It is no great secret that the American political system, despite its democratic auspices, is a mechanism for the rule of an elite minority. The past thirty years in particular have seen many brazen examples of this, highlighted by an unprecedented expansion of the gap between rich and poor as social welfare spending was cut to make way for ever greater tax breaks for the wealthy. However, while the corruption of our system has been exposed repeatedly by thousands of different observers, the modern political climate holds new developments. As our politicians squabble on the national stage it becomes clear that along with misrepresenting us, these elites are increasingly incapable of effectively governing the country. A division has emerged within the ruling class that makes their hold on power increasingly tenuous, creating opportunities for the people to seek a radically different future.
After four years, the promises of President Obama’s campaign seem almost cruel when placed alongside his actions in office. Instead of a break with the past, Obama has pursued policies remarkably akin to those of his predecessors, most ironically George Bush. Guantanamo Bay remains open while an interventionist foreign policy continues to cause thousands of deaths globally. Our economy continues to be weak, the “recovery” largely jobless; tax rates on the wealthy are at historic lows; health care reform passed only as a broken shadow of itself; and our freedoms have been limited by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in ways that the authors of the Patriot Act could only dream of. There can be little argument that Obama has fallen far short of his promises from the campaign trail.