A Facebook friend asked: What will happen first, World War III or Civil War II?
That was before the latest round of mass shootings. Oh wait, we don’t have rounds of mass shootings anymore. They’re regular occurrences now.
Speaking of regular occurrences, cops murder black and brown people daily, with the risk of indictment and imprisonment far too remote to stem the tide of further killing. When the victimized population rises up to say their lives matter, we ignore them, but when they lash out in anger, we demonize them.
And our political leaders?
One party fields candidates who compete for the nomination by stoking racism, inciting murder, bashing immigrants, stereotyping Muslims, and pandering to white religious zealots. All while being completely owned by a tiny group of billionaires whose greed knows no bounds. Or being a billionaire whose greed knows no bounds.
The other party rigs its nomination process to clear the way for a neoliberal war monger who is owned by a different group of billionaires and who talks about obliterating Iran. It’s not clear whether that will happen before or after she obliterates Syria. She’s already obliterated Libya. And she hearts Wall Street.
While the country’s wealth is so unevenly distributed that 20 billionaires own more wealth than the bottom half of the population, the one presidential candidate who openly denounces the situation is widely regarded by the media as a fringe candidate.
Not one political leader dares to condemn the daily atrocities suffered upon Palestinians by violent Israeli settlers. While an apartheid right-wing Israeli regime foment further violence, its leader is invited to the White House. And asks for another $5 Billion in weapons. Which will be tested on one of the most densely packed populations on the planet, desperately clinging to life in an open air prison known as Gaza.
Meanwhile, in Paris, world leaders meet to agree on half-measures insufficient to stop the burning of the planet. And pat themselves on the back for doing so. As the ice melts, the seas rise, the species die off, the droughts worse, and the forests burn, we dither.
Maybe my Facebook friend’s question should have been: What’s next, World War III, Civil War II, or Extinction of Mankind I?
Chris Hedges sums it all up thusly:
We have entered a new and dangerous phase in American political life. The ruling political elites have been exposed as charlatans. The rage of the underclass, especially the white underclass, has broken its bonds. The age of the demagogues has arrived.
Have we hit bottom yet? Not even close. These are dark days. The days ahead are darker.