CORRUPTION WATCH-A Passion for Ignorance, Corruptionism and Group Rights act like three riptides at Venice beach to drag the American Republic out to sea and drown it.
The Passion for Ignorance
The Right Wing, which used to grouse about the Lame Street media, has embraced Fake News in its most tabloid form where the President of the United States repeatedly declares that the media is the “enemy of the people.” The irritation of a leftist bias in the national media has morphed into an attack on facts. There is a world of difference between pointing out that the media omits crucial facts, (something the LA Times is adept at doing) and the outright heralding of falsehoods.
Excesses on one side liberates the other side to engage in similar bad behavior. We now see headlines like, “Trump fires tear gas at women and babies.” Millions of people believe such headlines to be true. Even allowing for the use of Trump as a metaphor, millions still believe that acting on his orders, the border patrol for no rational reason fired tear gas directly at women and babies. The left of center’s passion for this ignorance is as great as the right of center’s passion for nonsense like Hillary murdered Vince Foster.
Passion Trumps Reason
Emotional memes override common sense and dispense with any analysis. We are presently seeing the left gripped by the memes of “Medicare for All” and “Single Payer” without acknowledging that these memes have no fixed meaning. Newly elected Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Perez (D-NY) likens the migrant caravan to the origins of the Holocaust. Talk about a mixture of ignorance and cultural misappropriation! On the right side we see an exuberant love of the continual lies about the criminality of immigrants, who have a lower crime rate than native born U.S. Whites.
Ignorant passion feels good, as people think it is cathartic. Basing decisions on fact gathering and sober analysis is laborious. The Mueller Investigation is an example – it is slow because it takes a long time to gather all the evidence. For months, left leaning pundits have been proclaiming each morsel found as conclusive proof of Trump’s collusion. If Mueller had reached that conclusion based upon evidence, he would have issued his report.
The latest news about Trump’s private attorney Michael Cohen suggests that Trump was using his political campaign to benefit his business dealings in Russia. Trump’s repeated pro-Putin statements appear to have been his signaling that if Trump won the Presidency, Russia could expect favorable treatment. The (unspoken) quid pro quo was for Russia to help Trump win. “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said at a July 2016 news conference.
We do Not Know Yet
While many see the handwriting on the wall, we do not know what Mueller will report. Considering Trump’s reckless disregard for the truth and his extreme agitation over investigation into his private business (as if one’s business cannot be treasonous), it would be surprising if the Mueller Report does not end Trump’s Presidency. We need to put passion aside and wait for the facts. Anything less harms the Republic itself which rests upon the rule of law.
As this column is usually subtitled, “Corruption Watch,” I have written much about Corruptionism, especially in the City of Los Angeles. Corruptionism exists when the system itself is based on corruption as opposed to individual criminal behavior. The FBI’s focus on Councilmember Huizar’s individual attempts to have his wife replace him on the city council will no doubt be blind to the decade’s long Vote Trading system at LA City Council. Since Penal Code 86 criminalized vote trading, the City Council fuses corruption with the political system, thereby meriting the appellation, “Corruptionism.” In December 2016, Judge Richard Fruin approved this criminal enterprise by declaring the City Councils’ actions are “non-justiciable,” i.e. above the law.
Nationally, the United States finally shifted from Keynesian economics to Corruptionism with the repeal of Glass-Steagall and the legitimization of credit default swaps. While Obama had the mandate to reverse the economics of Corruptionism, he chose a regressive form of economics which could be called “Wall Street-ism” where trillions of dollars flowed to the bankers, i.e. the 1%, while Americans become poorer. In addition to the trillions that went directly to Wall Street, another $15 trillion secretly went to European bankers.
Few admit to the destructive undertow that national corruptionism has affected the American Republic. Its devastation of Whites in the Rust Belt laid Trump’s path to the White House.
The Pernicious Evil of Group Rights
As previously written, Group Rights in the form of slavery is America’s original sin. Group Rights in any form imperils the Republic, but for decades neither political party could claim national representation of any group.
According to Tascha Mounk’s article in The New Yorker Magazine, “At the federal level, the two parties resembled loose associations of disparate interests rather than ideologically cohesive movements. They had few resources and virtually no means of insuring ideological discipline among their members. Many Democrats were more conservative than many Republicans.”
Starting during the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidency, the GOP oriented itself nationally with a brand of Group Rights. It combined an amorphous Silent Majority (which basically meant fundamentalist Christians) while the Democrats sought to build a national coalition of minority groups, claiming that each group, as opposed to each individual, represented the origin of one’s rights. The quota system under Affirmative Action manifested this approach, while the anti-abortion GOP position was a group rights pitch to Fundamentalists.
The Undercurrents Imperil the Nation
Today, the undertows of Ignorance and Corruptionism are combining to drown the Republic in an ocean of Group Rights. The decency of George H. W. Bush in contrast to the crass buffoonery of Donald Trump highlights the imminent danger. A republic based on corruptionism which capitalizes on emotional memes and calls for group rights cannot survive. “A house divided against itself cannot stand." -- Abe Lincoln, 1858
(Richard Lee Abrams is a Los Angeles attorney and a CityWatch contributor. He can be reached at: Rickleeabrams@Gmail.com. Abrams views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.