The Enabling Panhandlers

I work at two community colleges. Both schools provide me with a faculty email address, and every day I check each, dutifully. There are always a handful of administrative notifications, and the occasional student wanting to notify me of an absence or clarification on course content, assignments, whatnot. Some need responding to, others just require a quick reading, an assessment, or a judgment.

Not surprisingly, email accounts aren’t all official business.  I don’t use Gmail or any other email system. Having two email addresses is enough. Would anyone want to retrieve “snail mail” from three, four or five properties? Absurd. Less is more.


For the past few weeks, each of my accounts have been inundated with non-teaching-related matters. The messages are all breathlessly urgent in tone.  The sky is falling! is the essential theme in each email. Chicken Little has an iPad? What is it? No, more like Chicken Shit. It’s the pathetic, inept, incompetent, compromised, collusive and corrupted national Democratic Party. Not to be confused with the vile, venal, sociopathic, oligarchic, racist, homophobic, pseudo god fearing, blood-sucking, obstructionist, Republican Party.

I do not get emails from the GOP. That is because I’ve never given a penny to any campaigning republican or its national party. I wouldn’t cast a vote for a republican unless it was for conviction while serving jury duty.  I have, in years past, given a ruble or two to democratic candidates, most recently Elizabeth Warren when she was running for the U.S. Senate. She won. Hooray! My modest contributions were rewarded. Elizabeth is quite an exceptional democrat. She has integrity, is very smart, is for we the people, and speaks her mind, passionately. Naturally republicans fear her as a vampire mortally fears sunlight.

Well, in our world of on-line transactions, your name, address and purpose for purchase guarantees a sharing of such information by the intricate systems within a system that harvest data, then pass it along to other entities that feel they might, too, make a buck off a particular consumer’s apparent likes, values, beliefs. Donate to Mrs.Warren? Hey, this dude must LOVE all that is the “party of the people” and must want to further contribute to the national party.

Wrong, and here’s why…

Back to my email accounts. They have for weeks been flooded with appeals for money, likely written by some staff flunkies, but peddled with pretend pitches directly by Barack himself, or Michelle (I need you! she states. Geeze Michelle, what are you getting at?) or Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and on and on. Joe, we need MONEY! Money, money, so that they may defeat those rat bastard robber barons Koch brothers and their ilk, overturn Citizen United, protect the environment, save the downtrodden, protect the little people from GOP whackadoodles. Really? My first  question, Barack, Michelle, Nancy, Harry, et al: how did things get so desperate? Answer: because of you democrats!

For the past 34 years, democrats have become enablers and corporate-oriented co-conspirators in political perversions that have systematically sent this country tilting more and more to the Right. Start with the Reagan “revolution,” the Newt Gingrich “Contract with (on!) America,” the two arbitrary military incursions into sovereign countries by Bush I and Bush II, the deregulation of Wall Street, banks, and its ensuing infestation of Gordon Gecko avatars; The Patriot Act and its tossing of habeas corpus and other constitutional rights; the passage of Orwellian, double-speak named environmental policies advanced by republicans that are blatant bait-and-switch initiatives that let corporations have their way with once-protected lands, waterways and the air we breathe. Too many democrats  went along with all of it, wussy, wimpy and way out-of-touch with what the Party once stood for. Remember that Bill Clinton gleefully signed off on NAFTA, a USA job-killing gambit that has ruined many a small business and left its employees standing on a curb watching their jobs go to third world shit holes where workers are paid a pittance. The democrats, in an especially egregious bit of spinelessness, and as noted in a previous posting, permitted the confirmation of a moral scumbag and immensely unqualified Clarence Thomas to infest the Supreme Court for as long as he can still maintain a heartbeat (though his rulings can be heartless and hypocritical). Thanks for that one, “party of the people”.

So, I instantly delete these cyberspace, offensive and insulting pleas to help the Democratic Party, now presumably trying to beat back a beast that they were instrumental in helping create. How outrageously galling! How shallow and transparently dysfunctional a Party. My money won’t ever go to any democrat again, even if Elizabeth Warren clones herself a dozen times over. Why? Sadly, in my heart (I do have one) I believe it is just simply TOO LATE. Like correcting climate change is seemingly past the point of no return, my reading of the body politic, the John and Jane Doe citizens, the 1.3 party system that gives us virtually no choice, and recent history (including “hope and change!” President Obama) concludes this country is in for a nightmare mid-term election that will see things gets even worse than the quasi-fascist, neo-con plutocracy that it has become. Fat, lazy and stupid. That’s the voting public, the sheep who need a Morpheus to slip them that red pill, to free them from a mind-numbing matrix that peddles reality in corporate, candy-coated pop culture distractions and political rhetoric that would have the ancient Greek seekers of truth gagging on their leg of lamb.

There’s a lot of chicken out there. Chicken shit. Chicken hawks. Chicken Littles. It’s turning the United States into a creepy, dark and dank pseudo land of “equal opportunity” offering up stale bread and  bland circuses, tripe, trivial entertainment, and 10 second sound bites in a rigged game of “pretend democracy”.  The system uses money as its fuel. Everything is for sale, and we are being constantly asked to pay for more and more junk, junk  for our minds, our homes, our consumer cravings, junk in Congress and the White House.

Caveat emptor. And don’t forget to vote!


About jharrin4

mass communication/speech instructor at College of DuPage and Triton College in suburban Chicago. Army veteran of the Viet Nam era.
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1 Response to The Enabling Panhandlers

  1. Catherine O'Brian says:

    This is an excellent analysis of the character of the Democratic Party leadership and its anemic legacy over the past few decades. These party elites use the media to promote their status as celebrities and flaunt their wealth, while pretending to be going to bat for the disenfranchised and voiceless. Having cornered the market on this political mission, they can undertake it in a halfhearted and ineffective way without consequence to their status or reputation, as recounted in this must read blog post.


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