The State of our Union
Where and how to begin? Any effort to understand the current status of the United States would be futile, without a clear appreciation of the laborious path we’ve taken to get to the condition we now experience, here, in this first quarter of the twenty-first century.
One of the great failings of human society in general - and of the world of politics in particular - is the predisposition to live, and to think - almost exclusively - in the context of the eternal “now”. For too many people, every condition, every circumstance tends to be viewed in the context of “now”. In such a turn of mind all of our yesterdays are simply “history”. And in such a pattern of thinking history is both quaint - and meaningless. What’s more, our “tomorrows” (it’s commonly believed) are the realm of someone else’s purview, and as such is of their concern alone, to worry about. Hence the ancient adage, “Those who will not learn from the mistakes of history, are condemned to repeat them.” To which could be added, “...while those who do learn, will frequently find entirely new ways, to do the same stupid things.”
The distilled implications of this opening, with regard to the current state of the American condition, can best be understood only in the context of the preceding century and a half of this nation’s existence. Or, stated more simply, as one would expect, we are most certainly the direct product of our history. It is with this understanding in mind, that this writing begins with “the Age of the Robber Barons” - that is, the period between the end of our Civil War (1864), and the beginning of the First World War.
The Age of the Robber Barons
We’ll open by looking back to the American economy, as it existed during the last third of the nineteenth century, although a modern observer would be hard pressed to recognize the “big business” environment of that age. It was a time when vast fortunes were made and lost, in every imaginable industry and field of civil trade. It was an age of monumental industrial expansion, in steel, railroads, telegraphic communications, oil, and canal transport of people and goods. Early steamships plied the seas, and legendary river boats steamed along the nation’s major waterways. But if we take the trouble to scratch below the idyllic, quaint and pageant-like surface of that age, that economy’s darker core quickly becomes evident.
Unlike today’s highly-competitive business environment, the laissez-faire surface of that long-gone age, masked a range of grim realities. It was truly a “free trade” business environment, but only for those who were powerful enough, or ruthless enough, to dominate it - and who were rich enough to own, not simply a business - in competition with like businesses in the same market - but rather to own an entire industry. It was the age of monopolies - monopolies which were each driven - not by a single company - but by a single person! The oil industry in the United States, in that age, for example - was - John D. Rockefeller. There were, of course, other fledgling oil companies. But they only existed as independent entities until Standard Oil had chosen to squeeze them dry, and/or forced them out of business, often through the exercise of shady business manipulation, or even brutal physical force - often, in the end, to be bought out for pennies on the dollar.
During the hearings which had eventually led to the break-up of Standard Oil, there was an account of an alleged meeting between Rockefeller and J. Gould - then the dominant force behind the railroad industry of that age. It had been purported that, in that meeting, the following conversation was overheard:
Rockefeller: “Mr. Gould - your trains carry nearly all of my oil. I want a 20% discount.”
Gould: “Mr. Rockefeller, if I do that I’ll lose money!”
Rockefeller: “No you won’t. Just put a 20% surcharge on everyone else’s oil that you carry.”
In Cleveland, Ohio, where this writer was born, a story was told of the origins of Rockefeller Park - a long, winding strip of land, with a placid creek whose effluent trickled down to eventually empty into Lake Eire. It had been a gift to the City of Cleveland by “the generous benefactor” who’s name it bore. The fact was, however, that It was a strip of leftover land - a part of a major acquisition of land - on which John D. Rockefeller, would build his refinery. In fact, the gift had been made when it was recognized that the presence of the creek had rendered that strip of land useless for any industrial purpose.
But it was the means by which the man had acquired that land in the first place, that’s of particular interest in this discussion. Originally, in the late nineteenth century, the entire property had been a shanty town, mostly beyond the limits of the city - and unsuitable for any other purpose, since it couldn’t support farming, or even grazing. Then one day, the immigrant residents, who’d lived there, were visited by people who purported to be from a paint company - men who offered to pay them each a nominal amount of money to be allowed to paint their shacks - simply as a means of testing, for their new product. Most of these immigrants couldn’t speak English, nor could they read - and even if they could, they wouldn’t have understood the legalese of the documents they were requested to sign. In effect, all they’d actually recognized was the nominal amounts of free money. Then, shortly after, when all of the commitments had been made, a fleet of wrecking crews suddenly appeared to evict everyone from the property “which they’d unwittingly signed away to Mr. Rockefeller”.
Then too, once the refinery was built and fully operational, there was the issue of what that refinery was to do with all of the waste effluent? Of course - the answer was simple - that’s what the Cuyahoga River was for, as it flowed placidly through the heart of Cleveland, into Lake Erie. Finally, in 1969, before the days of effective Environmental Protection, that river actually caught fire. That hellish event was a national spectacle, and a Standard Oil scandal.
Yet all of this was merely a trivial side-story. Over a span of only a few decades, following the Civil War, virtually every major industry in the United States had each become the personal property of a Robber Baron. As noted, Rockefeller controlled the oil industry, as J. Gould did, the nation’s railways. Steel was in the pocket of Andrew Carnegie, and the electrical world was dominated by J. P. Morgan, who’d also made a serious effort to monopolize the nation’s banking. Under the influence of these men, and others like them, monopoly meant that the pricing of goods and services would not be defined by competition, but rather, by whatever the “Baron” decided that he wanted. Then, you either paid the demanded price - or you did without.
But it was the labor-force, which had been organized to power these industries, who’d paid the dearest price, in the age of monopolies. We’ll look beyond the horrors of child labor (rewarded with pennies per hour) who picked stone out of swift moving streams of shattered coal, sometimes at the cost of a finger or a hand. Black lung, explosions and cave-ins of the mining industry, were the hellish realities of industry in general, where “safety” was simply a word in a dictionary. OSHA wouldn’t enter the work force for many, many decades to come.
Hours and wages for labor were set by the Barons, and were subject to change, at the Baron’s whim. And if the laborer didn’t like the extra hour per day that he had to work - for the same money - or the money per week that was suddenly cut from his wages - he had his God-given right to quit - whereupon he and his family were immediately evicted from their company-provided shack. When, in time, labor tried to organize into a bargaining force which might collectively argue for better hours, better wages, and improved working and safety conditions, they were met with Pinkerton’s baseball bats - and rifles. In time, these conditions led to the Pullman riots, and the deadly Carnegie Steel strikes in which dozens were killed, and countless dozens injured - many for life.
If the foregoing were not bad enough, add to it, the hellish trap of the “company store”. The vast majority of industrial sites of that age, were each located on hundreds of acres of fenced land - enclosures which also encompassed the laborer’s living quarters (provided by the company). It therefore followed that the acquisition of food, provisions and all else needed to sustain the lives of the workforce and their families, was available only at “the company store”. But if one found that he couldn’t afford the prices, on his meager wages, there was no problem, since easy credit was available to all. It thereafter followed that for every employee, the inevitable result was the same - an ever-growing debt which, in time, could never be repaid. Inevitably, the indebtedness to the company store physically led each worker into a life of economic servitude, from which there was no possibility of escape. This was the typical life of an average American industrial worker, in the age of the Robber Barons.
It was the winter of 1902 when the Anthracite Coal Strike threatened the fuel supplies of a freezing nation - a situation which finally brought the entire issue of “monopolies” to a head - and to the unavoidable attention of government. The Sherman Anti-Trust Act had been passed in 1890, under the administration of Benjamin Harrison. Yet this had only been the beginning of a labyrinthian legal conflict that would not be fully resolved until 1911, under the Presidency of William Howard Taft - with the Supreme Court’s order which demanded the break-up of the Standard Oil monopoly. It was the beginning of the end, for the age of the Robber Barons - at least for a time.
For a start, Standard Oil was broken up into more than 30 independent entities, each then having to compete for the “public’s dollar”. Soon the same fate befell the monopolies of all other industries. As an inevitable result, the producers of all manner of products and services scrambled to offer the best of their output, at the lowest prices. The age of “actual” free-trade had finally come, as did growth, vitality and the public’s vastly improved quality of life.
Yet, this would prove to have been only the first skirmish in an on-going conflict. The former masters of the national economy then argued that they’d been blind-sided. In the decades since the end of the Civil War, they’d paid little attention to government. After all, they’d reasoned, government represented only about two percent of the national economy, and were seen by the leaders of big-business, simply as pompous fools who huffed and puffed, and generally accomplished nothing at all. “What could THEY do, that meant anything?” The answer to that question, of course, was the Sherman Anti- Trust Act.
Shortly before World War I, it’s purported, that these former giants of American Industry, had gathered together in a private - though monumental - meeting, to discuss the fate which had befallen them. In that meeting, it’s said, they came collectively to two conclusions. The first was that, “This should never be allowed to happen again.”. How this determination was to be accomplished, was their second decision. “They’d sim ply BUY the government of the United States.” Their immediate action, as a result of that meeting, was to literally buy the Republican party - and have continued to monumentally finance that acquisition to the present day.
The ultimate success of that strategy reached a peak in its achievements, in the “Tax Bill” of late 2017", after the Republicans had finally gained control of all three branches of government. Under a shield of bald-faced sophistry, they totally and permanently shredded the taxes which had applied to all of their political supporters (the richest citizens and businesses in the country), and then shifted the heaviest tax burden to the middle-class, and the poorest among us. The cost of this “tax relief for the rich” would simply be added to the Federal debt. The middle class, under this tax bill was given a modest - and temporary - tax relief, while taxes were actually raised on the poorest ten percent of the nation. Robinhood in reverse. Yet while this same tax bill was being passed by that “supposedly conservative” governing party, a review by the non-partisan Government Accounting Office, concluded that its passage would add no less than one and a half trillions to the Federal Debt. (that’s one and a half million, MILLIONS).
Almost at once EXXON-MOBILE announced that under the new tax structure, their corporation alone would realize an immediate six-billion-dollar windfall, (That’s six thousand MILLION). Similar benefits, in consequence of the same legislation, would also accrue to every other major corporation in the country. The ambitions of that fateful meeting among the Robber Barons, a century earlier, were beginning to be fully realized.
Those thousands upon thousands “of millions”, in corporate tax savings, would be added to the twenty trillion of our existing national debt, which had already been created since the end of World War II. One can add to this realization, the world-wide 5000% inflation, experienced as well, since the end of that war. Yet the question must be asked, “How where those trillions of debts actually funded?” Obviously, by a tidal-wave of worthless paper, from the presses of the Federal Reserve Bank - a circumstance that was only possible under the fiat money system which had been created out of the Bretton- Woods Conference of 1944! Before the advent of modern fiat money, near to the end of WWII, debt could only be accumulated by the act of “borrowing physical gold”, from any source that would lend it. In short, our current monumental debt had been rendered possible, only through the advent of paper money. Thank you - Bretton-Woods.
Finally, the public records clearly show that this disastrous tax legislation (of 2017) - which had been flagrantly designed simply to substantially shift the nation’s “wealth”, from the poor and middle classes, to the richest people and corporations in the country - had passed with a mere 25% of public support! Representative government? - Representative of whom?
But how could this have happened - that is - an egregious and socially-destructive legislation, passed in the face of monumental opposition by the American people - within a system purportedly structured as a “Representative Republic”? The answer is really quite simple. It’s called “fiat money”. To properly understand the nature of this phenomenon, we must look back to the time before the end of World War II, when the economy of the United States was based on gold and silver backed currency.
What had not been properly recognized at that time, by the vast majority of the public, was that the paper notes then in circulation (and had been, since the out-break of the Civil War) had never “actual been money”, but were simply “promissory notes”. Such notes (though few people ever troubled to read them) were each inscribed to be exchangeable for silver - or at least for “lawful money”. In short, those notes were never money in the first place, but had simply promised to be redeemable “for money”. Yet the facts which had escaped common perception (here in the U.S., and everywhere else in the world) was the simple truth that so long as a nation’s “money” was silver and gold, such money had been an absolute shackle on the actions of all political leadership. more than that, this reality true - the world over. And this truth was the same, whether any government’s structure, of any nation (whose currency was based in gold and silver), was a dictatorship, a kingdom or a republic.
The core of this simple fact is, that when the currency of any government was based on gold and silver - whatever their political leadership wanted to do (or had to do, to keep their country running), they had to pay for such action! Worse still, they had to pay for their wants, in silver and gold - so that without that precious-metal money, they were powerless! And worst of all (for governing authority) the only place for a government’s leadership to get that precious-metal money, was by taxing it directly out of their people’s pockets - immediately. Finally, to cap it off, to tax money out people’s pockets is an act which can’t be done in secret. Somehow, everyone knows about it.
The immediate effect of these truths - particularly under the structure of a Republic or any representative government - is that governmental leadership, in order to maintain their authority, must keep their people content. In effect, they had to be responsive to the public’s wants and needs. This truth was understood as far back as the Roman empire. Even in that age, leadership realized that so long as their people had their bread and their circuses, the emperors were at liberty to do as they pleased. All of those emperors seemed to understand this, except perhaps Nero - and we all know what happened to him. One could also consider the fate of Louis XVI of France, when “Let them eat cake.” was answered with the guillotine.
So it was, that once the precious-metal money constraints on political leadership, had been removed (with the advent of fiat money) the entire governing equation was made to turn up-side down and inside out. Ruling authority was suddenly at liberty to go to the printing press - as often as they pleased - for all the buying power they wanted - and to then use that buying power for anything they wished. They no longer needed the public. Worse yet, they could use that buying power to do things that might not be popular - things that might perhaps be a bit shady - and since, suddenly, they could do it all in secret, they could do things that could even be flat out criminal. Worst of all, they were at liberty to follow their inherent motivation - loyalty to their party and to the acquisition of power - rather than to the wants and needs of the people. In short - potentially, fiat money would yield an end to any form of representative government.
One example became evident, in the modern history of the United States - in the late 1940s. As an emulation of the Manhattan Project - but newly armed with fiat money - the United States government began to maintain something called a “Black Budget” program - under which an average of sixty billion per year (and sometimes far more) would be spent, on projects that were so secret that not even Congress was allowed to know what that money was spent for. Under new rules of “fiscal un-consciousness”, our march into a national geometric inflation began.
Immediate forerunner - to today’s United States
For the past hundred years or more, the political environment of the United States has been dominated by a two-party system, each with distinctively different concepts of what the fundamental functions of government should be. Following the end of World War I, and the elated period of the “Roaring Twenties”, this nation soon reached what might be called “pay-up” time. The collapse of the Stock Market in 1929 was soon followed by this nation’s Great Depression.
The election of 1928 had brought Herbert Hoover (Republican), into the Presidency, along with his party’s governance, just before the market crash, and the start of the Great Depression. The general political position of the Republican Party of that age - and well into their future - was simply to run the country - and to follow the precepts best encompassed by Harding, when that earlier President had commented that, “The business of America - is business.” Yet while his party was philosophically bound to the idea that their responsibility was simply to support the interests of big business, Hoover was much moved by the plight of the general public, and truly endeavored to relieve the suffering which was evident all around him. People had to find employment, at a living wage, he thought, and public works could be the answer. Hoover Dam was one of his responses - but if government was to “employ” the entire nation, where was the money to come from? He, himself, had no concept of how this puzzle was to be solved - and his “conservative” Republican Congress had no taste for massive debt. In short, throughout his presidency, either through ignorance or philosophy, damned little was done.
Worse still, that administration’s response to the suffering of the general public, verged on the heartless. The veterans of World War I, whose families were staring at starvation, marched on Washington to demand the bonus which had been promised them, to be payable in 1945. They needed that money immediately - not fifteen years later, and they set up a tent camp in a Washington park, which they called “Hooverville”, simply to confront their government with their plight. The Republican response was to order General MacArthur to set up machine guns on the White House lawn, and to send troops and mini-tanks in, to drive out and shut down Hooverville.
November of 1932 witnessed the end of Hoover’s leadership, and the Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the Democrats. There was “a new sheriff in town”, with an entirely new concept of government. Roosevelt’s view was incredibly simple - that the proper function of government was to be the “Great Mediator” - between buyer and seller - between borrower and lender - between employer and employee. Why? Because government was the only entity that was large enough to do so. Government, in the view of Roosevelt and the Democrats, should be as the principle guardian of the nation’s people, and their well-being. The actions of the new leadership (under the National Recovery Act) were massive and immediate. Hoover Dam (renamed Boulder Dam) was enlivened into a massive development program, along with Grand Coulee Dam and Tennessee Valley Authority. The FDIC was created to end the public’s loss of their savings, if a bank failed. Social Security was born along with the protections of the Dept. of Wage and Hour. Other social services appeared as well, all as part of a new social “Safety Net”. Though not then realized, his rebuilding of the nation’s economy, in time made it possible to successfully fight a war on two halves of the of the world at the same time - and then to be a major contributor to the rebuilding of a war-ravaged planet.
The Egregious Evolution of Partisan Politics
The foregoing discussion has now set the foundations on which it’s possible to build a clear understanding of the political and social conditions of today’s United States. During the third of a century which followed World War II, the major parties of this country continued in their philosophical differences, yet both were essentially committed to the basic structures of our republic and to a unified view toward the family of the world’s nations in general - and of the universality of human rights and liberties, in particular. Yet that common stability of philosophy, at least in the Republican party, was to begin a dramatic shift, with the Presidency of Ronald Reagan, beginning in 1981.
Reagan had been a well-known and accomplished movie actor of that era, with no background in government of any kind. He’d never been previously elected to any public office, local or national. Yet his extensive name-recognition, along with his fictional image, generated by the characters he’d represented on film, made him the perfect choice as the masking “image” for the power who was actually to stand, behind the man’s seat in the oval office. That puppet-master - George H. W. Bush - then packaged and sold that image of Ronald Reagan to the general public. Bush had earlier been Director of the CIA, and during that tenure had become the subject of grey and terrifying stories of extra-legal international activities - including the overthrow of unsympathetic governments and the assassination of leaders that he’d distrusted. These acts included his direct support of the Shah of Iran, during which he’d instigated brutal techniques for the suppression of the Iranian dissidents who later rose up to destroy that leader’s monarchy.
It was during the Reagan presidency that an incident occurred, that’s been a mystery to the world ever since - Reagan’s unwarranted and illegal invasion of the Caribbean island of Granada, on the flimsiest of pretexts. After decades of contemplation the current thought is that the invasion had ultimately been instigated by Bush, simply as an experiment to determine precisely how far a President could go, in violation of his oath of office - and get away with it. Under the U.S. War-Powers Act, passed many years earlier, the urgency of the times would allow a President (rather than Congress - as mandated in our Constitution), to declare and prosecute a war against another nation, for up to 90 days, without the advice and consent of Congress. The problem was that such an action first required that two conditions be satisfied. First, the country to be attacked, had to represent a “clear and present danger to the United States”. Granada? A “clear and present danger?” Then finally, under the War Powers Act, Reagan was required to present to Congress a “Finding” that would explain the justification for such an extraordinary action. No such Finding was ever provided.
This was, perhaps, the first indication of a dynamic shift in the motivations, and forthcoming behavior of the Republican Party.
By the time of the Reagan Presidency, the Republican’s profound interest in shifting the basic philosophy of the judiciary toward the needs and interests of the Republican Party, had become clear. It was equally clear that any means for achieving this purpose was acceptable - but never more so than when a Justice died during the Obama (Democratic) administration, fully nine months before a Presidential election. At that point, the Republican Congress refused to even consider any appointment by Obama - thus, retaining an eight-Justice court, until Trump made his appointment, nearly a year later. Finally, as of this writing, the Republican-controlled Congress is considering the approval of a Trump-appointed Supreme Court Justice, who’d already stated, that a sitting President should be immune from criminal prosecution.
In the Bush 43 Presidency, the invasion of Iraq, was the first time in our history that the United States would violate international law by invading a nation which had not first attacked us. Beyond that, the U.S. began to incarcerate captive Iraqis at a specially built prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But unlike any prisoners we’d taken, in any previous conflict, these captives were being held far beyond the end of that conflict - and some, even to this day. The right of Habeas Corpus, unlike any other Constitutional civil right, hadn’t waited for the creation of our Bill of Rights - which itself wasn’t ratified until years after the ratification of our Constitution. It was a right which had been written into the body of our Constitution it’s self - in recognition of the fact that this right had been a cornerstone of western civil law since Magna Carta - in 1215. Moreover, the word “citizen” doesn’t appear anywhere in our Constitution, in relation to “guaranteed civil rights”. All references to rights, in that document, refer to “persons” or “people” - so that in effect, our rights are meant to apply to anyone who comes under the jurisdiction of the government of the United States. Yet here we are, with hundreds of people who’ve been imprisoned without trial, and even without charges, indefinitely.
In time the ACLU and others combined to take the President to court for violation of the Habeas Corpus clause in our Constitution, with regard to the prisoners confined at Guantanamo Bay. As expected, the Court found against the President. But the truly frightening aspect of this event, is that it was a five-to-four decision. All four Justices, who’d been appointed by Republican Presidents, had voted against Habeas Corpus. That vote alone should have been sufficient to have had all four of those Justices impeached - for violation of their oath of office, to “preserve, protect and defend, the Constitution of the United States”.
The vote on that issue, if nothing else, is more than sufficient evidence that Republican politicians consistently appoint ideologs to all levels of the courts, instead of jurists. The “Citizens United” decision of the court was yet another proof. It allowed the ludicrous contention to stand, that “corporations are people too”, and as such, are at liberty to stuff as much money as they please into the coffers of their political candidates.
Consistent with the philosophy of the Robber Barons, the Republican party has successfully advanced a policy of shifting centuries-old public services, from government into the hands of private enterprise - under a concept they call, Privatization. This agenda began seriously in 1971, when the U.S. Post Office Department (founded under Benjamin Franklin) had its status shifted to a semi-private entity, called the “U.S. Postal Service”. But this was only their first move. Under Bush 43, this “half-commercial” private entity was then burdened with annual payments of billions, into a little-known fund that was already filled to over-flowing. The simple purpose was to drive up postal rates. In 1971, the postal rate was 8¢. Today its half a dollar to mail a letter, and rises steadily - with the obvious objective of driving the current postal server out of business, in order to thereafter allow the sale of that service, in its entirety, to FedEx or UPS.
On another front, over the past several years, Federal (and many state) prisons have also been “privatized” - sold into the hands of private business - for private profit. Worse still, the private profits which have been realized have then been fed into the coffers of politicians, in order to encourage such legislation as, ten years in prison for being caught with an ounce of pot. Now, after years under this new prison system, the U.S. - with only 5% of the world’s population - holds 25% of the world’s prisoners.
Even the military, under Republican leadership, has adopted this policy. The Iraq War, under Bush 43, employed more than 30,000 mercenaries, largely from Black Water, before members of that enterprise were convicted (in Iraq) of murder, in a scandal that was so embarrassing that it forced Black Water to change its name.
Perhaps the most egregious facet of this program, is the effort taken largely by Republican dominated states, to literally starve our school systems, nationwide, and then to use the decline in our quality of education, as an excuse to Privatize much of our educational system. This is cruelty beyond imagining - to corrupt the education of an entire generation of children, for the benefit of political power, and private profit.
Under Republican motivation, the philosophy is simple. All of government should be turned into a realm of private businesses - a system of private monopolies, run by oligarchs who are motivated, not by public service, but instead by private profit.
Perhaps the most destructive objectives of Republican politicians, is their move to deregulate the behavior of industry and of our financial institutions. Once more, in direct conformance with the views of the Robber Barons of a bygone age, anything which interferes with the profit-making ability of business must be shredded. So it is, that under the current (Trump) administration, which at last had brought all branches of government under direct Republican control, the number one target of this administration, has been to dismantle any safe-guard for the protection of the people of the United States, which interferes with the profit potential of business.
The Environmental Protection Agency has now been successfully transformed into The Environmental “Pollution” Agency, to now allow the wholesale poisoning of our air and waterways, by industry - to destroy American forests and public lands - an action which countless health organizations argue is certain to maim, sicken and kill an unimaginable number of American men, women and children, for a generation to come.
Beginning about four decades ago, the Republican electoral base began to show a notable decline. Their response was direct, immediate and without any effort to mask their intent - voter suppression. Starting with nearly two dozen states, the moment they’d gained any measure of control, this policy was given teeth - first, through the device called gerrymandering. It’s really quite simple. When drafting the electoral map for the state, they structured the large Democratic-voting areas into two or three huge Precincts - while simultaneously creating dozens of tiny Precincts, each with predominantly Republican voting habits. and since each Precinct votes one representative into the state legislature, their party gained dominance of their political power, with only a minority of the vote. After that, they voted for impossible voter-ID requirements, reduced voting days, and hours, at Democratic polling Precincts, and anything else they could invent, to hobble their opposition.
In light of these understandings, it’s now obvious, as to why the present Republican-dominated Congress does nothing to reign in their tyrannical President. Why should they, when the Russians are doing the Republican’s work for them.
From the Harding administration, and it’s infamous “Tea Pot Dome” scandal - to Reagan’s illegal invasion of Granada - to Nixon’s ignominious crime-related resignation - to Ford’s flagrant “purchase” of his Presidency, with his shamefully “absolute” pardoning of Nixon - to Bush 43's violation of international law, through his invasion of Iraq - and now to the horrifyingly tyrannical administration of Trump - what have we witnessed, in the corrupted evolution away from Lincoln’s Republican party - following that party’s purchase by the Robber Barons, at the turn into the twentieth century? The United States - at one time the light and hope of the world - under the influence of the Republican Party is fast evolving into a nation of oligarchs. Under that party’s influence, during the past twenty years, as the nation’s money supply (and inflation) has doubled, the average income of the American worker has remained virtually flat, while the richest people in the nation have seen their wealth and incomes rise by more than three hundred percent.
We can now only hope that the hellish abuses and criminality of the present Trump administration will prod the American electorate to rise up and demand that our leadership must honor their sworn commitment to our Constitution, and to the people of the United States. Our place of honor and leadership, at home and on the world stage, cries out to be restored - and soon, before it’s too late!