Gesture Politics

Listen to the Audio and/or Subscribe to the Podcast

Full Transcript:

Way back in 2005, The New York Times used the expression “gesture politics” to describe the substitution of symbols and empty promises for policy. Today, gestures towards bipartisanship and voting integrity together with a feigned respect for the United States constitution ring hollow. The will of the electorate really hasn’t mattered to some politicians for a very long time. Sure, we occasionally witness a certain genuflection as an election draws near. But, the real focus for politics, and its practitioners, is always on the big, oftentimes dark, money.

In 1870, James Freeman Clarke said: “A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation.” The Clark quote is especially striking in the midst of our country’s hyper-partisan election cycles, as so many politicians seem willing to betray many of the ideals they once touted, just to win re-election. Beyond politics, there is a higher plane where true statesmanship thrives. Within such an environment the cultivation of that entrepreneurial spirit, that can take our country from one level of attainment to the next, is encouraged and nurtured in accordance with the laws of fruitfulness. 

Some politicians have decided that, being in the game is just not worth it. They’ve asked themselves what their grandchildren will think of them once the kids have blown through the money gained through their forebear’s complicity in moving the country and the planet towards a dystopian future. Today, many Independent’s believe we have way too many politicians that are seemingly unable to even come down solidly in favor of democracy as opposed to autocracy.

Currently, principled compromise is rare as the modus-operandi of politics appears to have mutually assured destruction as its aim. This vengeful culture strikes at the heart of – and in many ways is calculated to cause damage to – the ideals of truth, beauty, and goodness that Americans have long sought to cultivate. The stark contrast between those patriots who would lay down their lives for their fellows, and those pretenders who have selfishly placed their own political ambitions above the welfare of the country and future generations is, at this juncture, hard for people of goodwill to ignore.

Fledgling democracies look on as principle has been sacrificed for political expediency by the most self-serving, It’s time for each of us to engage in some real soul searching. As groups inclined towards democracy, and once considered allies, were abandoned and uprooted to appease dictators, moral cowardice took center stage. As the politics of destruction is finally understood to be, first and foremost, about the tactics of distraction, it has dawned upon some of us that this may really be, for the USA at least, the last call for democracy.

We have been conditioned to think of ourselves as either liberal or conservative, left or right, Democrat or Republican, progressive or traditional, and socialist or capitalist. To those possessing a balanced intellect, it is clearly understood that, in actuality, we have all been hybridized to some extent. And, that the coercive labeling imposed upon us is simply the window dressing that obscures our view of the real battle that is raging outside.

The choice before us is between a democracy that will serve the highest and best interests of our children’s children or the featherbedded oligarchy that has, throughout history, sought to consign our progeny to conditions of peonage. In the United States, the first constitutional imperative is to advance the highest and best interests of “We the people” as we labor to “build a more perfect union.” To those holding some personal sense of superiority, democracy is instead seen as the domination of mediocrity. Such an ego-centric world view creates a definite preference for anything that will advantage they the few or they the rich. By this impetus it disadvantages everyone else and divides us accordingly, even on consensus issues.

The Us versus Them tribalism is directly attributable to divisions sown through the unmitigated and oft litigated selfishness of those placing their interests far above those of us they perceive as “the great unwashed.” Such a well advertised dysfunction is brought to us by malign actors intent on corroding the democratic underpinnings of our constitutional republic. Make no mistake, the oligarchy is the enemy of democracy. It always aims to wrest control from the demos, “we the people,” and instead vest it with the rich, “they the few.”

This gravamen is obscured by the dark money. It is evidenced by the suspect maps and moving polling places farther away from those that can least afford to travel or lose a day of work. It includes the politically motivated purging of voter rolls, and all the other forms of voter suppression and election subversion that seem to be in vogue. It finances the siloing and polarization of the press while it also impairs the First Amendment through its persistent attacks on the doctrine of net-neutrality.

From the tainted food supply to the high cost of disease care domestically; from the unrelenting attacks on education to the ritualized insanity of unwinnable wars abroad; each malady is directly attributable to the most self-serving of the few. This megalomanic oligarchy has been waging a deadly class warfare throughout history while, at the same time, they simultaneously accuse their targets of all things inexcusable, especially class warfare.

Leave a Reply