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'Putin's War on America' Is Nothing Compared With America's War on Democracy


#1

'Putin's War on America' Is Nothing Compared With America's War on Democracy

Paul Street

The noted North Korean political commentator Kim Jong Un got it right last year: Donald Trump is a “mentally deranged dotard.”

Consider the U.S. president’s bizarre performance next to Russian strongman Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday.

Asked about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, President Trump said this: “I have President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this. I don’t see any reason why it would be.”


#2

Just as history shows that most empires are destroyed from within, democracy in the US is being converted to fascism from within. Putin and other outsiders are indeed not spearheading the destruction of democracy, they are just conspirators working with insiders who welcome all the help they can get.


#3

From today’s Club Orlov:

“Another hypothesis, and a far more plausible one, is that the US intelligence community has been doing a wonderful job of bankrupting the country and driving it toward financial, economic and political collapse by forcing it to engage in an endless series of expensive and futile conflicts—the largest single continuous act of grand larceny the world has ever known.”

Peace
Po


#4

There are two clashing views here of the US that are incompatible and both have many adherents. One is the leftist conspiracy theory view that the US is actually ruled by a corporate elite and there is a “deep state” intelligence community that has its own agenda. The other view is the mainstream view that is much more widely held that the US is a democracy, certainly far from a perfect democracy, but a democracy. How one perceives the events concerning Russia depends on which view one holds, leftist conspiracy theory or mainstream democracy. I believe in the latter and interpret events based on that. In my view both Russia and Trump are trying to undermine US democracy although for different purposes. I think Putin wants to return Russia to its former world power status and I think Trump wants to a establish a white nationalist nation. I would say Putin’s efforts are more difficult to detect and involve very sophisticated using the internet and particularly social media while Trump’s efforts are very direct and should be clear to anyone who follows the news. I think both Putin’s and Trump’s efforts have been pretty successful. The US is now on to Putin but has not found a good way to stop him. Trump is backed by tens of millions of Americans who support white nationalism to a great or lesser estent.


#5

Awesome. Shared in 2 places.


#6

“Democratic capitalism” is oxymoronic.


#7

More on this from Chris Hedges:

Did Russia attempt to influence the election? Undoubtedly. This is what governments do. The United States interfered in 81 elections from 1945 to 2000, according to professor Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University. His statistics do not include the numerous coups we orchestrated in countries such as Greece, Iran, Guatemala and Chile or the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. We indirectly bankrolled the re-election campaign of Russia’s buffoonish Boris Yeltsin to the tune of $2.5 billion.


But did Russia, as the Democratic Party establishment claims, swing the election to Trump? No. Trump is not Vladimir Putin’s puppet. He is part of the wave of right-wing populists, from Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson in Britain to Viktor Orbán in Hungary, who have harnessed the rage and frustration born of an economic and political system dominated by global capitalism and under which the rights and aspirations of working men and women do not matter.*

The Democratic Party establishment, like the liberal elites in most of the rest of the industrialized world, would be swept from power in an open political process devoid of corporate money. The party elite, including Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, is a creation of the corporate state. Campaign finance and electoral reform are the last things the party hierarchy intends to champion. It will not call for social and political programs that will alienate its corporate masters. This myopia and naked self-interest may ensure a second term for Donald Trump; it may further empower the lunatic fringe that is loyal to Trump; it may continue to erode the credibility of the political system. But the choice before the Democratic Party elites is clear: political oblivion or enduring the rule of a demagogue. They have chosen the latter. They are not interested in reform. They are determined to silence anyone, like Assange, who exposes the rot within the ruling class.

The Democratic Party establishment benefits from our system of legalized bribery. It benefits from deregulating Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry. It benefits from the endless wars. It benefits from the curtailment of civil liberties, including the right to privacy and due process. It benefits from militarized police. It benefits from austerity programs. It benefits from mass incarceration. It is an enabler of tyranny, not an impediment.

Demagogues like Trump, Farage and Johnson, of course, have no intention of altering the system of corporate pillage. Rather, they accelerate the pillage, which is what happened with the passage of the massive U.S. tax cut for corporations. They divert the public’s anger toward demonized groups such as Muslims, undocumented workers, people of color, liberals, intellectuals, artists, feminists, the LGBT community and the press. The demonized are blamed for the social and economic dysfunction, much as Jews were falsely blamed for Germany’s defeat in World War I and the economic collapse that followed. Corporations such as Goldman Sachs, in the midst of the decay, continue to make a financial killing.

https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/the-war-on-assange-is-a-war-on-press-freedom/

The obvious question is why have Bernie, Liz and other “progressive” Dems jumped on this corrupt bus?

Will they be able to take the new “Blue Wave” progressive Dems with them?


#8

For clarification:
You think the US is a democracy?


#9

I’ve had the same reaction, finding Street’s crystalline response to the latest surge of “political class” madness the last word—for now. This article should be set in a plutonium- and methane-proof time capsule to be opened in the year of our overlords 102,000 A.D.


#10

Regarding your ‘leftist conspiracy theory’, I’d suggest you read Mike Lofgren’s The Deep State. Here is a quote from his introduction:

“I use the term to mean a hybrid association of key elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States with only limited reference to the consent of the governed as normally expressed through elections.”

For twenty eight years, Lofgren was a congressional employee, a staff member and national security analyst for the House and Senate budget committees. He says he started out as a mainstream Republican during the early years of Reagan, but by the end of his career he considered himself a resolute nonpartisan. Hardly a leftist conspiracy theorist. Below is a link to an excerpt from the intro to his book.


#11

Are you really Hillary Clinton?


#12

You know, maybe Putin has engineered the “destruction of American democracy,” but somehow I think this entire Russia affair is a crock of concocted BS. With all the criminals in the halls of power, and billionaires like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Brothers pulling all the strings, am I to think that the biggest worry for America’s future is Putin?

It’s childish, ridiculous propaganda that is so eagerly believed by so many, it simply proves how unbelievably uninformed, gullible and serflike American citizens have become. And I’ve been called a “Russian troll” more than once simply because I question the narrative.

Democracy you say??


#13

Excellent article by excellent Paul Street. Sad, how few journalists of this type we have, and sad again how few people read and understand even these few.


#14

Why is he wrong?


#15

The article has more credibility than your half baked analysis.


#16

Looking at Trump and Putin all I see are two underling con artists with the word LIAR tattooed across their foreheads.


#17

Probably all factions should drop the faith-based “I believe” sort of discussion. It just does not mean much.

What’s “far from perfect” in this instance? It seems that everything that we are discussing here happens within that phrase, no?

Why would a faith that the US “is a democracy” that is imperfect rather than a plutarchy with some democratic elements suggest that leaked files would be related to Russia?

Imagining that Russia were to control US elections would suggest that the US were not a democracy. Believing that elements within the Democratic Party were sufficiently concerned to leak files might at least suggest some impulse towards democracy.

Of course, it would be conceivable that nationalist elements within law enforcement or intelligence leaked the data, preferring to not be associated with it themselves. It would not have had to have been Seth Rich, necessarily. We do not really know much besides that the materials were copied down to a USB drive on a local computer, that Podesta went mouthing off about “making an example” of someone whether guilty or innocent, and that Seth Rich was murdered. It was done locally, but we do not know for certain by whom or for what reason,

But of course, speculating about law enforcement would be a theory involving conspiracy, wouldn’t it?

According to the dictionary, conspiracy involves planning in secret, not much more than that. Are we to imagine that government, corporations, and political parties do not plan, or that they do not keep secrets?


#18

I agree, to a large extent. However, far too many Americans think that all they can do or must do is vote every two years, and 90 million Americans didn’t even bother to do that in 2016 and that was a presidential election year of some consequence. Yet voting in general elections isn’t even the worst of the problems, it is that far too few voters vote in the primaries. It is in the primaries where we have the best opportunity to choose who gets to run in the general elections and the only way we can get better candidates who actually will serve the little people who desperately need representation at the table of Congress and the White House and in our state governments. If no candidate running in the primaries suits you then run yourself or recruit someone else who would be good instead. This article reveals the truth that our government officials have become far too self dealing and corrupt on both sides of the aisle and our media is not doing its job of educating and encouraging us to take the necessary steps we need to take to take our government back for all the ordinary little folk that were supposed to be what America was all about in the first place. This means that everyone who cares about better government must get much more involved and vote in primaries, educate yourselves about the primary candidates, and register people to vote, donate to good candidates, learn about the issues, volunteer for campaigns, write letters to the editor, protest, talk to people you know and family members, and more. What is wrong with America is not really Russian interfearance, although we must not allow Putin to decide our elections, but it is Republican gerrymandering, voter roll purges, overly strict voter ID laws and not allowing all American citizens to vote that is part of why we are in this mess. If too many ordinary Americans are unwilling to do the hard work it takes to make our government work for us little guys then it is all too easy for the wealthy fat cats to put their own paid henchmen into power to serve them instead of the interests of the majority of the American people. They are entrenching their power every day and it will get harder and harder for us to get them out, as they are taking over the courts,and other institutions. It will take a lot of work and sacrifice to make our government work for us, no one person like Trump can do this, it is ridiculous to think so. It will take everyone whom we can get to do this work, and the more the better it will be, and the less time it will take. We need to get our young people involved and pointed in the right direction, and get them voting and doing everything that they can, because this is political war and if we fail politically we will have no choice but to do real war and real war is much harder and much bloodier, so let’s do it politically by getting everyone to participate. I think we can if everyone will only try and never give up, we can restore our institutions and make them serve the people instead of corporate oliogharchs and wealthy overlords. We must do this or we are all doomed.


#19

I get it that the Democratic Party is corrupt and not what it ought to be and all, but aren’t you missing all of the horrors being committed by its political opponent, the Republican Party, which you have completely failed to mention at all, who in at least my opinion, after watching them for years and for hundreds of hours on C-Span and Fox News, are far worse than almost any democrat. You seem to think that most of what goes on is just phony political theater, and perhaps some of it is, but I still see the Koch owned Republican Party and their allies in the phony Religious right and the KKK, three Nazi parties, and other bigots, and Old South promoters as the far bigger threat to ordinary Americans than the democrats are. Who are we going to vote for that has any chance of stopping the horrific evil fascist totalitarian republican agenda if we don’t vote for democrats? Do you expect us all to vote for the tiny Greens who don’t have a prayer of winning? This is war and we must defeat the republicans any way we can. Sure the Democratic Party needs reform, and we will have to fix it, but first we must stop the much more evil republicans as they are much worse. Then we will have to get to work on reforming the democrats. We can work on reform at the same time also, we just need to get to work and get more people involved. If the phony Tea Party could push the republicans off the cliff and far to the right, we can use the same tactics to reform the democrats and make them the real party of the people.

The Democratic Party has had to adapt to the rules set by a right wing republican agenda that has been pushing voters and our society further and further to the right in this country over the last forty five years or more, using every dirty trick in the book, and spending billions on media propaganda, think tanks, groups like ALEC, and giving almost unlimited amounts of campagn monies to republican candidates that have purged the liberals and moderates out of the party. It was Republican appointed Supreme Court Justices and a republican push that got the horrible Citizens United decision passed so that there is now unlimited corporate and dark money going into campaigns which if republicans are going to take advantage of, then democrats almost have to do the same if they plan on winning elections. For democrats, I don’t think this is by choice as it is with republicans because many democrats want campagn finance reform, perhaps they are the more progressive democrats, but you lumped all democrats into one bad lump and completely failed to mention the Republican Party which has been rotten to the core and totally in bed with the wealthy feudal lords and oliogharchs and total unbridled capitalism and austerity for the average worker and total environmental destruction long before Trump ever came along. Trump and those like him are not populists, they are fake populists. Trump wants to join the billionaire boys club, he cares nothing for ordinary folk, he just lies to them, cons them and uses them. There is no hope on the right, the only hope is on the real left, not the phony left, but I suppose it all depends upon how one defines ones terms. Neoliberal policy is economic policy, not social policy. Neoliberal capitalism is not a left wing agenda, we progressives want to control and tame the beast. The republicans are the economic neoliberals, not the liberal democrats or progressives, we want Wall Street and banking reforms and regulations, the republicans are the ones who want no rules at all. These terms often confuse people because no one would ever accuse a republican of being a neoliberal but they are nevertheless when it comes to economics.

It is the democratic socialists and Greens and progressive democrats who care about ordinary folk and what is best for everyone, a clean and green sustainable and unpolluted environment and health care, Social Security, and education for all and protecting our commons. No republican cares about anything except the wealthy and making money for themselves. You are way too hard on the democrats who have been having a very difficult time ever since this right wing push has been going on.

I think the democrats will come around if they get more support from voters. I think that we can primary out the corporate or sell out democrats and get better candidates and that democratic socialism and going green is America’s and the world’s only hope because otherwise we are going to pollute and destroy and warfare ourselves all to death, and their will be massive social and economic disruption as the wealthy try to hide in their bunkers and gated enclaves from the enraged and starving masses who will kill them if they ever get their hands on them. The only way out of that horrible distopian future is a sustainable green eco aware democratic socialism like in Finland, and other countries who have created healthier societies that care about one another and alll pull together for the common good. We need to learn from them and take what they have to teach us, because America has truly lost its way!


#20

No, I agree with you. The Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and the Mercers, the phony evangelicals and their takeover and perversion of most of America’s Christian churches and turning them into fascist right wing republican fundraising and political machines that aim for goals that are the antithesis of everything that Christ ever stood for, and republican gerrymandering, voter roll purges, and overly strict voter ID laws and republican far right takeover of our federal and Supreme Courts are far far more dangerous to our democracy than anything that Putin or the Ripussians have done, except that these same republicans are now so desperate for absolute power that they have gotten in bed with Putin and the Russians to get it and it exposes their criminal behavior and unamerican agenda.

I just say that taking over the Democratic Party and making it into the more Socialist, Progressive and Green Party all combined into the Democratic Party is our best hope of ousting these thugs and getting a people’s party up and running as soon as possible, as most Americans still vote either democratic or republican. We must vote more and vote more in the primaries, and many more Americans need to vote and participate in order to get better candidates and we must protest, sign petitions, register voters, contribute to good candidates and do all we can and the more people who participate the better. It is the only way I can see to take our government back the quickest way other than armed revolution and that might not work out as planned as it has not in other countries, besides it is too bloody and a lot more sacrifice than more political participation is. I can’t see any other way to stop the bad guys. Do you have any better ideas? I know you are not a troll. I think the Russia story is important, but it is not as important as fixing our elections and fixing our voting rights that republicans are taking away as they are cheating and rigging elections and must be stoped, and there are other things we must do to fix our democratic republic and its failing institutions that badly need repair, not a wrecking ball like Trump and the republicans who are destroying all the good parts of America and are keeping all of the bad ones in place.