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Over two thirds of Americans believe government is elected by and for the few in 1991 (and in 1999 it was 75% and in 2012 it was 80%), and most feel powerless. Signs of apathy and alienation are hard to ignore. Polls in 1987 and 1990 showed an increase in the number of Americans who agree that "success in life is pretty much determined by forces outside our control" and that "hard work offers little guarantee of success." In the 1990 poll, 82 percent, a record high, agreed that "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer." (Source: Uebling, Mark, "All-American Apathy," American Demographics, November 1991, pp. 30-34) See:
- Who Will Tell The People?: The Betrayal Of American Democracy
- 8 Reasons Young Americans Don't Fight Back: How the U.S. Crushed Youth Resistance
- A Dream Deferred
- Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite
- America: What Went Wrong?
- Perverse Incentives: The Neglect of Social Technology in the Public Sector
- Renewing American Civilization: toward an opportunity society
- Rethinking America
- The Healing Of America
- The New Know-Nothings: The Political Foes of the Scientific Study of Human Nature
- Refrigerator Rights
- The Quickening of America: Rebuilding Our Nation, Remaking Our Lives
- 101 Things You Can Do For Our Children's Future
- The Responsive Communitarian Platform
Battlefield America: The War On the American People
- American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper
- Beyond Outrage: Expanded Edition: What has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy, and how to fix it
- Democracy—an American Delusion
- Freedom of the Press—an American Delusion
- Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance
- How America Was Lost: From 9/11 to the Police/Welfare State
- Lies, Incorporated: The World of Post-Truth Politics
- Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America
- Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It
- National Security and Double Government
- People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy
- Shadow Elite: How the World's New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market
- The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on U.S. Democracy
- The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America--and What We Can Do to Stop It
- The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals
- The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government
- The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism (American Empire Project)
- The Neoconserative Threat to World Order: America's Perilous War for Hegemony
- The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted
- The Rise of the American Corporate Security State
- The Shadow Factory: The NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America
- The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic
- Tragedy and Hope 101: The Illusion of Justice, Freedom, and Democracy
- Unaccountable: How Elite Power Brokers Corrupt our Finances, Freedom, and Security
- When Corporations Rule the World
- Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer—and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class
- Yearning For Democracy
- and, above all, see: WHY Register for MC Search and Match?
Registering for MC search and match
Another study showed that in 1964, 70 percent of Americans believed that government was run for the benefit of all. By 1988, 67 percent said government was run for the benefit of a few special interest groups. Voters become apathetic when they no longer believe that voting will solve problems. The same principle applies to Americans as consumers. Some people have gone beyond cynicism and apathy. They support efforts to dump all elected officials. (Source: Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA) A poll in 1999 by the Center on Policy Attitudes (COPA) found that 75% of the public believe that the government is run for the benefit of a few special interest groups, while only 19% said that the government is run for the benefit of all. (http://www.policyattitudes.org/ems2.htm)
In a 2013 Gallup poll, only 10 percent of respondents said they had a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in Congress. ". . . political parties [continue to confirm] suspicions that politicians were more interested in helping themselves and their special interest supporters than in helping their constituents. . . . It’s all on the record should anyone need more proof that the system is both corrupt and dysfunctional. . . . there is a growing sense that the people have lost confidence in their government. . . . Fifty-eight percent of the respondents in a 2013 Pew poll agreed that 'The political system can work fine, it’s the members of Congress that are the problem.'" (Source: Public Attitudes Toward Congress Over Time, by Donald R. Wolfensberger; A Report Prepared for Use By the Bipartisan Policy Center January 24, 2014.)
The pushmi-pullyu: a perfect symbol of U.S. political gridlock
However, since the Bipartisan Policy Center published the above report, and Wolfensberger played a large part in establishing the rules by which Congressional processes operate, it is also no surprise that his overall conclusion is that the democratic process is intrinsically messy, and the cacaphony and bickering are to be expected, and the Founders knew this democratic process would always be rancorous, and therefore it is neither surprising nor alarming that the public has lost confidence in Congress—the public has always had considerable disdain for its elected officials: it's the nature of the beast to attract scorn and distrust. Wolfensberger seems to be a decent, sincere, moral individual with deep insight into American politics. So why choose to sound like an apologist? Is he blind to the obvious corruption; the hopeless gridlock that freezes Congress into inaction so it accomplishes little; the replacement of our democracy by an Oligarchy staffed from the Corporatocracy; the alarming loss of rights and increase of government powers; the glaring fact that elections are a sham and no matter who wins, the public loses; and the fast-growing economic disparity between the rich 1% and nonrich 99%?
Wall Street Protest: Occupy Wall Street, protesting economic disparity between the rich 1% and nonrich 99%—Copyright © 2011 by Louis Lanzano
'You know, Archibald, my bladder is a tad too full—do these windows open? I'd like to send my regards to those pesky OWS protesters'
No, Wolfensberger is not blind to the obvious corruption. But what else could an establishment politico do but try to calm the waters, pacify the dissenters, and apologize that the establishment is so out of touch with average Americans that it's seemingly deaf to its cries and blind to its suffering? He's always apologized for and rationalized about our broken government, denied its corruptness, pretended not to see the Corporatocracy's excesses, its greed, and its mercilessness. "It's supposed to be this way" worked much better in 1995 than in 2017. Today the excuses sound less like rational situational analyses and more like towing the party line by covering up for the establishment with lame excuses that ring hollow on the ears of the public.
In the U.S., the 1% people get 99% and the 99% people (us) get 1%. Is it fair we get leftover scraps and they pig out?
The democracy has eroded until it's democratic in name only—and it's hard to believe Wolfensberger can't see that. It's hard to believe Wolfensberger can't see the corruption, the pretense, the greedy mercenariness, the degeneration of American democracy. He has to know that the content of the list of books above is a serious, fact-based indictment of a broken system. Said indictment demonstrates what our noses already knew—something smells rotten in Washington!
U.S. neocons' imperialism and warmongering is out of control yet the Congress tasked with stopping such abuses is mute—something smells rotten in Washington! Another example: the rich shelter, loophole and offshore their way out of paying their fair share of taxes and Congress supports this unfairness without even blinking.
Letting neocons run the decisions in Washington is like letting a fox guard a henhouse
But Wolfensberger has never been in a position to safely bite the hand that feeds him, so bite he does not. It's simply not done. As a card-carrying member of the establishment, biting the hand that feeds him boils down to biting his own hand! Therefore, expect clearer situational analyses from a website like this one than from a patronizing report that is from the establishment and to the establishment. Of course, Wolfensberger is just an example—a cited instance. Those that make it to Congress or the associated professions attached to Congress soon learn the score—to their dismay. But they need work, jobs, income. They didn't go to Washington to be corrupt or immoral or even amoral. But part of "the score" they learn is that you have to go along to get along. The cardinal rule imposed by the Oligarchy and Corporatocracy, and obeyed by those in Congress who are not members of this de facto "ruling class," is this: don't rock the boat. See Politics and Government.
This fellow had the unmitigated gall to ROCK THE BOAT
Folks, the issue here (which the government will never admit since it would be the kettle calling the kettle black) is that it has been obvious for some time that the government isn't about to fix anything for us because their tampering just makes things worse and we all know it, so if anyone will be fixing anything it won't be them—it will be US or no one! The reason to examine the Wolfensberger report, above, is to notice that the government establishment sees no problem with doing business as usual—according to their self-analysis things are going just peachy. So if the government sees no problem, what are the odds they'll be trying to truly fix anything? We know things are FUBAR (look it up). But they see only scintillatingly efficacious functioning.
But, in their defense, it must be admitted that the most critical issues needing addressing are in the areas like inadequate childcare, inadequate parenting, inadequate community, inadequate education, and inadequate relationships, none of which our Founders would have cited as government-addressable issues. Education and community issues are local issues and the rest are family and individual issues. So our trying to get the government to fix such things for us (which liberals are prone to do) is scapegoating and irresponsibility and laziness anyway.
So why are all these poll and study results in a section about Psychological Dysfunction? Could it be that all this apathy, alienation, cynicism, hopelessness and despair isn't something our citizens are born with or even learn in families, but is actually just a response to a hopeless political situation where we're all stuck in an oligarchy catering only to the Corporatocracy and simply using the citizens as suckers to exploit? (See The US is an oligarchy, study concludes.)
We're all stuck in an oligarchy catering only to the Corporatocracy and simply using the citizens as suckers to exploit, and cash cows to milk?
All that money they use in wars we do not support or want, and all that money they rob from us to prop up the too-big-to-fail corporations, and all that money we're having to shell out for higher premiums as many of us are forced out of good policies and into worse, more expensive policies thanks to ObamaDon'tCare, and all that money spent on the so-called war on drugs that has shown to only make matters worse, and all that money the NSA spends on lush salaries for chair-warmers to sit around spying on our (not our "enemies") emails, phone calls, posts, and social networking—WE ARE AGAINST ALL THIS STUFF AND YET WE ARE FORCED TO PAY FOR IT BECAUSE THE POWERS-THAT-BE SAY SO!
Abraham Lincoln said about American citizens in 1861 that “whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it.” And yet in 2017 we know neither seriously amending how our corrupt government works (or pretends to work) nor exercising our revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it are actual possibilities anymore. Those ships have sailed.
Neither seriously amending how our corrupt government works nor exercising our revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it are actual possibilities anymore—those ships have sailed
No one we vote for will have the courage—or even the power—to clean up the unacknowledged corruption, deception, and two-facedness of American politics and government, since it's how the Corporatocracy and Oligarchy want it to be, and woe unto he who rocks that boat. And as far as our revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it, that's a fantasy we won't dignify with a response except to state the obvious: such things would fail and merely lead to the U.S. becoming a police state "for our own protection."
U.S. is a police state and a predatory power abroad, imposing thousands of deaths on our troops and hundreds of thousands of deaths on others, and wasting trillions of dollars of American taxpayers' money
"Ultimately, if public disaffection with government is deep and enduring, it could lead to the kind of popular revolt of which Lincoln spoke." They can try it, but it will have disastrous results. Perhaps Wolfensberger was hinting—in his report—that not only have we reached that level of disaffection and the public has had enough of the corrupt Oligarchy and dysfunctional government, but he's giving a green light to start the rebellion, since he mentioned the revolt thing twice (?) (above) (Source: Public Attitudes Toward Congress Over Time, by Donald R. Wolfensberger; A Report Prepared for Use By the Bipartisan Policy Center January 24, 2014.)
Revolt against English rule had a great result; but revolt against our current Oligarchy will have a horrible result: a police state
The people with real and serious psychological dysfunction are not those who are cynical and despairing under such circumstances, but those who are NOT! The reason for the list of sources above is to let you know that you are not alone: some of the smartest people around are similarly bemoaning this situation, and the majority of your fellow Americans share your cynicism and concern. Some of the sources point to things you can do about it. The overall essense of these suggestions boils down to this:
DO NOT wait for the government to help you or save you. They won't—they're having too much fun picking your pockets while they continue to pretend the oligarchy is a democracy. In the next election, NO ONE SHOULD VOTE. Then they'd get the message that we're tired of being made fools of by a corrupt government which acts only in the interests of the Corporatocracy. So rather than looking to Uncle Sam, look to yourself. Form grassroots organizations. Strengthen communities at the local and neighborhood level. Forget politics. (If you go to a voting booth, either leave the forms blank or vote for NONE OF THE ABOVE.) Participation in a corrupt farce is giving tacit approval. Screw that. You, like us, do NOT approve!
MCs vastly improve the looks and functioning of your neighborhood and give you free elder care
MCs vastly improve the looks and functioning of your neighborhood and give you free childcare
MCs vastly improve the looks and functioning of your neighborhood and eliminate the need for automobile use to visit friends or go to childcare or elder care places
DO form MCs. They help you not NEED any government help, as they strengthen families, neighborhoods, and communities. They vastly improve the looks and functioning of your neighborhood, as they give you free childcare, free elder care, much better friends and relationships, and more social choices—and more viable social choices as well. The serious psychological dysfunction you now experience as a reaction to being at effect of these political ass clowns will soon be traded in for superior psychological functioning that is a response to setting up your life so it really works—in spite of the political ass clown show the media wants you to pay attention to. What if they put on an election and no one came? Maybe the media would get a clue and cover something more interesting, like turtle races, puppy races or pig races (our personal favorite). Hell, even a greased pig contest would trump political flapdoodle!
Even a greased pig contest would trump political flapdoodle!
Unfortunately, Americans are guilty of ignoring unpleasant facts about the culture—like the adult illiteracy rate, which was up to 40 percent in some large cities in 1991.
Sixty million Americans were functionally illiterate in 1991. The U.S. ranked 49th in literacy of the 158 countries in the United Nations. Many believe that those who are illiterate are "minorities" or members of a visible underclass. However, many are professionals, who because of their positions can get by, but they suffer greatly with the fear that they may be found out. (Source: Fussell, Paul, "The Dumbing of America," The Pennsylvania Gazette, November 1991, pp. 19-23+) According to the OECD, in 2008 the United States ranks fifteenth of twenty-seven member nations in terms of reading literacy. Finland ranks first. The OECD is the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
See Politics and Government. For Americans, in 2013, 48% give a six to ten ranking when asked to project the status of the U.S. five years from now, which is tied with the 1979 measure as the lowest in Gallup's history of asking the question. Additionally, the 40% who give a negative rating (zero to four) when asked to look ahead is lower than at any point in history. These negative ratings include 10% who say the situation of the country in five years will be zero, the worst they can imagine. And Republicans overwhelmingly say that the best times are behind the country, while Democrats look ahead and say the best times are ahead. (Source: http://www.gallup.com/poll/160046/americans-downbeat-state-prospects-future.aspx)
Our culture is driving us nuts. If you are in an MC, this will cease happening. See The Mental Health Care System for a more extensive analysis of U.S. mental health issues. See also Health Care Costs.
According to a presentation to the IFPE Congress in Vienna, Austria on April 18, 2009, on the results of World Health Organization’s World Mental Health Survey, 19% of Americans experience a clinical anxiety disorder in a given twelve-month period, which makes the United States rank first in that category. When you think of some of the oppressive countries on the planet, you have to wonder how we end up worst relative to psychological dysfunctions like anxiety disorders. The U.S. ranks 14th in teenage suicides—most of these teens had serious psychological dysfunctions before resorting to suicide. About 1/3 of all Americans suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives (based on an 8-year survey of 18,571 adults around the U.S.). The majority, if these estimates are correct, never seek treatment. Between 12 and 22 percent of American children suffer from some type of mental or emotional disorder—depression, hyperactivity, chronic drug use, anorexia, etc.
National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Feeling Good is a great book to empower the treating of depression as well as ridding oneself of negative thoughts and emotions resulting mostly from parenting errors. Between 12 and 22 percent of American children suffer from some type of mental or emotional disorder—depression, hyperactivity, chronic drug use, anorexia, etc.
"The triumph for Mr. Trump, 70, a real estate developer-turned-reality television star with no government experience, was a powerful rejection of the establishment forces that had assembled against him, from the world of business to government, and the consensus they had forged on everything from trade to immigration. The results amounted to a repudiation, not only of Mrs. Clinton, but of President Obama, whose legacy is suddenly imperiled. And it was a decisive demonstration of power by a largely overlooked coalition of mostly blue-collar white and working-class voters who felt that the promise of the United States had slipped their grasp amid decades of globalization and multiculturalism." (Source: Donald Trump Is Elected President in Stunning Repudiation of the Establishment)
The polls and pundits and powers-that-be all told the public that Hillary would win, and yet Trump won by a landslide. Everyone had been wrong. The predictions had been all wrong. Trump had complained that the election was rigged and the media were "absolute scum" who were helping Hillary by making Trump look bad, for which he threatened to sue them. (Of course, the main actor making Trump look bad was Trump himself, who seemed to be his own worst enemy.) The pollsters were grossly inaccurate in 2016 which told some people that perhaps Trump was right and the election was rigged. They changed their minds when Trump won, of course.
The 99% were tired of being screwed by the elite 1%, and electing Trump was the 99%er's way of saying screw you to the elite 1%. The question is: will Trump merely create chaos and instability with his impulsiveness or will he make positive changes for the 99%?
The 99% were tired of being screwed by the elite 1%, and electing Trump was the 99%er's way of saying screw you to the elite 1%. The question is: will Trump merely create chaos and instability with his impulsiveness or will he make positive changes for the 99%? Perhaps the bigger question is: Did Trump get into politics to help the people—like he says—or did he do it to help himself (which his past history would indicate)? Before 2017 is over, we will know the answer.
The voters that elected Trump weren't listening to the establishment pundits spewing truthiness (see Shadow Elite: How the World's New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market) or believing establishment polls. They were looking at how the elite 1% were screwing over the non-elite 99% and the America Dream was vanishing before their eyes. They were saying screw you to the establishment and the conventional "wisdom" and the status quo, and they were looking at the fact that establishment leaders like Bill Clinton, Dubya, and OBomb'em had abandoned them and were creating an elitist government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich at the same time they portrayed themselves as champions of the middle class and lower class and minorities and immigrants. (Hypocrisy and lies and deception in U.S. politics? Who knew?!)
When reckless 1%ers in banks caused the 2008 crash and recession and forced foreclosures and loss of wealth for the 99%ers, elitist Obama added insult to injury and forced the 99%ers to pay a trillion dollar bailout. U.S. citizens in 2017 are noticing not only that the politicians and leaders of both parties are incapable of delivering decent benefits, leadership, economic health and a healthy jobs market to citizens, but also that said leaders and politicians are VERY capable of delivering benefits to themselves and their friends and the special interests that sponsor them!
So the alienation and disenchantment with politics that breeds demagogues is omnipresent in 2016-2017 in the 99%. Will it breed Donald the Demagogue or Donald the Deliverer?
On the other hand, the 1% couldn't be happier with the way things are going—in fact, they're the ones who caused conditions to favor the 1%. While the elite 1% get tax breaks, lots of deductions, foundation tax shelters, offshore tax shelters, and legislative loopholes built just for them, the 99% keep seeing their wealth being transferred into the wallets of the rich. Both Trump and the 99%ers are crying foul. The 99%ers are very serious about this accusation. But is Trump? We hope so. We shall see—remembering all the while that in the past Trump has screwed thousands of people working for him out of their paychecks.
The rich are shaking down the 99%ers; will Trump—one of the rich—reverse this or help the elites empty the bank accounts of the 99%ers?
In Trump the 99%ers found the perfect vehicle for their anger, alienation and frustration. But . . . “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” Mr. Trump told supporters after he won. We will see if this vow is followed through on or whether it suffers the same sad fate as most election promises. One thing for sure: Trump had found—by accident or by design—an extremely sneaky way of energizing the forgotten, the left behind, the disenfranchised, the marginalized, the victims of downsizing and outsourcing, forced to take lower paying jobs when higher paying jobs vanished due to perceived corporate greed.
Hillary Clinton represented the elites in the government and the military and the banks, and her election would promise the stability of "more of the same" ushering in not change but Obama 2.0 in a dress.
But Trump took a very different path—he acted boorish, sexist, racist, and crude, which seemed to endear him to the working class by acting like "one of them." (Did he spit on stage? We cannot recall!) But he is hardly one of them. He's a spoiled rich kid gone bigtime. He lives in a marble-wrapped three-story penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue, but the genius of Trump—a marketing guru—is that his rude and crude actions qualified him to become their improbable champion because they so jarringly screamed NOT ESTABLISHMENT.
Hillary's elitist statis disqualified her, although her championing of women's causes would have pleased most women who believe women should be able to choose what happens to their own lives and bodies.
Outsider Trump may have been rich and privileged, but the real estate developer-turned-reality television star was not elite or government connected. To his followers he was perfect because he gave the establishment the finger and acted like he was going to hit reset on the American machine as he ushered in The American Dream 2.0.
Look carefully at the long list of resources at the top of this web page. They are saying the U.S. is in big trouble—something has gone terribly wrong with the Founders' vision of a democratic republic that is of the people, by the people, and for the people. The last time a president got it right was FDR—no one has ever understood of the people, by the people, and for the people better than him. Since then we've had leaders who more and more have been puppets of the shadow government (comprised of neocon elite warmongers who act from the shadows to further their own selfish agendas of oligarch enrichment at the expense of the common man). Each one convinced the country that he would be their hero and savior but then each one in turn sold us out. The thing about puppet governments is that they do what the shadow-men tell them to do or suffer the fate JFK, MLK, and RFK suffered when they tried to go their own way for the people. How would Trump be able to avoid this fate? And if he joins the long line of puppets, how does this change the fate of the 99%ers who are counting on him to act like the champion he promised he'd be?
Since FDR we've had leaders who more and more have been puppets of the shadow government (comprised of neocon elite warmongers who act from the shadows to further their own selfish agendas of oligarch enrichment at the expense of the common man)