There’s been a lot of talk for years about a concerted effort, a conspiracy if you will, to dumb down America. There are several ways that many see this situation unfolding: TV barrages that erode critical thinking, a prescription drug policy designed to dose school children, etc. Often, the focus is not on our education system, but on the myriad of other reasons attributed to the decline.
There was a time when the US government-sponsored K-12 education system was the model for the rest of the world. We were cranking out some wonderful minds. But over time, that relationship between students and educators was strained to the point of breaking. One of the main culprits was coporate involvement (mostly big pharma and private charter schools). The US education system has suffered, ever since.
But there’s more than one elephant in the room. The other elephant is our government.
I’m sure most can remember how the mainstream media obfuscated all mention of third party candidates during the 2016 primaries, and before. Clearly, there is a demographic missing here; largely, the one that the media tried so desperately to say “would now go with Hillary” once Bernie Sanders dropped out, but clearly didn’t. They just reported lower voter turnout in areas that actually had overflowing lines of voters.
Hundreds waiting in Akron at the only early-voting site in Summit Co, OH. Had to be in line by 2pm. A sheriff’s deputy turning people away. pic.twitter.com/IRnQ9wgZA1
— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) November 7, 2016
— Monica Klein (@MonicaCKlein) November 6, 2016
This maintenance of the 2-party system is mandatory, to thwart any young upstarts from ever gaining a foothold.
If you really want to “retard” learning, dumb down our schools. If you really want to retard thinking, dumb down our government. The subsequent dumbing down of the media, and the masses, will soon follow.
When one says “dumbed-down government,” an image is painted of inept public servants, running around bumping into each other with papers flying everywhere. Although the system does require some oblivious politicians, the point is not to paint all politicians as stupid. The “dumbing down” comes in the form of limited thinking, and it can dull the brightest of minds.
Bipartisan thinking can be viewed as a dumbed-down form of thinking, exceeded in its simplicity only by singular thought, where no outside ideas are even considered, let alone immediately rejected. This reduces us all to seeing everything in B/W terms, eliminating introspection, eliminating objective thought—you are infallible, they can do no right. It’s similar to singular thought in that regard, but made worse by the fact that there is an enemy to focus our sense of difference on. There’s only one other side, and it’s bad. It’s as bad as it can be. The only problem is, the other side is saying the exact same thing about you.
It’s literally tribal, caveman thinking, and we have all become just a little dumber as a result.
In this environment, no learning is possible. If you’re teaching a classroom full of college students and none of them believe what you’re saying, they are not likely to learn much from you. Facts don’t matter if you reject them outright. Learning requires the belief that you’re being given unbiased, accurate information, and a mind that is both open to your own limitations and capable of seeing the logic in opposing arguments.
In this environment, no growth is possible. Growth requires trust that you’re being cultivated for reasons other than your own manipulation by people with your best interest at heart. Bipartisan thinking doesn’t just erode both, it utterly destroys them, giving one an overblown belief in oneself, while eliminating all trust and belief in anything your opponent says or stands for.
These aren’t just theoretical ideas. I’m sure most people reading this can think of many examples where party lines overrode not only the good of the people, but the very constraints of reason—and that’s on both sides of our political system. Anything that divides is encouraged, anything which unites is hidden.
In short, our government is not designed to evolve to solve problems, it’s designed to remain stagnant, and grind its wheels in the mud, accomplishing nothing. It’s designed to oppose itself, thwart itself, and undermine itself. All the while, both sides benefit at the highest levels, while workers pay the tab.
There is no doubt that the Republican party does horrible things, such as passing out tobbacco lobby checks on the house floor and holding the US government for ransom unless its demands are met. Such actions don’t just threaten democracy, they shine a light on the fact that it’s not even present.
While one is quite right in pointing at the Republican party, the Democratic party gets away with just as much, simply by virtue of the fact that they aren’t Republicans. They, literally, just proposed a slogan asking “Have you seen the other guys?” That’s not the Onion. That’s not satire. That really happened. The two parties do more than just create excuses for each other’s bad behavior, though. They also enable each other and profit from each other at our expense. The Bush administration wrecked the economy, but who benefited from the TARP funds? Banks. What did they do with that money? They bought Democrats. The cycle continues.
Pence more than likely opposed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act because it was signed by Obama. There was likely no thought, no research, no introspection, just blind aversion to anything from the other side. He had another agenda he wanted to push—religious freedom. Our government is broken on purpose.
Meanwhile, there is something potentially great—a diamond in the mound of manure that is the AHCA. If passed, people in the US could finally get their prescription drugs legally from other countries with much less parasitic markets, making them potentially MUCH cheaper for everyone, because suddenly US Pharma would have to compete with overseas markets—kind of like a ‘free market’ is designed to do in the first place. This is something Bernie Sanders wanted, but Democrats thwarted. Why? Because the Democrats are heavily invested in Big Pharma. And that is also why Trumpcare has that provision in it. It’s not because Trump is some kind of philanthropist, he’s just hurting a rival industry. This is what our government has turned into.
Are you aware that a HUGE proportion of cyber warfare here in the US and abroad is inter-industrial? Are you aware that corporations are beginning to have their own military forces? If they can hire their own military force, why couldn’t they hire their own team of hackers? There is a civil war for supremacy going on in this country, and corporations and industries are all jockeying for power. That’s going on right now, under our noses.
And our government is also perpetually at war with itself for totally different reasons. Industries and corporations are jockeying for control, while our two parties are playing keepaway-from-the-taxpayers, for the purpose of division, and diversion. The main outcomes of war are destruction, death, and profit for the elite, no matter what kind of war it is.
So what can we do about it? Well, considering the fact that there are more people claiming independent affiliation than either the Democrat or Republican parties can claim, by a rather wide margin, the obvious choice would be to form a third party. This would provide an opportunity to finally throw open the curtains of possibility, and provide a much needed alternate political viewpoint. Ultimately, ANY alternate viewpoint that realistically addresses the problems facing the 99% would help shake us out of our current state of bipolar gridlock.
There are not many other two-party systems in the world, and many, many different multi-party systems. Although the UK has over 28 political parties, only two major ones have emerged. There is little difference between most of them and the Green and Libertarian parties in the US. To put it bluntly, we need a people’s party, with bylaws written into the platform that forbid accepting super-PACS from big business. This platform would, by neccessity, have to be open to both conservative and liberal leanings. As Bernie Sanders showed us, this is far from impossible. It would need to encompass as much of the independent voters as possible to be a force to be reckoned with against the other two major parties. It would need to revolve around sound economic policy, which is based on an understanding of Modern Monetary Theory, and a desire to see an end to global bloodshed in the name of profit and resource management.
Speaking of Bernie Sanders, there are many who want to draft him to represent a new, third party. The ‘draft Bernie’ movement has gained momentum, even having a presence at the People’s Summit in June of this year. Whether the basis for their fight is feasible or not, that momentum needs to keep going and building toward their goal of a viable third party, whether Bernie Sanders is the head of it or not.