Chris Hedges: Democrats, the More Effective Evil

The U.S. is a de facto one-party state where the ideology of national security is sacrosanct, unsustainable debt props up the empire and the primary business is war.

U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House, Nov. 15, 2021. (White House, Adam Schultz)

By Chris Hedges

When all else fails, when you are clueless about how to halt a 7.5 percent inflation rate, when your Build Back Better bill is gutted, when you renege on your promise to raise the minimum wage or forgive student debt, when you can’t halt the Republican suppression of voting rights, when you have no idea how to handle the pandemic which has claimed 900,000 lives – 16 percent of the world’s total deaths although the U.S. is less than 5 percent of the world’s population — when the stock market fluctuates on wild rollercoaster rides of highs and lows, when what little help the government offered to the labor force — half of whom, 80 million, experienced a period of unemployment last year — sees the termination of the extended unemployment benefits, rental assistance, forbearance for student loans, emergency checks, the moratorium on evictions and expansion of the child tax credits, when you watch passively as the ecocide gathers momentum, then you must make the public afraid of enemies, foreign and domestic.

You must manufacture an existential threat. Terrorists at home. Russians and Chinese abroad. Expand state power in the name of national security. Beat the drums of war. War is the antidote to divert public attention from government corruption and incompetence. No one plays the game better than the Democratic Party. The Democrats, as journalist and co-founder of Black Agenda Report Glen Ford said, are not the lesser evil, they are the more effective evil.

The U.S., burdened by de facto tax boycotts by the rich and corporations, is sinking in debt, the highest in our history. The U.S. government budget deficit was $2.77 trillion for the 2021 budget year that ended Sept. 30, the second highest annual deficit on record. It was exceeded only by the $3.13 trillion deficit for 2020.

Total U.S. national total debt is over $30 trillion. Household debt grew by $1 trillion last year. The total debt balance in our government Ponzi scheme is now $1.4 trillion higher than it was at the end of 2019. Our wars are waged on borrowed money. The Watson Institute at Brown University estimates that interest payments on the military debt could be over $6.5 trillion by the 2050s. None of this debt is sustainable.

At the same time, the U.S. is facing the ascendency of China, where the economy is projected to overtake the U.S. economy by the end of the decade. Washington’s slew of desperate financial tricks — flooding the global market with new dollars and lowering interest rates to near zero — staved off major depressions after the 2000 crash, 9/11 and the 2008 global financial meltdown.

Onboard economy class, China Airlines, 2011. (Matt@CKG, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The cheap interest rates led corporations and banks to borrow massively from the Federal Reserve, often to paper over shortfalls and bad investments. The result is that U.S. businesses are deeper in debt than at any time in U.S. history. Added to this morass is rising inflation, caused by businesses that have increased prices in a desperate effort to make up for lost revenue from supply chain shortages and rising shipping costs, the economic downturn and the slight wage increases triggered by the pandemic. This inflation has forced the Fed to curtail the growth of the money supply and raise interest rates, which then pushes corporations to further raise prices.

The desperate measures to stave off an economic crisis are self-defeating. The bag of tricks is empty. Massive defaults on mortgages, student loans, credit cards, household debt, car debt and other loans in the United States is probably inevitable. With no short-term mechanisms left to paper over the disaster, it will usher in a prolonged depression.

An economic crisis means a political crisis. And a political crisis is traditionally solved by war against enemies inside and outside the nation. The Democrats are as guilty of this as the Republicans. Wars can get started by Democrats, such as Harry S. Truman in Korea or John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson in Vietnam, and perpetuated by Republicans. Or they can get started by Republicans, such as George W. Bush, and perpetuated by Democrats such as Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Bill Clinton, without declaring war, imposed punishing sanctions on Iraq and authorized the Navy and the Air Force to carry out tens of thousands of sorties against the country, dropping thousands of bombs and launching hundreds of missiles. The war industry, with its $768 billion military budget, along with the expansion of Homeland Security, the FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the National Security Agency, is a bipartisan project.

The handful of national political leaders, such as Henry Wallace in 1948 and George McGovern in 1972, who dared to challenge the war machine were ruthlessly hounded into political oblivion by the leaders of both parties.

“Let’s Make a Deal,” an original work by Mr. Fish.

Biden’s bellicose rhetoric towards China and especially Russia, more strident than that of the Trump administration, has been accompanied by the formation of new security alliances such as those with India, Japan, Australia, and Great Britain in the Indo-Pacific.

U.S. aggression has, ironically, pushed China and Russia into a forced marriage, something the architects of the Cold War, including Nixon and Kissinger with their opening to China in 1971, worked very hard to avoid. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, after meeting recently in Beijing, issued a 5,300-word statement that condemned NATO expansion in eastern Europe, denounced the formation of security blocs in the Asia Pacific region, and criticized the AUKUS trilateral security pact between the US, Great Britain and Australia. They also vowed to thwart “color revolutions” and strengthen “back-to-back” strategic coordination.

Warmongering by the Democrats always comes wrapped in the mantle of democracy, freedom and human rights, making Democrats the more effective salespeople for war. Democrats eagerly lined up behind George W. Bush during the calls to invade Afghanistan and Iraq in the name of “humanitarian intervention” and “liberating” the women of Afghanistan, who would spend the next two decades living in terror, burying family members, at times their children.

Even when Democrats, including Barack Obama, criticized the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq while running for office, they steadfastly voted to fund the wars to “support our troops” once elected. Now, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), says “an assault on Ukraine is an assault on democracy,” the same argument Democrats clung to a half-century ago while launching and expanding the disastrous war in Vietnam.

Nancy Pelosi at the Munich Security Conference, Feb. 15, 2020. (Sicherheitskonferenz, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, is currently crafting legislation he proudly calls “the mother of all sanctions bill.” The bill led in the House by Gregory Meeks of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also a Democrat, demands that the administration “not cede to the demands of the Russian Federation regarding NATO membership or expansion.”

NATO expansion to Ukraine along Russia’s borders is the central issue for Moscow. Removing this for discussion obliterates a diplomatic solution to the crisis. Sanctions under the legislation can be imposed for any act, no matter how minor, deemed by Ukraine to be hostile. The sanctions cannot be lifted until an agreement is reached between the government of Ukraine and Russia, meaning Ukraine would be granted the authority to determine when the U.S. sanctions will end.

The proposed sanctions, which target Russian banks, the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline, state-owned enterprises and leading members of the government and military, including President Vladimir Putin, also calls for blocking Russia from SWIFT, the international financial transaction system that uses the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

“The legislation would grant at least $500 million in foreign military assistance to Ukraine, in addition to the $200 million in new assistance sent over the last month,” writes Marcus Stanley.  “This makes Ukraine the third leading recipient of U.S. military assistance globally, after Israel, and Egypt. While it wouldn’t come close to giving Ukraine the ability to combat Russia on its own, it may come with U.S. military advisors that would increase the danger the U.S. would be drawn into a conflict. The bill also takes steps to directly involve countries bordering Russia in negotiations to end the crisis, which would make it much more difficult to reach an agreement.”

U.S. military aid to Ukraine arriving Kiev, Feb.12. (U.S. Embassy Kyiv Ukraine)

While cutting Russia off from SWIFT will be catastrophic, at least in the short term, for the Russian economy, pushing Russia into the arms of China to create an alternative global financial system that no longer relies on the U.S. dollar will cripple the American empire. Once the dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency the dollar will precipitously drop in value, perhaps as much as by two-thirds, as the pound sterling did when the British currency was abandoned as the world’s reserve currency in the 1950s.

Treasury bonds, used to finance America’s military-based balance-of-payments deficit and the ballooning government budget deficit, will no longer be attractive investments for countries such as China. The nearly 800 U.S. military outposts abroad, sustained by debt — the Chinese have lent an estimated $1 trillion to the U.S. on which they collect hefty interest — will dramatically shrink in number. Meanwhile, the massive U.S. interest payments, at least in part, will continue to fund the Chinese military.

Flypast formation over Beijing on the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. (N509FZ, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

The U.S. domination of the world economy, after 75 years, is over. It is not coming back. We manufacture little, short of weapons. Our economy is a mirage build on unsustainable levels of debt. The pillage orchestrated by the capitalist elites and corporations has hollowed the country out from the inside, leaving the infrastructure decayed, democratic institutions moribund and at least half the population struggling at subsistence level.

The two ruling parties, puppets for the ruling oligarchs, refuse to curb the rapacious appetites of the war industry and the rich, accelerating the crisis. That the rage of the dispossessed is legitimate, even if it is expressed in inappropriate ways, is never acknowledged by the Democrats, who were instrumental in pushing through the trade deals, deindustrialization, tax loopholes for the rich, deficit spending, endless wars and austerity programs that have created crisis.

Instead, shooting the messenger, the Biden administration is targeting Trump supporters and winning draconian sentences for those who stormed the capital on Jan, 6. Biden’s Justice Department has formed a domestic terrorism unit to focus on extremists and Democrats have been behind a series of moves to de-platform and censor their right-wing critics.

The belief that the Democratic Party offers an alternative to militarism is, as Samuel Johnson said, the triumph of hope over experience. The disputes with Republicans are largely political theater, often centered around the absurd or the trivial. On the substantive issues there is no difference within the ruling class. The Democrats, like the Republicans, embrace the fantasy that, even as the country stands on the brink of insolvency, a war industry that has orchestrated debacle after debacle, from Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq, is going to restore lost American global hegemony.

Empires, as Reinhold Niebuhr observed, eventually “destroy themselves in the effort to prove that they are indestructible.” The self-delusion of military invincibility is the scourge that brought down the American empire, as it brought down past empires.

We live in a one-party state. The ideology of national security is sacrosanct. The cult of secrecy, justified in the name of protecting us from our enemies, is a smoke screen to hide from the public the inner workings of power and manipulate public perceptions. The Democratic courtiers and advisers who surround any Democratic presidential candidate — the retired generals and diplomats, the former national security advisers, the Wall Street economists, the lobbyists, and the apparatchiks from past administrations — do not want to curb the power of the imperial presidency.

They do not want to restore the system of checks and balances. They do not want to challenge the military or the national security state. They are the system. They want to move back into the White House to wield its awful force. And now, with Joe Biden, that is where they are.

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for 15 years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East bureau chief and Balkan bureau chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning NewsThe Christian Science Monitor and NPR. He is the host of the Emmy Award-nominated RT America show “On Contact.” 

This column is from Scheerpost, for which Chris Hedges writes a regular columnClick here to sign up for email alerts.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

35 comments for “Chris Hedges: Democrats, the More Effective Evil

  1. Maricata
    February 17, 2022 at 19:25

    “Added to this morass is rising inflation, caused by businesses that have increased prices in a desperate effort to make up for lost revenue from supply chain shortages and rising shipping costs, the economic downturn and the slight wage increases triggered by the pandemic. This inflation has forced the Fed to curtail the growth of the money supply and raise interest rates, which then pushes corporations to further raise prices.”

    Asi es. Trickle down economics without the Laughter Curve.

  2. Larry McGovern
    February 16, 2022 at 14:55

    While a very good article, the statement, “NATO’s expansion to Ukraine along Russia’s borders is the central issue for Moscow” falls short of the mark. As Ray McGovern (full disclosure: Ray is my brother) points out, the central issue, although connected with NATO expansion, is the presence of offensive missiles, not only in Ukraine, but in Poland and Romania, and potentially other nations bordering Russia – thus endangering the Russian strategic nuclear forces. This has been one of Putin’s main concerns for several years, ever since Bush II and Trump pulled out of 2 major arms control treaties between the two countries.

    • Maricata
      February 17, 2022 at 19:26

      Right. Very important to point out.

      It is as if it is like a reverse Bay of Pigs scenario

  3. February 16, 2022 at 09:14

    As ever, your insights and the clarity of your prose are illuminating in a major way. Thank you for this, Chris.

    • Maricata
      February 17, 2022 at 19:32

      What is worrisome is the Third Position being developed here in the US. For those not aware of what this means, do look it up for it is important.

      Fascism has been American politics for a long time.

      Now we are seeing American ‘leftists’ allied with national socialist fascists.

      How else can one interpret Glenn Greenwald’s statement that Steve Bannon is a true socialist?

      We just tried to paper over the fact we have been a fascist nation for some tine with rhetoric and could at the end of WWII when we owned half the world.

      No more. We are down to 25% and dropping fast.

      It is hard to imagine what it will look like in two years with a white settler country like America exploding and imploding.

      It won’t be pleasant.

  4. RR
    February 16, 2022 at 07:02

    ‘The U.S. is a de facto one-party state..’.

    Eugene Debs: “The Republican and Democratic parties, or, to be more exact, the Republican-Democratic party, represent the capitalist class in the class struggle. They are the political wings of the capitalist system and such differences as arise between them relate to spoils and not to principles”

  5. Aaron
    February 16, 2022 at 06:44

    If simply agreeing that Ukraine won’t join NATO will appease Putin and he will retreat, I say just do it. It’s bizarre what’s happening right now. It’s as if Ukraine has always been a member of NATO if you listen to all the leaders and pundits. No, they are not part of our alliance, but we seem to be unconditionally committed to protecting them as if they are a NATO member. I heard one old, bloodthirsty bastard on Fox Business channel, some retired military lifer calling Biden weak, and just egging him on to go to war with Russia. Those retired guys have no skin in the game, they will sacrifice any Americans and just keep playing golf and cashing their huge pension checks. Our politicians and leaders and strategists could fuck up a wet dream, we just can’t seem to avoid one disaster after another.
    Chris is right about the financial disaster this is creating, like how many cents of every dollar do we spend on war? And where are all of our liberal institutions like churches and university elites in this prelude to war?
    All the average American really wants is a life, just a piece of that pie that the war machine takes and wastes
    I just want to get a little more out of my payday
    Finally own a car that doesn’t break down on the freeway
    A little vacation, ain’t asking very much
    I hate coming home to this old broken down apartment
    I wish I had a dime for every hole that’s in the carpet
    Well, I don’t want it all, but I ain’t got enough
    All I want is a life
    To drink from a glass from the well that ain’t dry
    I’m sick of the crumbs, I want a piece of that pie
    All I want is a life” – Tim Mcgraw

  6. Erik G
    February 16, 2022 at 06:17

    Excellent review of the doom clouds on the US horizon, and the tyrant’s wars to distract from domestic disaster.

    If democracy is ever restored in the US, it must be stabilized by amendments to protect elections and mass media debate from economic power, better checks and balances within the government branches, purging the corrupt judiciary and Congress, monitoring of government officials for corruption, and regulation of business so that oligarchic bullies and scammers do not rise to control economic power. Only then can literature, media, education, and public interaction encourage moral community, and only then can public debate find the policies that honor the rights of all.

    But the moral thinkers and concerned citizens cannot prevail by reason and education in our society of economic tyranny, they must come to understand force, the only language of tyrants, without losing moral perspective. Otherwise they consent to the enslavement of all humanity. Maybe the role of the West is to oppress everyone so much that they are forced to unify under extremist movements and then gradually move toward democracy. Now we have to figure out how to restore democracy in the West by the such means. No doubt our oligarchy will be glad to oblige.

    • Maricata
      February 17, 2022 at 19:36

      US democracy is liberal democracy and as such is based on capitalist relations of production and the social relations that come with it within an historical time period.

      Capitalism is in its last stages. Liberal democracy can never come back.

      We passed the Weimar moment.

      It is now socialism or fascism which means either an economy that puts people first and thus has a managerial system called government that supports socialist relations.

      No going backward. Faltering going forward.

      The colonization of the mind is really the problem we face.

      • Maricata
        February 17, 2022 at 19:37

        “It is now socialism or fascism which means either an economy that puts people first and thus has a managerial system called government that supports socialist relations.”

        I meant to say,for what it is worth:

        It is now socialism or fascism which means either an economy that puts people first and thus has a managerial system called government that supports socialist relations,or capitalism and its managerial system called fascism.

  7. Zhu
    February 16, 2022 at 06:04

    Excellent analysis and rhetoric, especially the One Party State remark.

  8. Antforce62
    February 16, 2022 at 04:30

    Wonderful article Chris, to sum up your article succinctly, the Two party State, running America, is little more than 2 cheeks on the same asshole, a left cheek & a right cheek? This Nation, which masquerades as a Democracy, is nothing of the sort, it’s a complete falsehood & lie, its a Corporate Obligarchy & it’s Citizens are completely captured & brainwashed by their Govt? There is no hope for America or it’s people, its in a death spiral in which the only thing they have to look forward to is it’s complete collapse, which will come within 10 yrs, its inevitable as night follows day! You highlighted the many reasons why the US Empire’s decline & collapse is guaranteed, in your article, so I can’t explain it better than you did but the most identifying characteristics of Imperial collapse is rampant corruption from a ruling Elite class, delusional magical thinking that defies reality, hubris, arrogance & Military overreach! Everything that we are now witnessing in America & it’s corrupt, inept Leadership, now under the geriatric Joe Biden & his rotten, incompetent Democratic Party, but the Republicans are no better, 2 cheeks of the same ass & both as useless as each other!

  9. Jeff Harrison
    February 15, 2022 at 17:26

    We are absolutely screwed, blued, and tattooed. It is unclear to me how we salvage this train wreck.

    • JGarbo
      February 16, 2022 at 06:47

      You don’t revive a rotting corpse. You bury it deep or move away.

    • February 17, 2022 at 10:16

      For at least 50 years greedy self obsessed infantile Democrats have prospered on their equivalent of “Bread and Circuses” ….Dope and Hope and FREE MONEY FROM THE FEDERAL NANNY STATE ! With socialist goodies and Identity politics you have succeeded in destroying the The USA. Congratulations !

      We now have Pestilence, to be followed by War , Famine, and MOUNTAINS OF UNBURIED CORPSES. This is the real victory of American Democrts. Again my congratulations to you.

      And to answer your question, it is far too early for salvage of any sort. This is not a train wreck of any sort whatsoever, my naive young friend. This will be a World Wide Apocalypse. The end of America’s world Hegemony. It is the Fall of an Empire. IT WILL NOT BE TELEVISED. And very few humans will survive the coming decade. Welcome to HELL !

  10. Antiwar7
    February 15, 2022 at 16:59

    Pretty sad. Will it reach a tipping point? Or just simmer along, like the proverbial frog in a slowly heating pot?

    (I think the frog thing has no basis in fact, though it does make for a rhetorical point.)

    • February 17, 2022 at 10:18

      All that happened 2 years ago. You have been asleep.

  11. Ian Stevenson
    February 15, 2022 at 16:32

    Yet despite all the expert in defence, diplomacy and in foreign countries, the US government doesn’t seem to listen to expert advice.

  12. Riva Enteen
    February 15, 2022 at 16:15

    It’s not the lesser of two evils, but the evil of two lessers.

  13. Mary Ann Maikish
    February 15, 2022 at 14:40

    What about prices going up because items are not available because corporations use foreign countries to produce their products because they get cheap labor and they have to shipped here. As a result their is very little USA producing and therefore unemployment

  14. February 15, 2022 at 12:14

    All I can say is Sooo true. But the American people will have to fight back and never give up. that’s the Key . NEVER give up, and don’t be convinced by the ignorant!

  15. February 15, 2022 at 12:08

    Great Article, and soooo true. I don’t know if we will be able to save democracy and reestablish what the New Deal gave us!
    Al Wilson

  16. robert e williamson jr
    February 15, 2022 at 11:43

    Chris I watched Oksana Boyko’s show with Nelson Wong right after your show with Richard Wolf.

    I paused for a moment of silence after each. No stranger to the thought of Professor Wolf I take what he ways to heart. Because of his frank honesty he makes more sense of economics in half an hour that all the news (?) or information (?) outlets to be viewed on the MSM do in a year.

    And yes I watched the programs on my TV tuned to the RT TV channel. So to the U.S. government all I can say is pick your game up, lead or follow but get the fuck out of the way.

    Thanks CN

  17. mgr
    February 15, 2022 at 10:58

    You explain it so well. It all came to light for me with HRC’s bid to tilt the primaries in 2016 and then even more, the circle-the-wagons-and-do-absolutely-nothing-for-reform by the “Democratic Party” itself thereafter. Then of course, Russiagate, and whatever its banal intent it has now led to this inevitable outcome by the most inadequate and incompetent administration possible.

    By the time Biden is done, Trump is going to look good again. Obama’s pragmatism in his own self interest led us to Trump and now Biden is leading us to Trump 2.0. I cannot believe that people are surprised. The “DP” base is a disgrace. Principles don’t matter to them anymore, just the tribe above all. They are like a mirror image of the “party of deplorables” that they like to mock. I don’t see any difference. Some would like to reform the “DP.” I would have liked that too but the “DP” has reacted to reform the way the fossil fuel companies have reacted to climate change. Just more subterfuge. Some may still think that rewarding such behavior with support in votes or money will change it for the better. That, of course, is delusional.

    And now, the absolute icing on the cake. At precisely this 8 to 10 year moment in human history in which international cooperation is absolutely imperative for us to have a sustainable future as a species on this planet, team Biden has started a new Cold War making that almost impossible. It as as if he has deliberately decided to doom the entire planet (“America is back…!”). And yet, the common refrain is that it is the GOP that is crazy and irresponsible..? That is just marketing.

    Boycott the “Democratic Party.” There is no solution so long as the “DP” can pretend that it is a rational alternative to the GOP but in fact only siphons off and diffuses any chance for progressive change. Positive change that will make a difference will not come from either of these political parties. Only from the public itself. It’s important to be clear that the ironically named “Democratic Party” is not part of the solution, only more of a problem.

    • robert e williamson jr
      February 15, 2022 at 14:22

      mgr is it time to run up the BS Flag?

      Why the continued allegiance to the right and Republicans? Your bias is choking your message of reform (? term) or what ever it is you are suggesting here. Let none of us forget exactly how we got here. Trump bought off the republicans and when they seen the money they went wild. Ever since Obama, the party of NO!

      Trump under no circumstances will ever reappear as anything but a bumbling billionaire, no brain, spoiled rich kid with bad hair and terrible taste in just about everything else.

      Just ask. I’ll never let either party forget they presented the American electorate no choice other than to vote for failure. One needn’t be a genius to see where things were heading. Especially when republicans would cut their own wrists rather than admit the allowed the “Idiot from NYC” on the ticket to run for president. It was all about money and you know that. SEE last two sentences of your second paragraph. I reject your premise here. With out saying it in your writing you seem to support fully right wing politics by implying such.

      Now that cutting their own wrist thing , the democrats are exactly the same when it comes to supporting a right wing belligerent, blood lusting Israel. A government who have fully militarized police, use torture wildly and are a racist apartheid institution.

      Biden is a neocon and no better than Reagan, Bush 41 or Bush 43. This “New Cold War ” you try to hang around
      Biden’s neck started with Reagan, Bush 41, Bill Clinton and Bush 43 and Biden was there the entire time rooting for the neocon way of doing business.

      Get it through your head , now say after me one more time with feeling, “The two party system has driven the country into the ground.”

      Boycott the “Two Party System”. Neither party will present a solution or a rational alternative to the current two system that has prevailed in D.C.. The planet simply doesn’t have the time enough left to wait them out.

      To imply that the democrats siphon off and diffuse any chance of progressive change from the republicans tells me you may well be as brainwashed as Mitch Mc Connel would have us all be.

      You got one point right here: “Positive change that will make a difference will not come from either of these political parties. Only from the public itself. It is important to be clear that the neither gang, the democrats or the republicans will be part of a solution, only more of a problem.

      The time to “boycott the democrats” was the election before this last one, especially after the democrats screwed themselves. Both parties fooled around and ran the clock out, if the village idiot from NYC had gotten re-elected the country very likely would have fallen into civil war by now, something that is very likely to happen regardless. That or welcoming the Russian navy to the east, gulf and west coasts.

      No Sale here, I refuse to buy this BS.

      What needs to be considered here is how do we salvage this mess, without a civil war that will tear the nation to pieces.

      • James G
        February 16, 2022 at 07:35

        I don’t see any pro-GOP sentiment in the “mgr” comment; not sure what you are criticizing.

        • mgr
          February 16, 2022 at 09:50

          James G: Thank you. That is entirely true.

          • robert e williamson jr
            February 16, 2022 at 16:59

            Gentlemen in my humble opinion anyone who fails to place equal blame on each of the two major political parties in this country is guilty of selective reasoning. Both are equally deplorable and I think Mr. Hedges would agree with that statement. In fact I doubt seriously that Mr. Hedges intention here was to deflect all and any blame from repugs.

            To be sure here I don’t intend to take on each of my critics and I damned sure have no intentions of taking on Mr. Hedges

            I simply believe that at times those who comment here parse their words to avoid making certain statements that would leave no doubt where their support lies and with whom. Who owns their hearts and minds.

            I agree with Chris about the democrats being the more effective evil. It’s pretty simple the dimos sell themselves as being the friend of the little guy, the down trodden and the have-nots., for they “are so much more compassionate”. Dimos are not honest and when needed they routinely sell out those groups to make some bull shit deal with the Repugs, wall street and the defense industry same as the repugs. But it is the bait and switch that make the dimos more deplorable. That and the fact they have no gut for the blood letting needed to real with the right wing repugs. Deplorable cowards they are.

            One would expect nationalist, right wing politics from the party of NO! Not from a party that presents themselves as supporting the electorate from the lower half of the middle class down to the destitute.

            Carter is the only dimo pres that might have exercised any appreciable concern for those groups. I think we see where that got him. He was a DC outsider and the wolves, both demos and repugs, of DC had their way with him.

            But the Dimos sell themselves as being more liberal that the repugs. Their actions have shown the 100% opposite since Clinton. Obama’s democrats paid dearly for not backing their man 100% and in my mind killed the democratic party then and there.

            I’m pretty chafed after 73 years of nothing other than mostly bull crap coming from DC from BOTH parties. I hope I make the point that what has happened in DC since Nov 22, 1963 is the work product of BOTH the Dimos and the Repugs.

            mgr – first paragraph last sentence; “Then of course, Russiagate, and whatever it’s banal intent it has now led to this inevitable outcome by the most inadequate and incompetent administration possible.”

            I suggest that it’s far too early to hold this statement an any accurate assessment of the current administration. You fail to see this current conflagration is the fruit of seeds planted in 1990 when Bush 41 sent his Secretary of State James Backer to tell the Ukraine that ultimately they might become part of NATO and that NATO had no intention of pushing NATO further to the EAST.

            More CIA wrangling by 41, once CIA always CIA. Once an oil man always an oil man. Hint! Bush 41 was a republican remember.

            second paragraph “Trump is going to look good again, . . .” To whom he never ever appeared to be in control of his poisoned brain to me.

            “Obama’s pragmatism in his own self interest . . . ” This statement seems rather specious , how you stretch his administration leading to Trump while the republicans being the party of NO gridlocked congress is a pretty damned good stretch to me. Hardly hidden racism by the repugs is much more likely the reason repugs rolled over for the racist Orange Bully from NYC. He was their boy. The truth hurts sometimes. If Biden is truly leading us to Trump 2.0 is suspect you guys are thrilled. I’m not surprised by that possibility here. I’ ve said the same myself.

            “The DP base is a disgrace”, I agree as long as we can agree the rupugs are no better. Other wise you anchor you reasoning on a double standard for the remainder or that paragraph..

            They, both parties are equally horrible.

            third paragraph; You seem to write based on your emotions maybe than rather you political belief here, I can’t really know and I’m sorta with you until, “Biden started a new Cold War . . . , see my comments for the 1rst paragraph.

            Last paragraph last sentence, “It’s important to be clear here that the ironically named Democratic Party is not part of the solution only more of a problem.” You lost your clarity you, the same can be and should be said about both parties.

            Friends hopefully we all are on the same bus heading for the same destination, a much better country. We cannot and will not get there talking “past” each other.

            James G, you don’t see it because your not looking for it and don’t want to see it. mgr Now you know the origin of my criticism, if you can see the truth for what it is.

            No man is more handicapped than the sighted man who refuses to see.

            Thanks CN

            • Sharon
              February 17, 2022 at 11:18

              “To imply that the democrats siphon off and diffuse any chance of progressive change from the republicans tells me you may well be as brainwashed as Mitch Mc Connel would have us all be.”

              I did not read “from the republicans” in mgr’s comment. I pictured Occupy Tent Cities and other progressive attempt to change things that got swallowed up and dismantled by the Dem Party.

              When I complain about the Democratic establishment, I don’t appreciate my listener saying, “But what about those Republicans?” It’s like if I was talking about a person who murdered another person, and my listener says “but so and so murdered five people.” I want to know why we can’t have someone to vote for who doesn’t murder anyone.

            • mgr
              February 17, 2022 at 13:00

              Robert: Thanks again, but I feel like I keep missing your point. Sorry. I certainly agree your with statements regarding both political parties. I am stressing the Democratic Party because they are ones in power that are currently in the midst of warmongering and driving the world into a full-fledged multi-generational, new Cold War such as we spent 70 years trying to escape and only barely did. Not to mention plunging us right into the maw of a steadily approaching climate catastrophe.

              I basically no longer trust the Democrats not to blow us all up. Whatever they my think of themselves. It’s not just Biden but the whole party structure behind him. Look at Pelosi. It really has become HRC’s party of “DP neocons” in fact, in particular, no surprise, in the State Department.

              The only lever I have as an American citizen is to express my view and withhold my support. I am. Boycott both parties by all means but since I’ve never supported the GOP anyway that would not make much difference. Even better, unite the public, the protagonists of democracy, in one voice to demand that their welfare be a social and political priority. That is not where the “DP” is going.

            • James G
              February 17, 2022 at 18:30

              No criticism of you, Robert. I saw enough contraindications for my purposes.

      • mgr
        February 16, 2022 at 10:52

        robert e williamson jr: Thanks for the reply. I can understand your dismay but it seems that your preferred solution is simply to try more of the same while hoping for a different outcome. You think that rewarding the “DP’s” preferred behavior, in particular since HRC ran and lost against the Trump cartoon character, will bring about positive change? When has that ever happened? I think that amounts to self-serving delusion. In my opinion, the “DP” exists at this point, perhaps always has, as a faux counter-point to the GOP in order to pull in those who are a bit more change oriented, and sedate them.

        Note the energized protests that arose from the public during Trump. Although, nothing at all substantial has changed, they certainly disappeared under Biden. That’s because Biden is supposed to be one of the “good guys” and the “DP” is supposed to be the rational party in America. Well, that’s a lie. Biden came in with eight to ten years to make a difference in mitigating climate change, to try to prevent environmental feedback loops from kicking in. Permafrost is one. Permafrost that contains three times the current amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Three times the amount of greenhouse gases that are already driving us to an unmitigated 2.7C increase in the average global temperature. At present, the effects we are seeing are being caused by an increase of only 1.2C. Three times that amount will be released by melting permafrost over the coming decades. And how is the Biden team spending this crucial, last eight years? By reviving a contrived Cold War that could end us all, directly or indirectly. Whatever you may imagine about the differences between the GOP and the “DP,” Biden and the current “DP” have pulled out all the stops and have truly outdone the GOP in pure global evil. Quite an accomplishment.

        I do not see solutions with the GOP but the “DP” as it lives now only helps to undermine any possibility for change. Perhaps better the enemy you can see than the one that you don’t. I might be more sanguine if America, whether it has any intention to resolve its domestic problems or not, kept it’s problems to itself. But it doesn’t. Why is it that the entities that are least qualified always insist on driving everyone else..? 8 billion people on this planet are supposed to lose their future in order to fulfill Biden’s need to cap a banal career with a victory lap? Well, that is not going to happen in any case.

        After 2016, I predicted that by 2020 the “DP” would become irrelevant. And of course, that is what it is doing by it’s own hand, at home and abroad. Biden has demonstrated to the world that the insanity and incompetence, in particular, the lack of competence in leading to any positive outcome, that Trump embodied, is not just a feature of the GOP.

        After 2016, The “DP” base had a chance to demand change, to demand something better, to demand actual democracy out of the “Democratic Party.” But the base demurred and accordingly, bupkis is all we got. Your protestations sound hollow to me. Now, you own it.

    • Scott Harmon
      February 15, 2022 at 23:48

      Hi Chris,

      Your article is great, quite illuminating. I have been following you for many years, and have bought a few books of yours. I consider myself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. My viewpoints generally reconcile with yours. In my view, we have to stop thinking of government as some kind of “saviour.” It is we the people who have to create our own system of governance and freedom. I know I’ll get hit on this, but I think the Constitution is a good place to start. Obviously, we don’t follow it, with 260 non-constitutional agencies (DOJ, FBI, NSA, CIA, etc.) being created out of nothing. The Federal Reserve is a joke—money management from a centralized authority. We will have to eliminate all this “governance” in favor of a more free way of interaction with our neighbors. That means, less centralized capital control (fiat money) and more localized economic control (food, products, etc.). We must be independent from the centralized banking system.

  18. Ray Peterson
    February 15, 2022 at 10:43

    Yes Chris you said this in your book: “War Gives Us Meaning,” and it’s a sad truth condemning
    the “American Way” (see 1930’s picture of U.S. Depression and the automobile).
    But what makes you include JFK with Johnson and the war in Vietnam? Did you forget that
    Kennedy moved away from earlier decisions supporting the Diem regime, and after the Cuban
    Missile Crisis (1962), in June of 1963, gave a speech at the Washington University calling
    for an end to the Cold War? And that’s what contributed greatly to his assassination by the CIA
    just six months later!
    Oh, Chris, how could you, who was weaned on James Luther Adams a student of Paul Tillich, and
    yourself a minister of the word of God put a demon together with a Christian ruler?

  19. Dfnslblty
    February 15, 2022 at 09:31

    Again, Bravo for writing truth!

    Keep writing.

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