Many commenters expressed surprise that St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced the grand jury decision in the shooting of Michael Brown at night during Thanksgiving week. I believe McCulloch took a very calculated risk that the lateness of the hour, the cold of the time of year and the fact that it was a holiday week would greatly tamp down the reactions of a very suspicious populace. With Thanksgiving week you get many folks preparing to travel or to entertain and thus otherwise focussed from the volatile subject.
He probably did not miscalculate that. What he did miscalculate is just how resentful the populace of St. Louis County were about the abuse they have taken at the hands of the police over decades and how unresponsive government has been to their grievances. He also miscalculated how the feelings in St. Louis County are echoed across the country.
In the first two Thanksgiving tales, we recounted stories of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer with the help of government policies. In the second we told the tale of how the rich corrupts the system with their money and ties to the legislative process.
Now comes tale number 3 – where does the frustration express itself when all formal legitimate avenues are sealed to the poor and the disconnected? One party, the Republican Party, has made no bones about how little they care for the middle class and poor. They have made no bones about how their policy is geared to the preservation of wealth and privilege in this country with all it’s class implications. Sadly, many in the Democratic party have fallen into that trap leaving their constituencies of the poor and the working people behind.
However, there are certainly good Democrats who still believe in representing those constituencies. However, the cost of elections have become incredibly high for all those but the very rich or at least those who have some access to the rich. This makes it very hard not to compromise one’s principles.
The press was singled out in the constitution as having special freedom so that they could not be intimidated from telling the truth by those in positions of power. Yet they have long since been taken over by the power of those with wealth such that Americans are the least informed populace in the democratic world.
So where are those who basically find themselves disenfranchised from the principles of a true democracy to do? They see the system as rigged, the elections as rigged and no way to have grievances heard and resolved. If they turn to the streets, they are met by the guardians of the status quo, the police, who are often outfitted for war against their own citizens.
America 2014 is turning from the ideals of democracy.