America’s Purple Politics
All across the U.S. people are confronted by the politics of Democrats and Republicans, but do they know the two parties merged into a neoliberal juggernaut some time ago? It’s Purple Politics, a de facto single party.
America’s illusory two-party system is so badly corrupted and perverted with such lowly debauchery, undermining any semblance of democracy, it is like a reign of terror that has emerged underneath people’s noses. There is no election when both parties are one. It’s Purple Politics buttoned up. Deep down, people understand this rigged system only too well. It’s a major reason why voters are so apathetic. But, a knight in shining armor is riding into this darkness of political iniquity and intends to do something about it.
Inspired by Doris “Granny D” Haddock (1910-2010), a political activist, who walked from California to Washington, DC in January 1999 to February 2000, publicizing her strong belief that corporations are stealing our democracy, as well as championing her opinion that massive corruption permeates throughout the government, producer Jennifer Cusentino is bringing forth a new film entitled, Under the Influence. The film’s byline is: Our Political System Isn’t Broken—It’s Fixed.
The filmmakers intend to release Under the Influence before the 2016 primaries in order to enliven the consciousness of voters. Under the Influence is a hard-hitting, solutions-oriented documentary about the staggering effects corporate money is having on our politics, in our lives and what we can do to reverse it (Cusentino).
Of course, the filmmakers are not the first ones to recognize the detonative aspects of America’s political system. But these filmmakers intend to show “what we can do to reverse it.” If they successfully accomplish that daunting task, the film should win an Oscar. With politics so deeply rooted in an extensive, gargantuan money pit, the question becomes: is it humanly possible to dig back out?
When American political policy is dissected and examined, Democrats and Republicans merge into the same flavor, and the same result. For example, health care policy has been one of the most contentious issues in years: “When you get past the bickering, the name-calling, and the frenzy over ginned-up controversies such as ‘death panels,’ you’ll find that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) shares much of the same DNA as Medicare Part D—the hugely popular prescription subsidy program passed with overwhelming Republican support in 2003. While the two programs have their own partisan identities, they’re like twins separated at birth when it comes to policy” (David Kendall, “Don’t Tell Anyone, But Democrats and Republicans Actually Agree on Health Care Policy, Washington Monthly, April 2, 2014).
In all fairness, there are policy differences between these two imitation political parties, like Roe v. Wade, regulatory agencies, too much or too little, and immigration, and taxation, etc. However, at the end of the day, the parties lean towards an identical result that promotes corporate statism over individual welfare. This heavily impacts everything from educational integrity, or disgrace, to voter registration brushoffs, or inclusion. Citizen’s United is the epitome, and Super PACS are the ugly stepsister, acting like shadow political parties with limitless money spewing all over the place. For example, Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate turned kingmaker, laid out a bet of $93 million for the 2012 election, and that only includes groups that must disclose him as a donor. The Koch brothers have allocated nearly $1 billion for 2016.
What’s happened to America’s acclaimed democratic whatever? Nobody knows better than John Perkins (Economic Hit Man): “I call this current form of capitalism predatory capitalism. I think it is a mutant viral form of capitalism that really took hold in the 1970s and has been spreading ever since. As expressed by famous economist Milton Friedman, it is based on a single premise, a single goal, and that goal is to maximize profits, without taking into account social and environmental cost. In essence every U.S. president since Ronald Reagan has bought into this idea, and supported it, Democrat and Republican alike.
The big businesses of the world, the multinationals, really have embraced this concept and they hire highly paid lobbyists and others to make sure that laws are written in a way that will support the goal of maximizing profits regardless of the social and environmental costs. They have been able to control politicians and the laws they implement, legally, and they achieve this through campaign financing… It is a wholly inefficient system in that it doesn’t work for anyone except the very wealthy, in which case the system works beautifully. Even in times of recession all parties that make up this corporatocracy are able to be bailed out of their failed gambles, Ravi Bhandari, “Rise of the Global Corporatocracy: An Interview with John Perkins” (Monthly Review, Vol. 64, Issue 10, 2013). Perkins was but one of many clandestine underworld characters that are highly paid professionals, cheating countries around the globe out of billions, e.g., Greece. They use fraudulent financial reports, rig elections, payoffs, extortion, sex and murder while funneling and moving money from and through the World Bank and other organizations, ultimately into pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planet’s natural resources (Bhandari). It makes for a great movie storyline. It may be spine chilling, but in reality, economic hit men are not confined to third world operations. They’re among us.
“The Big Steal is escalating in the United States, with the current round of budget-cutting anti-government campaigns” (Perkins). Thus, Citizens United and Super PACS have never been more significant, more important, and more crucial to behind-the-scenes economic hit men working within the shadows and slithering along the dark corridors of America. After all, the economy is still licking some of its wounds, making for easy prey.
If Under the Influence can pierce this powerful veil of predatory capitalism and redirect its course by appealing to the general public with a film that highlights the corruption of democracy, the failure of democratic politics, they will surely upset four decades of grand larceny, thereby deserving some kind of recognition and ranking above that of Milton Neoliberal Friedman’s 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
Robert Hunziker is a freelance writer, living in Los Angeles, whose work has appeared in Z Magazine and Counterpunch, among other publications.