Op-Ed

American returning to feudal times

Something wicked this way comes.

Remember the history lessons on feudalism, how things were run in the Middle Ages by a handful of guys who owned everything and could do whatever, whenever, however? And how everybody else had no property, no rights, no say at all, and had to suck up to the local baron just to survive?

Sound like a good plan? Not when your odds of being a Big Dog are roughly zero.

A lot of us need to go over that chapter again. Because a bunch of really sordid fat cats are pushing hard to reconfigure us as the Feudal States of America.

They abhor a nation "of, for and by the people." The super-rich never did cotton to "the people" — which is to say, nearly all of us. People are trouble. They get in the way. Unless you own them, you can't shove them around when it suits you. Most of them are useless dead weight. Even worse, some actually have ideas, do stuff on their own initiative, without your say-so.

That'll mess up your agenda. And the needy are so needy. Young ones want to get educated, always a danger. The old believe they deserve to be cared for (what a notion). And they all want medical care. They actually imagine they have rights. Who do they think they are?

Exaggeration? Don't take my word. Look for yourself, and think. Please.

Check out the Ryan budget bill, a cornerstone of current Republican fiscal scheming. What does it want to ax? Basically every program or agency of benefit to the people. Who, on the other hand, would profit handsomely? The nation's richest and most powerful, many of whom are the exact same thieves who tanked the economy. Did they suffer from their shenanigans? No. Did they care that we took a licking? Laughable. What do they want now? Everything that they couldn't finagle then. They're not finished. And they won't be until one of two things happens. Either we wake up and push back, or they succeed, and we are all serfs. Again.

Their line is that government is the real enemy. Lots of people have swallowed this lie. Get real. Is the government jacking up gas prices? Keeping health care out of reach? Making education impossible? Evicting you? Denying unemployment? Chopping jobs? No, the government doesn't have the gas, own health care, run education, possess the housing, have all the jobs. That would be the rascals promoting "free enterprise." It's free for them. For us, not so much. While we slumbered, they plotted, manipulated and launched their assault.

For them, government is the enemy. Why? A government "of, for and by the people" is the only entity capable of blocking a return to feudalism — provided "we the people" remember that fact in time. Its weapons are powers no other entity has — and, no coincidence, precisely what the super-rich fear the most: regulation, oversight and yes, taxation.

It's way past time for us to forget the twits who just make stuff up, and look at reality. What's going on here is unvarnished class warfare. Either we reassert our right to the middle-class America that we thought we still had — or we slip back into what our forefathers rejected 235 years ago. Then it was called Absolutism. The name would be prettier tomorrow. But you and I still wouldn't be the Big Dogs.

Democracy, once achieved, is not a forever thing. Without watchful stewardship, it withers. Every so often, it must be revitalized. We'll always have those who hunger to be "masters of the universe." Hence, we can never forget that "we the people" are mere pawns in their games.

And these are enduring truths.

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