Thursday, October 17, 2019

Consensus Politics: American Style

Consensus Politics:  American Style
Peter Schultz

            The following is a quote from an article on the Truthdig web site, entitled “Pete Buttigieg Is The Past.” [Link is below]

“There is no public policy in modern American history on which progressives, moderates and conservatives have found themselves in agreement of what the goal should be, much less what the solution is.”

            Little could be further from the truth than this assertion. Progressives, moderates, and conservatives actually agree about a lot, and certainly about what are the most important issues confronting the US. For example, consider the overwhelming rejection of Trump’s decision to say that what Turkey does regarding the Kurds on its borders is none of the US’s business. Of course, this is presented by the MSM as just one decision by Trump, whereas it is a challenge to the foreign policy of “interventionism” – a euphemism for US imperialism – that is embraced by progressives, moderates, and conservatives. Not many really care about the Kurds, as is usually the case, but a whole lot of people care about maintaining US imperialism by projecting US power throughout the world.

            Moreover, this isn’t just a “foreign policy” issue because US imperialism is central to the maintenance of our Orwellian oligarchy. Hence, it is fair to say that progressives, moderates, and conservatives all agree about maintaining the power of the oligarchy that governs us. So, anyone who challenges our imperialism, like Tulsi Gabbard, must be marginalized, just as anyone like Bernie Sanders who claims to be a “socialist” must be marginalized as well.

            Moreover, I haven’t heard many progressives, moderates, or conservatives advocating the overthrow of our “national security state” and its embrace of not only the war on terror but also its current project of spying on Americans, especially those who are Muslim but also anyone who espouses what are considered to be “subversive” arguments. Similarly, while every so often the phenomenon of “mass incarceration” is raised as an issue, it isn’t a central concern, as it would be if people didn’t agree that our “prison complex” is necessary and not a threat to republican principles. “Lock’em up” isn’t just a phrase used by Trump supporters vis-à-vis Hillary Clinton; it is also a policy that undermines the republican bona fides of our society.

            And this is the thing about the quote above. It seems true and the oligarchs want us to think it’s true because that way people will not realize that our republic, which is what the US at its best always aspires to, is dead or dying. By creating phony issues, like should Trump be impeached – when even the Democrats don’t actually want him impeached – the oligarchs in both parties can disguise their shared belief that they, not the people, are the proper rulers in the US. And, of course, the louder and more intense the debates on these marginal issues become, the more likely it is that people will think that the republic is alive and well. But it isn’t. And as is illustrated time and again – the Democrats subverting Sanders in 2016, the Republicans embrace of voter suppression – both parties are engaged in a covert collusion to make sure that the republic stays dead or that it dies. That is the goal, that is the “solution” that almost all progressives, moderates, and conservatives agree about. It is consensus politics American style.

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