Since the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, an era has begun that could very well lead to the final phase of the “corporatization” of the American government and way of life. If we are not vigilant, we could witness the effective demise of our democratic political system. The United State government was supposed to be a government “of the people, by the people, for the people,” as so eloquently stated in President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (Nov. 19, 1863). That goal began to erode soon after the new nation declared its independence from British rule (July 4, 1776). The failure to live up to this commitment was made apparent when slavery was allowed to continue unabated suggesting that it wasn’t a government for all the people. Despite this grievous inconsistency, the desire to honor this commitment to its people has heretofore remained in place and a great deal of progress has been made especially within the area of civil rights.
There are a number of built in safeguards that were instituted as specified in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to help ensure that this overriding purpose is fulfilled. These include ensuring that members of Congress are chosen by the people to fulfill their wishes, a well-established system of law, and a system of checks and balances established to protect and serve the public good.
Over the life of the nation, agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for example, were established through law in response to deleterious conditions that were the direct result of corporate overreach, negligence and malfeasance. However, these agencies have been systematically corrupted by those interests that would directly profit from their loss of empowerment.
Lobbyists from powerful corporate interest groups have effectively subverted the will of the people by using monetary incentives in the form of unfettered campaign contributions to steer legislation and direct administrative policies that favor these interests often at the expense of the health and safety of the nation’s people. The current government is particularly onerous; since, the President and his Cabinet have acted repeatedly to enact policies that subvert the common good. In literally every department, leaders have been chosen whose goal is to undermine the very authority of the agencies that they are in charge of. Their one guiding principle seems to be the unfettered pursuit of profit and the further enrichment of the powerful regardless of the actual and real cost to the nation and its future. In fact, I believe that the current administration is probably the most toxic and woefully ignorant government in the history of the United States.
It is my contention that this kind of government will be short-lived; for, the simple reason that there are far too many smart people who recognize the difference between enlightened, well-reasoned and balanced government and the profound idiocy of the present leadership.