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Title: Trump aims for oligarchy, with military muscle
Source: Alaska Dispatch News
URL Source: https://www.adn.com/opinions/2016/1 ... ligarchy-with-military-muscle/
Published: Dec 14, 2016
Author: John Havelock
Post Date: 2016-12-14 11:11:59 by Willie Green
Keywords: None
Views: 713
Comments: 1

Three years ago, Thomas Piketty, perhaps the most respected economist of the decade, noted in his book "Capitalism In The Twenty-first Century" that "the risk of a drift towards oligarchy is real and gives little reason for optimism about where the United States is headed." We are experiencing no mere drift. The Trump Cabinet choices reflect a leap toward a financial oligarchy with a special tilt to the military-industrial complex.

The Cabinet nominations of President-elect Trump are astonishing to almost all Americans, including most who voted for him, for their near -exclusive pick among the very richest Americans and retired generals. In part, the personality explains it. Trump is a man who has measured his life's success by becoming "the greatest" businessman. Now he is sitting at the apex of a pyramid of great businessmen. What better a measure of success is there — for him? During the election, Trump sneered at "liberal elites" getting a nod of approval from an aggrieved working class. Well, now we still have government by elites, all right, but financial and military, not "liberal" (whoever they were).

If this was the whole government of the United States we would call it a plain oligarchy. But federal power is shared among the executive branch, the Congress and the Supreme Court. Not that this division of power is entirely encouraging. Since President Trump is the nominator, the next several Supreme Court nominees will have opinions approved by the financial elite and will swing the court further toward a "hard right."

Even as it has been constituted the last two decades, the court has not defended rule by the people. Money has been given equivalency with speech. New corporate designs allowing confidentiality in giant political contributions have been endorsed. Gerrymandering, which allows the distribution of voting districts to consolidate power against a majority of voters, has been left untouched.

As for the Congress, as Trump has himself said, speaking as a financial elitist, "When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do."

And then, when later asked about this statement, he said: "You'd better believe it. If I ask them, if I need them, you know, most of the people on this stage I've given to, just so you understand, a lot of money."

Of course, Trump was bragging. There are many senators and congressmen who are not totally buyable but any big contributor will get himself or his lobbyists into the office of any legislator for a good, long, persuasive talk. We have let elective office slide into a role as a part of the market system. Billionaires like the Koch brothers are not into political donations for charitable purposes. The first question on credibility of a candidate is always, "Where can you get the money?" You got somebody like a Koch brother and you're it. Many Democrats have supporting oligarchs too.

So we have been persuaded to try oligarchy by persuasion peppered by a bold level of deceit without parallel in American history including interventions helpful to Trump from the FBI and the Kremlin. Donald Trump, the friend of the working man who is going to restore the coal industry? Give me a break.

So, for many purposes, our rhetoric about American democracy is a sham. Not entirely, though, because we still have elections. A high percentage, if well short of a majority of "we the people," have voted for this oligarchy (though surely many of them are now having second thoughts). It can be undone, though it will take a supermajority given our inability to get rid of the Electoral College system that has allowed Trump to win while losing the majority vote by 2.5 million votes.

As Abraham Lincoln is sometimes reported to have said:

"You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can't fool all of the people all the time."

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#1. To: Willie Green (#0)

choices reflect a leap toward a financial oligarchy with a special tilt to the military-industrial complex.

Just what does anybody think we have now. Corporations are running everything and we are killing innocent people all over the world so we can keep the military industry on a roll. People are dying for the lack of medical care that they cannot afford so the stock holders can get rich overnight. There is nothing new here as this has been the norm for at least the last 25 years. The only thing that will cure the problem is an economic collapse. I hope it comes soon.

I do not go to church every time the doors are opened, but I love Jesus Christ. I am only human and fail Him daily. I believe Jesus is the Son of God, was born of a virgin, was crucified on a cross, died for my sins and rose from the dead and that He loves us dearly, and is faithful to forgive us of our sins. But He says that if you deny me in front of your friends I will deny you in front of my Father. Can I get an Amen!

U don't know me  posted on  2016-12-15   6:54:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

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