Whenever I hear a person claim that President Obama is a slave to the corporatist Wall Street culture, I know immediately that he’s one of three things – he’s either ignorant, blind to reality, or he’s promoting his own agenda. Of course Obama is a slave to Wall Street – we all are. You can’t live in this society without being a slave to Wall Street. But there are two kinds of slaves. There are slaves who are subservient and content to simply do what they’re told, and then there are slaves who engage in a constant struggle to free themselves and their people. So, while I’m not always happy with some of the day-to-day decisions that President Obama makes to promote our cause, I’m convinced that Obama is one of the latter. If he wasn’t, they wouldn’t be trying so hard to get rid of him.
The fact is, if you’re a casual observer sitting at home and keeping score based purely on your attitudes, prejudices, and feelings, it’s easy to pass your uninformed judgment on every decision that any politician makes. But the reality is, anyone who decides to go into politics has to be practical, and a huge part of that practicality entails recognizing the fact that you’re going to have to dance to the music that’s being played, and it’s Wall Street that leads the band. So regardless to who we elect, they’re going to have to have, at the very least, a working relationship with the corporate establishment – and ironically, it’s our own fault.
The primary reason that every politician in this country is forced to play footsy with the corporate establishment is because we, the people, are so lazy, undereducated, and disengaged in our own political well being that we allow the corporations to use money to control our minds. So the only way that a politician like Obama can even get through to us is by way of the corporate establishment.
The reason that money has such a large influence on our political system is because it’s used to tell us what and how to think. From the time that most of us get up in the morning until the time we go to bed at night, we spend most of our free time with corporate voices whispering in our ear. It could be the radio, television, or even the billboards that we don’t think we’re noticing as we’re driving in to work, but the fact is, they are all having a profound subliminal effect on our thinking and attitudes. They’re conditioning us to think and do what they tell us to. Corporations spend billions of dollars a year to convince wimps with severe cases of acne and horrendous body odors that if they buy a certain kind
of car the beautiful model that’s sensuously stroking its hood, or someone just like her, is going to fall in love with them.
My personal favorite is the National Rent-A-Car commercial. They have a businessman walking through the air port in slow motion with dramatic music playing in the background. Then when he gets to the counter, they have the lady behind the counter making goo-goo eyes at him like she can barely restrain herself from jumping over the counter and attacking him. Then the clincher is, at the end of the commercial they have a deep, authoritative voice saying, “YOU DESERVE THIS!”
That commercial servers two purposes. First, it entices the traveling businessman to believe that using National Rent-A-Car makes him seem more important. But it also sends a message to the public – that big business is powerful, and that’s a good thing, so the concept of big business should be seen in a positive light.
Since the public is manipulated like this 24 hours a day, any politician who doesn’t have a working relationship with corporations can’t survive. The reason for that is simple. The very same corporation that runs commercials on Monday that convinces an unthinking electorate that “Obama is a big-government socialist who’s trying to put a bureaucrat between you and your doctor,” can turn around on Tuesday and convince that very same unthinking electorate that it’s appropriate to create a government small enough to crawl up a woman’s uterus. That explains why we have people walking around saying things like, “Obama is un-American – he’s engaged in a socialist plot to insure my family’s healthcare send my kids to college.” It sounds like hyperbole, but as you know, people are actually that brainwashed.
Thus, the problem in this country is not the amount of money flowing through the system, that’s only secondary; the primary problem is the apathy, selfishness, and ignorance of the people. Money is merely a tool used to feed that apathy, selfishness, and ignorance to our severe disadvantage, and to make sure that we remain that way – both ignorant, and disadvantaged.
While the corporations can’t use their money to literally buy a political office, they can only use it to convince us to GIVE it to them by repeatedly reelecting those politicians who are willing to promote corporate interests. Their primary method of doing that is by playing on our ignorance and selfishness through the use of conflation. That keeps the poor and middle class so angry and divided that we fail to come together to protect our mutual interest.
The corporate manipulators will conflate liberalism with socialism, communism, and un-Americanism, then tell everyone else who doesn’t subscribe to liberal philosophy that the liberals are trying to take away their way of life. Then they’ll target Blacks and initiate a campaign to convince everyone else that Blacks want to rob and steal from them, murder their sons and rape their daughters. Thereafter, they target every segment of the poor and middle class, one by one, and associate them with some threat to everyone else. That keeps the poor and middle class in turmoil. It causes them to be so angry, fearful, and divided among themselves that they fail to recognize that they’re being manipulated, while all their throats are being cut by a common foe – corporate greed.
The only remedy for this situation is education, and through education, enlightenment. Because through a true education – as oppose to mere literacy – and its attendant enlightenment, we’re more prone to become independent thinkers. And as a result, we wouldn’t be nearly as susceptible to unsubstantiated claims by others. We would examine what we were being told, and we would consider the motives of those who were going out of their way to spread negative generalizations about others. Then, and only then, will we be able to defend our individual interests, and come together to defend the nation against the widespread and rampant corruption that’s currently dragging this country under the bus.
Thus, if we want to save this nation for the benefit of our children, and their children, it is incumbent upon the American people to wake up to reality – and in a hurry. The world is changing faster than it ever has before, so we may not have but one or two elections left before the damage to this country is irreversible.
We’ve got to start thinking of this country like it’s a business, we’re the owners, and the politicians are our employees. Only then will we begin to recognize the importance of our full engagement in running that business. Because the fact is, if the United States was a business, and as owners, we simply lounged around at home watching BET, MTV, and ESPN while allowing our employees (the politicians) to run it in the ground by giving themselves unwarranted raises in the middle of the night, and squandering and giving away our profits, it wouldn’t be the employees’ fault. It would be ours.
So again, is President Obama a slave to Wall Street? Of course he is. We all are, and it’s way past time to correct that situation.
Eric L. Wattree is a writer, poet, and musician, born in Los Angeles. He’s a columnist for The Los Angeles Sentinel, Black Star News, The Atlanta Post, and several other publications. He’s also a staff writer for Veterans Today and the author of "A Message From the Hood."