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American Crazy i


Delusion, denial, and the

prospect of collapse
Jerry Kroth, Ph.D.


Jerry Kroths book, Implosion, is so exciting that I had to stop reading it for a few
minutes just to calm down. Kroth does for his readers just what he says the truth
will do for us. He presents an utterly compelling case for seven deadly symptoms
which combined will bring America down and the world with it. However, he does
it so well and documents his work so meticulously, that the excitement of learning
the truth renders reading implosion a thrilling experience.

As Yeats said in his prescient poem, the Second Coming The centre cannot
hold. Kroth promises us a second coming of hope and possibility. He exposes
our march towards destruction and also a path for reversing that. Implosion
strips away our illusions and denials giving us the truth, a chance to reverse our
deadly course, and also a reason to hope.

Harried Fraad, Ph.D., psychoanalytic psychotherapist

author of Bringing it all back home

Totally eye opening, and, frankly, a very scary narrative. I never realized
how deluded we are, and how a thick cloud of denial covers over
our political discourse. This is a necessary read
for any conscious American.

M.S. Forrest, Ph.D., clinical psychotherapist.

Implosion is incredible. You will want to shove it up the nose of every pompous,
conservative, right wing, born again, love it or leave it jerk you have ever met.
Dr. Kroth continues to approach the unapproachable. He holds no punches in
describing our American culture's blind xenophobia; telling ourselves we are the
best while betraying our most basic common sense as the evidence piles up at our
feet. We choose leaders who simply tell us what we wish we could believe, and
continue to act in ways that shorten our lives, steal our money, and leave us less
secure than ever. In this crisp criticism of our collective confusion we see how we
Implosion iii

have all become the chickens praising Colonel Sanders. We are simply outgunned
by short-term corporate and political profits and power from the getgo. I wish
there were more like Dr. Kroth aboard think tanks, committees, and boardrooms
across our land, but if there ever were, they are probably planted in the Nevada
desert somewhere. Enjoy the ride before your nickel runs out.

Steve Stelle, author of On Shaky Ground

I read this because of a lecture presented by the author. I've been keenly
interested in propaganda, PR and their role in media. . . The basic takeaway in
this book isn't about left or right. It's about what really happens in this world, and
the psychological techniques employed to hide that reality from us.

Liam Sweeney

Table of contents

1. Illusions, delusions, and mendacity....7

2. The myth of American democracy...17

3. Another Bob Hope Christmas . . ..39

4. A delusion colored Black..83

5. Slip slidin to dystopia. ...131

6. A personal epilogue... 215

Implosion 5

Book Jacket

Implosion: delusion, denial, and the prospect of collapse is a penetrating look at

contemporary delusions slithering across the American landscape. A delusion is a false
idea about the world, a kind of intellectual trance. When an individual suffers one, the
diagnosis of mental illness is not far behind. When a nation labors under them, we
have a state of collective mental instability. This odyssey explores myriad gargantuan
delusions infecting the American psyche.

The first delusory trance is our intractable belief in democracy and majority rule.
Myriad data points fail to corroborate the ubiquitous assertionincluding the fact that
half a million more people voted for Al Gore than George Bush in 2000. More than 15
separate examples are provided to challenge the readers beliefs on this subject.

The average net worth of a U.S. Senator places him or her and their 100 colleagues in
the top one percent of the country. Without Senate approval no legislation can be
passed. The U.S. far more resembles a plutocracy where the top one percent governs
the bottom 99 percent than it does a democracy managed by majority rule.

Next major cognitive error is the perception of ourselves as a global power. In

Another Bob Hope Christmas, Implosion examines the delusion that when the U.S.
sends troops abroad, it is fighting for democracy, freedom, and liberty. Facts dont
square well with that assertion as the legacy of wars and police actions aimed at
American hegemony and dominion keep adding up. More than 55 disquieting
deployments are described.

The next excursion rummages through the bestiary of hip-hop as a grassroots African-
American phenomenon, and concludes the misogyny and racism found in this genre is
an extremely profitable redux of portrayals of Black American males in 1899.
Contrary to popular delusions on this subjectthat this is a Black phenomenathe
industry is almost exclusively white-owned, white-dominated, and white-managed.
The role of the Black hip-hop artist as thug, pimp, vulgar, violent, and misogynistic
conforms far more to the image and behavior of an employee dutifully giving his
White paymaster exactly what he seeks to market and profit from rather than any
accurate, represenative, or genuine expression of angst in the American ghetto.

In the most important chapter, Slip-slidin to dystopia, the works of Toynbee,

Diamond, and others review what causes societies to collapse. Seven major factors

contribute to the end of civilizations, and the U.S. scores high on six of them. Lets
take two. The first is a debased currency and overwhelming debt. Here America s
financial myths are dissected. The $1.6 quadrillion dollar derivatives marketthats
right, quadrillion! the soaring level of personal, corporate, and national debt,
added to the burgeoning trade deficit and declining dollar suggest to many observers
and pundits that a perfect storm is headed our way.

A second causative factor is the emergence of perverse and bizarre entertainment,

[Think Roman Coliseum]. Again, if one considers reality TV, where contestants are
often covered with spiders or forced to eat a pig uterus for the amusement of the
audience, add in trash TV, the exponential increase in violent video-gaming, and the
proliferation of pornographythe U.S. is the largest producer of porn in the world
we find this deviant diorama is also galloping forward exponentially. These are only
two of the seven major factors portending collapse, and six are rapidly reaching their
individual tipping points. Unless Americans awaken from their delusory trance-states
in time, the nightmare scenario appears inevitable.

Chapter by chapter synopsis.

(1) Illusions, delusions, and mendacity

This chapter introduces the reader to the subject of propaganda and delusions. Using
the technique of repeated affirmations, a falsehoodor a lieis spread as one
authoritative person after another repeats it until the populace finally assimilates it.
When it does, we call the result a delusion. Only three percent of Americans believed
Saddam Hussein had anything to do with 9/11 a month after it happened, but through
the myriad travels of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and Wolfowitz to the tents of the
American media circus, 30 percent of the electorate started to believe it. By the time
the U.S. invaded Iraq, 55 percent believed it. For Fox News viewers, 60 percent
bought into the delusion, and 90 percent of American soldiers believed it. Later, to
everyones surprise, and three years into the war, a journalist asked Bush what Iraq had
to do with 9/11, and he answered Nothing! The 9/11 commission and numerous
other academic queries came to the very same conclusion. To wit, propaganda creates
delusions, and delusions engender a collective loss of contact with reality.

[The chapter is attached as a sample chapter in this proposal].

(2) The myth of American democracy

Implosion 7

Recent polls reveal the majority of Americans feel one way, but the political parties
purporting to represent them do not. The majority of Americans, for example, favor the
legalization of marijuana, yet neither Republican nor Democratic Party platforms stake
out that position. There are 36 similar examples provided in this chapter.

The cherished delusion that we live in a democracy governed by majority rule is

squarely confronted in this chapter. Beyond the obvious issue with the Electoral
Colleges ability to appoint a president not popularly elected, there is also the glaring
historical fact that the majority of Americans (women, Blacks, and native Americans)
were disenfranchised from the vote for 145 years after its inception. Myriad data
points presented lead one to challenge the widespread belief in American democracy.
Fifty percent of the Senate is elected by 16 percent of the citizenry. And the average
net worth of the U.S. Senate ($14 million per senator) places its gilded demographics
in the top one percent of the population. Since no legislation can be put into law
without Senate approvaland since the 100-member Senate, in aggregate, belongs to
the top one percent of American net worththe wealthiest people, in fact, govern the
remaining 99 percent. To add more salt to the wounds this chapter inflicts, the 21
candidates running for the presidency in 2016, had an average net worth that similarly
places them in the top one percent.1 Conclusion: the Senate and the Presidency are
defacto creatures of the one percent, this cozies up to the definition of "plutocracy"
quite snugly and deeply challenges the myth of American democracy.

(3) Another Bob Hope Christmas

As Bob Hope went off to entertain troops every Christmas, this chapter asks why we
were fighting on someone elses turf almost every year since World War II. From
Korea to Vietnam, from our police actions in Panama to the Gulf War under General
Schwarzkopf, the United States has sent troops abroad, killing more than five million
people since 1945. The delusion suffered by the American people is that we are doing
these things to protect democracy and freedom. The coarse truth is we are engaged in
dominion, hegemony, and empire building on a scale rivaling any previous empire
from Genghis Khan to the Ottomans.

(4) A delusion colored black

Early films and racist publications at the beginning of the 20th century portrayed Black
males as brutish, violent, sociopathic, drug-addicted, and hypersexual. Most Americans
believe the days of this overt racism are long gone, but Black male stereotypyes
returned in the genre of hip-hop, particularly since the passing of the
telecommunications act of 1996. Prior to that, hip-hop was a protest movement that

grew out of the ghetto with an artistic and strident voice, but it only garnered 10 percent
of record sales. With the consolidation of the media in 1996, major conglomerates
bought up hip-hop labels, and the genre took on a far more violent and depraved
configuration, soaring to 40 percent of all record sales. As Snoop Doggs lyrics opine,
Fuck you nigga! Yeah nigga, whassup? Nigga? Yeah motherfucker!

Sadly, most Americans still suffer the delusion that hip-hop is a Black grassroots ghetto
movement despite the fact top executives in the industry are almost exclusively White.
The suits and A&R big cheeses that oversee the increasingly violent, racist, and
misogynistic output of artists like 50 Cent, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, and Lil Wayne are also
White. while the major purchasers of this effluvium are white, teen, and tween
roughly 70 percent of the entire hip-hop marketplace.

(5) Slip slidin to dystopia

This chapter looks at the major causes of societal collapse, and carefully examines
how the U.S. stacks up. Anthropologists Jared Diamond [Guns, Germs & Steel] and
Arnold Toynbee identified seven major causative agents of a civilizations demise, and
reviewing each in depth leaves the reader in a state of foreboding. The 10-fold increase
in natural disasters impacting the country, accelerating levels of debt, the decline of the
nuclear and two-parent family, the exponential reach of the American empire and its
overseas bases, the growth of bizarre entertainments from hip-hop to violent video
gaming, higher levels of crime and sociopathythe U.S. has more prisoners per capita
than any country in the world and six of these seven factors are exponentially
accelerating toward their tipping points and, in aggregate, are nothing short of bone-

This chapter proposes rational solutions, albeit deeply revolutionary ones, from
reductions in gross public debt, passage of aggressive child endangerment legislation,
slashed military spending, and shuttering the Pentagons 234 golf courses. However,
when one reviews the political forces that would come out of the woodwork to scupper
any and all of these recommendations, the reader must confront the inevitable result
that delusion and denial will win out in any showdown with reason.

Implosion is roughly 62,000 words, is referenced with 980 footnotes, and written for an
adult trade, not a scholarly, audience.
Implosion 9

About the author

Jerry Kroth, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor Emeritus in the graduate counseling

psychology program at Santa Clara University in California. His academic
assignments have included courses in psychotherapy and personality theory,
dreamwork, and research methods. Dr. Kroth has an abiding therapeutic interest in
working with dreams, personal oracles, and the applications of dream theory to
psychohistory and collective psychology. Jerry has been a member of the International
Psychohistorical Association since 1983.

Dr. Kroths 12 prior books were in the areas of

counseling psychology, child sexual abuse, learning
disorders, metapsychology, transpersonal psychology,
and research methodology. In addition, he has written
and presented more than 75 papers on anxiety, child
development, mass psychology, synchronicity,
experimental studies of the dream process, the
psychology of propaganda, and collective psychology. Professor Kroth lives in
California with his wife and two daughters. He maintains a website:

His most recent books are listed below:

The Psychic Immune System: an epiphenomenon of the bodys own defenses. (Rowman
and Littlefield, in press)

Conspiracy in Camelot: the complete history of the assassination of John Fitzgerald

Kennedy. (Algora)

Psyches Exile: an empirical odyssey in search of the soul. (Libre Digital)

The Lindbergh kidnapping: mobs, mass psychology, and myth. (Genotype)

Aliens and Man: a synopsis of facts and beliefs. (Algora)

Omens and Oracles: collective psychology in the nuclear age. (Greenwood Press)

Sample chapter follows . .

Implosion 11


Illusions, delusions, and mendacity

O, what a tangled web we weave;
When first we practice to deceive!


A few years ago Princeton Philosophy Professor Harry Frankfurt published a book entitled
Bullshit.i It was an exposition on different types of lying. There are myriad variations. There
is the bald-faced lie, of which most of us are familiar. There are lies by omission
somewhat more subtleand then there are lies that get assimilated and internalized and
come out as illusions or delusions.

A delusion, for example, is a false idea about the world. It often comes from having digested
propagandaor lies about how the world operates. Mass media disseminates it, allows it
to echo from one corner of the nation to the other, but it starts initially as a lie and
propagates from there until it is assimilated. When the falsehood is finally ensconced in our
psyche, the delusion is born.

An illusion, on the other hand, is a misperception that frequently arises from lies by
omission. For example, we see the world through rose colored glasses, an illusion, only
because we have not been talking about the proverbial elephant in the room.

These varieties of mendacity distort and warp our world. Gradually we lose contact with
reality. We live in a dream. We walk around in a trance and remain unaware of it. It happens
to us individually, and it happens collectively to a nation. Lets try a few examples:

Mohammed Atta and the bald-faced lie

After 9/11, the majority of Americans supported going to war

against Afghanistanwould you believe more than 90 percent?
Furthermore, the rest of the world was highly sympathetic, and a
majority of European countries were ready to send troops to fight
alongside uswould you believe more than 90 percent!ii

Then George Bush played bait-and-switch and started telling

yarns about Iraq.

The effect of propaganda and mendacity should not be underestimated. Right after 9/11,
only three percent of Americans thought Iraq was involved in the attacks on the World Trade
Center.iii As we moved into 2003, three months before we actually bombed Baghdad, that
figure grew to a hefty 30 percent. As the propaganda mountedthanks to Fox News,
Hannity, OReilly, Limbaugh, George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Michael Savage, and a
blistering cadre of cohorts, the figure finally reached a storied 55 percent.iv

This was all followed by the incredibly uncritical, if not obsequious, media coverage of
Colin Powells fiery speech at the U.N. (Feb. 2003), an event he now considers the most
regrettable incident and a lasting blot on his political career.v Here he laid out a
powerpoint presentation to convince the world that Iraq was in league with Al-Qaeda and
developing nuclear weapons. The speech aroused anti-Iraq sentiments already stirred up by
the press.

As we neared the end of 2003, and already well into the war, a CNN poll showed 70 percent
of the American people now believed Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. vi

He wasnt.

That was our delusion talking.

How did Bush connect Iraq to Al-Qaeda?

It wasnt easy.

What we know now, of course, is that Iraq was suspicious of Al-Qaeda and vice versa. Bin-
Laden was a religious fellow and did not take to the secularism of Saddam Hussein. Hussein
had a similar antipathy for bin-Laden. They were not brothers, not allies, and not connected
in any way, according to the 9/11 Commission and many other studies on the subject.vii

So how did Bush pull it off?

Bush had to establish a linkage between the national trauma of 9/11 and his ambitions in
Iraq. He did this, in part, by frightening Americans into believing Hussein had poisons,
possible nuclear weapons, anthrax, and biological horrors that he could simply give to
terrorists like bin-Laden.

However, Bush still needed to pull a bunny out of his hat to prove some kind of tangible link
between Iraq and Al-Qaeda. He did this by saying that one of the 9/11 terrorists, its
mastermind, Mohammed Atta, met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague. Atta, he said, met with
Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim al-Ani, an Iraqi intelligence agent stationed in Prague, on April 9,

There was the connection! This was his touchstone, the bedrock upon which he could build
his case for war in Iraq. From here Vice President Richard Cheney could spin to his hearts
content, Condoleeza Rice dutifully following on talk show after talk show underscoring the
Implosion 13

connection between the terrorists who attacked us and Iraq. Al-Qaeda-Iraq; Iraq-Al-Qaeda.
Classical conditioning at its finest. Propaganda scholars call it 'repeated affirmations,'
saying something false over and over with enough authoritative voices behind it, until
finally it is believed.

Off they trekked to the tents of the American media circus: Wolfowitz, Perle, Rice,
Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Bush himself with a recurring theme: viii ix x

Iraq could attack us on any given day, and that before the day of horror can come,
before it is too late to act, this danger must be removed. [Bush]

This is a man who has got connections with Al-Qaeda. Imagine a terrorist network
with Iraq as an arsenal and as a training ground, so that a Saddam Hussein could use
this shadowy group of people to attack his enemy and leave no fingerprint behind.
He's a threat. [Bush]

He's a threat because he is dealing with Al-Qaeda. [Bush]

"There clearly are contacts between al-Qaeda and Iraq that can be documented.

Saddam Hussein had long established ties with Al-Qaeda. [Cheney]

He did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi
intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the
attack. [Cheney].

If were successful in Iraq, then we will have struck a major blow right at the heart
of the geographical base of the terrorists who had us under assault now for many
years, but most especially on 9/11. [Cheney]

And I also mentioned the fact that there is a connection between Al-Qaeda and
Saddam Hussein. [Bush]

With those attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United
States. And war is what they got. [Bush]

Were taking the fight to those that attacked us. [Bush]

Each passing day could be the one on which the Iraqi regimes gives weapons of
mass destruction to a terrorist ally. [Bush]

Iraq could use unmanned aerial vehicles with chemical or biological payloads for
missions targeting the United States. [Bush]

It could give these weapons to a terrorist group or individual terrorists to attack


Bush was told ten days after September 11th that Iraq had no connection to Al-Qaeda.
However, the President dispatched one emissary after another to find a linkage, which just
didnt exist. As David Dunford, a Middle East specialist for the State Department, said:
You could feel there was a drive to go to war no matter what the facts.xii

The propaganda blitzkrieg evanesced from the signature piece of empirical evidence linking
Saudi-born 9/11 hijacker, Mohammed Atta, to a secret meeting in Prague with an Iraqi
intelligence official on April 9, 2001, the penultimate connection between Al-Qaeda and

Enter the bald-faced lie: Bush lied, I died.

The deceit here is that Mohammed Atta never met with the Iraqi intelligence official, and
the President knew that.

The FBI had Mohammed Attas cell phone records. At the time he was said to be in Prague,
Atta was actually in Florida making calls on April 6th, 9th, 10th, and 11th. On April 4, he was
photographed by a bank surveillance camera in Virginia. He was in the United States! He
was simply not in Prague. Never was. Story false.

The Czech police said so. The 9/11 Commission said so. The FBI knew so nine months
before the U.S. invaded.xiii The meeting between Atta and Iraqi intelligence simply never
took place.xiv Also, there were no flight records showing Atta taking off from Florida to
Prague and then quickly returning to make more calls on his cell phone from Sarasota.

It is beyond the pale to think Bush did not know this, or that the FBI might have conspired
to keep knowledge about Attas activities in Florida and Virginia from the President. He had
to have known it. In effect, this is a lie Bush told to the nation to incite the American people
into supporting a war that took the lives of more than 100,000 people.

Nobel laureate Paul Krugman said, We were railroaded into an unnecessary war.xvIraq had
nothing to do with bin-Laden, with Al-Qaeda, or with 9/11 period.xvi

Such a bald-faced lie, particularly with repetitious propaganda echoing out of every car
radio, quickly devolves into a delusion, or false interpretation of the world. Some 90
percent of troops fighting in Iraq, when surveyed as late as 2006, said they felt that Hussein
was involved in 9/11, and 43 percent of the American citizenry still believed that falsehood
as late as 2006.xvii

Delusions come from conditioning, that is, repeating the lie over and over until it settles
comfortably in the living room of the national psyche. If your primary source of news was
PBS, only 9 percent fell for it. If Fox News was your primary source, 60 percent believed it.
Overall and collectively, one can safely say that 43 percent of the American public suffered
Implosion 15

this delusion, were living inside a media-induced trancea dreamand, to that extent lost
contact with reality.

A few years into the war, a journalist asked President Bush pointedly what Iraq had to do
with 9/11, and Bush replied in a rather
testy manner, Nothing!

Nuf said?

And a comprehensive analysis of this

issue shows that Bushs testy remark was
actually quite true:

The consensus of intelligence

experts has been that these contacts
never led to an operational Bushadmits3yearslaterthatSaddamHusseinhad
relationship, and that consensus is nothingtodowith9/11
backed up by reports from the
independent 9/11 Commission and by v=f_A77N5WKWM
declassified Defense Department
reports as well as by the Senate
Select Committee on Intelligence, whose 2006 report of Phase II of its
investigation into prewar intelligence reports concluded that there was no
evidence of ties between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.xviii

This book is about disabusing ourselves of our delusions, awakening from the dream, and
re-connecting to reality.
A video entitled The Media Matrix: how
propaganda and mass media are
Illusions and lies by omission undermining Americas contact with
reality, covers this propaganda
blitzkrieg in considerable detail Go to
In order to illustrate illusions and lies by
omission, we enter the offices of the v=fUBy9szHzNI
marriage counselor.

A wife finds that her husband complains of overwork at his job. He gets up a night and
paces. She loves him. She is happy with him. She is joyful in her marriage, but worries
about his new stresses. He tells her a person is driving him nuts at work, so she checks out a
book from the library on how to deal with a toxic co-worker. She sits up at night and
counsels him to think about getting another job. She even helps him draft a new resume.

He tells her hes developed physical symptoms that make him tired and sexually
disinterested. Off to the library she trucks to read up on Hypoactive Sexual Desire
Disorder and learn how she can help the man she loves, has loved, and believes she
will always love.

She spends months in this place, stressing over his apparent ennui, and holding his
hand all the way.

But one day she passes a restaurant and sees him with another woman, their eyes
glazed over in an obviously romantic tte--tte. She discovers hes been having an
affair for well over a year.

This is the elephant in the room, the lie of omission. It was always there, but never
mentioned, never talked about.

Perhaps she was "in denial and should have known, should have suspected. We dont
know whether we can accuse her of denial, or whether he was just an exceptionally
good liar. However, she was clearly living in a fantasy-land, a dream, suffering from
an illusion that their married life was joyful, happy, satisfying, with only a few ups and

Confronting mendacity

When we confront the lies that surround us, it is a painful experience. Embarrassing,
humiliating, traumatic. It is dis-illusionment in the most literal sense of the word. If
you have ever been there, you know it isnt fun. As Carl Jung reminded, There is no
coming to consciousness without pain.xix

Our married woman, now divorced, wistfully may look back on the days when she
was happy, naively thinking she was with the man of her dreams. She may even say to
herself she regrets discovering him in that restaurant and losing the bliss she had in her

But nine times out of ten, shes happy she learned the truth, happy she got wiser,
happy her life is no longer a fraud, and she is no longer the victim of falsehood and
illusions. No pain no gain.

She would never describe the process of her divorce, her realizations, and her insights
as delightful or fun.

But she wouldnt do without them for a second!

When delusions or illusions are confronted and destroyed,

there are plenty of other emotions too. There is a shock to
your sense of the world. You feel undermined. Betrayed. Your
values, ideals, and the things you held close in your heart have
been shattered and unwillingly deconstructed right before
your eyes.

Imagine the mother whose son went off to fight and die in
Iraq writing in his last letter to her that he was there to kill

Implosion 17

those suckers who attacked us on September 11! When his body is returned to her,
and learning that Iraq had nothing to do with the bombing of the World Trade Center,
that her little boy was sacrificed on the altar of a lie, there is more than grief and

Cindy Sheehan lost her son in Iraq and staged a one-woman march on Crawford, Texas
demanding an explanation from President Bush. I want to ask the president, Why did
you kill my son? What did my son die for?xx

Someone took advantage of Sheehan, exploited and used her, falsified bits and pieces of her
world for their own selfish aims. Her little boy disappeared on the wings of a lie.

Sadness, shock, outrage, and anger. Not easy, not fun.

Psychotherapists, who have logged many long hours with these matters, teach us that
we can expect plenty of defense, denial, and resistance along the road of correcting our
delusions, facing our illusions, identifying the elephants in the room, and reconnecting
with reality.

It is not an instantaneous process.

We dont want to accept these truths willy-nilly. Like the jilted wife, we fight for our
illusions and delusions: Maybe he and that woman were just talking business after

If we arent married to our delusions, we are certainly highly invested in them. We try
to rationalize our way out. We rebut. We deny. We critique. We close or eyes. We block
our ears. We dont want it. We question the evidence. We double-check the footnotes.
We cant let it in. . .

But the truth is waiting for us in the anteroom of our own self-realization.

This book will expose readers to all of the above. It is a confrontation in the purest
sense of the word hard to accept, harder to assimilate, and there will be much
resistance, carping, denial, rationalization, and plenty of cut and thrust rebuttal to
accompany this journey.

There are close to a thousand footnotes provided at the end; they are there to help
check, double-check, and triple check against whatever delusions readers are harboring
and reluctant to release.

This is not a feel good book. . . but it is the truth.


Getting rid of a delusion makes us wiser than getting hold of a truth

Ludwig Borne
Implosion 19

The next chapter snakes its way into the heart of our most cherished delusion. It is
something we have all wondered about and probably
suspected, but never quite had the courage to finally
admit to ourselves.


The myth of American democracy

Demand the ballot as the undeniable right of every man who is

called to the poll, and take special care that the old constitutional
rule and principle, by which majorities alone shall decide
in Parliamentary elections, shall not be violated.

John Bright

Democracy is only a dream: it should be put in the same

category as Arcadia, Santa Claus, and Heaven.

H.L. Mencken

Now youre not nave enough to think we are living

in a democracy are you buddy?

Gordon Gekko in Wall Street

Most of us have been taught from first grade on that we live in the land of the free and,
more specifically, a democracy. The United States, we were taught, is a country of
laws freely decided upon by the people, a government for the people and run by the
people where the majority rules in a peaceful process of debate, a free press, and
peaceful elections. Other countries, sadly, do not share in such glorious freedoms we
are privileged to possess. As President Bush articulated when he went off to war:

The evil ones have roused a mighty nation, a mighty land. And for
however long it takes, I am determined that we will prevail. And prevail
we must, because we fight for one thing, and that is the freedom of our
people, and the freedom of people everywhere.xxi

The sad news is we have a rather poignant delusion to confront: that we dont really
live in a democracy and probably never have.

We begin with what is commonly meant by democracy. Most understand it to mean

majority rule, that the majority of people have decided something in a free election,
and their mandate then becomes the rule of law? Shall we take a closer look?
Implosion 21

The United States was founded in 1776, but women did not get the right to vote until
1920. In 1872, Susan B. Anthony was arrested for attempting to vote in New York
without having a lawful right to vote. . . being then and there a person of the female
sex."xxii So if we toss in American Indians and African-Americans along with women,
it is quite easy to see that the majority was disenfranchised from voting for the first
140 years of our history.

When July 4th comes around and someone stands up to say we are celebrating 240
years of democracy and freedom, you can legitimately call that propaganda. For the
first 140 years, there was no majority rule in this country.


If we parse our words and argue that we live in a democracy, but without majority
rule, perhaps we can hold on to these delusions just a little longer.

After President Kennedys death, the voting rights act was passed in 1965, in part
to honor his memory, and it opened the doors to millions of African-Americans
who had been excluded from the ballot box. So, since 1920, with womens
suffrage, and then again in 1965, with the voting rights act, one could claim that
the majority of Americans finally got a chance to participate in this democracy. We
could say we lived in a democracywhere the majority rulesfor about 95 years.

Regrettably, that is still overstepping. Remember that in the United States a bill
becomes law only when it is first passed by the Congress, then by the Senate,
signed by the President, and finally the Supreme Court decides if the law is
constitutional when and if it is challenged in the courts. So there are two problems
with our 95 year experience with majority rule. Well start with the easiest: the
election of George Bush.

In 2000, George Bush received 50,456,000 votes, and Al Gore had 50,999,897 votes.
Half a million more people voted for Gore than Bush, but Bush became President.
Majority rule? The electoral college, and
various gimmicks built into our democracy
allowed that to happen.

Bush won the election, went off to kill 100,000

Iraqis, added $5 trillion to the national debt,
did not manage to attend any of the 5,467
funerals of Americans killed, xxiv and never
managed to find bin-Laden. What might have
happened if the majority voice of the American people was indeed inviolate, and Gore
steered the helm of ship in those years?

When we talk about our country as a democracy there are a lot of yes, buts to pay
attention to. Beyond the electoral college, which put Bush instead of Gore in the Oval
office, the next biggest problem is the U.S. Senate.

There are 100 U.S. Senators, two from each state. Pay close attention because that is
precisely another Catch-22. There are 38 million people in California represented by
two senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. Wyoming has 490,000 people with
two senators, Michael Enzi and John Barasso.

Observe that 38 million people in California have two votes in the Senate, and half a
million people in Wyoming have two. Duh! It doesnt take a genius to do the math: the
average person in Wyoming has 70 times more clout in Washington than the average
person in California!

Imagine that the people of

California democratically voted
to permit assisted suicide.
Pretend that of 17 million
people who voted, 14 million
were in favor and 3 million
Californians were opposed.

The California delegation takes

that initiative to Washington. In
U.S.Senate Congress their bill passes, but
then it goes before the Senate.
There we discover the people of Rhode Island and Wyoming are opposed. There are
two votes in the Senate in favor of the bill (from the two California senators
representing its 38 million citizens) but four votes in the Senate from Wyoming (2) and
Rhode Island (2) that are opposed. All other things being equal, Wyoming and Rhode
Island end up deciding the matter. They have four votes, and poor California only two.

The trouble is that a majority of the 38 million Californians wanted one thing and a
majority of the 1.7 million people from Wyoming (0.5 million) and Rhode Island (1.2
million) didnt. Who wins? The minority wins. In other words, the people in two tiny
states defeated a bill supported by a state with 21 times their combined populations.

So if we continue desperately clinging to the notion that we live in a democracy where

the majority rules, this is another yes-but that has to be confronted.

The Senate is not an institution where the majority of the people rule. Fifty percent of
the Senate is elected by only 16 percent of the population.

Thats not a small point, or a tiny little dent in the armor around our hallowed idea that
we live in a free country. We dont. This is not a democracy that operates through
majority rule, and never really has been. Not when women couldnt vote. Not when
Implosion 23

minorities couldnt vote. And not when the distinctly unrepresentative Senate always
has its say before anything becomes law.

Should we finally venture to call it what it really is?

The American Plutocracy


1. Government by the wealthy.

2. A wealthy class that controls a government.
3. A government or state in which the wealthy rule.

Picture in your head a group of 100 people who are a representative cross-section of
the United States. If you did that accurately, you would discover in your random
sample that half are women, five are Asian, 13 African-American, and 69 Caucasian.
As part of your emerging portrait of this representative group add some more into what
you are imagining. There is one millionaire in the U.S. for every 125 people, xxvso in
your sample of a hundred, there are 50 women, five Asians, 13 African-Americans, 69
Caucasians and 3/4ths of one person who is a millionaire. That is what a
representative cross section of America looks like.

Can you imagine a U.S. Senate made up like that? A nice exercise, but total
fantasyland. Here is what the U.S. Senate actually looked like in 2004:

The US Senate,
a representation of America?

This bucolic group collage is no way representative of the people of the United States. Just
count the number of women in the composite photo which follows and then the number of
Blacks. While only one person in 125 is a millionaire in the United States, six out of every
10 U. S. senators are millionaires. And these folks are not just millionaires, but
multimillionaires. Richard Blumenthals net worth is $104 million, Mark Warner $346
million, former senator John Kerry $388 million, Dianne Feinstein $101 million, John
Rockefeller $128 million, xxvi Herb Kohl, $160 million, Olympia Snowe $45 million, James
Risch $109 million, John McCain $20 million, Mitch McConnel $16 million, and James
Risch $19 million. . . xxvii xxviii

Our supersenators

A group of researchers from Stony Brook

University used a computer analysis to
sniff out the influence of social networks.
They found that there were six
exceptionally influential senators, whom
they referred to as statistical
supersenators. When these six voted
together, legislation always passed. We
dont know why, but from a nakedly
empirical approach, if these six agree, the
rest of the Senate follows. xxix

When we compute the average net worth of

these six supersenators, it comes out to a
whopping $98 million, placing this gang of
six not in the top one percent, but the top
one-tenth of one percent of Americas
economic pie. So, as six extremely rich
senators commiserate among themselves to
make deals and laws for the nation,
thousands of elementary school teachers
sermonize to their charges that America is a
democracy where decisions are made by CompositephotoofUSsenate2004
majority rule.

Overall, there is an egregious discrepancy between the demographics of the Senate vis--vis
the nation as a whole

A picture of the U.S. Senate vs. the U.S. as a whole (2012)

US US Senate
Percent women 50% 17%
Percent Black 13% 1%
Percent hispanics 14% 2%
Percent millionaires <1% 66%
Implosion 25


Quite a few years ago, a digital photograph was made of all 100 senators. All their
faces were combined into one single composite picture. Here is what 100 U.S. senators
look like when morphed into one person: One very rich,
smiling, White male millionaire! And guess whos getting
all the tax breaks? He is!

If you develop a composite of the senates net worth, it

surprises even more. The average net worth of a typical
senator is $14 million,xxx which places our White, smiling
composite squarely in the top one percent of American

To put this in slightly different language, the U.S. Senate,

as a whole, resides in the top one percent of Americans
and governs the remaining 99 percent.
In reality, the average senator has far more in common Holoway
with the super rich one percent of American society than
with his or her constituents: xxxi In 2016. . .

Currently, the richest 1% hold about 38% of all privately held wealth . . .
According to the New York Times, the "richest 1 percent in the United States
now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent."xxxii

Be honest. Could that happen in a real democracy? This incongruity was put another way by
Holly Sklar :

"The combined wealth of the 400 richest Americans is a record-breaking

$1.57 trillion. Thats about the same amount of wealth held by half the
U.S. population numbering 57 million households." xxxiii

Can you get your mind around the fact that 400 American fat cats have as much money as
57 million American households?

In Lee Drutmans text, The political one percent of the one percent, he convincingly shows
that the top one percent of the top one percent, that is the 26,700 wealthiest persons in the
United States accounted for one quarter of all political contributions to all political
candidates in 2010. That represents an incredible amount of leverage and political influence
over Congress and the Presidency, and, most importantly, over the 312 million Americans
who make up the remaining 99.99% of the American population.xxxiv

By 2016 it got even worse. Thewealthiestmanin

Today 158 of the wealthiest families now supply 50 mayorofNewYorkCity percent
of all the campaign financing for all 21 of the
individuals running for President.xxxv 16,2009p.A5

Few teachers in an American public high school will tell their students they live in a
plutocracy. Their job might be in jeopardy. Rather, students get the full dose of daily
indoctrination that they live in a democratic country governed by majority rule. Flags are
saluted, recitations made, and upon graduation, Army recruiters try their best to sign them
up continuing the message they heard all their lives: You are going off to fight for freedom
and democracy to give people in other countries what we cherish so much in our own.

Good propaganda, as far as it goes, but a far cry from reality.

When a person is part of a cult, like the Moonies or Hare Krishnas, and their parents try to
snatch them from its clutches, they often hire a de-programmer. He uses cognitive retraining
and repetition to de-condition them from the indoctrination to which they were exposed.
Since most of us were raised on the myth that we live in a democracy, and laws were made
by majority rule, let us try a few deprogramming exercises ourselves. Warning: this does
become redundant, but as a de-conditioning exercise, it is both necessary and worthy of

Hypothetical exercises from Professor Frankforts Bullshit workbookxxxvi

To properly perform this exercise, the reader is asked to recite the word bullshit after each
of the following ten bulleted items. The narrative will lead you through the first, but for the
remainder, you are on your own:

Insider trading is illegal. If a stockbroker hears of some disclosure before the general
public does, and trades on that information, he goes to jail. This rule operates to protect
investors so that insiders do not have unfair advantage. It applies to everyone, and some
notables have gone to prison for trading on insider information, most famously Ivan
Boesky and more recently Raj Rajaratnam. Martha Stewart heard from a friend that a
particular drug company was in trouble. She sold her stock before the public learned of
it, and saved herself close to a quarter of a million dollars. Martha learned of it before
the markets did, got her money out, and all the Johnny-come-latelys lost their shirts.
Implosion 27

That was a felony, and she went to jail over these actions. There is only one group in
the United States that is exempt from insider trading rules, the U.S. Congress.xxxvii If
there is a hearing on a drug that is going to be discontinued, congressman and senators
can buy or sell that stock short based on their exclusive information and may do so
without penalty. Many have indulged in this lucrative practice. 2 Attempts were made to
do away with this egregious privelege, but subsequent, behind-the-scenes, hush-hush
legislation effectively prevented any kind of real enforcement. xxxviii

Do you really believe if the majority ruled, the people would allow their representatives
to enrich themselves at the expense of the general public, at the expense of investors, at
the expense of themselves, and add to their already generous salaries in this manner?

[You may now use that term at your own discretion in subsequent exercises]

Close to 90 percent of congressional incumbents get re-elected. This is due, in large

part, to redistricting and gerrymandering districts so that the incumbent has an
incredible advantage. Recent polls show a huge majority of Americans believe that
Congress is doing a poor job. In 2014 Congress had an 11 percent approval rating while
96 percent of incumbents were reelected. Can you genuinely believe that that if the
majority ruled, 96 percent of congressional incumbents would be re-elected anyway
despite the fact that more than 89 percent of the electorate feels Congress is doing a
horrible job? xxxix xl____________!

[Are you reciting this exercise or just faking it?]

A public option means the government finances health care for everyone the way it
currently does for the elderly under Medicare. In
Connecticut, 68 percent of the population favored a
public option in health care and a much larger percent
of Joseph Liebermans Democratic party supported it,
almost 90 percent. Lieberman,
Connecticuts former senator, however,
opposed it and said he would filibuster to
prevent any such provision in Obamas health
care reform bill. xliii xliv In Arkansas, 56
percent of the citizenry favored a public option, and a whopping 83
percent of Democrats did, but their elected senator, Blanche
Lincoln, a Democrat, worked day and night to defeat any possibility
of a public option.xlv Lieberman and Lincoln
were the largest recipients of money from acceptedmoneyfromspecialinterestsand
health insurance interests. Lieberman got over betrayedtheirconstituents
$2 millionxlvi and Lincoln over $300,000,
mostly from Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Both dutifully labored for their paymasters
and against the very people who elected them. Do you really believe that if the

majority ruled, they would permit elected officials to accept money from special
interests, lobbyists, and industry groups that overtly betrayed their interests?

Two senators sponsored an amendment in 2012 that would increase the amount of a
Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage that the government will guarantee or backstop
from $625,000 to 729,000. This has been dubbed a subsidy to rich peoplexlvii since
only the top five percent of income earners can afford that kind of a home in the first
place. Do you really believe that if the majority ruled, they would be loopy enough to
promise their tax dollars to backstop any future housing losses incurred by the
wealthiest five percent of the population? __________!


democracyrunbymajorityrule,Mrs.Stabenow SenatorDebbieStabenow,Democrat
wouldbeallowedtoreceivemoneyfromspecial fromMichigan

In Europe, the average CEO earns 32 times more than the average worker. In the
U.S., CEOs earns 400 times more in salary than the average worker. Do you think that
in a democratic society this kind of discrepancy would be allowed to exist, and this is
what the majority believe represents just and equitable compensation? _________!

Some 62 percent of Americans own a home, but only six percent of U.S. citizens
own a vacation Ninety-four percent of Americans either do not want a vacation
home or cannot afford one. [A vacation home, by the way, is different than a rental
property.] Of the six percent who do have vacation homes, most have considerable
wealth. The mortgage interest paid on their property is tax deductible, and extending
this tax break to them costs the government $8.9 billion in lost revenue.lii Do you
really believe that if the majority ruled, the 94 percent who do not have vacation
Implosion 29

homes would happily extend the vacation home tax deduction to the remaining six
percent of the population who do? _________!

President Obama wanted to spend $60 billion on infrastructure projects that would
have created thousands of construction jobs during the recession. He proposed a surtax
of 0.7 percent on people who make more than $1 million per year, a sum that would
have added $13,476 to their tax bill. Some 346,000 millionaires would have been
impacted. Republicans filibustered and were successful in defeating the measure. Do
you really think the majority of Americans would sacrifice thousands of construction
jobs for workers to spare 346,000 millionaires additional taxes? ___________! liii

Warren Buffett said billionaires like him pay less in taxes than his secretary. In April,
2012, President Obama proposed legislation nicknamed The Buffett Rule which
would require the superrich and wealthiest 450,000 Americans to pay a minimum of
30 percent in taxes on income and eliminate their egregious use of deductions which,
in fact, allows them to pay less than Buffets secretary. The proposal failed to pass the
Senate. Sixty percent of the American public favored the legislation. liv There are 216
million eligible voters in the U.S. lv Do you really feel that if the majority ruled, 216
million Americans would vote to exempt the richest 450,000 Americans from having
to pay a thirty percent tax on their income? ________!

So, regardless of our wishes that our country live out its highest ideals and
democratically represent the will of its peopleand regardless of the repeated media
conditioning that we indeed live in a democracy where the majority ruleswe need to
recognize the true ruling power in the United States is its top one percent oligarchy
which skews laws to favor the rich.

So, as a modest conclusion, our civics lesson for the day is:

No bill shall become law in the plutocracy of the United States of America
without the approval of the sitting millionaires in the United States Senate!

What would happen if the U.S. really had a democracy?

Just to get a picture of what life would be like if the majority actually ruled, here is what
Americans would do based on current opinion polls. Beware, you might not like what you
see! lvi

Children of illegal immigrants born in the United States would not get in-state tuition
rates in state colleges. lvii

Illegal immigrants would be allowed to stay in U.S. if they met certain requirements.lviii

Abortion would be legal in most circumstances.lix

Late term abortions would be illegal.lx


Same sex marriage would be permissable everywhere in the U.S.lxi

Marijuana would be legalized across the country.lxii

People earning over a million dollars per year would be taxed more than they are.lxiii

The U.S. would actively enter into climate change protocols.

Internet porn would be banned. lxiv

The government would reduce the deficit rather than cutting taxes.

Support for the UN would continue. lxv

Advertising to children would be severely limited.lxvi

English would be made the official language of the United States.lxvii

Telemarketing and pollsters invading home privacy would be banned.lxviii

Prayer in school would be allowed. lxix

The U.S. would significantly reduce its intervention in world affairs. lxx

Action on global warming would begin immediately, including increasing the

gasoline tax if was entirely devoted to that cause.

Trade restrictions on foreign imports would be imposed to protect American


Drug addicts and dealers would be sent to rehabilitation rather than prison.lxxii

There would be fewer commercials allowed on television generally.

A flat tax would be implemented covering all U.S. taxpayers. lxxiii

Gay and lesbian couples would legally be allowed to adopt children.lxxiv

A mosque would not be allowed to be built near Ground Zero.

Taxes on corporations earning profits overseas would be increased. lxxv

Cell phones would be banned while driving. lxxvi

Implosion 31

Much stricter laws governing gun ownership would be

implemented,lxxvii but assault weapons would not be banned. lxxviii

Schools would be allowed to give contraceptives to students.

People could not lose a job or be declined access to housing based on

the color of their skin (discrimination).

People could not get preference for a job or for college admissions based on
the color of their skin (affirmative action).

There would be no laws prohibiting unmarried adults from living together.

Sex, violence, portrayals of homosexuality, and profanity would be reduced

on TVduring family viewing hours.lxxix

Bush would have been prosecuted for wiretapping Americans without


The government would prosecute financial criminals on Wall Street much

more than it has.lxxx

Tenure for college professors would be eliminated. lxxxi

Legalized gambling would be reduced and curtailed, but not banned.

The media would be required to serve the public interest far more, and present
more truthful reporting of events.

Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia would be permitted. lxxxii

Agree? Disagree? Do you think the majority needs to be educated? Well, then, perhaps
you dont believe in majority rule either. But if you do, and you believe, right or wrong,
that the majority ought to rule, then recognize that of these 37 items, Republicans
unambiguously support about six and Democrats only about fifteen. In other words, the
majority of things Americans believe in and want are supported by neither party.

Lets say that again just for emphasis: The majority of things Americans believe in and
want are supported by neither party.

What Americans truly believe may come as a surprise, but the above list is based on
numerous, different, and recent opinion polls. So, believe it or not, like it or not, this is
currently how the American people feel.

Conclusion: The majority will of the American people, in the main, is not represented in
this country pure and simple.

A curious example: Dianne Feinstein

Now, of course, many may feel Republicans are

probably at fault in this disenfranchisement of majority rule,
but nothing could be further from the truth. Once an
elected official passes beyond his or her election
Democrat or Republicanthey tend to spend their time
courting lobbyists and special interests much to the
detriment of their constituents. Consider Dianne
Feinstein, a Democrat, who has betrayed her
constituency so many times it is hard to count them all.

First, the people of California overwhelmingly were opposed to the war in Iraq.

Two-thirds were opposed to it in 2004.lxxxiii

Sixty percent opposed in it 2007,lxxxiv

Sixty-nine percent felt that waterboarding constituted torture.lxxxv

Seventy percent condemned warrantless wiretapping.lxxxvi

Thats a statistical picture and portrait of the majority who voted for Dianne Feinstein.
Yet, their senator contravened her constituents on virtually
every count. She voted to invade Iraq, voted for every appropriation bill, agreed with the
fraudulent intelligence, and even voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act.

When Democrats won mid-term elections and had their first real opportunity to cut off
funding for the war, Feinstein turned against her constituents and voted for those
appropriations. Seventy percent of Californians thought otherwise.lxxxvii When Democrats
sought to censure George Bush for lying to the nation, again she defected.lxxxviii

Californians were upset that telecom companies helped the Bush administration illegally
wiretap and intrude upon emails and phone calls without warrants, but when it came time to
give those companies immunity from liability, Feinstein sided with them and squarely
against the people who elected her. lxxxix

When Michael Mukasey was nominated to be Attorney General, he was asked in his
confirmation hearings if waterboarding was torture. His
answer was he wasnt sure. At another time during these
hearings he even said it wasnt clearly illegal.
Implosion 33

Democrats threw up their arms at this outrageous appointment. Democrat Patrick

Leahey said: "The Attorney General of the United States should be able to declare that
it is wrong, it is illegal, and it is beyond the pale. It has been for over a century." Even
Republican Sen. John McCain called it a horrible torture technique and introduced a
bill to stop our use of it.xc

But Mukasey wasnt sure.

Strangely, Dianne Feinstein played a leading role to get
Bushs waterboarding Attorney General approved.xci xcii
Members of her party in California were so appalled at her behavior they tried to get
her censured,xciii but she outwitted them in a closed meeting in Los Angeles. As one
blogger put it:

There is just no good reason to have voted to allow George Bush unfettered,
uncontrolled, and continued mis-management of this war. I am deeply
disappointed in Senator Feinsteins vote. Another blogger wrote: She
authorized the Iraq invasion, she funded the Iraq war without a timetable for
withdrawal that her fellow Democrats wanted. She supported the Patriot Act.
She helped General Hayden get confirmed as CIA director even though he
presided over the illegal wiretapping program. She supported Michael
Mukasys confirmation even after he refused to answer basic questions about

More recently Feinstein attempted to support surveillance on American citizens

something bitterly opposed by her constituents. In commenting about sweeping spying
on American citizens, Feinstein retorted, Its not a surveillance program, its a data-
collection program,xcv Over 80 percent of her constituents feel quite differently. xcvi
In fact one group actively demanded her resignation saying,

As the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee you are tasked with
providing "vigilant legislative oversight over the intelligence activities of the
United States to assure that such activities are in conformity with the
Constitution and laws of the United States." In this capacity, you have failed
your country. Under your watch the NSA has shredded the Constitution by
engaging in bulk data collection and spying on American people, on American
soil. Your failure to act in your capacity as chair of the only committee tasked
with overseeing federal intelligence programs has enabled these constitutional
violations to continue. xcvii

The larger question is why did Dianne Feinstein violate her constituents and her party
so often, so completely, and so thoroughly?

Feinstein, her husband Richard Blum, her former nominee Michael Mukasey, as well
as her opinions on surveillance on American citizens are all close to the positions of
AIPAC and the Israeli lobby,xcviii From the invasion itself, the fraudulent intelligence,

the surge, the appropriations, wiretapping, and keeping surveillance of American

citizens alive and well, Feinstein was on one side of this issue while her constituents in
California were on the other

Most recently Feinstein came out in favor of military intervention in Syria, another
issue strongly supported by AIPAC,xcix but not by her California constituents where
59% opposed it. c

We are not entirrely sure that is why Feinstein betrayed her constituents. How
interesting it would be to have the phone records between Feinstein and the hierarchy
of AIPAC, but those are not available. There may be another reason, however, for her

Project Censored. A university professor and his journalism students started a project
many years ago to research the most censored stories in the United States. For the last
decade Project Censored published and reprinted articles which fell into the category
of the shunned or the forbidden. Each article is vetted, supervised by the journalism
faculty member for accuracy, and then re-published.

Project Censored 2008 featured a story of Feinstein and her husbands conflict of
interest. As it happens, Feinstein, the ninth wealthiest member of Congress, sat on the
military appropriations committee that funneled contracts to two companies where her
husband was the major shareholderover $2.5 billion in military awards for
Afghanistan and Iraq. The controversial, but accurate story, pretty much disappeared,
which is why Project Censored dutifully followed the report and then republished it.
Probably because of this expose, Feinstein quietly resigned from the Military
Construction Subcommittee in

So, we dont exactly know whether it was the Israeli lobby that changed Feinsteins
votes or her husbands financial interests. Perhaps both. What we do know, and with
far greater certainty, is that her representation of the majority voice of her constituents
which is what this chapter is all aboutunambiguously did not occur on the matter
of the Iraq war, surveillance, torture, and Syrian intervention.

Whether the gun lobby or the Israeli lobby, American democracy and the will of the
majority is repeatedly betrayed. The number of times the majority has been
represented properly and its mandate honored islike it or not, admit or not

A moment of fantasy

If a real democracy existed and the majority actually ruled, things might dramatically
start to change. Lets fantasize. Here are some wild guesses about what they might do:

There are more than five million people in Haiti. The average Haitian dies 16 years
earlier than a citizen of Cuba and lives on a per capita income of $497 per ye ar
Implosion 35

thats 1.36 a day.cii The average person in Haiti, in other words, would be classified in
the United States as suffering from severe poverty. One in fourteen children die
before age of five. Our total foreign aid to Haiti in 2015 was $466 million dollars. ciii
Contrast that with AID to Israel which is $3.7 billion. civ We give Israel $8 for every $1
we give Haiti despite the fact that both countries are relatively the same population.
But the percapita income of an Israeli is over $30,000sixty times greater than a
citizen of Haiti. cv Nonetheless, for every $1 given to the average Haitian by the United
States, the average Israeli gets gets eight times more.

Sadly, foreign aid generally goes to richer, more strategic countries, and, frankly,
countries with much higher life expectancies. If the compassionate voice of the
majority of Americans was as loud as the lobbyistsor louderour national priorities
would change and the poor of the world would start to get the attention they deserve.
And one of the poorest countries on earth, a mere 120 miles from our shores, where
more than 220,000 persons lost their lives in an earthquake, would begin a long
overdue recovery. Some 85,000 people still live in tents six years after this catastrophe.


majority of Americans favor the legalization of marijuana.cvii The ability to buy

marijuana in the same store where one might buy a bottle of wine would become
commonplace. People smoking marijuana on the streets, at parties, and just having a
good time would be unrestricted. There were close to 700,000 people arrested for
marijuana related matters in 2013. cviii Just imagine how many man-hours were spent
arresting, booking, fingerprinting, arraigning and processing those people through the
criminal justice system. With marijuana legal, police would be spending time on other
criminal matters, and law enforcement statistics for solving violent crimes would

improve significantly. Statistics show 75 percent of rapists get away with their crime.cix
Ditto for 40 percent of all murderers.

There are 186,000 murderers in the U.S. walking the streets who have escaped justice
since Such appalling numbers might start coming down if marijuana
enforcement was abandoned.


This text may have a point of view, but that does not free it from an obligation to be
dispassionate, fair, and complete. As such, there have been a few times majority rule
actually did succeed, and for the purposes of objectivity, the following examples are
worth mentioning:

Oregon voters chose to allow assisted suicide. The federal government did all it could
to invalidate that vote, but the assisted suicide law in Oregon is still holding.

California voters approved Proposition 13 which rolled back property taxes and
placed a cap on how much they could increase. Despite repeated attempts to repeal it,
Prop 13 still survives to this day.

Sixteen states tried to legalize medicinal marijuana, while the government tried to
quash all those initiatives, even arresting doctors who prescribed it, as of this writing
medical marijuana laws are also surviving.

The historic election of Barack Obama, similarly qualifies as a moment where the will of
the American people seems to have expressed itself without equivocation or compromise
and where the majority of people elected the first African-American president in the
nation's history.

The temptations of Barack Obama

Despite this moving historical event, President Obama seems to have fallen victim to the
Feinstein curse betraying his base as soon as he took office. Promising to get troops out
of Iraq in 16 months during his campaign, he kept them there as long as he couldmore
than 3 yearsuntil the Iraqis wouldnt let him stay any longer.

The first thing Obama vowed to do on taking office was to close Guantanamo. Four years
into his presidency, it was still operating almost at capacity. Ditto for promises on single
payer health care, foreign trade, cutting the defense budgethe increased it. With gusto
and conviction he promised the American electorate he would not hire a single lobbyist.
But by his second term, twelve have joined his administration.cxi

Obama made stunning speeches about how free trade agreements like NAFTA were
destroying American jobs and pledged he would opt out of NAFTA unilaterally if Canada
and Mexico refused to renegotiate the treaty. After his election, he retracted that pledge and
Implosion 37

attributed his remarks to overheated campaign rhetoric, modestly explaining: "Politicians

are always guilty of that, and I dont exempt myself.cxii

In a riveting speech at the University of Cairo, he promised a two-state solution between

Palestine and Israel, but when the Palestinians applied for membership at the U.N., his
administration did everything it could to prevent any two-state idea from happening.

Jackson Diehl reports in the Washington Post,

Obamas most distinctive, and most ill-fated, idea, and the one most identified
with his 2008 campaign: the determination to engage with U.S. adversaries
such as Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela. Obama promised direct
diplomacy, even one-to-one meetings with the likes of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
and Kim Jon Il.cxiii

Four years into his presidency, none of these diplomatic moves happened.

Obamas acerbic criticisms of Bushs behavior in the Middle East were legion during his
campaign, and aroused tremendous support in the American electorate, but at the close of
his eight year Presidency, Obama was killing peoplewith troops or drones in following
countries: Libya, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, , Cameroon, and Nigeria.cxiv
In 2016 the U.S. had deployed Special Forces into 134 countries. cxv

Many thought Obama would prosecute Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz for lying
to the American people about Iraq, but all got a free pass. Not only were there no
indictments, there were no truth commissions at all into their comical assertions that
Saddam Hussein had a relationship to Al-Qaeda, to 9/11, or to nuclear weapons

Similarly, his base was quite

convinced that once in the White
House heads would roll, and the
criminals who brought on the
financial crisis of 2008 would be
indicted, but as of early 2012 not a
single fat cat was imprisoned or even
tried. In a Frontline documentary
called The Untouchables, not one
high level banking executive was Toviewashortvideosummarizingthischapterentitled
indicted under the Obama ThemythofAmericandemocracy,clickontheURL
Administration. cxvi below:
Another campaign promise was that he
would crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants. cxvii Instead he reversed
course and gave legal status and the ability to work in the U.S. to over 5 million people. cxviii

As for the rights of American citizens, in 2011 Obama signed into law a bill that allows the
military to indefinitely detain American citizens.cxix It is unlikely anyone on the left who
campaigned and supported Obama would have imagined their liberal president, for whom
they had such high expectations, could engage in such an egregiously right wing betrayal of
their values, comedian Bill Maher even referring to him as Uncle Tom Obama. cxx

These actions speak to the long history of invalidating the will of the majority once the
election is over. Yes, there are a few times, very few, that the will of the people squeaked
through. A Black mayor was elected in the South. Proposition 13 passed in California, but
in the fullest and most objective analysis, majority rule rarely occurs.


Let us summarize this short exercise with the following unhappy redux. Majority rule in
our democratic country did not exist whatsoever for the first 144 years of our history. Even
when women were given the vote in 1920, there was still the problem of the U.S. Senate,
which is, has been, and shall always be, a fully non-representative body. The smallest states
have the same voting power as the most populous. Any hope that the will of the majority can
survive the Senate is entirely accidental.

Add into the equation the curious factoid that Americas super-rich one-percent find
themselves happily represented by an incredible preponderance of similarly super-rich White
males in the Senate, about as typical a cross-section of the American electorate as Mexican

salsa at a Polish wedding. Toss in soft money, PACs, special interests, Citizens United, and
lobbyists and the voice of the majority evaporates into the mist.

As Paul Krugman opines, our entire political system has been warped and paralyzed by the
power of a small wealthy minority.cxxi

Close to 90 percent of the American people want to know which foods they buy are being
genetically engineered. cxxii Theyve wanted to know this for well over 15 years. Most
American soy sauce is made through recombinant DNA techniques so that the soybean wont
die when it is sprayed with one of the worlds most potent herbicides, Roundup, a distant
Implosion 39

cousin of Agent Orange, containing some of the same ingredients, [and made by the same
company]. cxxiii Want some roundup-sprayed soy on your sushi or would you prefer organic?

A majority of Americans wish to be informed through labeling which foods are genetically
modified (GM) Frankenstein foods, but agribusiness doesnt think thats a good idea. U.S.
senators and congressmen agree with Monsanto, not the voice of their constituents. Sales
would slip if Monsanto baby formula suddenly read: Infant formula made from Roundup-
ready genetically modified soy beans sprayed with herbicide versus Herbicide free,
organic, baby formula.

Even if one cost more than the other, mothers would choose organic herbicide-free soymilk
for their infant.


Monsanto knows this.

Congress knows this.

You know this.

If the majority actually ruled, Americans would have the labeling theyve wanted.cxxiv cxxv

There are twenty new GM crops in the pipeline, and today, more than 70 percent of food
currently consumed in the U.S. contains genetically engineered ingredients,cxxvi all of it
unknown to the American consumer. Agribusiness outwits majority rule with the complicity
of politicians who habitually prostitute themselves under the down comforters of lobbyists
and the American oligarchy.

Add it all up, and the idea that the United States of America is a democracy where the
majority rules is, sadly, propaganda, mendacity, or if you prefer, you can use Professor
Frankfurts more conversational term, ___________!

The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread
delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror
among the rich, lest we get it.

Edward Dowling
Implosion 41
Harry G. Frankfurt, Princeton University Press
See, Bugliosi, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for murder. MA: Vanguard, 2008.
Bugliosi, Ibid.
Bugliosi, p. 137.
See also:
Quotes cited in Bugliosi p. 142
Bugliosi, Ibid., p. 118.
Bugliosi, Ibid, p. 144.
Bugliosi Ibid, p. 83.
See 9/11 Commission Report; Bugliosi Ibid, p. 109.
Bugliosi, Ibid, p. 45.
Weisman, Jonathan (2006-09-10). "Saddam had no links to al-Qaeda".

xxii .
About 5467 Americans have died in Iraqthe media doesnt like to include contractors so the number reported is
always lower, but when American contractors are included, the number rises by 976. Source:
multi-mil/ see also
And candidates running for Presidency in 2008 were similar. Rudolph Guiliani was worth
$30 million. John Edwards, $30 million, Mitt Romney $350 million; David Kirkpatrick, Reports show wealth as a
common factor among 2008 contenders. New York Times May 17, 2007, p. A23. More recent data is found at
Holly Sklar A Just minimum wage: Good for workers, business and our future.
Lee Drutman. The political one percent of the one percent. Sunlight Foundation, 2010, location 383.
Note these are not actual quotations from Frankforts book, but merely the use of his term, bullshit to illustrate the
cognitive dissonance
lii See also
Susan Davis, Buffet rule fails in Senate, USA Today, April, 17, 2012.
Footnotes in this section come from a number of sources. Those items without specific footnotes come from the following
sources: This data comes from assorted polls of U.S. public opinion. See also USA Today, Sept 13, 2007, p. 11. and;,7340,L-
3589235,00.html; see also Handgun poll is
found at; see also:
americans-want-troops-home-now/; on gay adoption see
oppose-gay-marriage.aspx; on Iran see For polls on illegal immigration see:
aliens.html; see also; also see for UN support see: For contraceptives in schools, see
National poll, not a California poll on this issue:
xcviii; there is one small
Republican initiative and amendment Feinstein did not vote for, probably the only time her votes represented her
constituents. See
Ian Fletcher, Ibid, location 6197
Jackson Diehl, Obamas failed ideas, Washington Post, cited in The News, Mexico City, Jan 20, 2012, p. 9.
Paul Krugman, Plutocracy, paralysis, perplexity, New York Times, May 4, 2012, p. A23.
The ingredient in common with Agent Orange is 2,4-D. Source: Andrew Pollack, A battle over an engineered crop,
New York Times, April 26, 2012.
In Europe, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia all GM foods are properly labeled.