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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, January 29, 2023

The United States of America: Welcome to oligarchy

Oligarchy is a word you better get used to; because that’s the system of government we have in America today. It’s been a long time coming, and we’ve been far too apathetic to its toxic approach. A government of the corporation, by the corporation, and for the corporation is what we have now. Oligarchy isn’t a pretty picture, unless you enjoy the idea of corporate slavery. Say goodbye to worker’s rights, women’s rights, student’s rights and certainly prisoners’ rights. Keep your mouth shut about the broken system, and don’t question authority! Disregard the principles of physics, because with oligarchy, it’s not gravity that makes the world go round; it’s unfortunately money.

But how has it come to this? Well, you have five Supreme Court Justices to thank: John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. Their rulings, particularly in the most recent case of McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission, only make it easier for politicians to be purchased by corporate masters/obnoxiously wealthy lunatics like the Koch brothers. This has led to much more troubling inequality given the lack of progress with policy-making, all because of five men in robes who hold the idiotic beliefs that money is equal to free speech and that “corporations are people, my friend.” Actually, those were Mitt Romney’s words, but they do reflect the Supreme Court’s horrifying decision.

The mainstream media is also perpetuating oligarchy by reporting non-stop on less pressing issues like the missing Malaysian Airlines flight on CNN, Chris Christie’s bridge scandal on MSNBC (I think most Americans get it: He’s a bully) and fake scandals like Benghazi and the IRS on FOX “news.” These massive networks have little to no incentive delivering critical information, because they make more money by keeping you distracted from the real problems. Well-informed voters are not necessary in the mainstream media business model, so if you care about being smart, read a newspaper that isn’t owned by someone like Rupert Murdoch. In fact, why not start with this one?

This is why oligarchs who own the mainstream media and the military industrial complex were perfectly content with a puppet in the White House for eight years, and it’s the same reason they despise the man who currently lives there. Dick Cheney, through the “leadership” of Cowboy Dubya, gave oligarchs business by starting wars against unarmed nations and then lowering taxes for these same oligarchs.

After all, Bush needed to express his gratitude somehow to those who backed the corporate-loving Supreme Court that decided he would be president instead of Al Gore in 2000, even when we all know who won that popular vote. Barack Obama, on the other hand, warned us that the Citizens United decision in 2009 would “open the floodgates” and guess what: It did.

The amount of money going into campaigning for politicians’ elections is larger than ever, which explains the obstruction in Congress we see today. The Republican-majority Congress, as it is now, only fights among each other and passes no new laws, proving that John Boehner is by far the least accomplished House speaker in modern times. Yet the frustrations of many Americans are still misdirected toward Obama as if he is somehow responsible for the mess we’re currently in. The only explanation for this is that the right-wing propaganda machines like FOX make money by distorting the image to low-information voters that Obama is a communist homosexual Muslim born in Kenya who has a healthcare law that will kill your grandmother. Sure it’s twisted and wrong, but the media can get away with that kind of disinformation in an oligarchy.

If we had a functioning democracy, you would never have seen the reckless government shutdown last October that left millions of people out of work for weeks. Boehner couldn’t control his own party on passing a budget, leaving us literally moments away from the United States government declaring bankruptcy. Had that have happened, all hell would have broken loose in America. In the end, though, we owe a genuine “thank you” to the bipartisan group of women in the Senate who ended the nonsense just in time before the United States would default on its debt and inevitably decline into a third world nation with a full-out system of oligarchy running the policy-making.

Speaking of women in politics, I get that liberals and progressives are already discussing Hillary Clinton for 2016, but what about cleaning the House in 2014? This is an election year, and we need to understand what our votes can do. It must be a common theme in 2014 that any politician who doesn’t state, on the record, that he/she will prioritize campaign finance reform will be voted out of office. Furthermore, we need to demand from them an amendment to constitution that removes money from politics. I honestly would not be surprised if this is one issue that an overwhelming majority of Americans could agree upon, especially once the term “oligarchy” becomes something we can all understand.

Still, when you hear people say that our broken society is beyond repair, don’t believe it. That’s not only a defeatist attitude, but it’s a dangerous one. We could talk about the broken system all day long, but if you want to sound like the smartest guy/gal in the room when discussing politics, just say this very simple sentence: We need a constitutional amendment to establish publicly funded elections. It’s the only way to restore our democracy at this point in time. In the 21st century, we should no longer accept puppets as our politicians.

Do you agree the United States is becoming an oligarchy? Do we need campaign finance reform? Please send all feedback or responses to opinion@dailycardinal.com.

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