US Politics: A Pseudo Two Party System Where The Left Has No Voice

Since the United States became an empire in 1945, a constant factor at play has been a single political agenda in regard to America’s foreign policy. Ever since Harry Truman the underlying goals of all US policy decisions overseas, made by Democrats and Republicans Presidents alike, have been to assert and expand US global imperialism. The Cold War curiously presented a source of clarity as the enemy, the USSR,  was clearly and conveniently  define as the “evil empire” which needed to be “contained” and ultimately defeated. The Korea war was in this context, so was the war in Vietnam.

The opposition to the Vietnam war in the late 1960s and early 1970s  was the last time the left in America had any impact on foreign policy decisions. The 1980s collapse of the Soviets allowed the only empire still standing to run amok unchallenged and without any real opposition from within because the logic of empire defined in short as “America number one” had Blitzkrieg the public discourse. This sense of American exceptionalism still prevails today.

America’s Political Choices: Either The Right Or The Far-right

Just like American consumers have the choice of either Pepsi or Coke, voters have the choice (if they want their votes to count or be counted) between Democrats or Republicans. And just like the soft drinks in question, the politicians elected in this staged election process  may have a slightly different flavor but are basically the same. Most of them are millionaires, and defend the interest of the establishment as opposed to the interest of the vast majority of the people. Politicians, either Republicans or Democrats, valiantly fight for banks, Wall Street, giant corporations and the pursuit of war for the profit of the industrial-military complex. Just like their soda equivalents Republicans and Democrats make your fat and sick so their good friends from the health-pharmaceutical complex can rip the financial rewards.

For someone who doesn’t live in the United States, it is hard to comprehend that the left has so little room in the parody of democracy that  has become America’s political system where  the real left has been reduced to only two voices lost in a political desert. It is of course Senator  Bernie Sanders and Congressman Dennis Kucinich. Both men  have been heroically outstanding in making their points for a true left agenda, but have been ineffective at making a real dent in the public discourse. To be fair, neither Sanders nor Kucinich get remotely the attention they deserve from corporate controlled US media. There is a reason for it, the challenge they bring to the debate doesn’t fit the status quo. And this is a crime of “lese majeste” in Washington where despite the theatrical “ideological” pseudo-fights the order of  the ruling class, profit and empire must remain the same.

I am not big on personal anecdotes, but in this instance I will make an exception. In March 2009 I was having dinner with some French journalists friends of mine. They were reporting on President Obama’s  wave of “hope and change” and what it could mean for American policies at large. I had to be the cold shower on their ticket parade. When I told them that President Obama will end up implementing policies more right wing than President Sarkozy they looked at me in disbelief. In their mind US Democrats were the left, and President Obama was a “liberal” Democrat.

More than two years later, I think my French colleagues would be fighting less against my argument. President Obama is a Reagan Democrat in the mold of his political ally corporate Democrat Bill Clinton. In America there is no representation for the left, there is the right, calling themselves Democrats, and the far-right, calling themselves Republicans. In America’s political landscape, bad actors ( Ronald Reagan) become mythological politicians and politicians ( Barack Obama) are good actors. Regardless of the Democrat or Republican name tags, it is always about preserving the same interests, and Americans are the ultimate victims of the giant con game.

Third Party Option: It Is Now Or Never

The so called “progressives” who got sucked  into supporting candidate Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton were conned into a carbon copy scheme. They were not the only one. The members of  the  jury for the Nobel  were also easy marks when they awarded war President Obama  a Nobel peace prize, so were my French journalist friends when they bought into the bogus concept of ‘hope and change” while they should have known better.

Two days ago President Obama unleashed his reelection campaign for 2012. His goal is to raised about one billion for this purpose. So far the challenger lineup  coming  from the far-right GOP seems weak. However, an unexpected hurdle for President Obama’s campaign bid could come from the left providing someone seize the moment. Dennis Kucinich gave it an unsuccessful try in 2008, and it doesn’t seem that Senator Sanders believe in himself enough to give it a shot. It leaves the American left with a few outsiders such as Michael Moore. The motto of  business as usual for the global corporate empire, enforced by the  military power of the United States, will never be challenged by either Democrats or Republicans , and it is time  now or never -before a full global corporate takeover- to challenge the status quo within the system with a credible alternative option.

Editor’s Note: All photographs by Gilbert Mercier.




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