy Kampmark
Enoch Powell: Blood Speeches and Anniversaries
Frank Scott
Weapons and Walls
April 24, 2018
Carl Boggs
Russia and the War Party
William A. Cohn
Carnage Unleashed: the Pentagon and the AUMF
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
The Racist Culture of Canadian Hockey
María Julia Bertomeu
On Angers, Disgusts and Nauseas
Nick Pemberton
How To Buy A Seat In Congress 101
Ron Jacobs
Resisting the Military-Now More Than Ever
Paul Bentley
A Velvet Revolution Turns Bloody? Ten Dead in Toronto
Sonali Kolhatkar
The Left, Syria and Fake News
Manuel E. Yepe
The Confirmation of Democracy in Cuba
Peter Montgomery
Christian Nationalism: Good for Politicians, Bad for America and the World
Ted Rall
Bad Drones
Jill Richardson
The Latest Attack on Food Stamps
Andrew Stewart
What Kind of Unionism is This?
Ellen Brown
Fox in the Hen House: Why Interest Rates Are Rising
April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
Uri Avnery
The Great Day
Nyla Ali Khan
Girls Reduced to Being Repositories of Communal and Religious Identities in Kashmir
Ted Rall
Stop Letting Trump Distract You From Your Wants and Needs
Steve Klinger
The Cautionary Tale of Donald J. Trump
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Conflict Over the Future of the Planet
Cesar Chelala
Gideon Levy: A Voice of Sanity from Israel
Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled Again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
Dan Glazebrook
World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail