The Dysfunctional U.S. Political System: We Didn’t Get Here Overnight


The Editors

As the American people stand before the precipice of disaster on a scale they cannot imagine, a minority of elected officials in Congress are bending the Nation’s legislative will toward special financial interests with no regard for the public interest and future generations. One party, the Republican Party, has become totally debauched, decadent, and beholden to a tiny wealthy elite and white supremacists.  The other party, the Democratic Party, has within its ranks a few so-called “moderates” who are catering to the financiers and believers in the myth that the U.S. – the wealthiest Nation on the planet and in the history of humankind – cannot afford to care for its poorest citizens on a scale befitting an enlightened, advanced, society.

The “Blue Dog Democrats” blocking President Biden’s attempt to pass a budget designed to ameliorate economic injustice and forestall an environmental apocalypse are anything but moderate.  They are in fact reactionaries who refuse – along with the Republicans – to recognize this country’s racist past and are failing to support programs for rectifying four centuries of brutality perpetrated on African Americans.

Furthermore, Senators Manchin and Sinema and Blue Dogs in the House such as Abigail Spanberger and Kathleen Rice are looking away from the increasing discrimination and investor exploitation of programs for the less abled (elderly and physically less abled) in so-called nursing homes. They seem to be insensitive to the lack of access to health care for 30 million of their fellow citizens. They are turning a blind eye to the need for solar, wind, and other energy alternatives to fossil fuels before catastrophic failure of the environment makes the planet unlivable.  They appear to place interests of the greedy over the public interest.

We did not arrive at these crossroads of democracy versus autocracy, interest of the greedy few versus the public interests, and enlightenment versus dystopia overnight.  As distinguished Professor Max Skidmore writes in his post today, the Republican Party has been evolving toward its almost unbelievable state of debauchery for some time.  This is a chapter in a coming book, which will be one of many written by Professor Skidmore – a highly admired presidential historian.

The Democratic Party Blue Dogs now selling out their fellow Democrats are also the result of decades of political propaganda propelled into dominance by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.  The belief that privatizing publicly funded programs in the public interest would lead to a better society was foisted on the American people and reinforced by inordinate amounts of cash from financiers.  A propaganda machine was cranked up for the purpose of conditioning the public to believe that poor people – especially African American poor people – are untrustworthy and lazy.  We’ve been put upon by propagandistic institutions with unlimited money for convincing us that government is bad and corporations are good. 

If we fail to correct decades of misinformation and disinformation and what they have wrought, the Blue Dogs will be long-remembered – but not fondly.