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Tuesday, 11 November 2014 07:32

A Tale Of Two Countries: The Haves and the Leftovers

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RICHARD A. STITT FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

aaaPoorCamden(Photo: Phillies1fan777)Observe any post-election geographical map of the United States whether it is in a presidential election year or a midterm election and close to 90% of the country is red. Red states dictate the direction our country takes like it or not.

But, they fall short in representing anything close to 90% of the population. Add the combined total population of a dozen red states and they barely equal the size of one city in a blue state like California or New York.

Why does this matter? Because each state receives two U.S. Senators you will always see an imbalance in how citizens are represented in our congress. Also, red state voters, even those with low populations, vote in Republican House members almost by default regardless of that politician's qualifications or lack thereof.

Though there are plenty of Republicans in California, for example, the same can't be said of Democrats in the second most populated state, Texas, where there is only a scattering of Democrats plus there is not a single statewide office held by a Democrat.

What has poisoned our democracy is the huge flood of money that the corporate interests pour into our elections. With Citizens United v. FEC and the McCutcheon v. FEC Supreme Court decisions the billions that were spent on this past election paid of huge dividends for Republicans and their money brokers who bankrolled their campaigns.

With the Republican-Tea Party alliance dominating our political system at both the national and state levels the playing field has become even more unfriendly and hostile territory for Democrats. Any state controlled by a single party has the "luxury" of redistricting their opponents out of office (gerrymandering) and making the political landscape less competitive.

I'm reminded of the remark that former President Reagan's Attorney General Ed Meese once made, "The poor are poor because they deserve to be poor."

The looming crisis for our entire country today is that our population has increased by over 90 million people since the Reagan years. During the 30 years since then in a weak economy the numbers of America's poor, low-skilled and low paid workers have soared far beyond the proportions of those who have prospered.

Now, even the most precious thing we all have, our health, is being taken away from the neediest of our citizens by the haters of the poor as they dismantle the Affordable Care Act (replaced by nothing) and deny millions of working Americans health care coverage that is a right for practically every other nation and modern society except for the United States.

Thanks to red states' voter suppression laws and few advocates for democracy we can expect the poorest and neediest of Americans to have even less access to the voting process in a heavily-tilted Republican Congress which has made it clear they will reign with an iron fist. In 2013 when the Supreme Court struck down key provisions in the Voting Rights Act they gave the go-ahead to the Republican totalitarians and plutocrats who now have unbridled dominion over every lever of government.

The Republicans are always screeching, "It's time to water the tree of liberty! Don't tread on me! and keep your hands off of my Social Security and Medicare!" So, they better be prepared for the peasants at the gates to show up with torches and pitchforks to protest the Republican policies which weigh heavily towards the noblesse oblige while simultaneously trampling on the rights of working Americans who have seen union bargaining rights go into the toilet under their vindictive and punitive Republican governors and state legislatures.

We have gone far beyond Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. We have a Tale of Two Countries, one for the very rich and one for the leftover hoi polloi.