**Please also note that this piece illuminates why it is that Bernie Sanders has not been a Democrat, why he has refused to be part of this toxic two party system, why he is now infiltrating the Democratic Party and calling for a Political Revolution, and why the push back and propaganda against Sanders is so overwhelming. There truly is a choice at this point in time between very bad and a nightmare. Critical to this is that we each take upon ourselves the enormity of the responsibility we have to inform ourselves and consciously act upon that which we are learning. I experience this as the imperative of our time.
|Detroit, Michigan. This one makes me cry. I grew up outside of Detroit.|
How a Society Treats Its Children
How a society treats its children is a powerful moral and political index of its commitment to the institutions, values, and principles that inform the promises of a real democracy. When measured against such a criterion, it is clear that the United States has not only failed, but continues to embrace death-dealing policies that will surely result in democracy's further demise. According to a report released by the Southern Education Foundation, for the first time in history half of U.S. public school children live in poverty. The U.S. Department of Education reported in 2013 that there were 1.3 million homeless children enrolled in U.S. schools, up 85% since 2008; and the organization Feeding America has estimated that 16 million children, or 21.6%, live without food security. As Jana Kasperkevic points out:
"Those numbers are representative of the growing problem of child poverty in the U.S. Overall, one in five U.S. children live in poverty. It has only recently been dropping, with 14.7 million U.S. children living in poverty in 2013, down from 16.1 million in 2012. In 2012, out of 35 economically developed countries, only Romania had a higher child poverty rate than the U.S." .....
Lies, misinformation, and the spectacle of entertainment frame how issues are presented to the North American public by the vast cultural machinery of education that extends from mainstream news media to conservative think tanks. For instance, in the aftermath of the 2014 election, ABC, CBS, and NBC all claimed that the government will be more sharply divided as a result of the Republican takeover of both houses of Congress. What the mainstream media failed to point out is that both parties have more in common than what divides them. The parties both support the consolidation of power in the hands of the financial and corporate elite. Both parties have passed policies that cut back on social provisions for the needy while providing tax breaks for the wealthy. That is to say, both parties, as Aron Gupta points out, have enacted "policies that increase the wealth and power of those on top of the economic pyramid." Moreover, at an essential level both parties need the financial support of the financial elite to get elected in an authoritarian society in which money rules politics and kills any vestige of democracy. Meanwhile, the established press played up Obama's claim that he is willing to cooperate with the Republican Party - as if this represents a new era of bipartisanship in the United States. What is missed in this run to judgment is that these parties have been cooperating for years on maintaining the privileges of the ultra-rich, corporations, and bankers, while a the same time punishing the poor, unions, the working class, immigrants, and minorities of color.
The only major difference between the two U.S. political parties is that the Republicans wage naked class warfare without any apologies or political concessions, while the Democrats offer a few painkillers to soften the blow. Yes, in some cases, Democratic leaders such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama outdid their Republican counterparts in consolidating class power and imposing enormous hardships and misery on the poor and middle class. Clinton expanded the punishing state, callously removed millions of poor women and children from the welfare system, expanded the war on drugs, and dissolved the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which helped pave the way for the financial crisis of 2008. In several ways, Obama makes George Bush look tame given his unprecedented war on whistle-blowers, use of the sweeping state secrecy doctrine, escalating violation of civil liberties, waging of drone warfare that often resulted in the indiscriminate death of civilians, and reckless establishment of an illegal kill list with the power to name U.S. citizens for assassination. To make matters worlds, Obama has refuse to prosecute corrupt bankers or CIA agents who engaged in torture, and has deported and imprisoned record numbers of immigrants.
In spite of what the established media claim, the 2014 election results contained a hidden order of politics that do not suggest a popular shift to the right, but a failure of both parties, especially the Democratic Party, to address the needs and mood of an ailing electorate.
- Henry Giroux
Excerpted from America's Addiction to Terrorism