If you are like most Americans you probably feel like the world around you is more than slightly off-kilter these days. The very ground under your feet may seem to be shifting. Things you knew were true have turned out to be lies. Institutions, like Congress, the media, and even the FBI have not only disappointed you but in many cases betrayed you.
You are disillusioned. You are disoriented. You are unsure where all this is going.
There is a very good reason. We are in the middle of what I will call the Great Realignment, and our lives will never be the same.
For many decades in American politics and public life, the divisions in politics seemed relatively clear. Republicans stood for individual freedom, free enterprise, small government, a strong defense, and lower spending. Democrats stood for a much more activist government, which was focused on helping the disadvantaged, domestic social programs, and a general liberalization of society and social norms.
If you think back to popular images of the divisions in our society during the Vietnam War you can form a snapshot picture of how that all looked. It will be as all simplifications are in many respects inaccurate, yet it will still capture essential truths. This is the America that was but is no more.
A great many things have changed. First and foremost, though, our economy has changed. We were a nation decades ago defined by the middle class, which represented the great preponderance of Americans and was based on an industrial economy the likes of which the world had never seen. That economy ceased to exist long ago. In its place, we now have something fundamentally different. We are no longer a nation of prosperous middle-class households. We are increasingly a nation of serfs and feudal lords.
Republican and Democratic leaders may continue to pay lip service to old issues and utter the same stale platitudes, but the truth is there is virtually no difference between many of them. They are the Uni-Party, and their loyalty lies not with the people or with a cause but with the Almighty Dollar.
The median American family income is roughly $70,000 a year. Adjusted for inflation that figure has hardly changed in fifty years. Keep in mind that fifty years ago that family income was in most cases coming from the salary of a single breadwinner. It is now increasingly taking both parents in a family working to bring home the same amount of money.
Among the top 1% of American families, the average annual household income is $1.7 million.
Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, alone made almost $600 million last year.
As the economy has changed and been hollowed out in recent decades vast amounts of wealth that would otherwise be held by the middle class has flowed into the hands of the rich. Estimates are that the top 1% now hold at least $50 trillion that would otherwise be in the hands of average Americans.
As the elite has grown ever richer and less and less attached to the idea of the United States as an independent nation-state its goals and ambitions have become less and less attached to the welfare of the average man or woman. Increasingly, what the elite wants is in direct opposition to what the average American wants. You may pine for the days when the things you bought were made nearby at the factory where your uncle worked, lasted a lifetime, and could be bought from a local mom and pop business. Amazon has absolutely no interest in undoing a business model, which has made its founder, Jeff Bezos, one of the richest men on the planet.
It is not just that this class of oligarchs is richer than anyone ever imagined possible, however. With this money, and with the capabilities of new technologies, these modern-day robber barons increasingly have the power to steamroll any opposition, manipulate any outcome and crush all opposition. If you speak against them, you will be canceled. Your Twitter account will be blocked. Your Facebook posts will be censored. In the very near future, almost certainly, you will find that your email accounts have been shut down.
Figure out a way to trade stocks that works to the detriment of the filthy rich hedge fund managers? Your ability to buy and sell stock will be terminated.
Expose electoral fraud and the theft of an election? You will simply be silenced.
Find a laptop detailing the Biden family’s worldwide business of corruption? Any mention of that fact will be scrubbed from the Internet.
It may seem hopeless. It is not. I said earlier the ground is shifting under our feet. That is true for the average American. It is true for the oligarchs as well.
Donald Trump’s recent “defeat” did not represent the end of anything. It marked simply another battle in a war that is only just beginning. This is a war between the forces of populism, of the average American, and the shameless, power-mad, self-appointed elite that thinks it now owns this country. The oligarchs may believe they can win this war. They cannot. No force on earth can stand against the will and the strength of the American people once awakened and focused on a goal.
Admiral Yamamoto, Commander of the Japanese Navy in 1941, is said to have written after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, “I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.” The authenticity of the quote is in doubt. The accuracy of the observation is not. The attack on Pearl Harbor did not lead to Japanese victory. It led to the destruction of Imperial Japan.
So, too will the gross overreach by the forces of the oligarchy now on display. Americans are waking up. They see the elite for what it is and understand now that we are not all in this together. The average American exists in the eyes of the oligarchy to do what he or she is told, toil away for meager wages and buy vast quantities of goods produced in factories in China and elsewhere by workers who are at best one step above slavery.
The system does not exist to better the average man or woman. It exists to make a very select few filthy rich.
That system is about to be rocked. The Great Realignment is already underway within the Republican Party. The GOP will either be fundamentally transformed into a true populist party serving the people or it will be torn apart from within and a new entity will emerge.
Just as clearly, such a reckoning is coming for the Democrats as well. Pelosi and her henchmen are quite happy to continue to pay lip service to social justice and equality as they milk the system and continue to get filthy rich. Out there in the street, though, are a great many people, who feel truly disenfranchised and actually believe in the slogans they are chanting and the causes they are supporting. They aren’t willing anymore to simply go home, sit down, shut up, and wait to be called upon again in four years.
They want change too.
The nation is aligning itself politically on a fault line. On one side are a handful of very wealthy, very powerful people. On the other side is everyone else.
The Great Realignment is underway. True populism is rising. The nation will never be the same again.