How Corporate Interests Enable the Foundational Cracks
Part One of Red Rose: Observations of American Politics and the World Around Us
Money talks. That’s the old saying that seems destined to thrive for eternity because, regardless of what year it is or where you are on the planet, it’s largely true. I would be rather surprised if anyone would try to deny that claim either, because it’s just a common bit of knowledge that we essentially seem to be born with.
So, that reality mixed with the United States having a system in place that allows for what sums up to be a legalized bribery game, has major ramifications.
Just over ten years ago, things weren’t quite as bad, though still far from great. Then, a calculated Supreme Court decision with a 5-4 result changed things for the worse. See, the Citizens United v. FEC result sent shockwaves through our government and enabled mass corruption through a perverse interpretation of The Constitution by opening up the door to infinite shadow donations to politicians.
Millions are now sunk into Super PACs and the near entirety of both major political parties are now essentially owned by the interests of those spending the money more than ever before.
Regardless of whether or not you find it morally acceptable to have enough gold stashed up that you could officially identify as a dragon, I bet you would still agree that if a majority of Americans spent a giant wad of green on a politician that they’d expect something in return. Are you okay with that? Because the issue, of course, comes in when you start to wonder what that entails.
Many of the titans in the food industry are a part of this game, which should scare you. What is it that they might be wanting to get away with? Perhaps they are wanting less oversight into what is allowed during the steps that take place before you pick food off of store shelves. Perhaps they want more allowances in what they are doing to get the ingredients they’re using or what they’re allowed to put in our food in general.
How many people are an acceptable amount to have die in a warehouse to ensure you get some snacks?
Some tech companies have essentially turned themselves into an unofficial section of the US government at this point while the oil industry controls the narratives over climate concerns when they feel it would be harmful to their profit margins.
I almost don’t even blame these entities seeing as they are just doing what capitalism teaches you to do. I mean, if it risks lessening the amount of money you will make that year, why bother changing at all? That’s what most of us are taught from day one. It’ll require a change at a deep level if we expect anything different to happen than what we already have.
Even more is the united back scratching behavior occurring thanks to backroom defense company deals. The forever wars, tied largely to weapons and oil lobbying, will seemingly proceed without halt as a result and the bodies will continue to pile up endlessly on the ever-growing heap.
The powers that truly be are able to essentially control election results in key races thanks to the ability to funnel large amounts of wealth into advertising and the utilization of spin tactics. So much so that opponents to their interests are priced out of the entire game at times. When those handpicked elected officials get in, it is rather easy for gerrymandering to be instigated without much penalty, essentially confirming that once they get in, they stay in. If you start to waver from the demands of the owners, the party will then send in someone to challenge you during the primary portion. Incumbents rarely fail unless some huge scandal breaks out or their opponent utilizes strong fear mongering techniques while being backed by the right groups and those groups are more than capable of ensuring exactly that if the situation calls for it.
When that’s done, the next logical step is a constant continuation of corporate interests and, I’m sorry If I am the first to say this to you, but the larger corporations rarely have interests that would benefit anyone in the working class. They spend millions to avoid paying billions.
Again, at the risk of seeming redundant, it’s part of living in the system. I started the book with this chapter because so many of the issues we face are all caused by this goliath, fecal matter hitting a thousand fans level problem. There are specific groups that have enriched themselves by fully diving in head first and the odds of seeing one make efforts that would lessen their titanic hoard is almost unheard of.
Stagnated minimum wage, which was originally designed to literally be a minimum wage of which the average worker could actually do very well in the country, is one such result of these tactics.
A majority of American corporations will pay you just enough so that you won’t starve to death but not enough that you can afford to take time off to search for another job. You might be allowed theoretically to go somewhere else, but it can be a nearly impossible ladder up out of the game into something a bit better to begin with.
To pretend that all minimum wage jobs are just for teenagers anyway and that it shouldn’t matter, or whatever excuse many are sold by their favorite media personality, is to pretend that those jobs shut down during school hours. I know for a fact that I can drive to a fast food joint and have a cheeseburger at noon. Punching “down” is a terrible form of elitism, folks. You aren’t better than the person cleaning bathrooms.
Many are forced to work multiple jobs, just to get by, overworking themselves to an early grave.
A rising inflation further engulfs us all and makes that wage stagnation an even worse plight. This creates a wall for many that feels insurmountable and downright overwhelming. If you have never had to feel this way I sincerely envy your privilege. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t say that in a negative way despite how it might come off. I sincerely am thankful that you had it better off, but I also hope that you can at least cherish that reality and understand that for many, it’s simply not a privilege that they share.
As a result of all of this, many Americans feel left behind and forgotten. It’s a disease that leads many to turn to people in power that they feel they can trust and away from perhaps someone that truly is trying their best to actually help. When a charismatic man that maybe doesn’t look that different from you, just perhaps cleaned up a bit, gets on stage and promotes true change in a language you can understand, it’s likely that you’re going to vote for them even if they are actually just seeking a position of power to further enrich themselves.
I am sure many might have an expectation for which charismatic politician I was referring to in that last bit and I bet that it varies depending on the person reading this.
For Republicans, they might have thought of Obama or maybe even Biden, if you can call him charismatic with a straight face.
Democrats thought strongly of Trump, I’m sure.
I’m actually talking about all three of them and many others, all across the divides and the various levels of government. Men, women, Republicans, Democrats.
What happens when they get into office doesn’t change much though and the longer you believe in them, the longer things go on as is. The excuses will fly, scapegoats will be thrown around, and in the end you’ll see partisan hacks do everything they can to defend it all.
There are numerous differences between the two parties and they are far from being mirror images, of course. They are still two wings on the capitalist bird and share far more in common with each other than I feel most would be willing to admit.
I believe that Donald Trump happened to resonate well, especially with select voters, because he was seen as an outsider. It was largely because he was sold as being a businessman instead of a dirty politician and the fact that he spoke differently than the rest of the candidates running in the Republican primaries certainly helped. Don’t forget the fact that several Democrats that felt forgotten by their own party actually jumped on the Trump train because of this. Blame a third party candidate if you want for his rise, but the numbers don’t support that stance.
CNN and many other liberal networks loved it all because when they’d air this brash man running in the GOP primaries, they’d get big ratings bumps. They absolutely swam in it all, given millions in free publicity and his crowds grew larger and larger as a result. People wanted to hear this man live as if it was a grand stage show and then they started to believe in his words more and more, too.
He often spoke like a populist and like a man of the people and he did pretty damn well to sell an image of himself for years as a great representation of the American Dream to anyone with a television or a bookshelf.
The timing was just right, too. The Democrats were dealing with Bernie Sanders rising up the ranks and needed attention turned elsewhere and away from his own huge crowds. They threw Bernie to the wolves, used some shady tactics, and sold a narrative through their media ties that Sanders was unelectable and too extreme to be taken seriously. The people needed to vote for their handpicked choice, Clinton, to battle the big evil pig that the Republicans had propped up.
A look at the results the first time that Trump ran decades ago works well to showcase how out of his league he was, but stars tend to align in strange ways in the real world.
It took very little time before his pro wrestling style of political circus entertainment grew into an absolute behemoth and a force that felt untouchable and unlike anything in modern American history. Anything that Trump didn’t like he’d call fake news while mocking how poorly the source would be doing in ratings and sales. If that same source said something he liked, he’d soak it up. He was the high school bully that would belittle anyone that questioned him but was also the charismatic quarterback that people accepted because the team was doing well. And if I am being honest, I don’t think he actually wanted to even win. I truly believe that he was trying to boost his profile to get better television deals for his television shows. I mean, when I watch back the video of the night when he won and look at all of the faces in that video, I see shock and a slight bit of terror.
He had sold the idea that when he would fail during the Presidential election, that it would be because of election fraud. Trump loves setting up excuses early, after all. Never admit defeat. That’s the tactic. He did it once more in 2020 and we’ve seen how that turned out when he did fail.
If you think the 2020 election was stolen, I disagree with you. I still urge you to read on, please.
Regardless, Trump was indeed a businessman and one that sold his act well. He had been born and raised in the higher part of society and knew this game well enough to know that, as President, you are granted large amounts of immunity so he embraced it quickly. It would likely tear the country apart to truly hold someone in that position accountable for nearly anything outside of actual, direct and provable murder.
And he knew it.
This administration attempted everything they could think of and only moved backwards on something if they got enough push back that it made them think there could be actual consequences. It might all seem like a blur now, but for four years there was almost something new everyday that seemed to be blatant corruption. He never truly faced punishment for anything because doing so would open the doors for others to face the same consequences and even the impeachment trials were really just political posturing more than anything else.
Let me take a side step here and admit that if you are a Trump supporter, I would like to agree with you that the general media were very harsh on nearly everything they could go after during the Trump administration. If he did literally anything, it’d make the front page. That happened almost without pause.
The part where we’ll likely differ again is that I feel that they, and we, should treat all public officials to that same high standard. As elected servants to the needs of their constituents, I believe that the second you get that seat of power that you should be constantly questioned on everything.
I’ll also openly admit that the mainstream media, even right leaning sources, didn’t always give Trump credit when he deserved it, either, as rare as I still think that he actually deserved it. The flip side is that, and hopefully this keeps any conservative still reading this hooked for the rest of the book, I feel that the media are being far too soft on Biden and were far too soft on Obama, too. I mean, the way Biden has been fawned over so far has been disgusting, for example. They gave both Clintons free range to run wild too and it’s very rare to see a challenge to a majority of the Democrats. With Obama, even Fox tended to stick to arbitrary things like the color of his suit.
I urge you, if any of this so far at all resonates with you, to always research everyone that you plan to vote for. Do so as much as you can with whatever time you actually have to do so and try to listen closely to what the candidates are saying. Do so while reflecting that research against their personal history and, when applicable, their voting records. Actions speak far louder than the fancy words that are written for them. If you sincerely think you found that rare gem that actually has your best interests in mind, vote for them. This is true even if they don’t have the little letter next to their name that represents your preferred political party.
We will never move forward as long as the wrong people remain in office and removing them is our best tool for a better future.
You can find this entry alongside further elaborated views as part of Red Rose: Observations of American Politics and the World Around Us. Check it out on Amazon today in both ebook and physical formats HERE.