Americans Unready to Revolt, Despite Revolting Conditions
Joel S. Hirschhorn
The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal national poll results vividly show a population incredibly dissatisfied with their nation's political system. In other countries in other times such a depressing level of confidence in government would send a signal to those running the government that a major upheaval is imminent. But not here in the USA. Why?
First, here are the highlights of the poll that surveyed 1,008 adults from June 8-11, with a margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.
A whopping 68 percent think the country is on the wrong track. Just 19 percent believe the country is headed in the right direction - the lowest number on that question in nearly 15 years. And most of those with the positive view are probably in the Upper Class.
Bush's approval rating is at just 29 percent, his lowest mark ever in the survey. Only 62 percent of Republicans approve, versus 32 percent who disapprove. Take Republicans out of the picture and a fifth or less of Americans have a positive view of Bush.
Even worse, only 23 percent approve of the job that Congress is doing. So much for that wonderful new Democratic control of Congress. Bipartisan incompetence is alive and well.
On the economic front, nearly twice as many people think the U.S. is more hurt than helped by the global economy (48 to 25 percent). Globalization does not spread wealth; it channels it to the wealthy, making billionaires out of millionaires.
I have long asserted that Americans live in a delusional democracy with delusional prosperity and these and loads of other data support this view. There is a super wealthy and politically powerful Upper Class that is literally raping the nation. Meanwhile, the huge Lower Class continues to lose economic ground while their elected representatives sell them out to benefit the Upper Class. Yet no rational person thinks that a large fraction of the population is ready to rise up in revolt against the evil status quo political-economic system that so clearly is not serving the interests of the overwhelming majority of Americans. Why not?
For a nation that was built on a revolt against oppressive governance by the British, something has been lost from our political DNA. We apparently no longer have the gene for political rebellion. It has been bred out of most of us. And those of us that urge a Second American Revolution are seen as fringe, nutty subversives.
Part of the genius of our contemporary ruling class elites is that they have engineering a state of political and economic oppression that paradoxically is still embraced by the Lower Class. The rational way to understand this is that ordinary, oppressed Americans are in a deep psychological state of self-delusion. Despite all the empirical, objective evidence of a failed government, they fail to see rebellion opportunities. Many still believe they live in the world's best democracy. But across all elections considerably less than half the citizens even bother to vote anymore. Yet, as the new NBC/Journal poll results show, people are cognitively aware of just how awful the political-economic system is. Yet they are not feeling enough pain to seriously consider rebellion. And it is visceral pain that must drive people to the daring act of rebellion.
Why is there insufficient pain for revolution? This is a deadly serious issue. What is historically unique about America is that even the most oppressed and unfairly treated people are distracted by affordable materialism, entertainment, sports, gambling, and myriad other aspects of our frivolous, self-absorbed culture. Even failed school and health care systems do not drive people, paying enormous sums to fill up their SUVs, to rebellion. So, Americans are aware of their oppression, but the power elites have successfully drugged them with a plethora of pleasure-producing distractions sufficient to keep them under control. We are free to bitch, but too weak to revolt. The Internet has provided a release valve for some pent up anger and frustration. But it too has mostly become another source of distraction, rather than an effective tool for rebellion.
Though these new poll statistics make news, those in control of the political-economic system are not afraid that the population is on the verge of retaking their constitutionally guaranteed sovereign power and take back their nation. Thousands of people like me keep writing books and articles and creating protest groups and events. Those in power just find new, ingenious ways to keep the population distracted - if not through pleasure, then certainly through fear of terrorism. Growing economic insecurity also contributes to self-paralysis, as do never-ending political lies.
What a system.
Even as the population has growing awareness of the dire condition of their nation, the move by the politically powerful on the right and left continues to seek a new immigration law that will solidify the selling out of America. Business interests want more of those fleeing Mexico and other nations to keep wages low. Instead of Mexicans rising up in rebellion against their oppressive government and economic system they escape to the USA. But Americans have no such viable escape solution. Though global warming will certainly make Canada increasingly attractive.
So what do Americans have - other than a terribly bleak future? Where is hope in our dismal world?
In a bizarre twist of history that further illustrates just how impotent Americans have become, virtually all citizens are either unaware of or unreceptive to the ultimate escape route that the Framers of our Constitution gave us. They anticipated that Americans could become quite dissatisfied with the federal government. They feared that the political system could become incredibly corrupted by moneyed interests. They were right.
So here we sit over 200 years after our nation was created unwilling to use what is explicitly given to us in Article V of the Constitution - the option to have a convention outside the control of Congress, the President and the Supreme Court to make proposals for constitutional amendments. Do we really believe in the rule of law? If so, then we should understand that the supreme law of the land - what is in our Constitution - is the ultimate way to obtain the deep political and government reforms to restore true democracy and economic fairness to our society.
Make no mistake: an Article V convention has been stubbornly opposed by virtually all groups with political and economic power. This is most evidenced by the blatant refusal of Congress to obey the Constitution and give us an Article V convention, even though the single explicit requirement for a convention has been met. This fact alone should tell rational people that they are being screwed and oppressed. The rule of law is trumped by the rule of delusion. Our lawmakers are lawbreakers.
Come learn more about the effort to get an Article V convention at www.foavc.org and become a member. Do not keep witnessing the unraveling of American society, voting for lesser evil candidates, and believing the propaganda that putting different Democrats or Republicans in office will actually improve things for most of us. Choose peaceful rebellion by using what our Constitution gives us. Fight self-delusion.
[Joel S. Hirschhorn is the author of Delusional Democracy (www.delusionaldemocracy.com); and a founder of Friends of the Article V Convention (www.foavc.org).]