This is who we are: the United Suckers of America

We, the voters, prefer to remain uninformed and to perpetuate the myth that there is no one to vote for

If you liked 2018, you will probably love 2019. Our national leaders continue to squabble. The scene in Washington often looks like a schoolyard at recess time. In fact, they have even orchestrated an extended recess. We are now in an indefinite shutdown.

During his recent trip to Iraq, President Trump said the people of the United States were “no longer the suckers.”

But there is a lot of evidence to contradict his statement.

And the proof is all around us.

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Let's consider the evidence:

1. How does the United States rank when it comes to health care? We are at the bottom of the list of industrialized countries.

2. What about infant mortality?

3. What about longevity?

4. Hunger and homelessness are increasing. The media and the press continue to report that the economy is “good.” Good? Where? Maybe on Wall Street. Not on Main Street. How can the media be so disconnected from the real world, where the rest of us struggle for survival?

5. Respect for our most revered national law - the Constitution of the United States - no longer exists. The First Amendment has effectively been rescinded in many towns, on some college campuses, and even in some public tax supported libraries.

What about due process? How many Gitmo prisoners have had a trial?

6. The tax code shows that often those who have the least wealth pay the highest percent of their income in taxes. How can that be? Just look at all of the hidden taxes that we pay every day. Suckers.

7. Ninety-nine percent of the offense budget could be eliminated, and we would still have enough weapons systems to blow up the entire planet. So how can we explain that? Easy: It is a gift to the weapons manufacturers. Think about the F-35 and Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin got a billion-dollar gift and the taxpayers got the bill. Suckers.

We must defund the black budget. It is a violation of Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution.

8. The so-called “opioid crisis”: Yes, it is a serious medical issue, but the solution is more complicated than just blaming pharmaceutical companies. That is like blaming auto manufacturers for drunk driving. We need a logical, compassionate solution for addicts who want help, while still respecting the right of adults to ingest any substance they want.

We also need increased enforcement of traffic-safety laws, especially laws relevant to impaired and distracted driving.

9. Our national record on human rights is a disgrace. The refugee crisis at the border is a direct result of United States intervention in Central America. This has been going on for decades.

Hundreds of books have been written about this history by renowned authors such as William Blum, John Perkins, Howard Zinn. Major General Smedley Butler, the highest ranking officer in the Marine Corps, wrote War Is a Racket in 1935.

These books should be required reading in every high school. They are not. Why not? Because we are suckers for blind patriotism.

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We, the voters, could change all of this, but we won't. We prefer to remain uninformed. We continue to perpetuate the myth that there is no one to vote for. There were six candidates for president on my ballot. Three of them were good pro-justice, anti-war candidates.

Walk down any Main Street, and ask the first 10 people how many candidates were on their ballot for president. Most cannot answer that question.

Then ask if they can name the candidates and their positions on the issues. Very few voters can.

Uninformed voting is an act of citizen betrayal - sort of an act of treason. It is a sure way to undermine the nation. It is worse than not voting at all, because it cancels out the votes of informed voters who took the time to do their homework.

Voters refuse to vote for candidates who are not widely covered by the press. The press refuses to cover candidates who do not garner a sufficient number of votes. We are prisoners of a perfect catch-22 loop with no escape plan.

Look around. We have become the U.S.A. - the United Suckers of America. Wake up.

Good luck in 2019. We are going to need it. P.T. Barnum was right.

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