Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
I went to a forum at my university tonight on the subject of the US election. What I heard was people blatantly lie about both the political process, and the policies being enacted. I had the strong feeling that I was the furthest left person in the room as well, so that certainly made things interesting. I also got dressed down by an elderly woman who was incensed that I wasn’t voting for Obama. Long story short, it got me thinking about the political process in the US, and why it is so, so far out of whack. Why things can’t be improved in the current paradigm, and why we need radical change in our political systems.
One speaker made a load of bullshit accusations and false characterizations about the occupy movement. I answered his stupidity, but it pissed me off that he could stand up there and blatantly lie about a movement he probably never went to, and held such contempt for. This man is white, a lawyer, obviously not poor; in short the poster child for the GOP. He thinks that the protesters were all violent hipsters out to get everything for free, that we just want a free ride in life. Untrue. We’ve worked our asses off for years, for low pay, only to be swallowed in debt, with uncertain futures, a lack of jobs, and a fractured world while men like him play the fiddle and pretend all is well. His material was mostly from the Heritage Foundation, a hack think tank if there ever was one. He slandered and lied the entire time he was slated to talk.
Here are some of his claims:
There is too much debt, the deficit keeps rising, and we’re sinking in debt, and it’s all the democrats fault.
Yes, the US is in debt, but why? Because of the democrats and their love for the welfare state? Oh hell no. We’ve spent over a trillion dollars on illegal and pointless wars in the middle east, in addition to massive tax breaks for the wealthy and huge government expansion. (Think PATRIOT Act, NDAA, Dept. of Homeland Security) Bush created a MASSIVE amount of debt, never balanced a budget, and ruined the US economy. Then the GOP gets mad at Obama for CONTINUING THOSE GODDAMN POLICIES.
Another claim: Liberals and the left just want everything handed to them on a sliver platter
The TRUTH: The fact is that in the US, the rich are really scared of something completely different. They’re scared that people will notice that the capitalist class has had everything handed to THEM on a silver platter. They have for too long taken for granted their positions of privilege, and they are now scared that they’re going to lose it. Wanting a society that can provide the basic human needs to the people is not asking for everything on a silver platter. The capitalist class sits around making money off the hard work of the proletariat, and then cries bitter tears of pain when they’re asked to sacrifice a tiny bit of their ill gained wealth for the common good. This only goes to prove that you can’t let the capitalists maintain power and still hope for socialism, or hell, even for some goddamn social progress.
The US Political System
Switching gears now away from the crazy claims of a disingenuous lawyer (also known as a lawyer), the talk tonight really highlighted for me the problem of our political system. There are only two sides. There are the democrats, and the republicans and they will decide what happens to the country. Don’t like the two party system? Too goddamn bad. Don’t like either party? Too bad. While the world is worried about a possible financial meltdown, a possible world war, increasing political tensions worldwide, a lack of jobs, the death of our environment, more war, income inequality, no money for education or housing, no money for anything other than the rich, real fucking problems… While all that is going on our political process consists of two people whose political positions are near enough that they could easily fit into the same political party, arguing on national TV about things that have NOTHING to do with the real problems we face. These same two will not be elected by a popular vote, they will be elected by an unaccountable electoral college, the names of whom no one knows, and political candidates for congress being the same old same old oligarchy that has ruled us since the dawn of this country. No other voices or concerns may enter the debate. No other parties can compete. No other way can be found. Status quo status quo status quo. Neither party candidate wants to end our overseas wars immediately, neither candidate wants us to close our excessive overseas bases, neither of them cares about changing American foreign policy, neither cares about ending the war on drugs, neither cares about anything other than getting elected so they can ensure four full years of power. Nothing changes, and they don’t want it to change. Things are just the way they like it because they can play you all off the other party, and get you so used to this bullshit that you are not educated or brazen enough to speak out against it. “If you don’t vote Republican, the Democrats will win” “If you don’t vote for the Democrats, the Republicans will win”. I said something on twitter the other day that really sums up how I feel about these two corrupt parties. I said “Having to choose between the Dems and the GOP is like being made to choose between salmonella and E.Coli. When will we wake up and see the truth for what it is? The US is nothing more than an oligarchy, a sad corrupt oligarchy that will come crashing down under the weight of its own hubris.
The lawyer who spoke tonight said many damned lies, and tried to back it up with shitty statistics. Like the BS claim that half of all Americans don’t pay tax. (Nearly every American pays tax of some sort)
But this is par for the course. We accept these lies as legitimate debate, when they are not. They are simply lies. Lies like the idea that the human beings who make up the populace of the USA can’t control their own political process, that we are beholden to a hundreds of years old document that we didn’t agree to. The idea that we are to sit down and shut up and not raise these questions. Why are there so many Americans on welfare? Good question, why are there so many Americans who NEED welfare? Are Americans just inherently lazy? It think not, and data backs me up. We’re one of the hardest working countries in the developed world. Why is it then? Maybe it’s because the people hoarding all the money in the US are not the real producers of wealth. Those are the grease stained engineers, the school teachers, the bakers. They are the street sweepers and the hotel desk clerks, they are the mothers and the fathers who bust their asses ever day to provide for their families, and are depressed, hurt and ashamed when there is more month than money. We are the people, teh strugglers, the fighters and the hopeful, and we are the ones who make the wheels of the economy turn. Assholes like that lawyer want you to believe that YOU are lazy, that you don’t want to work that YOU just want welfare. Fuck no. I don’t want welfare, I want socialism. I want a system wherein the workers own the corporations, and there are no CEOs. I want a truly transparent, money free political system that values ideas over political party apparatus. I want a system that believes in free and equal rights for all, including so called illegal immigrants, LGBT et al. I want a better world, not a world where the only way of making it big is to step on the corpses of your downtrodden worker brethren. We can, and indeed we must DEMAND and end to this ridiculous and unacceptable status quo. We need socialism bad, we need real workers democracy bad, we need equal rights for all bad, we need an end to capitalism. That may not be the popular thing to say, but it needs to be said. I will never stop advocating revolution in the US until we overthrow this militaristic fascist state. I will not give in and support Obama and the democrats. I will never OK the current treatment of Palestinians, Libyans and others. I will not accept capitalist imperialism, and I never will
So what are you going to do? Are you going to accept the status qo? Are you going to accept the rhetoric of lies, damn lies and statistics on Fox “news” and CNN? Or will you join me in demanding a better world, and a new political system to bring about that better world. You supported the overthrow of the regime in Egypt, right? Are you too cowardly to advocate the same in the US? It’s high time for a change, it is high time for an uprising, it is high time for a better world.