US' shameful politics will continue as parasitic oligarchy prevails
Published: Mar 09, 2023 03:17 PM
The US Capitol building is seen in Washington, DC., on November 4, 2022. Photo: Xinhua

The US Capitol building is seen in Washington, DC., on November 4, 2022. Photo: Xinhua

NPR recently did a segment dedicated to the question of whether or not the US politics has entered into a state of "post-shame politics". They discussed the examples of Representative George Santos, as well as Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.

In the case of Santos they cited the numerous proven lies that Santos has fabricated; including lies about his education, job history, property ownership, ancestry, and much more including crimes he has committed. In the case of Bill Clinton, the NPR commentators spoke about the allegations of womanizing and draft dodging as well as perjury and his affair with Monica Lewinsky. The example of Trump revolved around the Access Hollywood tape that features Trump speaking lewdly about sexual assault and female anatomy. 

There are several aspects to Santos' story that make it particularly offensive and egregious to a sizable portion of the American public. This speaks to just how low the bar has fallen in terms of the standards that "leaders" are held to. How is it that somebody who not only won their party's nomination but also their general election, felt comfortable enough that they could lie about almost everything under the sun?

Santos has so far refused to resign and has hinted that he actually plans to weather the storm and run for re-election, despite repeated calls from both parties for his resignation. From his family, to his education and work history, crimes he claims to have been a victim of, bogus residency claims, and so much more; there is very little that Santos has been truthful about. Yet, Santos is one of 435 voting members of the House of Representatives and he felt he would be protected and comfortable enough to spread and repeat these easily verifiable facts. This just goes to show how little shame the political class has and how little respect the elites have for the people of this country.

I think to a certain extent it is clear; we are indeed living through a political stage that is without shame, but the question remains. Has US politics ever not been shrouded in shame? Countless instances of political corruption, sex scandals, conflicts of interest, and crimes can be cited as evidence that the US political class truly has no shame. Conduct that would certainly and rightfully lead to an average person getting fired at work and in their career has become commonplace for the US ruling class and its politicians.

Even more recently we have seen political shame taken to new heights; heights that gravely insult the intelligence and the sensibilities of the people of the US. Corporate greed, privatization, and deregulation have all contributed in no small parts to the recent train derailments in Ohio.

These trains were for whatever reason carrying carcinogenic and poisonous chemicals. While the infrastructure across the US continues to crumble beneath our feet, the company responsible for these derailments; Norfolk Southern, has spent billions of dollars on stock buybacks. This same company has pledged a 2.5 million dollar "community support fund" which I am sure will entitle them to more tax breaks. 2.5 million for the crimes that occurred in Ohio, and 10 billion dollars for a stock buyback program… this is what passes for justice in the US; shame! While other nations, especially including China, can boast of high speed rail that is safe, affordable, and convenient, people in the US will have to settle for derailments and poisoned food, air, and water.

While toxic clouds of poison engulf communities and destroy the air that we breathe, the food that we eat, and the water that we drink, US politicians are nowhere to be found. Oh wait! We all actually knew exactly where President Biden was while people in East Palestine are being subjected to poisoned water, air, and food; he was in Kiev, Ukraine! 

To Biden, and the rest of the political and economic elites, the citizens of East Palestine simply are not on their radar; they are simply forgotten workers/plebeians. To add insult to injury, the Biden administration has been wholly absent in any meaningful response to the tragedy in Ohio, meanwhile billions and billions of liquidity and weapons alike is being pumped into Ukraine for their proxy war against Russia. Trump of course went to Ohio for a fabulous display of political PR, but he also holds no answers for the working people of the US… but at least he showed up.

To answer the NPR journalists question; yes, we are living through a post-shame era of politics in the US. This shameful system will continue for as long as the people remain subjects of the parasitic oligarchy that has infected the US political, economic, and media systems. The people of this country have great shame for their government, yet we remain powerless to stop it.

The author is a political and economic analyst with a concentration in areas such as socialism of the 21st century, Chavismo, Populism, Latin America, Geopolitical Trends, Latin America, and Kirchnerismo. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn