The Broad is Back!

May 24, 2013

Politics as Usual

“Politics has got so expensive that it takes lots of money to even get beat with nowadays.” ~ Will Rogers, June 27, 1931

Rogers has got to be one of my favorite commentators in American history.  The man was not only funny, he was dead on accurate in his comments. And the more things change, the more they stay the same. He said this over 80 years ago, and now it’s truer than ever.

Today I read an opinion piece by Dana Milbank in the Washington Post, Where Money Talks,” about the power of money and the power of the monied in Washington. Depressing reading.  I like to believe I live in a meritocracy. I also like to believe in fairies. But no, I live in a plutocracy as the statistics in Milbank’s piece amply demonstrate.

And as that 80 year old comment shows, it’s been like this for a long time. It’s been like this from the beginning: Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, Hamilton–not exactly paupers.

I also like to believe that the Founding Fathers were a tad more idealistic than the current crop. Of course, they all literally put their lives on the line for treason, so they had to believe in something strongly enough to risk their necks.

Being back in America for the past six years has been illuminating. Depressing, too. I honestly don’t recognize my country.  Even Jefferson warned that America shouldn’t allow the rise of an aristocracy of corporations, and the people who run them.

As an observer, I really do think the tipping point is approaching. Occupy Wall Street was an early shot across the bow, and I do think it will take a few more years before anything more organized happens. But the unrest and anger is palpable to anyone paying attention.

As usual, Washington is not.


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