Friday, February 15, 2019

How the System Works

How the System Works
Peter Schultz

            Below is a link to an article in the Washington Post entitled “Congress approves budget plan to advert shutdown; Trump to sign it and seek wall money elsewhere.” These actions by both parties in the Congress and the President illustrate fairly well how our political system works and why it works that way. That is, both parties are winners, as is the president, which is why the system works as it does. The only losers are a goodly portion of the American people. But, no matter about that, because it looks like both parties and the president are taking care of business, which they are: Their business.

            The Democrats are winners because they have, apparently, stymied Trump’s desire to have the Congress appropriate money to build his wall. The Republicans are winners because McConnell looks as if he got Trump to sign the legislation and avoid another government shutdown. And Trump is a winner because now he will help avoid another shutdown, declare a national emergency, and demonstrate that he is a president not afraid to use his powers to accomplish his goals even in the face of congressional opposition.

            The budget contains billions of dollars for what is called “the defense budget,” although it is difficult to say that what our military is doing these days is “defense.” But no matter: Any monies spent by the Department of Defense must be for “defense,” right? Of course. Our label for that department was more honest when it was called, as it was for a long, long time, the Department of War. But no longer. And very few even bat an eye.

            The Homeland Security Department will receive even more money for its activities, including of course spying on the American people, while ICE will go unchecked in its ability to detain as many undocumented immigrants as it desires to detain. All attempts to limit ICE and its power were defeated, so its “weaponization” will continue, leading to more abductions of children and deportations of even long term residents in the US.

            So, as noted above, the power brokers, the Democrats, the Republicans, and the President win, while a good many Americans will lose. But if you haven’t noticed before, this is pretty much how the system has been operating for some time now. The few, usually the wealthy few, prosper while the rest of us do not. And this won’t change as long as the system rewards the few for their machinations.

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