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Letter: The will of the people is manipulated by the elite


Nikki Haley’s reaction to the U.N. resolution in opposition to Donald Trump’s infamous Jerusalem decision is symptomatic of the U.S. disdain for real democracy. With an overwhelming majority of 128 to 9, the General Assembly defied the threats of retaliation by the U.S. government and decided to give peace a chance and keep the Jerusalem question open. The U.S. American administration could bring only eight satellite states into line.

Autocrats routinely couch their lies in a Royal We. Thus, in stubborn defiance to the U.N., the U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, insisted, “America will put our embassy in Jerusalem. That is what the American people want us to do. And it is the right thing to do...The president’s decision reflects the will of the American people.”

Everything Haley said is wrong.

Sixty-one percent of people polled in the U.S. — and virtually the rest of the world along with them — oppose Mr. Trump’s irresponsible decision. They understand, to declare Jerusalem the undivided capital of Israel is a declaration of war against the Palestinian people who have lived in a state of war, through military occupation, deadly siege and brutal assault, during the last 50 years.

All Trump has “achieved,” is more strife and bloodshed of the innocent and the defenseless.

None of Trump’s autocratic decrees have the support of the American people. Mr. Trump is an “absolute minority president.” Despite his perverse media (un)popularity, he has never had substantial majority support. He occupies the White House in violation of core democratic principles, which are deliberately disabled in the U.S. political system. With no proportional representation at work in Congress, the complexity of the people’s political will, does not have any systemic reflection anywhere where it could and would speak constructively and effectively. Consequently, its pertinent reflection is coerced into the streets where the repression continues. Currently, some 200 Trump-inauguration protesters face more than 50 years in prison.

Whenever members of this government hedge their statements in phrases about the “wish” and “will” of the American people, a lie is about to be spoken, held up as a human shield in yet another deadly assault against the people. The manufactured majority, voter-roll-purged and gerrymandered, knows, it is illegitimate, which is why and how it imposes its corporate will over and against the American public. Hence, the people’s right to proper health care, clean air, water and energy, quality education and political participation is under constant attack. With the exclusion of the factual majority, these rights survive as exclusive privileges for the rich only.

If Washington’s politicians get all the health care needed, the same level of care ought to apply to everyone in the U.S. What is good for the top, the least ought to get as well. Instead, medical treatment delayed or rejected continues to kill the sick. Homeless poor perish in the streets. Polluted waters sicken citizens, most fatally in Flint, Houston and Puerto Rico. Those in plight are most deprived of their right to basic education.

Faced with such fateful polarization between a dictatorial government and a hapless people, one may openly wonder how the poetic words of Marxist playwright Bertolt Brecht ring true also today:

“Nur die allerdümmsten Kälber/wählen ihren Schlächter selber.”

“Only the most stupid of all the dull cattle/elect their own butchers in political battle.”

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America’s rigged Dollar Democracy finds substantial support in an ill- and un(der)informed minority lured into ideological traps to be leveled to pawns in a cruel, political game. Bob Dylan sings about that in a memorable song. Subconsciously suspicious of its political ignorance, the country prefers silence and violence to peaceful, constructive discourse, thus stifling the real possibility of a most needed flourishing political culture.

Consequently, this country would still and will kill its prophets again, should they rise up to threaten the rules of the game. At least in one sense the national nonsense even makes sense: we are all equal — equally free to be fate or hate, predictable and prescribed. Thus, as the country pretends to unite in celebration of the prophetic voice that condemns the idolatrous trinity of racism, militarism and materialism (consumerism), it will continue to lurch on worshipping these idols to its total demise. Those who recently drowned in the floods, burnt in the fires and lie buried in the mud urgently warn us.

In the clandestine transparency of today’s national hypocrisy where all are free to choose their own kind of commemoration, everyone can easily guess who celebrates the life and who the death of the prophet.

Joachim L. Oberst

UNM Faculty

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