A Better Class of Criminal

Jose Vilson Jose

Imagine a viable presidential candidate 75-100% funded by the people.

Not that that’s going to happen for a generation or two, but let’s imagine that for a second. The idea that the person holding the top public service position in the country would actually be beholden to the people which he / she’s supposed to serve is almost foreign to us. Our idea of government these days is all types of fucked up, and unfortunately, this presidential campaign has only further made me believe in the government’s underbelly of constant corruption, not of some ill-conceived change.

In the most recent Robert Downey Jr. covered Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi (a liberal writer if I ever read one) goes in deep on the two viable presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama. We know without question that John McCain kowtows to the needs and wants of multi-million dollar corporations. No one would equivocate his intentions with populist intentions. Barack Obama, on the other hand, is a whole ‘nother situation.

My biggest question with Barack comes from the almost proletariat rhetoric he’s given us for the last few years. He says he wants to signal a change of the guard, disengage lobbyists and special interests from interfering with government, raise taxes, and ultimately change the mentality of the people. Great. Yet, as we look at the facts, we start to see that, regardless of who’s going to be the incumbent for these divided states, green speaks louder than any red, white, or blue arrangement.

Check the following from Mr. Taibbi:

Sadly, the answer to that question increasingly appears to be that Obama is, well, full of shit. He has made no bones about his plans to raise income by soaking the rich, promising to roll back the Bush tax cuts for people making over $250,000, increase the top tax rate on capital gains to 25 percent and raise the top rate on qualified dividends. He has also pledged to deliver a real stomach punch to hedge-fund managers, raising the tax rate on most of their income from 15 percent to 35 percent.

These populist pledges sound good, but many business moguls appear to be betting that the tax policies, like Obama himself, are only that: something that sounds good. “I think we don’t want to make too much of his promises on taxes,” says Robert Pollin, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts. “Not all of these things will happen.” Noting the overwhelming amount of Wall Street money pouring into Obama’s campaign, even elitist fuckwad David Brooks was recently moved to write, “Once the Republicans are vanquished, I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for that capital-gains tax hike.”

He goes on in the article to discuss Obama’s main contributors, and how some of Obama’s moves came from a lobbyist or former employee of a corporation giving him a little phone call and asking him not to place some vote or change course with a previous statement. I honestly believe that Obama went into this campaign with the best intentions, but setting all-time records in spending won’t come from the 2 million or so individual donors to his campaign, but that coterie of a few hundred who gave 5-6 figures so he’d do their will.

Ladies and gentlemen, we’re dealing with a better class of criminal. It’s not anyone we can see right in front of us, but the ones we don’t see. They’re somewhere on vacation off the coast of a “Third-World” country, or in a private meeting with some of our elected officials. They’re in board rooms helping to write talking points to fend us off. They’re lining the pockets of an army of people to create special effects way more sophisticated than smoke and mirrors.

We’ve had the wool pulled over our eyes, if I’m using the right metaphor. Then again, if we honestly believed that any individual would somehow usurp the system by penetrating the system without serious major support doesn’t understand what’s at hand. For the last 8 years, I’ve been reminded of how egregious the powers that be can be with their corruption. It wasn’t enough that for the 8 years before that, some of us were under the impression that all of us were doing that much better. GWBush was a test to see what we’d do if pushed past the limits of the previous generation. Our answer: not that much.

In countries all over the world, people have literally sacrificed life and limb to see to it that their governments were afraid of them and not the other way around. this country has lost that concept. Even the media, who we often criticize for not giving the full details, have slowly started to help the general populace read between the lines in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Yet, we’re still not angry enough to do anything other than draw up signs and walk down streets.

And I do mean, we. It’s not enough to just vote. We need to organize in our communities and educate in whatever capacity possible. Because if our own elected officials won’t look out for our interests, we’ll need to fend for self. I’ve become ambivalent again about Mr. Obama. Not that I’d ever vote for John McCain and his thuggery, but I almost feel like … my vote’s going to waste, and I’m just waiting for him to say and do the right thing to persuade me in one direction or the other.

If the will of 2 million individual donors wasn’t good enough to persuade him to take care of his people, then it is we who’ve been robbed.

jose, who thinks this isn’t what we need or want right now, but it’s what we deserve …