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Primaries, democracy, and other “legal” fictions

Power does not share.

Regardless who possesses it, power does not give. Power does not share. Power does not relent. There is no such thing as a bloodless revolution. There is no such thing as the peaceful transition of power, only its illusion. Power corrupts. It doesn’t matter whether that truth is at the micro or macro level. That’s a promise.

The lust for power is never ending. It is a lust that transcends contrived, make-believe national borders. It is a lust shared by all races, genders, religions and tribes. If there is anything to “natural selection” then the lust for power is in the DNA of everything.

That lust also provides its own top-cover. Power has the---eh, well---power to even change the meaning of words and acts. By changing the meaning of those words power is able to simultaneously keep its power while deceiving the rest of us into a make-believe world in which we share in that power.

That cunning deception is what has for millennia after millennia kept power concentrated in the hands of the few at the expense of the many---you and me. That pretty much makes a fact out of, birth is destiny.

Being an election year and all, it is particularly appropriate that we should be having this coming of age discussion.

By the way, the analysis, the blow by blow, so to speak of the make believe “fog, friction and uncertainty” of political campaigns, races and outcomes is of interest to novices and those who make a ton of money dissecting fiction. Go there for that dishonest and fictional balderdash. You know the diatribe, turning Texas red, blue, bringing about “real change” and so on.

I sense you’re looking for examples. Well okay then.

Much is said about the great American Democracy. For those who fall in line, have money or lick boots or all of the above there is the illusion of “democracy;” for the rest of us, not so much. By the way, from the outset the words drafted were beautiful, purposeful and such that it would moisten the eyes of almost any egalitarian while leaving an enormous, yawning gap for improvement.

Sadly, the words, “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal….” were from the outset, an illusion, a parlor trick at best.

The “men” that were equal were at that time those men who were white, over 21 and real property owners. Almost two and a half centuries ago that was at best a fraction of the population; which meant that in reality there could be little expectation of “equality.” Yet the notion was so compelling that men and women, black and white were willing to die for the notion hoping against hope that it would be so.

Look around you, did it turn out so? The US is 5% of the world’s population and holds 25% of the world’s incarcerated. State after state is outlawing individual rights and reinforcing slave-state legacies. Change? Seriously?

Then there’s the word bribe for example. Bribes are by definition the simple, direct and functionally honest, if secret, transaction or exchange. It is the buying or paying for something. That could be influence, a contract, sex, it doesn’t matter. Regardless, something is exchanged for something, usually money. There is no illusion that the exchange is anything but what it is. There is no illusion of what is being given, requested or what the price is. In that sense it’s much like buying sex. The buyer and seller each know pretty much what the price is and what’s expected. That is as functionally and transactionally as honest, if non-transparent as anything gets.

Campaign contributions, especially big ones are no different. They are “legal” bribes. For most intents and purposes, bribes are what the Johns, contributors, pay the escort, the office seeker, in exchange for a preference or influence for a given political bent or persuasion; in short favoritism or preference. Put another way, when you pay big money for something, you expect to get it.

Contributors whether the sum is great or small, do so with the expectation of an anticipated outcome. That outcome may be a victory in a race for political office, a particular political leaning or maybe just “change.” But the hoped for outcome is the reason for the contribution or legal bribe.

Regardless the money was not given out of an altruistic passion. Are there exceptions? Well of course there is and sometimes some one wins the lotto. However, the odds of getting what you expected are much better with the lotto (200 million to one) than in “democracy” and “politics.”

What do I have to tell you about a nation that has to keep passing laws generation after generation attempting to enforce individual “rights” while fighting the moneyed powerful who insist on robbing us of any sense of democracy, equality or freedom. What do I have to tell you about a nation that takes two giant leaps backward for any tiny step forward in terms of anything resembling democracy, equality or freedom?

That is the reality whether the topic is abortion, voting rights, civil rights, healthcare, the for-profit prison-industrial complex or the egregious apartheid public education system.

The off-year general election is in the offing and many hope for “change.” The reality if you closely and honestly is that the outcome is a given, the power brokers have already placed their “contributions”, if you will, and only the novices and uninitiated are still waiting for the outcome.

From Texas Red: a cratered landscape of for profit prisons, deplorable apartheid public education, lack of healthcare and politicians and majority population intent on keeping it that way…

Hasta Siempre,

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