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Americans Unready to Revolt, Despite Revolting Conditions

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The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal national poll results vividly show a population incredibly dissatisfied with their nation’s political system.  In other countries in other times such a depressing level of confidence in government would send a signal to those running the government that a major upheaval is imminent.  But not here in the USA.  Why?


First, here are the highlights of the poll that surveyed 1,008 adults from June 8-11, with a margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.


A whopping 68 percent think the country is on the wrong track.    Just 19 percent believe the country is headed in the right direction - the lowest number on that question in nearly 15 years.  And most of those with the positive view are probably in the Upper Class.


Bush’s approval rating is at just 29 percent, his lowest mark ever in the survey.  Only 62 percent of Republicans approve, versus 32 percent who disapprove.  Take Republicans out of the picture and a fifth or less of Americans have a positive view of Bush.


Even worse, only 23 percent approve of the job that Congress is doing.  So much for that wonderful new Democratic control of Congress.  Bipartisan incompetence is alive and well.

 On the economic front, nearly twice as many people think the U.S. is more hurt than helped by the global economy (48 to 25 percent).  Globalization does not spread wealth; it channels it to the wealthy, making billionaires out of millionaires. 

I have long asserted that Americans live in a delusional democracy with delusional prosperity and these and loads of other data support this view.  There is a super wealthy and politically powerful Upper Class that is literally raping the nation.  Meanwhile, the huge Lower Class continues to lose economic ground while their elected representatives sell them out to benefit the Upper Class.  Yet no rational person thinks that a large fraction of the population is ready to rise up in revolt against the evil status quo political-economic system that so clearly is not serving the interests of the overwhelming majority of Americans.  Why not?


For a nation that was built on a revolt against oppressive governance by the British, something has been lost from our political DNA.  We apparently no longer have the gene for political rebellion.  It has been bred out of most of us.  And those of us that urge a Second American Revolution are seen as fringe, nutty subversives.


Part of the genius of our contemporary ruling class elites is that they have engineering a state of political and economic oppression that paradoxically is still embraced by the Lower Class.  The rational way to understand this is that ordinary, oppressed Americans are in a deep psychological state of self-delusion.  Despite all the empirical, objective evidence of a failed government, they fail to see rebellion opportunities.  Many still believe they live in the world’s best democracy.  But across all elections considerably less than half the citizens even bother to vote anymore.  Yet, as the new NBC/Journal poll results show, people are cognitively aware of just how awful the political-economic system is.  Yet they are not feeling enough pain to seriously consider rebellion.  And it is visceral pain that must drive people to the daring act of rebellion.

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Why is there insufficient pain for revolution?  This is a deadly serious issue.  What is historically unique about America is that even the most oppressed and unfairly treated people are distracted by affordable materialism, entertainment, sports, gambling, and myriad other aspects of our frivolous, self-absorbed culture.  Even failed school and health care systems do not drive people, paying enormous sums to fill up their SUVs, to rebellion.  So, Americans are aware of their oppression, but the power elites have successfully drugged them with a plethora of pleasure-producing distractions sufficient to keep them under control.  We are free to b*tch, but too weak to revolt.  The Internet has provided a release valve for some pent up anger and frustration.  But it too has mostly become another source of distraction, rather than an effective tool for rebellion.


Though these new poll statistics make news, those in control of the political-economic system are not afraid that the population is on the verge of retaking their constitutionally guaranteed sovereign power and take back their nation.  Thousands of people like me keep writing books and articles and creating protest groups and events.  Those in power just find new, ingenious ways to keep the population distracted – if not through pleasure, then certainly through fear of terrorism.  Growing economic insecurity also contributes to self-paralysis, as do never-ending political lies.


What a system.


Even as the population has growing awareness of the dire condition of their nation, the move by the politically powerful on the right and left continues to seek a new immigration law that will solidify the selling out of America.  Business interests want more of those fleeing Mexico and other nations to keep wages low.  Instead of Mexicans rising up in rebellion against their oppressive government and economic system they escape to the USA.  But Americans have no such viable escape solution.  Though global warming will certainly make Canada increasingly attractive.


So what do Americans have – other than a terribly bleak future?  Where is hope in our dismal world?

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In a bizarre twist of history that further illustrates just how impotent Americans have become, virtually all citizens are either unaware of or unreceptive to the ultimate escape route that the Framers of our Constitution gave us.  They anticipated that Americans could become quite dissatisfied with the federal government.  They feared that the political system could become incredibly corrupted by moneyed interests.  They were right.

So here we sit over 200 years after our nation was created unwilling to use what is explicitly given to us in Article V of the Constitution – the option to have a convention outside the control of Congress, the President and the Supreme Court to make proposals for constitutional amendments.  Do we really believe in the rule of law?  If so, then we should understand that the supreme law of the land – what is in our Constitution – is the ultimate way to obtain the deep political and government reforms to restore true democracy and economic fairness to our society.


Make no mistake: an Article V convention has been stubbornly opposed by virtually all groups with political and economic power.  This is most evidenced by the blatant refusal of Congress to obey the Constitution and give us an Article V convention, even though the single explicit requirement for a convention has been met.  This fact alone should tell rational people that they are being screwed and oppressed.  The rule of law is trumped by the rule of delusion.  Our lawmakers are lawbreakers.

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Joel S. Hirschhorn is the author of Delusional Democracy - Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing the Government. His current political writings have been greatly influenced by working as a senior staffer for the U.S. Congress and for the (more...)

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legitimacy ceases, at the point the social contrac... by k kelly on Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 8:53:44 AM
If you're going to make a comment about an art... by JL Wallace on Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 4:23:02 PM
Mr. Hirschhorn needs to go back and re-read Articl... by Robert Davidson on Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 10:02:35 AM
What can I do to help educate people who seem to r... by Joel S. Hirschhorn on Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 5:23:16 PM
It's time to dismantle the current 2-party sys... by Cheryl Biren on Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 10:03:33 AM
In 1946 it was understood that to go ahead with a ... by Patrick on Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 11:29:26 AM
I keep reading articles calling for a national con... by tabonsell on Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 4:25:34 PM
How anyone reading this site's materials can r... by Joel S. Hirschhorn on Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 5:31:13 PM
your efforts to effect positive change through the... by k kelly on Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 9:33:09 PM
I know what problems exist in this nation. What I... by tabonsell on Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 1:19:39 PM
An Article V Convention DOES NOT ABOLISH OUR CURRE... by JL Wallace on Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 4:32:11 PM
Do your homework. An Article V Convention is the o... by JL Wallace on Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 4:25:56 PM
all along, only I called it Emergency Convention.&... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 6:28:43 PM
if you go to this site: http://www.article5.orgyou... by john de herrera on Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 12:58:38 PM
There are many groups who are trying to enact legi... by David N-V on Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 8:50:11 PM
Though our group Friends of the Article V Conventi... by Joel S. Hirschhorn on Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 10:27:39 AM
Is America delusional? Is Bush and his neocon in p... by TomK on Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 9:15:28 PM
It is very difficult and challenging to retain som... by Joel S. Hirschhorn on Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 10:24:44 AM
Dear American People Always you think that what ev... by Hameed on Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 12:05:03 AM
Are you as exercised as Lee Iacocca? Hear him ... by brittb on Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 9:34:16 AM
if you meet with mr. iaccoca, could you please let... by john de herrera on Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 12:52:36 PM
It seems that this article is all about selling bo... by George C. Sievers on Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 9:55:45 AM
You are a dumb, moronic old fart; I have made NO m... by Joel S. Hirschhorn on Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 10:18:31 AM
Best look up the definition of "dumb". I... by George C. Sievers on Saturday, Jun 16, 2007 at 10:17:10 AM
As for a Constitutional Convention, be careful wha... by Ed Kunin on Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 10:18:45 AM
Probably, but things are bad enough to take a chan... by Joel S. Hirschhorn on Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 11:51:09 AM
It seems it is thought that the REVOLT DNA, has be... by Danl Wiz on Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 11:07:48 AM
However, objective reality tells me that any attem... by Joel S. Hirschhorn on Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 11:56:50 AM
I would hate to see a revolution when the only ser... by wraft on Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 12:14:34 PM
  is not about creating a new constitution. i... by john de herrera on Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 1:01:06 PM
The bluntest way ... by k kelly on Tuesday, Jun 19, 2007 at 4:35:02 PM
Today mainstream America can be described as a peo... by Rasoul Acheh on Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 12:36:28 PM
is not about creating a new constitution. it's abo... by john de herrera on Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 12:46:24 PM
I replied to your article. I hope I didn't get too... by nguirado on Sunday, Jun 17, 2007 at 2:25:20 PM
Joel will be my guest on my radio show wednesday m... by Jon Fox on Monday, Jun 18, 2007 at 1:55:08 AM
Your article makes several completely irrational a... by Rob Domanski on Tuesday, Jun 19, 2007 at 2:55:17 PM
When you, Sir, starting talking sense with facts a... by Lee Taylor on Thursday, Jun 21, 2007 at 6:42:27 PM