Two-Party Trap Snaps Shut Again


Even the Andy Griffith Show taught us basic civics. nnRemember the episode where Gomer Pyle sees Deputy Barney Fife do an illegal U-turn and asserts the principle that no one is above the law?

After drawling “citizens’ arrest!” and realizing that Barney was protesting the idea that a cop could be cited for a traffic infraction, Gomer shoots back: “There’s two sets of laws — one for the ‘pole-eese’ and one for ordinary citizens!”

And the gritty Walker, Texas Ranger series upheld the rule of law into the early 2000s. Jeff Foxworthy once joked that if Walker changes your life, you might be a redneck. I can accept that.

The very first sign of law breakage brought Walker’s signature round-house kick and handcuffs into the equation. The innocent were aided. The crooks were raided. Every time. Boom!

Corrupt police and politicians, renegade soldiers, Texas crack dealers and hoods of any race — it didn’t matter — the law breaker, in or outside the government, of any rank, would feel the full immediate brunt of the law by the Texas Rangers.

All of which illustrates how far we’ve fallen in what could, or perhaps should, be called the Failed State of America.

Our plutocratic elite likes to call other nations “failed states” whenever they say no to US free trade treaties, monopoly capitalism, and our interventionist foreign policy. How blind we are to our own faults.

Anyway, those TV shows have given way to the juvenile news media and its insistence that no rule of law exists, especially for the well-funded and the high-born. It’s supposed to be that no one is above the law and no one is beneath its protection.

But kids with an illegal joint must submit. Struggling men who miss a single child-support payment by a few days — obey as well.

And speeders, “one-too-many” drivers, public pissers, curfew breakers and the whole sordid lot. Taser them! Take their driver’s licenses! Render them jobless!

With all the foregoing as a backdrop, I arrived home Nov. 6th for an evening meal with my wife. I popped open the laptop and happened upon the latest sizzler: FBI chief James Comey had caved again.

As we know, Comey reportedly sent letters to the heads of key congressional committees. The letters informed Congress that, as of two days before the election, he again would not be pressing charges against Hillary Clinton for her email debacle.

Regardless of who the new president is as you read this, the problem isn’t so much Hillary’s highly scandalous past, in league with a husband who granted the Republican Party’s big-business partisans the NAFTA treaty of 1994 and the elimination of the Glass-Steagall Act.

To be sure, that was a dose of double trouble from which we’ve barely survived, with NAFTA having raped the US of scores of good-paying, upwardly mobile jobs and Glass Steagall’s fall having turned back time on busting financial trusts, by blowing a hole in the firewall between community banking in the public interest and risky investments undertaken by banks.

The real problem is turning out to be the big media.

Many if not most people don’t necessarily have a problem with a woman president. But if the media would challenge the private Commission on Presidential Debates and get the Green, Libertarian and Constitution parties, among others, into public view early on, then the entire equation would change.

More women voters could have been inspired to take a closer look at Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein, while those drawn to Trump for his populist rhetoric (the question being his sincerity, apart from a checkered business past) might have taken a harder look at the Constitution Party’s Darrell Castle or Libertarian Gary Johnson.

But the big media — which harps about election stress but won’t acknowledge that the media’s frantic polling and ticker-tape reporting in a 24-hour news cycle fosters that stress — basically blacklists other candidates and parties.

That, in turn, is what gave us all the flim-flam between Hillary and Trump, although Hillary’s true distinction has been that the United States Code actually says that the mishandling or careless processing of government documents really does disqualify the offender from any public office. That’s not some anti-woman diatribe; it’s simply a fact.

Yet, that doesn’t mean that Trump was ever ideal either. Far from it. He sits at the very summit of “Mount Ego” and speaks more from raw ambition than from solid principle.

It boils down to the media snaring us in a two-party trap because those parties raise massive funds spent on advertising in the same media venues. And that money makes its way into the paychecks of the Wolf Blitzers and Anderson Coopers of the world. Politicians aren’t the only ones on the take.

Mark Anderson is a veteran journalist who divides his time between Texas and Michigan. Email him at

From The Progressive Populist, December 1, 2016

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