America the exceptional? Hell, yeah!


MAR 29, 2017

In the past few years we have heard increasingly strenuous assertions that our country is an absolutely unique place, blessed by God and exhibiting political standards that became the leading light of the world, symbolized by Lady Liberty. Unfortunately, these assertions are not nearly muscular enough, and our world leadership is going steadily downhill.

This exceptionalism originates where all things originate, the beginning. America had double-barreled beginnings: when the Declaration of Independence made America a country and when the Constitution created our government.

Yet most Americans do not understand the utter and absolute power that the founders conferred on the very IDEA of democracy, trusting and empowering its people in ways that NO other people have ever been at any time or place in history. Indeed, some folks say that the Declaration contains what they consider to be the “best kept secret” in America.

We never hear orators speaking of this vast democratic power every July 4th, and rarely hear the exceptional truth laid out that we Americans, with the explicit aid of God, have a right to revolution, to overthrow any government that abuses us. A close paraphrase of the Declaration tells us that whenever ANY government becomes destructive of our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it is the right and the duty of the people to alter or abolish that illegitimate government and start a new one, and that this unalienable right comes from God and cannot be rescinded by mankind.

America is further exceptional because the Founders have granted Americans the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms to protect this new model “free state” in which we live. The Founders understood that firearms provided the MEANS to revolution; yet Americans alone have embraced this exceptional right in all the years since.

We the people missed out on a wonderful opportunity to peek into the mind of the latest Supreme Court corporate shill when a senator asked him a question about the Declaration. Gorsuch began his answer by using the word “bigly,” and the hilarity was so great it drowned out and sidetracked the question that could have revealed volumes about the lackey’s judicial philosophy.

Gorsuch is an archetypal Republican operative who defends the corporate state against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And Gorsuch is as hypocritical as most other Republicans by claiming to represent an ideal or principle that is abandoned as soon as necessary to achieve corporate state-Republican goals.

For example, Republicans have paid lip service to the idea of states’ rights for ages, since their Civil War-Civil Rights losses. States’ rights is based on the 10th Amendment, which says that all powers not specifically granted to the federal government by the Constitution are given to the states.

Republicans prattled on about this until late 2000, when the big issue became how a state is supposed to count its votes. According to the 10th Amendment, that power belongs to the states (specifically to Florida). This 10th Amendment right to count votes would have caused the election that year to go to Al Gore, but since the Supreme Court is deeply partisan, its number-one goal was to get Bush into the White House so that he could appoint even more sleazy corporate retainers to that body.

The Republican wing of the Supreme Court has consistently revealed itself to be engaged in what the Declaration calls “evincing a design to reduce us under absolute despotism,”considered by the Founders to be a legitimate ground for revolution.

In addition, the Supreme Court, on behalf of the corporate state, endeavors to usher in a new undemocratic era in which soulless big business interests have equal rights with actual people, and then, once that camel’s nose was securely into the tent, to give corporations even greater rights than a free people.

Or should I say “a formerly free people?” Can we reasonably consider ourselves free when the court has given so much power to the corporations at our expense? For example, the court held that it was completely legal for a corporation to fire an employee simply because he refused to remove an “Obama for President”bumper sticker from his car. He, like most Americans, believed his right to free expression was absolute, but now we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the current Supreme Court holds that a corporation’s right to its private property extinguishes the worker’s right to free speech, even though “free speech” is clearly in the Bill of Rights.

And that’s not the only case like that. Corporate private property rights were upheld in cases involving workers who tried to hand out union literature in the company cafeteria during lunch or in the parking lot during shift changes. It is now completely legal to fire a worker solely because of his political beliefs.

How long will it be before corporations start tracking their employee’s politics and fire those it deems a menace to their power and profits (if they haven’t started already)?

And not only have the corporations gained the right and power to harm Americans via “private property rights”; they have also destroyed the people’s right to have free, fair and transparent elections. In a case from 2004 in which supporters of John Kerry tried to investigate anomalies of the vote count in Ohio, the voting machine company refused to cooperate and fought the activists to the Supreme Court and got the massively evil ruling that a company’s proprietary rights exceeded society’s right to a free election.

On the very day the company won the case, it took the suspected machines out of sealed storage and over to a steel mill, where they, and their preprogramed contents, were immediately melted. Corporations/people who want to steal elections are now literally protected by this proprietary right. The court said the business has the right to program its computers any way it wants, and public interest be damned. Power corrupts, and absolute Republican power corrupts democracy, empowering oligarchy, Russian style.

Rick Gombas lives in Saranac Lake.