HomeArticleUS Politics Isn’t ‘Polarized’; It’s In Almost Universal Agreement

US Politics Isn’t ‘Polarized’; It’s In Almost Universal Agreement

When you look at US politics, it appears as though there are two mainstream political factions that very strongly disagree with one another. “Divided” is a word that comes up a lot. “Polarized” is another.

It is of course true that a whole lot of emotion flows between these two factions, and most of it is indeed negative. The hot topics of any given news cycle in America will typically involve more than one story pertaining to the vitriolic enmity between them.

But beneath all the hurled insults and heated debates, these two factions are actually furiously agreeing with one another. They’re agreeing the entire time.

They agree that the US government should remain the center of a globe-spanning empire; they just angrily quibble over a few of the details of how that empire should be run, like whether or not the Saudi crown prince should have received some small consequence for dismembering a Washington Post reporter with a bone saw.

They agree that the US should remain the earth’s unipolar hegemon at all cost; they just loudly bicker over some of the specifics in how it should look, like whether there should be the names of Confederate generals on its military bases.

They agree that there should be a massive US military presence around the world; they just furiously dispute small particulars like whether a few thousand of those troops should remain in Germany or be moved to Poland.

They agree that there must be endless mass military violence to uphold the US-centralized empire; they just make a big show of debating whether that military violence should be more focused on Syria or Iran.

They agree that it is necessary to menace the entire planet with nuclear weapons while ramping up aggressions against other nuclear powers; they just rage back and forth about whose finger should be on the button.

They agree that it is necessary to control the world economy with an iron fist; they just squabble about its features, like how and when to roll out a trade war with China.

They agree that the environment should continue to be destroyed; they just fight about the minutia, like whether or not there should be some accommodations made for the profit margins of green energy corporations.

They agree that income and wealth inequality should persist in the US; they just passionately disagree about how it should persist, like whether or not Americans should receive another paltry $1200 stimulus payment this year.

They agree that plutocracy should continue to rule America; they just spar over the minor features, like whether or not those plutocrats should pay a tiny bit more in taxes.

They agree that Americans should remain aggressively propagandized; they just argue about whether it should be by Fox News or MSNBC.

They agree Americans should be closely surveilled and their speech tightly controlled; they just debate the details, like whether or not right-wing pundits are being disproportionately censored on social media.

On all issues that most severely affect real people on mass scale, these two political factions are in emphatic agreement. They just pour a whole lot of sound and fury into the tiny one percent of the spectrum wherein they have some disagreement.

They do not allow for any mainstream discussion of if the oligarchic empire should continue to exist; all their issues, arguments and histrionics revolve around how it should exist.

This is what they are designed to do. They are designed to keep the American populace from clearly seeing what the real debate is, which is why anyone who relies on a worldview which favors either of these mainstream factions will inevitably suffer confusion and misperception. They are perceptual filters designed to hide the only real debate in US politics.

The real debate in US politics is not between the two mainstream factions which agree with one another on virtually everything that matters to every extent that matters. The real debate is those two factions together against those who understand that the entire American status quo needs to be flushed down the toilet.

The real political debate in America is between (A) those who understand that the US empire is the single most destructive force on this planet and is corrupt from root to flower, and (B) those who subscribe to mainstream partisan narratives which by design support the US empire.

If politics were real in America, this would be the debate everyone sees. Not between two murderous septuagenarians yelling over each other about who hates socialism more, but between the side which opposes the oligarchic empire and the side which promotes and protects it.

But politics isn’t real in America. It’s a show. A two-handed sock puppet show to distract the audience while pickpockets rob them blind.

If you want to see things clearly, ignore the fake drama of the sock puppet show altogether and focus on advancing the real debate: that the US-centralized oligarchic empire is corrupt beyond redemption and should be completely dismantled.

_________________________

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Latest comments

  • Trump is America unmasked with all it’s ugliness, contempt, hypocrisy and bloodlust greed out In the open.
    Biden is the same just less cruder.
    The Empire of Shit like all Predecessors of Past Militaristic Empires is standing at its precipice of extinction.
    Unfortunately this just resets itself into wash, rinse and repeat.
    Hopefully we will evolve but I’m not betting on it.

  • A powerful dose of truth/reality in Caitlin’s piece, especially with regard to “empire”, foreign policy, corruption, and oligarchy, but unfortunately considerable distortion as regards domestic affairs. Example:”They agree that the environment should continue to be destroyed; they just fight about the minutia, …” Taking Biden’s position to be essentially what Obama is known for, there are clearly important differences in the two party’s positions, even if it is acknowledged that within either party, there is some range of positions. Environmental protections is not a minor issue, and the Trump administration has been disastrous thereto. Ditto on the issue of climate change/global warming/carbon emissions, a crucial subject to be acted on, the present administration is totally retrograde, whereas the Obama-like position at least recognized the seriousness of the problem, as their position on the Paris agreement indicated..

  • Fake Political Differences for the World’s Leading Fake Democracy.

    That is the United States of America in its essence.

  • “But beneath all the hurled insults and heated debates, these two factions are actually furiously agreeing with one another. They’re agreeing the entire time.”

    Exactly correct.

  • I agree with every point you made, except these two:

    “They agree that the environment should continue to be destroyed; they just fight about the minutia, like whether or not there should be some accommodations made for the profit margins of green energy corporations.

    They agree that income and wealth inequality should persist in the US; they just passionately disagree about how it should persist, like whether or not Americans should receive another paltry $1200 stimulus payment this year.”

    How would Caitlin Johnstone deal with these two issues, because these two are the only ones you listed that would imply some over-arching authority to deal with them. All the others simply argue for an end to what we have now, cessation, if you will, of the American government’s activities in those areas. These other two argue for some positive acts on the part of…whom, exactly?

    What, exactly, are you, Caitlin, advocating as a political system which will deal with these two issues? For what kind of authority are you arguing? What acts of our present government play a role in these two issues?

    • Heaar, hear. I’m not very eloquent or educated, but it seems to me that you ought to have a clear plan for replacing any system that has productive utility before you begin dismantling it. Especially if it’s a system that you or anyone is reliant on for survival.

  • Getting people to understand the truth in all this is the real challenge. I honestly don’t know how we can do that. One person at a time? Trouble is, most people simply don’t want to here that their world is not what they thought it was.

    • You nailed it, Joe!

      A nice start would be to get newscasters to stop calling the USA President “The Leader Of The Free World” that’s the last thing he/she is.

  • https://parowanprophet.com/trump-wins-again.html
    May God BLESS all of you, Nuclear War coming soon.

  • So, Generation after generation, century after century some people gravitate to the top of the heap and wreak havoc on the planet and use the rest of us for labor. Kind of like an Ant colony. Well, best approach, use your Ant existence in ways that give your life the most meaning and the most gratification you can get out of it. Hopefully as you mature and grow, the path to a happy life will become clear to you and all the unfortunate sidetracks and disappointments will just have fallen into the gutter of life and have just faded to the nothingness where they always belonged.

  • “When you look at US politics, it appears as though there are two mainstream political factions that very strongly disagree with one another… But beneath all the hurled insults and heated debates, these two factions are actually furiously agreeing with one another.”
    .
    There are only two types of beans on the American supermarket shelf. Both of these bean manufacturers suck. The beans taste awful and aren’t good for you. No other beans are allowed on the shelf. We are prodded and conned into thinking that we must buy one or the other of these bean cans every time they go up for sale. Our parents and grandparents bought these beans and fed them to us. They told us we were not being good citizens if we refused to buy one or the other of these beans and eat them.
    .
    Today, we are burdened with the notion that all of Western Civilization is at stake in which can of beans we choose to buy in November. Both bean makers are saying that if you buy their beans, the World is saved from utter destruction that will surely happen if the other bean maker prevails. So since both bean makers are saying the same thing, we are assured to both, a) save the World, and b) destroy the World… at the same time. That’s a neat trick, and worthy of former study by whatever race takes over the Earth after we’ve run our course.
    .
    No one asks whether we like beans. No one asks what type of food we want. No, no. It’s beans, beans, beans, all the time beans. And if you say you don’t like beans, you are UnAmerican. Which in America is about the worst thing you can ever be called.
    .
    So, we suck it up and buy the beans and force them down our throats. We hate these damn things, but it’s too much work to fight the system. We even hope to maybe like the taste of that stuff one day to make the pain easier to deal with. So when you see the Two Headed Bean Monster, remember, that eating beans always brings consequences.

    • Great analogy . There’s ostensibly no difference between the Dems or Repubs, nor between these two demented Has-Beans.

  • THAT polarization is the theater at the top, as you say, but US politics is polarized and polarized by design.

    “The economic driver of inequality is far more powerful than civil discourse can manage. We might create small islands of shared understanding, but hoping to stop polarization through a general plea for polite dialogue is like grabbing a bucket to defeat a rising tide.”

    https://www.friendsjournal.org/the-fiery-forge-of-polarization/

    “…in the 1920s and ’30s—people’s movements nonviolently forced a power shift, allowing those very (Scandinavian) countries to begin their ascent to the top of the international charts. I wanted to know how they did it, so I took a closer look.

    To my surprise, they made their big move at their most polarized period in modern times! Nazis were marching in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, while at the same time Communists were organizing for a very different vision.

    • You forgot something.
      What major power existed at the time?

      The USSR. Literally around the corner.
      So, they had to be nice to the workers, to prove they were better than the mean old soviets.

      That’s why you got social democracy.

  • Unfortunately, the evil oligarchs couldn’t exist without a lot of evil little people aiding and abetting them. Americans, and most likely all humans are basically rotten to the core. My guess is that since humans cannot justify their own existence in terms of the good works that they perform, then they really shouldn’t even exist.

  • The polarization is in the population and the political duopoly mirrors that in order to maintain control of the population and thereby govern them. IMO the divide in the population is real and inherent. The Elites long ago figured this out and that is why they created a political duopoly. The parties are created and modeled in response to the actual inherent nature of the population; so they can control them. The population is divided between those who are inherently conservative and those inherently progressive. Everyone can be located somewhere on that spectrum (it is a spectrum; not an either/or). The American system is failing today partly because the Democrats are not properly fulfilling their role in representing progressives. The Democrats are failing because their Neoliberal Globalist masters are pushing ahead too quickly. Therefore the confusion and polarization will continue to get worse in the months and years ahead.

  • I think you have totally missed the point. It is Trump versus Democrats and Republicans, that is the debate, although Trump is remaking the Republican Party slowly. That there is no difference between these two is wrong. Anyone that does not want to live in an Identity Politics/Social Justice totalitarian dystopia (in masks of course) should vote for Trump.

    • Bingo. There is no difference between the “Never Trump” Republicans and the “Never Trump” Democrats. Trump slipped past the net that the powers-that-be install because Trump was rich enough, well-known enough, and stubborn enough to force his way to a successful election. That he was able to overcome their obstacles is the reason we’ve been forced to endure these past four years of man-made division and political chaos.

      Anyone who wants to fight the oligarchs has no choice this year but to vote for Trump.

  • They also agree we will have to get a syringe in our b… (vaccine) if we want to live as before the pandemic and they agree they have to do their best for this to happen.

    They agree there are too much people on this planet and fewer people will be beneficial to the “System” they worship:

    https://mysticpost.com/2020/10/canada-anti-family-advertising-campaign-traffic-congestion-begins-at-conception/

    We are truly living the return of the days of Noah just before the return of Jesus.

    This world is totally decadent and the more you climb the socio-economic ladder, the more decadent.

    Keeping my Rosary on hand!

  • The topic of distracting our attention with tunnelVision political soapOpera needs further exploration because the “side which opposes the oligarchic empire” is not actually a debating force ; it’s more like a vague lump of powerless resignation served with a resentment & self-pity sauce.
    `
    I see very few like Caitlin, with a viable alternative in mind. The vocal opposition to kleptocracy is narrowMinded, ill-informed, and volatile. Like the commentators here, the public conversation speaks of being cheated, but lacks the competence and scholarship to discern a workable alternative from among the obfuscation of liars and lunatics. What’s more, providing an alternative to hierarchy&punishment for the definitive social structure is only the first difficulty.
    `
    Theory and practice seldom agree, so untried propositions (religiousFiction or scienceFaction) are almost certain to fail for unforeseen reasons. I think it far better to look for past successes, where we have a proven working example to analyse and emulate.
    `
    The original Americans had an effective antidote to the dishonesty which sabotages the equity of politics in almost every nation : Death for the First Proven Lie.
    This simple social hygiene is a proven foundation for egalitarian governance and ridding us of the perversions that exploiters endlessly invent and refine. It’s much easier to prove a lie than to prove all the steps of a money trail in a concealed and disguised swindle.
    `
    Nobody needs to lie ; deceit is merely believed to be unavoidable and forgivable.
    Only those who believe they benefit by cheating … have a reason to defend and maintain the stupefying deceits of self-importance and inequality.

    The USA derived their democracy from the Roman Empire, a system which was curdled by Saul of Tarsus’ invention of an oppressive saviourGodling who deems unbelievers & heretics far more punishable than sinners.
    `
    This debilitating cognitive virus remains with us in the form of believers insisting that morality is merely obedience to rules commanded by a long dead unAccountable hierarchy. Personal sovereignty in the USA was doomed from the start by Religion’s central agenda … of mankind being ruled by nonHumans.
    `
    So a fresh start requires working from a culture undamaged by cargoCult forgiveness and divine threats of eternalTorture. In mankind’s history, only the Americas were isolated from the bizarre semitic realityMap that dominated Western thinking since Constantine (the third lying Roman Emperor to declare himself the secondComing of Christ) … cultures untainted by a reinvented Judaism (until Columbus promised gold for conquistadores and the inquisition’s agenda proceeded to burn every indigenous book and ‘witch’ in an America full of heretics.)
    `

  • Intriguing article.

  • Look folks, it is a simple issue once you see through the rhetoric:

    Trump represents National Sovereignty
    The Left represents open border, global government

    That is all this has ever been about, nothing else……

    the Left will see this country burn to the ground if they cannot steal both the presidency and the legislature in the months following Nov 3. The globalist left was well on their way to a new world order and one world government chaired by the CCP but they did not cheat nearly enough in 2016. They will not make that mistake again.

    The chinese financed left (democrat and neocon) cannot allow their treason to be exposed and prosecuted, it runs too deep, too high up and too far back. They intend civil war to remove Trump and National Sovereignty from the American mindset and when that civil war goes badly for them, the UN will most likely step in with chinese and russia troops to put down this rebellion against global government.

    You see, it boils down to this, the left will do anything included mass genocide to win and usher in one-world government. The Right will not so the Right WILL LOSE. Repent and obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ now, don’t keep putting it off. The Godless have no future here very soon.

    https://www.jesussaidwhat.com/

    • Nice plot for a movie. Calling Dr. Strangelove.

    • I agree with you to an extent, but don’t forget that it was George H.W. Bush who signed on to Agenda 21. Both political parties are complicit in the selling out of the American people.

      That being said, it is the neoliberal left that is the greater threat at the moment. They aren’t even trying to hide their globalist intentions at this point.

      • Really, Trump is the saviour!

        Wow, misguided bullshit that!

        • Some pretty whacked, brainwashed Trump-as-Savior posts going on. Apparently, Bellevue has internet.

  • WORLD WAR THREE.
    The only event that will wake up enough sleepwalkers.
    It’s as inevitable as tomorrow’s sunrise.

  • Your focus is too narrow Caitlin. This is not a product of America. It’s the product of the bank cartel that is using America to extend its control over the entire world. The dollar is their weapon of preference, and all the other atrocities committed are in an effort to keep that dollar the reserve currency. Now, by means of the propaganda of virus phobia and virus religion/belief, they mean to create their own digital reserve currency. Which would give them complete control over every aspect of our lives, public and private, world wide.

  • the republicans seem more likelty to provoke a war with china, while the democrats seem more likely to provoke a war with russia. but in the end the democrats will support the republican war, and the republicans will support the democrat war, and russia and china will ally against the u.s.

    • No worry. All America can do is beat up on much weaker nations. They are incapable of waging war against equals.

  • Be quiet, stay asleep, play with your digital gadget, and pay your taxes peon; the owners and the masters want you to enjoy your coma and your brainwashing. Leave the thinking and the ethics to the rich people exploiting you. United States of American ” dumbshits ” from sea to shining sea totally distracted by trivia, gender, religion, age, race, or party and blinded by their biases. This is God’s country and in God we trust; all others must pay cash!

  • “If you want to see things clearly, ignore the fake drama of the sock puppet show altogether and focus on advancing the real debate: that the US-centralized oligarchic empire is corrupt beyond redemption and should be completely dismantled.”

    I agree 100 percent with this. Trying in any way to reform or work within this corrupt system is a waste of time. We need to start talking about breaking up the US into smaller more managable nations.

  • Good one, Caitlin and Tim, especially “that the US-centralized oligarchic empire is corrupt beyond redemption and should be completely dismantled.”

  • Exactly right! It is the orange pachyderm vs the masked jackass and they live in the same zoo. The population is entranced with the show but doesn’t understand its essence even though they are entertained.

  • Yep.

  • another way to look at it is that Shiva the destroyer (of ignorance) is serving us well right now. this guy, the DTs) is showing all of us how not to be thinkin’ how to unserve the rest of us. i mean like a 3 year old askin’ mommy why? why we in afghanistan? these soldados will be ridin’ horses again when we leave…hard to believed they took down Air Trade . or even flew a plane. let alone hit anything. same for IRAQ ONLY WEAPONS THEY EVER HAD WERE THE ONES WE GAVE HIM.
    ETC. OR IS IT WE JUST GOT TO CAPTURE THE HEARTLAND OF ASIA TO RULE LIKE GODS–SOME OF US– WHO WENT TO GOOD SCHOOLS.. WHY THAT’S DA SECRET!
    just look at the powers of those who controlled it all this time. Genghis Khan lasted FOR ever. and the cossacks and the ussr with that Stalin ol’ king o’ da worl’ JOE.
    and who now is it? Tajiks. we gotta kill ’em all! a-for they comeover and steal our women!
    and our Ownership Society is here to protect us as we do it. so get job! we need workers not lollygaggers…..no more lazy poor people. or we”ll make another virus works faster!!!

  • One again you deliver the zinger, Caitlin! Reading your column is like when I turn on my indoor air purifier during the smoke-a-thon over San Francisco from the wildfires larger than Rhode Island to the north, east and west of us. As always, I will share this as widely as I can.

  • Thank you for articulating–perfectly–my perception of this profoundly unethical dog-and-pony show! ( I am USA born and reared.) I am deeply ashamed of what has been (and is being) done in my name, for decades. At least it has taught me that governments’ actions do not in many cases reflect the values of their citizens. I am so grateful for your amazing perspicacity!

  • Corporate rule has no commitment to equity. Mainstream American news is propaganda in support of inequity. All of it. There is no voice in America which advocates for anything different than capitalism which has any reach. A commitment to equity is the only thing which provides a framework from which modern problems can be solved.

    I wish more people in America could understand this.

    Solidarity and commitment to equity is the only thing that can give Americans, or Australians, or anyone else a decent path forward.

  • Awesome post. You nailed it.

    Two wings of the same bird.

    Two different styles of imperialist fascism.

    • Two different styles of imperialist fascism.

      Succinct and well said. One is slightly more overt and one pretends to put lipstick on a pig a little harder. They both suck.

  • The empire ‘completely overhauled’? Tell that to the AFRICOM-occupied/destroyed African countries, to China, or to the long-suffering peoples of Latin America and the US-created failed-state regimes of the Middle East. They definitely don’t want an ‘overhauled’ US empire that more efficiently destroys their lives or otherwise eats them alive. Rather than ‘overhauled’, US imperialism must be destroyed, and the only way that can happen is when the US ruling class is overthrown, and capitalism replaced by a rationally planned economy not dependent on a constant diet of imperialist exploitation — ‘from root to flower’.

      • Thank you Caitlin. I thought it was a mistake.

    • Ever notice how suddenly and unexpectedly things like that (sweeping change) happen? Usually not on a predictable course and timetable at all.
      .
      Suddenly the old sclerotic succession of Politburo chairmen die off for good and Gorbachev with his glasnost and perestroika appear as though from nowhere.
      .
      Suddenly the Poles form a labor union and go on strike in Gdansk against an imposed communist national government, the Czechs get frisky for blue velvet, the Hungarians start making unapproved market reforms, and the Berlin wall is torn down by a gang of German Lives Matter Volk… totally unopposed by the Red Army!
      .
      Suddenly a black man runs for president of the USA on a platform of progressive domestic reforms and sane foreign policy to bring peace to the world and he gets elected… over a national war “hero”… who honed his warmongering skills over five years in the Hanoi Hilton no less!!
      .
      Not much later, after betraying all the campaign promises he made and making fools of the Europeans who conferred a gaudy Nobel Peace Prize upon him that black president unilaterally undertakes to expand wars across the globe, overthrow democratically-elected foreign leaders and enthusiastically rekindle the cold war with the Russians!
      .
      His orange-hued successor, after likewise running for office on a peace platform and virtual isolationism, decides to shitcan the one positive accomplishment in foreign policy by his predecessor (the multi-lateral nuclear treaty with Iran) and to endlessly rattle sabres (and maybe a few epees and rapiers as well) against China, Iran, Venezuela and any country, including all of our BFF’s in the EU and the Five Eyes (supposedly keepers of the flame of democracy and the enlightenment–ha! ha!), that won’t uphold his many capricious and devastating economic sanctions as a caution to any who would dare fuque with us (estimated to be at least 1/3 of all humanity by now).
      .
      Given our naivete (or an underdeveloped sense of precognition) we could never have predicted any of these events with any precision, until they suddenly happened. The wiser and more experienced amongst us might have prognosticated “things will only get worse,” but we never knew quite in what way or when exactly they would happen.
      .
      I expect the reign of Dopey Gropy Joe Biden to be one of continued catastrophe for both our country and the world, but then the universe is always full of tricks (the Force is strong with Loki) and the sumbitch might just turn out to be a veritable philosopher king………. Can you imagine a 22nd century history lesson download to your brain chip making reference to a President Biden the Great who ushered in the long-enduring golden age our kind?
      .
      Nah! (I think the Ouija board devil briefly took control of my typing fingers there, hoss.)

  • So, what we’re saying here is that the United States of American is really a lot more United than “We the People” are led to believe. In a strangely perverse way of thinking, I am somewhat relieved that at least someone or something is providing the necessary intelligence, foresight, control, power and leadership(s) to keep the lid on cooking this great gumbo of a nation til Daddy comes home. Bumper to bumper traffic everywhere with lots of high end models in evidence, micro-breweries popping up everywhere, I estimate maybe a whole lot of folks are doing quite well in spite of all the whining portrayed across all MSM. Signed, Not-an-oligarch but willing to serve as one if such opportunity presents itself. 😉

  • There’s an attack ad against Susan Collins that she votes with Trump 94% of the time. She’s with him, they warn.

    I’d say 94% might not be off the mark for most Democrats voting with Trump. Anything of consequence and they vote 100% together.

  • I saw a funny story wherein some psychologist was diagnosing Trump as a psychopath, as if this made him a unique Great Leader.

    • Most Americans like a psychopath in charge. The attitude is that a psychopath is the only kind of leader who can disregard emotion and make the hard Machiavellian decisions needed to maintain their non-negotiable American way of life.

      Confront the average man with the fact I just pointed out will spawn extreme anger. And that is proof that it is true.

      • Only a psychopath desires such power. It never crosses the mind of sane people. It’s not an exclusively American thing. It’s true of all governments. America is simply in the catbird’s seat at the moment. When it falls, another will take its place.

      • People have been predominantly thinking like this, supporting realpolitik over any sort of idealism, since two world wars shattered what was left of higher Enlightenment values. The irony, of course, is that the world wars were themselves consequences of this loss of idealism which began to manifest in or around the middle of the 19th Century. Schweitzer wrote an insightful book about this tragic course of Western culture called “Philosophy of Civilization,” in which the good doctor not only provides an accurate diagnosis of our life-threatening malady but also prescribes a cure: a mass resurgence of reflection about the meaning of life leading to reverence for it, rooted in the survival instinct.

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