American Cancer

Apolitical: not interested in or involved in politics.

Anti-politician: opposed to or against those professionally involved in politics.

On any given day, either or both of the above terms could apply to yours truly. The most accurate description is probably to say that the first applies because of the second.

If asked to pick, hypothetically speaking, I’d have to choose the right of center as a more comfortable place to exist. That said, not for a moment do I trust Republicans any more than Democrats (or independents, for that matter) to remain unsullied by the power inherent in political office. The government of the United States is sick to the core with a disease that grows like a cancer by feeding on an inexhaustible and guaranteed supply of money that we are led by the Supreme Court to believe is the same as free speech.

Sure. That’s like comparing one man with a couple of dollars in his pocket and a bullhorn to multimillion-dollar corporations and wealthy individuals who can buy all the political influence and favors they can afford, which is a lot. The concept of one-person-one-vote is a long-gone figment of the imagination, if it ever existed as anything other than a great idea.

In case you’ve missed it, there’s been a fundamental shift, in which 85% of wealth in America is concentrated in the top 20% of the population.

From “Wealth, Income, and Power” by G. William Domhoff of the University of Southern California: “Here are some dramatic facts that sum up how the wealth distribution became even more concentrated between 1983 and 2004, in good part due to the tax cuts for the wealthy and the defeat of labor unions: Of all the new financial wealth created by the American economy in that 21-year-period, fully 42% of it went to the top 1%. A whopping 94% went to the top 20%, which of course means that the bottom 80% received only 6% of all the new financial wealth generated in the United States during the ’80s, ’90s, and early 2000s.”

It should come as no surprise that these dudes and dudettes go into politics. As of 2009, based upon information from opensecrets.org, here are the wealthiest (ranked by average) top 25 members of Congress, both House and Senate. Note the absence of decimals in these figures.

But that’s unfair, right? There have to be less affluent members of Congress. Here’s the bottom 25 of the pile. (Note: position of the maximum and minimum columns is reversed when compared to the table above.)

Maybe now’s the moment to ask how many of these members of Congress do you think have a clue about what it’s like not living in the stratosphere of wealth and privilege? Do you honestly believe that the photo ops and the speeches and the press conferences in which they spout so much concern for their “fellow” Americans are anything but political theater?

During this era of America’s precipitous decline in international, domestic, and financial status on the world stage, with staggering deficits, a monumental debt, and the American blood of a very small minority of volunteers being spilled in a doomed effort to manipulate events in the Middle East, these representatives of the landed gentry are bickering over who gets the biggest slice of earmark pie.

Pathetic doesn’t even come close.

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