Yesterday, I saw Michael Moore’s movie, Fahrenheit 11/9. Coincidentally, sometime earlier this year, in an earlier chapter in this memoir, I alluded to the numerical irony of the two catastrophes of 9/11/2001 and the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center and 11/9/2016 and the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. In that posting, I asserted that the two events were related by the fact that a large part of white America never got over the shock and the trauma of the attack by brown people on the United States on 9/11. The effect was to give Republicans, (who had been race-baiting America since Ronald Reagan and his welfare queen speech and his embracing of established white supremist like Pat Robertson and Jessie Helms), a free hand to do everything they had been trying to do since Reagan’s election, from giving banks and large corporations a license to steal from the American consumer to dismantling Medicare and Social Security and every other benefit to the middle class they could get their hands on to allow for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. The payoff for that indiscretion was the almost complete wipeout of the economy resulting in loss of jobs and homes for many middle class Americans. That ultimately created the climate for the hardcore racists and fascists in our society to come out of the woodwork and scapegoat people of color for all our problems, ultimately resulting in the election of Donald Trump. In addition to the irony I spoke of in my earlier post, there’s the irony that neither event could have occurred without the aid of the Internet. The terrorist could not have coordinated their attack without the aid of the Internet and Trump could not have been elected without the aid of the Internet. Even though Michael Moore’s movie pretty much validated much of my discussion, it gave so much more information and detail of exactly how all that came to be and how much more serious our nation’s problems are as a result of all of this. If you want a very practical understanding of exactly what’s going on in this country, along with the chronology of what happened, when it happened and where it happened to get us where we are today, you must see that movie. Personally, my understanding of the situation has increased ten fold.
While the movie holds out hope that we may right the ship, it also leaves you with the feeling that it is already to late. I was left with that feeling, not because of anything said in the movie, but for the fact that only I and about 8 other people viewed that movie at the matinee I attended. One would think that a movie that powerful and that informative would be sold out every day for the first two weeks after its release. Unfortunately, all of the people who need to see the movie, Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike, will apparently never see it. We have already reached the point where, Americans on opposite sides of the political debate live in two different worlds, each with its own source of information, hence, its own reality.
The movie makes clear that; our country’s current state of affairs was created not just by Republicans, but also by the entire political system, including Democrats. You come away with the understanding that all governments in all cultures and civilizations exist for the sole purpose of making it possible the minority of elites to control the majority of the population. Our nation was an attempt to make it possible the majority to rule itself through the election of people from their own ranks to rule the nation and its constituent jurisdictions. Under our system, the government feared the people and not the other way around. The truth is, we have never reached that ideal. Throughout our county’s history the power elite have always ruled the masses. The American dream is just that – a dream; an ideal that we all strive for. We have never fully realized that dream, nor shall we ever fully realize it for generations to come. But each generation can inch closer and closer to the ideal.
The movie exposes many of the flaws in our system. Like many Americans, President Obama was almost a saint to me. Of course, the reality is he and not one of all the leaders before him throughout history was ever a saint. They were all political animals. It was hard to watch Obama’s past sins and his contribution to Trump being elected in the movie, but that does not mean he is not a good person with honorable intentions. Now, I have a better understanding of what is meant by the phrase, history is the ultimate judge of a politician’s character and intentions. As citizens, we must understand that the power elite will always have its way to some extent no matter whom we elect. If you participate in electoral politics on any level, you are always choosing between the lesser of two evils. You are always choosing between the candidate who most favors the status quo, which usually favors the power elite and the candidate who most favors policies that empower the average working person. The politicians for their part have to portray themselves as champions of the middle class working person and at the same time, assure the power elite (who’s pocket they are usually in) that they will do nothing to encroach on their privileges and power. Consequently, we the electorate can never be sure of what got until we get it. The power elite knows it can’t control you in a democracy if you are united in your demands of your elected officials. So they use their money and influence to divide you along racial, ethnic and religious lines. Trump came to power because the electorate became frustrated and disillusioned with the political process and made itself vulnerable to Trumps promises to solve all our problems over night. Now we are witnessing the chaos and uncertainty that comes with applying simplistic solutions to complex problems. Now we are gaining some appreciation for what life is like for Third World people who’s lives can be completely unraveled at any time depending on the whims or mood of the dictator.
To be a good citizen in a democracy, you must be the ultimate pragmatist in your thinking. You must decide between what you absolutely must have, what you would like to have but are willing to forgo for a period of time and what you are willing to concede to the power elite. Your vote must be tied to the things that you and all your countrymen absolutely must have. These are things like healthcare, clean air, clean water, social security, the ability to earn a living wage and above all, the adherence to the rule of law. As a private citizen, you must never settle for less than that from your elected officials. You must punish with your vote, any politician, regardless of party affiliation, who violates any of those six non-negotiable policies. As Americans, we can disagree on abortion or climate change, but we must never disagree on those non-negotiables. How much of anything more than that you get depends on how committed you are to work the political system. Don’t let politicians confuse you into thinking you can sacrifice those indispensible middle class requirements for some other issue that is not universally believed or accepted by the overwhelming majority of Americans. Your only leverage against the power elite is the ability to immediately and decisively vote out any politician who dares to ignore your deal breakers.
This is why you must vote out all Republican candidates on the ballot in the upcoming elections. It is the only way you can send the proper message to the power elite that you are still in charge. I know it will be hard for Republicans to vote out Republicans who have been almost institutions in congress and your state legislatures over the years. I know it will be difficult for people who have voted for Democrats in the past with nothing to show for it to vote for them again. Never the less, vote for Democrats you must. If you don’t, and Republicans remain in power of congress after the election, our 1776 experiment in democracy will have officially come to an end. Trump will fire all the people protecting the Muller investigation and we will officially become a fascist dictatorship that can only be undone by force of arms. Life as we know it will be over.