(This article was originally published on March 5th, 2010.)
I have a friend and former coworker who is completely enamored and has total faith in Mr. Barack Obama and the Democrat party. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. The guy is a complete sports nut, knowing more about the stats of former and present baseball and football players than he knows about anything else. It's not a bad thing, I guess, – if I ever want to know anything about sports I know who to ask – but it seems to me that there's far more important things in life to familiarize yourself with than with such trivia. Perhaps it's because he is so engaged with the sports mentality that he can't get away from the team aspect. He sees all life as two teams battling each other and trying to win a game. He has picked the political team he cheers for and has problems understanding that both teams are the same and the players can chose when they want to switch teams. As far as he's concerned, as long as a guy on his team is in office, his team is winning.
It's very difficult to convince a man like him of the importance of principles. It's very difficult to discuss with someone like him the importance of giving greater consideration to issues rather than personalities. It's more difficult to convince someone like him that it's more important to look at voting records of those personalities rather than listening to the rhetoric they spew out to make themselves sound good. It's hard to convince somebody that someone they admire is a liar. People such as my friend will sputter and stutter when the lies are pointed out and they try to make excuses for their team. Sometimes, when the lies and betrayal become too obvious, these people will just shut down and refuse to speak of their "heroes" at all.
I wonder how many Obama supporters are so afflicted now that he has reauthorized the Patriot Act. I wonder how many have come to the realization that Mr. Obama's promised change amounts to nothing more than the tightening of the grip of government control over all that is. I wonder if they have figured out yet that he never meant to change anything that they wanted to change and always meant to change only the things that would benefit the super rich and powerful elite. Bush or Obama, Republican or Democrat, it doesn't matter. The common folk are being screwed in the most painful way possible by the corporate establishment. It is the corporate establishment that men like Bush, Cheney, Obama and Biden serve, for these are power seeking men who love being the screwers and detest the screwees.
As far back as I can remember, the establishment politicians who've promised peace, or less government, or more accountability, or greater transparency in governing institutions, or more fidelity to the Constitution, or a policy of not infringing on individual rights have been elected to positions of great power. Isn't if strange how these things just become more and more elusive as time goes on? Isn't it strange how no matter who we elect, no matter the party, no matter the personality, we get exactly the opposite of what we were promised? We get bigger government, eternal war, no accountability, a greater amount of secrecy, more unconstitutionality, and a destruction of the concept of individual rights that would make the Soviets blush. It's like politicians are little children forever stuck in that "opposite day" game we all used to play. These guys know exactly what the common folk want, they know how to sweet talk their way into office, but they never seem able to deliver. I don't believe they want to deliver or serve the people, they only serve the corporate establishment because that's where the money is.
Mr. Obama had vowed to reverse the constitutional infractions Mr. Bush had engaged in. He never intended to do so. Nor did any of the Democrats who won their seats back in 2006 when there was such a backlash against the policies of the Republicans and the Bush administration that had so hurt this nation. They have all been bought and paid for by the same corporate interests. That is something that should be obvious to anyone who has opened their eyes to see politics for the dirty cesspool of corruption it has become, in other words for the majority of the people. Only those who are like my friend and still stuck in the "my team is better than your team" mentality don't seem able to recognize that the entire system is broke. Only those who are easily conned or swoon when some smooth talking charmer speaks remain fooled into thinking some superman is going to rise to power to save them. The rest of us, for the most part, seem to have come to the grim realization that there is going to be no savior rising to the top of the political establishment, and yet it seems nigh impossible to put a political outsider into office. The hope that had been promised in the 2008 campaign is quickly disappearing into the black hole of establishment propaganda and the tight grip of corporate control.
Now the political elite have a problem. It seems that more and more people are figuring out what's going on. They can't have that. An enlightened public would threaten their hegemony. They have to keep us divided and bickering over minutia to keep us from uniting against them as they continue to move forward with their globalized agenda and the common folk ignore truly important issues.
I remember back when I was a child learning that people in the Soviet Union were scared of their government. I remember learning that under that collectivist system people would only speak in whispers about freedom in places where the public gather because they were worried someone would turn them over to the KGB. They were frightened that if they spoke poorly of the government they'd be declared dissidents and sent to a gulag or worse. I learned that this was the case in most countries under communist rule. Collectivist governments care not for individual rights. To them, the state is above all else and any individual who may disagree was dealt with swiftly, decisively, mercilessly and violently. It was quite effective in silencing the voice of the common folk and keeping the power elite in control.
I also learned that the United States of America was different because the government had to abide by a document known as the Constitution which limited their power so they couldn't legally partake in such practices. People in the US weren't afraid to speak their minds and could freely complain, protest and insult government policies and the politicians who support them. This doesn't seem so true now a days. I can't tell you how many times I've heard people hush someone talking bad about the government in a public venue. I've heard people say more than once to watch what one says about the government in a paranoid manner. It oft times amazes me when this happens, but the US does have its own equivalent to the KGB and it's known as the CIA. There are people who are genuinely afraid that speaking poorly of the government in public will lead to some form of retribution.
One way or another, the powers that be need to keep the people from realizing what's really going on. They need to keep up the illusion that there are two different teams in politics and that the people have a choice. The mass media leads the effort to make this so, but they are no longer as effective as they once were. The establishment is likely running scared as more people turn away from their controlled media and start looking to alternative media sources for their information. They worry that they might have to resort to more overt actions to quiet dissent. In order to maintain their power, they need laws that will allow them to stifle and chill anyone who might be inclined to talk about such things, laws like the Patriot Act.
On the 28th of February, on the very last day possible, Mr. Obama signed a bill that renewed the Patriot Act in full for another year. Had he waited a few more hours, many of the more intrusive and objectionable aspects of the law would have expired. Not only was this done at the eleventh hour without fanfare, but it was hidden in a bill which had nothing else to do with the Patriot Act. This suggests to me that the Democrat controlled congress and the Obama administration knew exactly what they were doing and consciously made an effort to ignore one of the mandates their constituents put on them when they were elected into office. They must have known they were doing something wrong to go to such lengths to be so sneaky and secretive. They must be worried about what their constituents would think should this action be subjected to the light of day. I think, more than this, they have even more nefarious reasons for extending this bill than they care to admit.
The Patriot Act wasn't renewed to protect you from terrorists. The Patriot Act was renewed to protect the power elite from you. It is a law that can and likely will be used to quell political dissent. It is a law meant to frighten people into silence as more and more common folk are labeled "terrorist" by the corporate controlled media. It is a law meant to terrorize people into obedience and quiescence as they run rough shod over the Bill of Rights and dismantle any semblance of a true republic we once might have enjoyed. It is a law that can even be used, if push comes to shove, to imprison anyone who dares challenge the politically powerful, even if that challenge comes in the form of using the political process, simply by labeling such a person as a "terrorist" or accusing them of being involved with any group labeled a "terrorist" organization. In short, the Patriot Act was renewed to protect the terrorists on Capitol Hill from the masses who might not like the looting of our nation. It was renewed simply to ensure that power stays in the hands of the corporate interests which can afford to pay. Don't expect the establishment to let go of such a law anytime soon.
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