One of the enduring conceits of our time is that we still have a semi-functioning two-party system in American politics.
Most people still don't believe their lying eyes. They can smell the rot in Washington, DC, as far away as Sitka, Alaska. But they have been so conditioned into believing that if only we swap out the treacherous rascals in Washington, everything will turn up lilies and lavender.
They do not truly grasp that there is no longer—and has not been for several decades—any difference between the two parties, between liberals and conservatives. That all have been silently horned into a unique party. To keep the rules alive and people believing, there are rules to the uniparty:
1. Republicans and Democrats must continue to carry out the pomp and pageantry—and vote-stealing—associated with elections.
2. Republicans and Democrats must carve up different slices of the federal whale for themselves, respecting each other's cuts like sushi chefs in a crowded kitchen.
3. Republicans and Democrats must pretend to be constantly fighting to the death for their very survival.
Oh, and the rules are firm. As for any considerations of the proper role of government in a free society, checks and balances, that kind of thing? All that kind of thing is gone. By design, by very careful design.
Those few politicians who object to these firm rules and try to stand on the principles that got them elected soon find themselves occupying basement offices without windows or reliable mail services; sweating through do-nothing committee assignments; regularly receiving one-way tickets back to their home districts gifted to them by their party leadership. There's no place for them in Washington, DC, today.
This is a cousin of another conceit: the belief that solutions even come from Washington, or that Washington can help in reform and renewal. If I have learned anything in my 45 years in politics, it is that no solution to a problem will ever come from Washington. Washington is the place where solutions to problems go to die.
The Great Trick: Punish Dissent Without Force
Though much has changed in America over the years, there has been one constant: Every thinking American, it turns out, detests totalitarians in all their shades of shamefulness. We recognize their sort when we see them, and we just don't like them. It is our intellectual laziness as a nation that has allowed the elite state to undermine those checks and balances.
Yes, there is an urgency to our national condition now. No longer a hazy, easily shrugged-off fear that something's not right. There's wrong now. All around us now. We recognize that the playbook dictators have always used is now being used against us.
What Kind of Person Will You Be?
I'd like to think you're up for changing some water and joining with good people in defense of the highest values of our republic, the values we've seen pounded down. I'd also like to think you're ready to step into the ring with us—and counterpunch!
In 1983, I had just graduated from the University of Washington, and I'd loaded all my
belongings into my Mustang for the long drive to the nation's capital and an even longer-lived dream to work for President Reagan.
I was soon appointed executive director of the US International Youth Year Commission, and I was ecstatic. Little did I know that I'd been hired as a fresh young face to front for the elite state. While I fully believed that I was working for America on the front lines of the Reagan Revolution, I was in fact a front man for an intelligence operation that was targeting youth in America and abroad.
Back then, the elite state was something of a fledgling operation, far less offensive and not nearly as lethal as today's fully mature organization. Since they were so well hidden behind a façade of government respectability, it would take me many years to fully understand how arrogant and greedy these new American royals had become, and how that same arrogance and greed has become their biggest vulnerability, the way we can strike back.
Nobody pretends that jumping into the ring will be easy. So many of us have become disillusioned and spiritually cold. It is this robust faith that has always safeguarded our American freedoms.
But the fires of that faith have almost burned out, and like a campfire that has burnt all night, there are only embers. Now we must kneel before them and, with God's help, blow on those embers.
With the oxygen of a renewed spirit, our American dream can be revived. It all starts in the hearts of good people yearning for that revival.
For more information on "Counterpunch" or to order the book, visit charismahouse.com.
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Floyd Brown is an American author, speaker and media commentator. He is the former CEO of USA Radio Network. Brown founded the conservative website The Western Journal in 2008. In his early career, Brown worked as a political consultant and conducted opposition research for political campaigns.
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