Politicians Won’t Save the US

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash.

By Robbie Kirk.

The United States, and the world for that matter, can finally take a sigh of relief. Donald Trump, the malignant narcissist-in-chief, has been defeated. A long overdue Woman of colour takes the Vice Presidential reigns and a third-time lucky Presidential hopeful takes charge as the leader of the free world. In light of this success, many flocked to the streets, and most, to social media to congratulate the pair on their well-deserved victory over what many would consider, America’s first dictator. 

However, this victory is far from real success for the ‘United’ States. Prior to the election of Donald Trump, who truly paid attention to politics? Nobody. Every day, people went about their lives content with the knowledge they had from the six o’clock news, with some voting every few years for almost-identical candidates. After four whirlwind years, the urge to switch off is understandable, perhaps even recommended. Yet, the need to keep fighting has never been greater. 

Cartoon by Bob Krieger for The Tyee.

The US remains a minority-controlled oligarchy. Even a Harvard study found that public opinion plays almost no role in Congressional policy-making. On the eve of Joe Biden’s victory, stock markets hit record highs and, CEOs’ flocked in to congratulate the soon to be corporatist-in-chief. Joe Biden is no progressive, and neither is Kamala Harris. When their major donators come calling, they will do their bidding. While the implementation of these policies may not be conveyed in the firebrand presentation style of Donald Trump and may come into place through more covert measures, the ruling class will make sure that under President Biden, nothing will change.

You see President Biden was brought onboard to bring stability. Not to you and me, but to Wall Street, to the Pentagon, to the ever-richer silicon valley billionaires who divided us in the first place.  The rich like a stable population, an uneducated one, a population who are content with meaningless symbolic gestures and the hope that things will get better. The US has spent too much time trying to comfort itself, trying to avoid the slow-moving organisms that are white supremacy and corporate greed. But it is that very hope that kills, as it is warm and comforting. The US does not need comfort. It needs change. 

The US is still the foremost contributor to the Earth’s destruction, US-made bombs continue to drop on children across the world and in Flint, Michigan, the people continue to go without clean water. Years from now, when the democracy that America believed it once had is realised to be nothing but a fallacy, an ideal, and that the rights of its citizens were slowly eroded by politicians who compromised with the enemy so the people could ‘come together’, the US will realise that its heroes are not who they say they are. When the US comprehends that President Obama took more money from Goldman Sachs than any other contributor and that Joe Biden stood by while children died, while teachers had to get second jobs, as the police sunk their claws into their plans for a police state, it will finally come to terms with the reality of its situation. No document or politician will save the United States, only the mobilisation of its population will pull it back from the brink of destruction it stands on. 

The election of Joe Biden may provide a momentary calming effect, but the US is long past its breaking point. As nations move towards extreme inequality, they inevitably slide towards despotism. Desperate citizens seek refuge in the hateful words of dictators and fascists, while the rest hide behind weak politicians who fear confrontation. The seventy million who sided with Trump will still be there, and unless their lives become transformed with meaningful change, they will never give up their allegiance. Without systemic change, the next Donald Trump will come, and this time, he won’t fail. The US must get rid of the whole rotten system that created Donald Trump, and unless it does that, there will be no United States left to save.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash.

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