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Commentary Last Updated: Apr 28th, 2008 - 00:30:16

America�s political trinity
By Ben Tanosborn
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Apr 28, 2008, 00:08

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In the United States, if you aspire to occupy an elective office, from the lowest position at the municipal level to the imperial quarters of the White House, you must have been cleared beforehand as a defender of the American faith, and that entails acceptance and devotion to the dogma of a political trinity: Capitalism, Individualism and Israelism.

And that political trinity belief applies to hopefuls of the two parties, something which by default makes it universal under a non-proportional democracy where winner takes all, and our republic becomes not one of the people, but rather one belonging to the elite.

Capitalism must never come into question regardless of how predatory, exploitative or even distant from true free enterprise. If you dare challenge either doctrine or deed in any form, you are immediately tagged as a socialist of sorts and are subjected to all the morbid and ignorant abuse that is associated with an advocacy turned into epithet.

Individualism is a trait that most Americans will swear was DNAized in America or, at the very least, used as baptismal waters on immigrants debarked at Ellis Island long ago. Anyway, it is this rugged individualism, many Americans will say, that keeps this nation strong and free; a doctrine that holds the interests of the individual to be above those of either nation or society. And as a result of this individualism, America has become a nation of armed citizens, and an uncanny proclivity for greed. Just free individuals from government controls and regulations, and society will take care of itself!

Now as for the �third part� of the political trinity, America�s total devotion to Israel, well . . .

Politics at the community, state and federal levels are under constant scrutiny by an all-knowing, all powerful, very passionate and pro-Israel active advocacy with fast standing orders not to allow any politician to be exposed, much less influenced, to anything which might appear to be colored Palestine regardless whether it is controversial or legitimate. This has become our political daily bread, and in my neck of the woods, not to be any different, we just witnessed two such acts in Oregon this past week, one courtesy of our influential newspaper, The Oregonian, the other also coming via this periodical.

On April 22, The Oregonian�s editorial, �Gee, thanks, Mr. Ex-president,� castigated our former president, Jimmy Carter, for having talks with Hamas which, according to this paper. �muddy an enduring dispute in the Middle East.� That declaration is, of course, the paper�s right to render as an opinion. What the newspaper seemed to have lacked was the grace and diligence in denying the courtesies usually extended in this medium to former American presidents, addressing them either as president or former president, not as ex-president . . . construed here as if having been impeached or forced to resign. This was an uncalled for insult tendered on perhaps the most decent, moral and fair-minded president in recent times, if not in the history of this nation. It should come out loud and clear as to what this newspaper�s advocacy is.

The following day a story appeared in this same newspaper that brings to light the constant occurrences that take place with our politicians as they knowingly or unwittingly put to a test their respect for any one of three subjects in America�s political trinity. In this case, Oregon House Speaker Jeff Merkley, one of several Democrats contending for that party�s nomination to run against incumbent Senator Gordon Smith next November, was said to be caught in the Mideast debate as he returned a $2,300 donation to his campaign given last month by Hala Gores, a Palestinian-American attorney and pro-Palestinian activist, who presumably was told by Merkley:� I don�t know if I am doing the right thing or the wrong thing. I want to win.�

Although Merkley denies having said that, indications are that he did. Soon afterwards, he presented a position paper on the �US-Israel Partnership� at the request of, yes, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, unmistakably advocating a pro-Israel stance, a position much different from that transmitted months before to a gathering of Oregon Palestinians where he had expressed sympathy, according to The Oregonian, for the suffering of the Palestinians caused by the Israeli military forces. Needless to say, AIPAC appears to be mute on the subject. And so it goes throughout the US . . .

We wonder where the US may have gone astray in both its politics and foreign policy . . . yet it is right in front of our noses. Where much of the world sees the need to place controls on a menacing corporate world, America frees it to operate in its predatory ways, often even subsidizing it to do so. Where there is a tendency in the world to reach out to each other and slowly start to become our brother�s keeper, America renders cult to the worst vices of individualism: impiety and greed. And where the world wants to put to an end to a six-decade hostility between Israelis and Palestinians, and do it in a fair and long-lasting way, America just bows to the dictates of Israel, which holds the upper hand in any prospective negotiations.

When will America come to its senses and scrap this inhumane dogma of its political trinity, and treat it for what it is . . . heresy to brotherhood and peace? Not soon enough!

� 2008 Ben Tanosborn

Ben Tanosborn, columnist, poet and writer, resides in Vancouver, Washington (USA), where he is principal of a business consulting firm. Contact him at

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