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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/10/15

We Have a Dysfunctional Government, but Hope is on the Way.

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Message Joseph Clifford

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Americans lag way behind the rest of the world in political thinking, but it may not be entirely their fault. We have a corporate media that merely acts as a mouthpiece for the official government line and champions the cause of corporatism in this country, so Americans never really get to hear or see what is going on. Because their media is not so controlled, Europeans on the other hand, are more politically informed. In any case because Europeans are more informed, they are ahead of us in figuring out the political landscape. Three examples illustrate.

In Greece, after years of suffering at the hands of the international banks and being ruled by two major political parties that did absolutely nothing to alleviate the economic misery, the Greek people left their parties. Greeks in mass finally saw the light, gave up on their two major parties, and simply walked away from them and jumped on the bandwagon of a formerly obscure political party, Syriza. That party, in less than one year, has risen to be the majority party and ever since the election, polls indicate that Greeks are even more excited about their new found party than prior to the last election. Greeks have enthusiastically supported Syriza because they figured out that Syriza, unlike the major parties, supports the Greek people and will fight to improve their lot. The other two parties in Greece have been abandoned by the population because they were part of the establishment and used rhetoric and empty promises, but never did anything to gain relief for the people of Greece. It should be noted that the Greek people have suffered great financial hardship with economic figures in Greece more severe than were our numbers in the Great Depression. The establishment in Europe, led by the big banks, is petrified of this change and have done their best to gang up along with corporate media outlets, to cast Syriza in an unfavorable light. The financial interests in Europe have worked very hard to destroy Syriza, as is sets a very dangerous precedent for curbing the power of corporations and banks. Here the corporate media has not discussed the happenings in Greece. It is intentionally a well-kept secret in this country. So far the Greek people have seen through the anti Syriza propaganda and have continued to rally to Syriza.

In Spain, almost a carbon copy of the rise of Syriza has occurred, with the rising party being called Podemos. Podemos, like Syriza, has risen from obscurity to, according to the latest polls, the majority party in Spain. The Spanish finally realized that neither of their major political parties really do anything to help the lot of the Spanish people. Their parties, like ours, are merely tools of the banks, corporations and special interest groups. At long last the Spanish people, just like the Greeks, saw the light; that is they would never get relief from the major parties as they are corrupt and unrepresentative of the masses. Spaniards did the same thing as the Greeks; they just gave up on the major parties and walked away from them, and have rallied behind Podemos, a Syriza like party in Spain. Once again the corporate world and the banking world is frightened, and have done what they can to sabotage Podemos, but once again, like in Greece, the Spanish people have seen through the propaganda war by the upper class. Polls indicate that Podemos will win the next national election in Spain. The remarkable rise of Podemos in Spain has been kept from the US public.

A third example is Iceland. Like Greece and Spain, the people of Iceland finally have seen the light. The political establishment in Iceland is too corrupt and unrepresentative to bring any substantial change to the people of Iceland, and so you have the emergence of another formerly obscure political party. Polls indicate the new "Pirate Party" has grown dramatically with its support doubled in recent months, and now the most popular party in the country. Once again the people of Iceland finally "got it". The light went on and they just left their major parties out of disgust, and flocked to the Pirate Party.

Meanwhile back in the US there might be some hope. Perhaps Americans are finally waking up to the realization that neither party will really do anything substantial to help the masses. We have a dysfunctional political system that is corrupt with politicians from both sides selling themselves to special interest groups and large corporations. A recent comprehensive study of the major political parties and the US government told us what some already knew; that the average and the poor have no voice in government, while the rich and powerful control it, an can get pretty much whatever they want. In the last election about 70% of the eligible voters stayed home out of disgust. So the presidential season is now beginning to get under way, and so far it appears both parties are sticking with the status quo. Republicans have dusted off Jeb Bush and he seems to be their leading candidate, while Democrats have offered the status quo in Hillary Clinton, who loves war and is owned by the financial interests and corporations. Once again voters are presented with the "lesser of two evils". But wait! Bernie Sanders jumped in as a candidate, and while he represents a major party, he is a maverick and not in the graces of his parties establishment. His emergence shocked and freighted some observers as he raised over one million dollars in one day from small donors all around the country. Sanders is not the answer however. He is certainly anti big bank, and for workers' rights, however on the biggest issue of the day, that of war and peace, he is a mainstream candidate, only critical of the way we have fought and pursued our policy of endless war. While he is not the answer to our needs, his early success indicates the US public is willing to embrace someone other than the two establishment parties who do not represent the US public. Is it time for a Syriza, Podemos, or a Pirate Party to rise in the US? Have Americans finally begun to see the light and have they finally concluded that neither or the two major parties will ever bring them relief and representation? Let's hope, so as it appears to be our very last hope.

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Joe Clifford lives in Rhode Island and has written a regular column for an online newspaper and has contributed many articles to various RI newspapers. His articles deal almost exclusively with American Foreign policy but ventures into other (more...)

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