The word fake, that which is not real, has probably been around for as long people are around; however, it gained currency during the 2016 US presidential election cycle. Suddenly, social media was inundated with what they called fake news. All kinds of fake news were spread about Hillary Clinton; she was presented as a murderer who had murdered many associates and anyone who stood on her way just so she gets and retains power.
Donald Trump took to calling the stalwarts of America's mainstream media, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN fake news outlets. Any news other than those that came from FOX News to Donald is fake news. Indeed, when he had his beef with one of FOX's talk show stars, Megan Kelly, he also called that network fake news purveyor.
Simply stated, these days everywhere you look the word fake news stares you in the face. That got me thinking about the word, fake. Then I had an insight: America itself is a fake country; more importantly, America's democracy is a fake democracy!
Democracy is generally defined as rule by all the people in a specific human polity. The term democracy originated from Athenian Greece. There, the men who were not slaves gathered to make laws and policies that affected them.
Later, the growing sizes of human polities, from small city states to large nation states with millions of people spread out in thousands of miles made it necessary for democracy to be redefined; instead of all people participating in making their laws they elected their representatives to go make their laws for them; thus, we went from participatory democracy to representative democracy.
According to its 1787 Constitution, the United States of America is supposed to be a representative democracy. However, in reality, America has never had a real democracy although it calls itself a democracy. Right from its inception rulership was restricted to a small ruling circle.
During the pre and post-revolutionary era it was the rich plantation farmers like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Monroe (and the Boston Brahmins like John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams) that ruled America. In the 1820s General Andrew Jackson injected populism into America's politics but even then it was the people electing the 1812 war hero who promised them heaven on earth.
America has always been ruled by the propertied and moneyed class. All that happened was that white men were given the opportunity to choose from a slate of rich white men to rule them.
Rule by the few propertied class is called oligarchy; rule by the rich is called a plutocracy. America has always been ruled by the few rich hence is either an oligarchy or plutocracy or both.
As Americans are ruled by the few the majority of Americans are deceived into believing that they are selecting their representatives to go to Washington or state houses or county houses or city offices to go make their laws and policies for them.
There is no democracy in America; what America has is sham democracy. Consider that to run for the presidency you pretty much need a billion dollars to do so; to run for senator you need ten millions dollars; to run for congress you need five million dollars; to run for governor you need five million dollars and so on.
How many Americans have that kind of money? It is the top one percent of the population that have the right amount of seed money and can raise funds to supplement what they have that are able to run for public offices.
In addition to the high cost of campaigning for offices are the shenanigans that America from its inception has indulged in. At first there were slaves and poor whites who were not allowed to vote. After the civil war black folks were given the right to vote. Thereafter, the Ku Klaus Klan was formed to intimidate black folks and prevent them from voting.
There are such political maneuverings as gerrymandering; gerrymandering was used to have safe districts for white representatives and prevent the election of minority persons to Congress.
In the South they had such shenanigans as requiring literacy tests, poll taxes and those were designed to prevent black folks from voting.
As we talk, states ruled by Republicans require voters to show government issued IDs to be able to vote; that requirement was designed to prevent black folks from voting because many black folks do not have such ID cards.
Of all the industrialized Western countries voter turnout rate in the USA is lowest (about 50% during presidential elections and often about 20% in local elections).
All kinds of deliberate efforts are made to discourage Americans from voting. One would think that in a real democracy efforts would be made to encourage the people to go out and vote.
A country that does all kinds of things to prevent a significant part of its population from voting and even then those who vote are voting for the few who have the resources to mount campaigns is a country with fake democracy.
America is a fake democracy masquerading as a democracy!
I am not as naive as to assume that there are better polities than America in our extant world; there are no countries out there where the masses actually rule themselves. Everywhere a few rule the many. Putin and his kleptocratic oligarchs rule Russia.
Nor should the masses rule themselves! The masses are often as dumb as door knobs; they may not even know what is good for them and vote against their self-interests.
Just look at the most recent election in the USA were white working class folks voted for a narcissistic billionaire whose forte is scamming people to get what he wants and then not giving a hoot about them.
Poor whites elected Donald Trump the con artist and the first thing he did is take away the health Insurance that Obama gave them and gives the money he saved from withdrawing the subsidies that Obama used to provide insurance to the masses to his billionaire friends.
The great scammer just submitted a budget to Congress that would gut all the money spent on poverty programs, such as providing poor students with food at school and food on wheels for the elderly.
The scammer is shifting $54 billion dollars from other programs to defense spending. Guess what? Contracts will be given to his friends to supply the weapons that the department of defense would spend that money on.
The magician also said that he is going to request $1 trillion dollars to be spent on infrastructure building and $26 billion on building the wall on the US southern border. The contracts for doing these constructions, of course, would go to his family members and friends!
Most weekends, the fake president flies to what he calls his southern White House in Florida, his Mara Lago estate and that costs tax payers about $183 million dollars a year.
His wife and son stay back in New York, ostensibly for his ten years old son, Barron, to complete school. In the meantime, it costs the citizens of New York about a $1 million dollars a day to protect that woman, Melanie, and son living at Trump Tower.
In the meantime, Ali Baba is cutting programs like the National Endowment for the Arts, funds for Public Broadcasting and Medicaid for the poor and scientific research (including environmental science).
Apparently, take from the American taxpayers and give it to your family members and friends is the man's governing philosophy!
The Donald is simply not a friend of the poor but bamboozled the poor into thinking that he is their friend; the great scammer has just scammed America's poor. In effect, the masses often vote against their best interests.
Therefore, the masses should not be allowed to rule the human polity. Only those with information (with a minimum of bachelor's degree) and who are naturally intelligent should govern the human polity.
As Plato recognized, government should be in the hands of philosopher kings, for now Plato's philosopher kings could be construed as the top five percent of the population, the well-educated and intelligent segment of society. Ninety five percent of humanity are simply too dumb to govern themselves. This is simply the truth; to say otherwise is to engage in silly politically correct statements meant to appeal to the feelings of the poor working class.
I am not a wild eyed democrat; I characterize myself as a believer in aristocracy and technocracy, if by that is meant the rule of the best and the brightest; my ideal human polity is ruled by the best human beings who rule for the benevolence of all the citizens, not for their self-centered interests.
In sum, America is not a democracy; actually, the best way to characterize the USA is to say that she is ruled by a brutal dictatorship that managed to veil itself. I call the rulers of America velvet dictators.
For our present purpose, what America has is a fake democracy.
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
March 18, 2017