Politics

One year on from 6 January, another ‘coup’ looms

The attempted coup of 6 January does not spell the end of the threats to America’s democracy, writes Phillip Farrugio.

OBVIOUSLY, WHAT DONALD TRUMP’S supporters attempted to do on 6 January, one year ago, was a “coup de tat” to frustate the election of Joe Biden. Such actions should be met with all means legally available to the Federal Government.

lmagine if those in the anti war community, or those advocating “Black Lives Matter” even attempted such an action at the Capitol Building. There likely would have been a mass slaughter. Government forces would have opened fire like never before. lmagine the outrage by those very Republican officials, the ones who were cheering the insurrection last 6 January, if the shoe was on the other foot.

They could’ve called for public hangings to be reinstated. 

6 January 2021: America's new 'day of infamy'

There is also the problem of the “silent coup” on the horizon, of the rich holding the Government captive to its interests and demands. This type of coup has existed perhaps since America became a republic over 200 years ago. Unlike most of the industrialised nations, especially in Europe, the super rich who have always run America created this charade of a “two party system”.

The names may have changed but always they gave us, as Ralph Nader called it, “Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum”.

The chance of having viable third party movements has become a thing of the past. lt seems each time that true progressive or true conservative political parties (as with this generation’s Green Party and Libertarian Party) start to gain momentum, the two heavyweights just gobble them up.

As long as the U.S. allows any type of private money into electoral politics, third party movements simply cannot compete with the power of the purse held by the Republicans and Democrats. Not so much is it the actual hierarchy of those parties, but rather the super rich who control them.

We are talking about super rich and powerful folks who make the super rich of generations past look like paupers. These people own and control corporate America to the point where rank and file elected officials must dance to their tunes.

Lessons for Australia from the Capitol attacks

lmagine if the U.S. had complete public funding of all elected offices nationwide. lmagine if working stiffs decided to run and hold office on fair playing fields, how many of us would be able to actually govern?

There are tens of thousands of registered lobbyists working in Washington DC. They exist because, in reality, elected officials listen to them. Because they want the campaign donations that the lobbyist’s client can send them. 

The late Senator Paul Simon of lllinois told the following story. He was on the campaign trail one day and when he returned to his hotel room that evening, he checked the many messages left for him. After reviewing the list, he said he began returning calls.

Simon acknowledged that the first person he called back was one of his regular campaign donors, the one who had given the most. Sadly, he said, this was the reality of it, plain and simple.

Factor Senator Simon’s anecdote in with the myriad of “political action committees” (many of which are funded by the super rich) and right wing think tanks (again funded mostly by the super rich) that have taken over the political landscape. This equals, in one fashion or another, a kind of coup against the American people.

Philip A Farruggio is regular columnist on It’s the Empire, Stupid. He is also frequently posted on Nation of Change and countercurrents.org.

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