The US Constitution is not a special document. It’s traditional for Americans to say something flattering about the great political geniuses who devised the US political system, but I don’t think they were so hot: after all, the country they built didn’t last 100 years before it fell apart in a vicious civil war. The democracy of the republic is a multi-levelled sham, first because something like 70% of the population (women and slaves) were disenfranchised, secondly because the franchise was mooted by the superimposed electoral college.
Politically naive Americans, about half of the voting electorate (i.e: 17% of the population or thereabouts) seem to venerate the constitution, while simultaneously cheering on those who have promised to further gut its provisions. Who cares, anyway? It was always just a document enumerating the protections that the wealthy and powerful were expecting to enjoy – they have always ignored them, otherwise. It seems silly to be worrying about “cruel and unusual punishment” when prisoners are regularly subjected to social deprivation torture, or in more extreme cases like Gitmo forced feeding by having food pumped up their anus. But that’s little stuff – constitutional rights don’t mean much when cops can gun you down, lie about shooting you in the back and say you were running toward them, then get away with it. And the “rule of law” doesn’t mean much when the congress, who are supposed to govern when the country goes to war, writes blank checks without looking at them, and the executive branch deploys assassination squads of special forces all around the world with no oversight at all. The intelligence arms of the government surveil everyone, citizen or not, and the political class bleat helplessly about Russian hackers who fooled them into clicking on a rather obvious phishing email. Meanwhile, the media fawn like submissives, trading their integrity and their vocabulary in the name of “access” – it’s disgusting, it’s all disgusting.
The US oligarchs have selected a president modelled after W.C. Fields’ stage persona from “Never Give a Sucker an Even Break.” Fields also penned the quip that defines the 2016 election for me: “She drove me to drink. That’s the one thing I’m indebted to her for.”
It’s not the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning. It’s just another helping of the endless grind. The only thing that changes is the dreams of progressives which spring anew, only to be dashed in due course. Aesop’s fable of the mice voting to bell the cat encapsulates all we ever need to know about the relationship of authoritarian power to the well-being of the people.
Happy inaugration 2017!!!
I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled againThe change, it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the fold, that’s all
And the world looks just the same
And history ain’t changed
‘Cause the banners, they are flown in the next war – The Who