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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/4/13

Obamaheads--like Extreme Right--Are Useful Idiots for Corporatocracy

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Originally used to describe Soviet sympathizers in Western countries, the term "useful idiots" now generally applies to any political propagandists, themselves cynically manipulated by propagandists higher up, who unwittingly embrace a malignant cause they naà vely take to be a force for good. Yet the term magnifies in vividness and force by remembering its original context, for it's so easy to visualize the cynical yet delighted sneer of Lenin--or, more especially, of Stalin--raptly contemplating the brilliant, ruthless efficiency of having witless foreign "idiots" lipstick their political pig.


To this observer, "useful idiots" has become THE central, most penetrating term of U.S. political analysis. Woe unto those to whom it applies! Or, far more precisely, woe unto these idiots' daily victims--citizens not merely of Uncle Sam's bordered playground, but of the entire globe.
The baneful words "woe unto" suggest a certain Jesus Christ, strangely popular on these shores, given how few of his Facebook or other fans could give a rat's ass about his social justice teachings. While the previous sentence targets the political right in particular, it's precisely to stave off a smug, breast-thumping Democrat's thank-you prayer to God by "for not being like those awful Republicans" that I write this this essay. You have a pretty damn big beam in your own eye to yank before tweezing the mote in your brothers'--and that big beam is precisely the false deity known as Barack Obama. By your sheepish worship of this Republican corporatist wolf in Dem's clothing--and by your enshrining his every act, no matter how reactionary, as "progressive" behavior--you brutally ban from political discourse every REAL exemplar of what progressive behavior is. Just as Pharisees substituted a shameful, hollow-hearted image of what it means to be a lover of God.


By their false worship of our false-progressive corporate-tool president, "Obamaheads" are every bit as much an obstacle to progressive reforms as Rush Limbaugh's "ditto heads." A supreme and provocative irony, given how much deeply the two groups hate each other. If clear-sighted people have their druthers, this silly, internecine sniping of rival camps of oligarchs' useful idiots will soon be widely, definitively skewered as "idiot wars."


See, the mutual loathing of our two useful-idiot camps, though very real, disguises something far more important they have in common: neither group--unlike the Occupy movement, which Wall Street front man Obama had spied on--is willing to challenge the vast U.S. inequality of wealth and undue corporate and plutocrat stranglehold over government policy it makes possible. So their mutual angry denunciations and tribal party quarrels--greedily covered by a corporate-owned mainstream press as if it were real news--actually creates a distraction from the most important story of the day: that BOTH major parties are generally corporate tools neglecting (at best) and trampling (at worst) the common good. And BOTH liberals and conservatives who facilitate or tolerate this are "useful idiots," thinking themselves enlightened when in fact their mindsets bring cynical smiles to plutocrat lips and are themselves the most serious obstacles to progress.


So the extreme right, in the supposed name of freedom, hamstrings a government that's in reality our only available check on and protection against corporate greed. They let unregulated corporations do ever more harm, while attacking the social safety net that, due to corporate predation, is now needed most. On the left, liberal idolaters of Obama buy the pretty rhetoric and forget to apply the far more important test of ACTIONS, failing to see how consistently Obama serves wealthy corporate donors--like Wall Street, fossil fuel companies, the military-industrial complex, and the Israel lobby--at "We the people's" expense. Even worse, under the guise of fighting terrorism, Obama (simply furthering Bush's project) builds an ever-expanding police state that stymies, or at least chills, dissent in times when it's needed most.


That's why need a vocal grassroots progressive group like True Blue Democrats--by locating our revolt in a major party, we can most effectively broadcast the most important news of the day to the mainstream--that almost NO ONE in Washington (not even Democrats, the supposed defenders of "little folks") is serving us at all. We embrace the Occupy Wall Street viewpoint of U.S. government--a viewpoint initially eagerly welcomed by a majority of U.S. citizens and such diverse, distinguished public intellectuals as Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Robert Reich, Ralph Nader, Naomi Klein, Amy Goodman, Cornel West, Chris Hedges, Lawrence Lessig, and Matt Taibbi. And we'd love to see Occupy back in the streets. Check out our Facebook page at . Or our "ruck" at .




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Patrick Walker is co-founder of Revolt Against Plutocracy (RAP) and the Bernie or Bust movement it spawned. Before that, he cut his activist teeth with the anti-fracking and Occupy Scranton PA movements. No longer with RAP, he wields his pen (more...)

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