THE VIEW FROM HERE - Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely (Lord Acton 1887). All governments need power in order to govern, and thus, all governments gravitate towards corruption which then becomes so all-encompassing that the government becomes Corruptionism.
This weekend, Corruptionism on the national, state and local level hit Angelenos all at once. (1) Mike Pence’s weasel words about Trump (2) The Silicon Valley Bank collapse, (3) The repeal of Glass-Steagall and legitimization of Credit Default Swaps (CDSs), (4) The de facto government on the Mexican side of the border, (5) Soto-Martinez’s denial of leaking the audio tape, (6) George Gascón’s Grand Betrayal. Generally, this column addresses one or two issues in an issue, but Corruptionism as a form of government has so many faces, many of them need attention in the same article.
Identity Politics and Wokeism is the Number One Cause of Polarization
But for Identity Politics -Wokeism we would not be in this fiscal, political, and social nightmare. As this column has written for years, Identity Politics - Wokeism was a lethal threat to the nation since it is derives from atrocious idea that there should be two Americas which are diametrically opposed to each other and that division should be along race lines. (The American Political Science Association’s idea in 1950.) In 1776 when the Declaration of Independence and Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nation were written, polarization between Good and Evil was millennia old. At their core, both the political philosophy of the Declaration and the associated economic philosophy of Wealth of Nations were based on a centrist view of society. Both placed the decisions of individuals at the core of government and finance, and both rejected the group rights approach (aka today known as Wokeism) which had resulted in endless wars and the accumulation of wealthy at the top of society.
Because power corrupts, all power centers oppose the principles in both the Declaration and Wealth of Nations, but for a brief amount of time enough of the old guard set aside allegiance to their own group in favor of a new system protective of individual inalienable rights. As Federalist Paper #10 showed, factions favor a society with never ending internecine wars. A productive society can exist only with a peaceful society not at war with itself. The most sure way to create centrist government is a lethal external threat, which is why the Revolution succeeded. The surest way for a society to disintegrate is the lack of an external threat.
Due to the existential shock of Nazism, with World War II following on the heels of the Great Depression, for a brief time the United States again had centrist government with a centrist fiscal policy, Keynesianism. The GI bill spread the wealth to former military, and then fortuitously, Russia launched Sputnik on October 4, 1957. Although only 12 years old at the time, the Sputnik shock to my solar plexis is something I feel to this day. News journalist Robert R. Murrow’s March 9, 1954's broadcast exposing McCarthy and then Attorney Joseph Welch’s June 9, 2054's rhetorical question to McCarthy, "Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?" had decimated the McCarthy’s domestic dichotomization of America into Good vs Evil.
Murrow’s summation said:
“This is no time for men to oppose Senator McCarthy's methods to keep silent, nor for those who approve. We can deny our heritage and our history but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. ¶ The actions of the junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad and given considerable comfort to our enemies, and whose fault is that? Not really his, he didn't create the situation of fear, he merely exploited it, and rather successfully. Cassius was right, ‘The fault dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.’ ” (Bold added)
Murrow placed blame where it belonged – upon us, collectively, the American people. How far we have fallen, that today’s leaders are so intimidated by polarization that they quake in fear of the Joe McCarthys of the Right and of the Left.
(1) Mike Pence’s Weasel Words
The most former Vice President Mike Pence can manage after Donald Trump had launched an insurrection against the Republic with the goal to hang the vice-president is that “history will hold Donald Trump accountable.” The world knows that Trump tried to assassinate Mike Pence. Yet, the most Pence can say is that “History will hold Trump accountable.” Has anyone used more cowardly weasel words? History holds no one accountable. By the time history gets written, Trump will be long dead and far beyond the reach of any accountability.
That is how polarized our nation has become – even the target of an assassination attempt refuses to hold the culprit responsible in the here-and-now. And no wonder, after two imbecilically botched impeachments, we now have faux criminal investigations into Trump. What is most serious – hush payment to a hooker! How about solicitation of murder? 18 U.S. Code § 373. Subsection c states: “It is not a defense to a prosecution under this section that the person solicited could not be convicted of the crime because he is immune from prosecution or is not subject to prosecution.”
(2) The Silicon Valley Bank Collapse, (3) the Repeal of Glass-Steagall and Legitimization of Credit Default Swaps (CDSs)
When the Pres. Bill Clinton, most Democrats and GOP killed Keynesianism by the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999 and the legitimization of CDS in 2000, they launched the new form of government best summed up with Corruptionism. Corruption is when individuals game the system; Corruptionism is when the entire system has become a criminal enterprise. As Sen. Dorgan (D-ND) predicted, within eight years of ending Keynesianism, the international financial system collapsed. Citizens United v Federal Elections Commission 588 U.S. 50 (2010) is the inevitable result of the abandonment of Keynesianism in favor of Corruptionism, and Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, No. 19-1392, 597 U.S. ___, carries forward the philosophy that the Federal government may not protect constitutional inalienable rights by adopting the position in the Dred Scott Decision 60 U.S. 393 (1856)
Both Adam Smith and Keynes required the government to protect the Price System, but powerful men want to manipulate the Price System by owning the government. Instead, the powerful eternally screech about Supply and Demand, knowing that the public knows less than squat about economics. The grand hubris of Corruptionism is its faith in its ability to flaunt the laws of economics with no day of reckoning. Silicone Bank failure shows that the ability to postpone collapse is a temporary illusion.
A Polarized Society Has No Use for Facts
When a society turns against itself as Identity Politics - Wokeism has turned America against itself, the extreme of each party dominates because in war everything is moral. Just ask V. Putin. Facts provide a basis for a centrist government, but fear and hate are much better for seizing power. While the Right Wing’s rejection of science during the pandemic denoted a descent into ignorant irrationality where emotionalism was king, that departure from sanity was in response to the hyper-partisan turn of the Biden Administration in May 2021 and its abandonment of the centrist approach to the pandemic in favor of a Woker attack on the GOP. May 17, 2021, CityWatch, How the CDC Stabbed Joe Biden in the Back
(4) The De Facto Government on the Mexican Side of the Border
The formal Mexican government did nothing about the murder of two Americans, but the de facto government, The Gulf Cartel, took swift action and handed over the culprits for prosecution. Mexico shows where we are headed – the local thugs assume the role of protector of the innocent. The safest place for an American is now in Matamoros and the least safe is in Los Angeles.
5) Soto-Martinez’s Denial of Leaking the Audio Tape
On Sunday, March 12, 2023, Conan Nolan, host of KNBC’s News Conference, LA’s longest running public affairs program (1966), recapitulated F. Lee Bailey in the OJ Simpson case when he got Det. Mark Fuhrman to unequivocally deny using the N-word. Conan Nolan got Soto-Martinez to unequivocally deny he had anything to do with the leak of the audio tape of the three councilmembers which was the basis for the bogus defamation of all three as anti-Black racists. The time has come for Mayor Bass to become the Mayor of all Angelenos and guarantee the complete investigation of the leaking of the tape, beginning with its making and all the facts and persons involved in its leak and false promotion that the councilmembers were racist. The Los Angeles Times knows the answer but journalists do not reveal their sources. Let’s face it, too many people know who did what for the LAPD not to ascertain all the facts. If the FBI were not already compromised beyond repair when it comes to Los Angeles politics, its involvement would be helpful since lying to the FBI is a federal offense. 18 U.S. Code § 1510
(6) George Gascón’s Grand Betrayal
George Gascón retaliation against his own litigators for objecting to his disregard of the law reveals that not only the Alt Right has scofflaws, but so too the Alt Left. The purpose to replace former DA Jackie Lacey was to install a District Attorney who would treat each person as an individual in pursuit of justice and not to substitute Wokeism in place of his sworn duties.
Post WW II Liberals would be today’s centrists, and extremism has become both a right wing and left wing phenomenon. Tucker Carlson and the New York Times with its 1619 Project are tweedle dum and tweedle dee; both promoting an absurd interpretation of events with no regard for the consequences.
What has really brought us polarization? Corruptionism. The last thing the 1% wants is a centrist government. They need a nation divided against itself, because such a nation cannot long stand. In America, nothing guarantees the power of the 1% than polarization based on race hatred and fear.
To paraphrase Murrow, “and whose fault is that? Not really Tucker’s nor the NY Times’, they didn't create the situation of polarizing fear, they merely exploit it, and rather successfully. ... ‘The fault dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.’” It is up to the GOP to eject Tucker and Trump and it is up to the DEM to eject the Wokers.
(Richard Lee Abrams has been an attorney, a Realtor and community relations consultant as well as a CityWatch contributor. You may email him at [email protected]. The opinions expressed by Mr. Abrams are not necessarily those of CityWatchLA.com.)