Philip A. Farruggio -- World News Trust
June 18, 2016
In the 1973 film The Sting viewers were introduced to various types of confidence games.
There was the "quick con" where the sucker was taken for his or her money within seemingly minutes. The ultimate of all cons was always "The long con" as portrayed in the film by the "Horserace wire con." This type of con took much time and effort and lots of upfront cash to establish its authenticity.
Well, all of us suckers out there... oh sorry... I mean voters out there, have been taken in by the greatest of all cons: The Two Party political system!
If one studies American history, we see that for almost the entire time of our founding as a republic, there have been many political parties. Through time the more powerful ones simply "co-opted" the others and took them in (in more ways than one).
The 20th and 21st centuries have been dominated by the Republicans and Democrats. Every time a viable third-party movement takes shape, these two monsters coerce and con third-party rank and file members to coalesce and support them.
Before WW1 many Socialist parties (exception was Eugene Debs' Socialist Party of Americ ) were co-opted by the Democrats into supporting Woodrow Wilson, who was outspoken against our getting involved in that war in Europe. Wilson's reelection slogan in 1916 was, ironically, "He kept us out of war." Of course history teaches that Wilson was himself co-opted by his advisors to go 180 degrees soon after.
As with what the Democrats promised about WWI and what they delivered, so too today's two parties lie and misinform to get the suckers to vote for them over and over. Sadly, perhaps it is those on the bottom rungs of our economic and social system that have always "seen through" the delusions cast upon them, and simply DO NOT EVEN VOTE!
This is obviously not the way to deal with the "Long Con." It is better to stay active in dissent and protest and join with others espousing better ways to govern. How difficult that becomes when so many of your friends and neighbors continue to feed off of the Two Party con.
The masters of empire know that most people want to belong to something, and at the same time wish to conform to something. Very few of us out there desire to be the "lone wolf" or "sore thumb." It is not easy to swim against the tide... except when those swimming with it are all drowning!
This baby boomer has heard the phrases "I'm a Democrat" or "I'm a Republican" by folks who really never study history or get their news from alternative media. The Two Party Long Con has the mainstream media and their political hacks in their pockets... for generations now.
Each time a mainstream politician or journalist dares to investigate "outside the box" they are slandered, censored or even killed. So, to stay within what the Two Party Long Con calls their "Big Tent," these folks "pull their punches a bit."
Take the instance of Sen. Bernie Sanders running as a Democrat. Bernie covered lots of ground by hammering home great and salient points about our corporate empire. He aroused such passion in the hearts and minds of newcomers to this political process.
Yet, what he failed to do was educate his supporters on the No. 1 cause of our nation's ills: The Military Industrial Empire. So, in effect, Sanders, whether willingly or unwillingly, has done a great job for the very people that he should oppose.
First off, he makes his supporters think that 50 percent of our tax money going to military spending, with our phony invasions and occupations coupled with 1,000 bases in more than 100 different countries, is not as bad as all that. Well, if it were, wouldn't "Feel the Bern" be blasting it out there through all the media coverage he has gotten? No, Bernie has labeled himself an independent for all these years, when in reality he "goes along to get along" with the Democrats too many times for this writer's taste.
We need focused and principled third-party movements in this country... now perhaps more than ever. Our empire is getting so nasty, not only towards the rest of the world, but here at home as well.
Chris Hedges for one has been hammering that point home so eloquently for years. He joins so many other "true progressives" who dismiss the con job of the Democratic Party.
On the other side of the political spectrum, true conservatives have been disgusted with the phony Republican party for years now. Many have done what many from my camp have done for too long: Vote and support the "lesser of two evils" philosophy. It never works folks!
Philip A Farruggio is a semi-retired baby boomer born and bred in blue collar Brooklyn NYC. He is the son and grandson of Brooklyn longshoremen, and educated at "free tuition" Brooklyn College, class of '74. Philip has written more than 300 columns since 2001 and his work is found on many fine progressive sites like World News Trust, Nation of Change, Information Clearinghouse, Intrepid Report, Sleuth Journal, Dandelion Salad, Counterpunch and Dissident Voice. He can be reached at email@example.com)