The Rich And Powerful And Politics

Most Americans have always known that the rich and powerful rule in power,  life, politics and, therefore, American governance.  Lest I get countless numbers of Americans who are more than eager to engage in debate with me regarding this comment – just after griping about what a cynic I am, let me quickly add that I understand that it is everyday Americans who put politicians in office (there is a caveat to be added here but no need to get sidetracked with that now).

My statement is not intended to suggest that average American voters have no power or cannot bring pressure to bear on our elected officials that can cause them to change their behavior and do the right thing.  We have recently already witnessed that they indeed possess power vis-a-vis the Republicans failed effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.  And neither does it mean that their votes do not matter even though Mr. Trump was elected despite losing the popular vote by an overwhelming margin.  What it does mean is that the entire American system of governance and life in America in general are skewed toward the rich.  By the way, I skipped directly to explaining the governance part of my statement because I doubt that I would get much of an argument as to whether or not the rich and powerful rule in power and, most often, in life in general.

There are many examples in governance and life in general that I can think of where the rich and powerful rule; but in order to be as succinct as possible, I will use one of the prime examples that has a major impact on all people in America whether or not they are citizens; the American Justice system.  Normally, anyone who commits a crime of any kind in America will be punished for it if they are caught.  At least, they are supposed to be punished for it.  Yet, if they are rich and powerful, their chances of avoiding punishment increase astronomically.

For example, let’s take a look at a crime as simple as assault in order to help clarify my point.  The rich and powerful have managed to make assault by them on those without money and power a virtual non-crime.  What they do is assault the character of anyone who dares to stand up to them even when that someone comes bearing the truth and they themselves are blatantly lying.  They use their money and power to destroy these truth bearers by discrediting them.  They hire the best – usually synonymous with the most expensive – lawyers in the world for this work.  And those lawyers are not about the truth, they are about the money and the people whom they represent; usually in that order.

Not only are these rich and powerful people able to get away with the virtual non-crime of assaulting peoples’ character, most of the time they are able to avoid punishment involving any crime.  They are able to do this by keeping their accusers who are not rich and powerful in litigation until they run out of money or simply choose to give up.  And if that doesn’t work, they can keep them in court forever, at least forever as far as finite mankind is concerned.  This is because those folks who are at the top of the financial food chain have more money than they can ever spend.  But we really can’t blame the lawyers for the way that things work because our justice system mandates that clients have the right to the best legal representation that they can afford.

We can question these lawyers’ moral standards, conjecture as to what kind of a person that it takes to traffic in this kind of work and perhaps even laugh at jokes like “what do you call ten lawyers at the bottom of the ocean” with the answer being “a good start” to give us a short respite from this brazen unequal justice under the law.  But this is only a distraction from the real problem, which is our overall justice system.  This puts me back on point and brings me back to that prime example that I mentioned; the American justice system.  The American justice system is the real problem and it is a problem which should be, no, must be addressed now!  Our elected officials can no longer afford to play politics and wink at the fact that not all Americans are receiving equal justice under the law; especially with Mr. Trump in office.

Realistically speaking, the rich and powerful have always been in charge because of the way that our system of governance is set up.  And the way that the system is set up should come as no surprise to any American because, in essence, the rich and powerful set up the system.  Notwithstanding, most of the rich and powerful people who have been elected to high office, especially those who were elected to the highest office in the land, took a sabbatical, even if not a comprehensive one, from their conventional everyday life while in office.  And it is likely that many if not all of them in some way still dabbled in their own personal things on the rich and powerful side of life while in office, but because they were sincere about representing country above all else this was tolerated.

And although most Americans likely were aware of this they accepted it because they were comfortable with the fact that during those times they had a leader who was a true statesman and was sincere about serving country first.  But Mr. Trump seems to be a completely unknown quantity that has broken the mold.  Even while he is in office, rather than taking a sabbatical from his conflicts and confrontations with his rich and powerful adversaries, he is continuing to use his riches and power in the conventional way; he seems to be using them for the betterment of himself and his family rather than for the betterment of America.  It appears that Mr. Trump is one of those rich and powerful people who fears that those without riches and power want to bring the rich and powerful down.  However, the fact of the matter is that most Americans do not want to bring the rich and powerful down but, instead, they want to become one of them.

Mr. Trump does not seem to possess the ability to unselfishly love or empathize with others or to consistently express anyone’s opinions or feelings other than his own.  He appears to have a heart of stone rather than one of flesh and it appears to only have room for love for himself and his immediate and extended family.  And it also appears that even room for his family is conditional.  As a result, if in any dire situation push were to come to shove and he had to make a decision between it ultimately impacting on him or his family…  This is not to imply that he can never acquire a heart of flesh but in order to do that, he must first have the desire to do so.  In other words, he must have the desire to change.  At this point in his life, being rich and powerful and conducting himself in the manner of those rich and powerful people who have little or no scruples is all that Mr. Trump seems to fully comprehend.  Is change possible?  Yes, it is possible.  But whether it is likely is a completely different thing.  Judging from the way that Mr. Trump is continuing to conduct himself, the only possibility at personal change that he will ever face is that change that will run over him if he refuses to either accept it or get out of the way.

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line