Thursday, June 14, 2007

Rise and Fall of a Constitutional Democracy: The United States

The United States can't be conquered by military invasion or technological devastation. It can be conquered by an idea.

While it may be true that the United States can never be defeated by an external foe, the neo-con Republicans have demonstrated how it can be conquered internally. These Republicans are truly radicals, not conservatives, who favor a unitary executive over checks and balances. The current administration's neo-cons seem to have failed in their attempts to subvert the United States Constitution and institute a 1000 year reign. Next time they may succeed.

How to overthrow the Republic

Neo-cons have demonstrated the several areas that must be controlled in order to take over our Constitutional government. Among these are:

1. Subvert the news media: It is clear that the major media outlets, and their journalists and editors, have been compromised in various ways. Not only have they become self-editing, but also the administration is adept at playing the news cycles. News organizations focused on the bottom line have closed overseas bureaus, cut experienced staff, depleted research resources and pandered to the gossip mongers. Without a truly adversarial Fourth Estate, this administration has led us into war, politicized public agencies, committed any number of felonies and thumbed their noses at the other branches of government.

2. Stack the courts with anti-Constitutional judges: This is not an issue of left or right or conservative or progressive. This is an issue of upholding and defending the Constitution, as it was intended by the Founding Fathers. Republican appointees who put party above the Constitution allow the Republic to fail.

3. Distract the public: This may be contingent on #1. The main stream media fill their airwaves and pages with non-news trivia. These modern bread and circus pageants distract the population from understanding and pursuing the own best interests.

4. Cripple the military: The Iraq adventure has accomplished two key things. It has severely stretched our professional military and it has depleted our national guard resources, both in manpower and material. It has also allowed the creation of a large private army that is loyal to their corporations ahead of their country. The Romans had their Praetorian Guards. We have Blackwater.

Another unintended consequence of the occupation in Iraq is the filtering of any senior military opposition to the administration's agenda. Military yes-men have risen to the top, the naysayers have taken early retirement.

5. Weaken the middle class: With more of us scrambling to meet our financial obligations, fewer of us have sufficient time to devote to investigating political wrongdoing and participating in its correction.

6. Game the political process: Republicans have been adept at filling local election positions with those key players who can help stack the deck in their favor. Control of local election oversight positions has been used to influence election rules, purge voter lists and swing close contests to their party. Districts have been gerrymandered to ensure reelection of the incumbent.

The current takeover attempt has failed due to corruption and incompetence spread throughout all three branches of our government. It isn't too hard to imagine a future in which a more competent, less corrupt cabal of political radicals succeeds where their predecessors failed. The blueprint for a future successful takeover of the United States has already been created for them.

Our contemporary neo-cons have succeeded in introducing the idea that the our Constitutional form of government can be subverted from within. When future historians attempt to pinpoint exactly when the United States ceased being a constitutional democracy, they could do no better than to choose 2007. This is when the seeds were planted that led to the end of the American Republic and the beginning of the American empire.

You heard it here first.


Anonymous said...

I would think what will signal the beginning of the American Empire is how people respond to the exposes of lies and lawbreaking and secrecy. Many still want to pretend what these so-called conservatives have done isn't happening, or else they support absolutist rule outright. In this way, I would agree that 2007 will be a deciding year.

But I belive the election of 2000 was the signal event, the one that historians in the future will look back and point to, rather than anything that happened (or may happen) in 2007.

We had a president who was appointed, not elected, and was appointed by a handful men who represented the exclusive and narrow interests of the appointee's own ideological fellow-travelers. I think it is that act that will ultimately prove to be the milestone in any historical assessment of the beginning of the end of the former Republic of America, if there ever is a former republic of America.

The year 2000 was the tipping point, the beginning of the ascendency of a deeply un-democratic GOP. In 2000 the Neocons who had already assimilated the GOP in particular and conservatism in general, and transformed both into their current manifestations. The GOP is the party of Bush is the party of the Neocons. The GOP *is* Bush's party, the Neo-con party; it is the party that whole heartedly threw its core 'conservative' principles away when it came to a choice following those principles or following the Neocons.

To be a conservative in 2000 meant you were an ardent support of the astoundingly despotic neocon theories of 'unitary executive' with their schemes of foreign intervention which were already waiting in the wings, waiting for their 'Pearl Harbor' moment.

That Supreme Court decision of the 2000 presidential election meant exactly this: The constitution, the concept of elected and representive (and therefore accountable) government and indeed our entire history of political process up to that time could be ignored or discarded at the descretion of a cabal of so-called conservatives. This was the harbinger of our Republic's future.

I agree the U.S. is still a republic, but it is under systematic attack and threatened far more seriously from within by the GOP than from without.

It was an inside job. George Bush and the GOP did more to harm this country, its people, and its basic democractic freedoms -- those rights still enumerated in our Bill of Rights -- than any terrorist anywhere ever could do. The terrorists did not strip habeas corpus from American citizens, nor direct torture prisons, nor spy on millions of Americans' private lives, nor did they expose an American spy working on WMDs. Neither did they make a mockery of the lofty principles of America, and cast aside the American belief in the value of the rule of law -- and the respect we had around the world by all nations, friend and foe, for striving to live up to that belief.

Nor could the therrorists ever generate the kind of fear they inspire today. Their whole strategy -- the creation of fear, the terror of terrorism -- has been systematically promoted and augmented by Bush and his criminal gang, for their own shallow and self-serving political purposes. This terror that the GOP has adopted as its own dark familiar has been used as a means to start and justify a war where there was no just or legal cause, to get their own kind re-elected and to brand critics -- levelheaded or not, inside their own party or not -- as "against us" and unpatriotic.

Nineteen suicidal hijackers armed with boxcutter knives in no way could change the institutions of this nation, no matter how many buildings they toppled or how many office workers and passengers they murdered in their fanatic appempts.

For America to truly lose its freedoms, for it to truly suffer a collapse of its political institiutions, for democracy to be harmed in any significant way would require an attack against these core principles to be orchestrated from within -- AND a willing reception by the people of the nation.

The 'terraists' have no such power, nor will they ever. If they succeed it is because of what Bush and his fellow travelers have done. Osama bin Laden never had better allies.

2007 is not yet over and bald unconstitutional power grabs of our God-directed dictator-hopeful may still be attempted.

As you noted, there is nothing conservative about this bunch. They are the most radical faction to have ever seized control of the reins of our government in our history.

And the large majority of people simply said nothing. Now, as in 2000, the fake reality of reality TV garners greater attention and concern. Whether Paris Hilton goes to jail is of more interest to many.

I remember when Pat Roberts, Republican senator, said "I am a strong supporter of the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment and civil liberties. But you have no civil liberties if you are dead." ( Like most GOP so-called conservatives, a hypocrite. You cannot be a supporter of our most basic rights, of our core principles of democracy, if you are willing to give them up in exchange for living as a slave.

Patrick Henry, who demanded death if he could not have liberty, would have known exactly what to say to this fool of a yellow-striped senator.

If the majority of this nation continues to passively accept these radical and profoundly undemocratic ideas, perhaps because they are too complacent of the consequences or unable to draw effective conclusions of the meaning of all this, then the republic, "this great experiment", will likely draw to a close. An empire with all-powerful rulers will replace it, and our congress will become merely a patronage apparatus, a symbolic deliberative body just like the Roman senate under its own emperors. We will become ruled by men, and not by laws.

All empires require emperors. The Romans eventually welcomed theirs. Will we ours?

Dr. Fallon said...

Good post, Bob. See also here and here.