Forgive student loans? Yeah right! Lower the cost of healthcare? Forget about it! Ensure that the average worker pays less in marginal taxes than billionaires? Think again! It never fails, time and time again the concerns of the people are ignored by our government while the desires of multinational corporations and the oligarchs who own them are heeded at all costs.
Democrats and Republicans have perfected the art duplicity where they blame the other side for inaction while they work in tandem to enrich Wall Street and deprive the “99 percent” of the means to provide for ourselves. When it comes to issues like ending wars of choice, fairness in tax codes, lowering the cost of medicine and other positions that enjoy broad and bipartisan support, Democrats and Republicans point at each other and castigate “the other side” as gridlock is blamed for inertia.
Magically, gridlock turns into the Autobahn Highway the second K Street lobbyists and globalist tycoons make a phone call to Congress or the White House. A government of the people, by the people and for the people has been nullified and replaced with a regime of the plutocracy, by the plutocracy and for the plutocracy. In the process, We the People have been relegated to the sideline, we are allowed to vote for the “lesser of two evils” only to get the same outcome no matter who wins in November.
We have been hoodwinked into endorsing our own disempowerment by procedural sleights of hand so slick that it escapes the minds of most of the electorate. Our governance is all about arriving at special interests’ preferred destination while taking the citizenry for a ride. It starts with what is called a “whip count” where party leaders engage in coercion by way of favors, kickbacks and/or intimidation in order to line up votes.
They call this high-handed tactic “whipping votes” and it is such an integral part of politics in DC that the second most powerful person in the Senate is the Majority Whip while it’s the third most powerful position in the House of Representatives. Such is the unsavory way of our politics that former Majority Whip Tom DeLay used to have an actual whip mounted over his desk because he was such an expert at lashing his underlings back into compliance. In DC, politicians either play ball by getting whipped into line or face the prospect of getting whipped out of office faster than Walmart destroys jobs in local communities.
Once the needed votes have been secured in order to ensure passage of legislation that has the backing of moneyed interests, that is when the chicanery starts. Let’s say 218 votes are required to move a bill from the House of Representatives to the Senate and the Majority Whip has gotten commitments from 228 of his peers, he will then turn around and tell a handful of politicians in vulnerable districts to “vote their conscience”. What he actually means is “feel free to listen to your constituents“ knowing all along that their no votes will not have any material impact on the final outcome.
This is exactly what Democrats like Bernie Sanders and AOC do to Progressives and what Republicans like Ted Cruz and Rick Scott do to Conservatives. They are propped up by party insiders to present a veneer of responsiveness to the demands of the two parties’ respective bases when all along they are gaslighting partisans and bamboozling us into thinking that they are standing against the demands of special interests. The Democrat and Republican parties do an amazing job of pretending to be in opposition when in reality they are in cahoots working for the same neo-aristocracy.
This very same phenomenon was evident last night at Makeda restaurant where Representative Don Beyer, the incumbent I am running against, paid a visit to the Ethiopian community. He said all the right things as he stood against Biden’s shortsighted decision to collectively punish a developing country and side with an extremist faction that terrorized Ethiopia for more than 27 years. He noted his opposition to HR6600 but what he did not tell the crowd is that his one vote means nothing because the final disposition of that legislation resides not with him but with party insiders who whip the vote.
Pandering for the people and groveling for the powerful, our government is broken because politicians like my opponent @DonBeyerVA pay lip service to our concerns while collecting paychecks from corporations and billionaires. #Fikre4VATweet
Play ball or get rolled, that is the choice politicians are faced with the minute they land in DC. If they toe corporate lines and comply with dictates handed down by Biden, Pelosi, Trump, McConnel and the top brass of the Democrat and Republican parties, they are rewarded with plum positions like Chair of the Ways and Means Committee or Appropriations Committee as careerism is rewarded above principle. Those who dare to question leadership or step out of line are chewed up and spit out by being “primaried” or inundated with manufactured scandals that every other politician in DC is guilty of. Under these circumstances, not even saints can overcome the corruptive machine that our government has become thanks to a duopoly that is sold to Americans as a “representative democracy”.
This dog and pony show mixed with a Kabuki dance is the precise reason I am running for Congress. If we actually want authentic change to come to DC and reclaim power as a people, we cannot hope to do so by doing the same thing election cycle after election cycle and expecting a different result. Words are cheap, actions mean everything. We have seen their movies one too many times to realize that Democrat and Republican campaign pledges will always turn into broken promises the minute the last vote is counted in November.
One year of running for office to spend either one year in the House, five years in the Senate or three at the White House ignoring the will of the American people is deftly masked by a media-political industry that maintains the status quo by pitting us against one another. As I noted yesterday, the vast majority of people are a good and decent lot who are driven to antipathy or indifference because they feel their dreams being dashed by never ending uncertainties.
If we could get beyond our differences and create a coalition of voters who care about inclusive justice, we could effect the change we all have been waiting for. Democrats and Republicans, and the establishment writ large, are intent on preventing solidarity that transcends the socio-political divide by inducing strife among the citizenry. At some point, we must take the initiative as a people and stop depending on millionaires working for billionaires to be our saviors. This much is true, we cannot expect a new deal from Democrats and Republicans anymore than we can expect a fair deal from casino owners.
True to form, both political parties are lining up to yet again bamboozle us. Laughably, Republicans are currently running as the party of workers after spending decades trickling down poverty and restoring the gilded age for the corporate CEO and hedge fund manager class. Democrats likewise pretend to care about marginalized groups while diminishing all of us with their economic policies that cater to Wall Street while cratering Main Street. The time has come for a truly independent servant of the people who refuses to take a penny from multinational corporations to shake things up in our nation’s capital.
Billionaires and corporate interests have 435 Representatives, 100 Senators and a President in their hip pockets. Now is our moment for someone from the working class, someone who knows the stress and strains of trying to make ends meet and the pains of filling gas tanks and wincing at the final cost, to be elected so we can finally have a seat at the table. Millionaires working for billionaires is not working for us, it is time for us to work for ourselves. That is why I am running for Congress and asking for your support. When November comes, my fellow Virginians, I’ll be asking for your vote.