The people's voice of reason

The Republic has gone bananas

JUNTA is a game set in the beautiful Republica de los Bananas. Players take the roles of the heads of the ruling families of the nation, frantically trying to abscond with as much money as possible before the foreign aid runs out. Along the way they elect El Presidente (who appoints the cabinet and distributes the pesos) form alliances, lie, cheat, swindle, extort, backstab, execute, assassinate and throw the occasional coup—with the winner being the player with the most money in their secret Swiss bank account when the game ends. It’s a deviously enjoyable way to spend an evening, and captures the mood of banana republic politics wonderfully.

It’s also disturbingly similar to the political situation in DC these days.

In 2008, at the height of the financial crisis, Paul Krugman called America “a banana republic with nukes” but that was just a bit of hyperbole. Fast forward to today, and he seems more prophet than pundit.

The term “banana republic” was originally coined by O. Henry in 1904 to describe Guatemala and Honduras during the era when both countries were under economic exploitation by U.S. corporations like the United Fruit Company (now Chiquita). Banana republics are typically run by a corrupt government for the benefit of the ruling plutocrats, their foreign corporate masters and a meddlesome Great Power. It’s been generalized to refer to any Third World resource-rich nation ruled by a tin-pot dictator and his cronies, who loot the country of its wealth while the people live in squalor. Add the World Bank and/or IMF to the corporate masters and shuffle the Great Powers (China has joined the game with gusto) and the label works just as well in the 21st century.

Bananas do not a banana republic make. What makes a country a banana republic is the form and function of its government and rulers. Banana republics are, at the most basic level, authoritarian plutocracies where those in power use that power to maintain said power, while maximizing their own personal enrichment. Under this system, any profits are conveniently “privatized” to the ruling elites, while any shortfalls are conveniently “socialized” onto the backs of the masses, usually in the form of massive levels of public debt.

Sound familiar?

We’ve already seen an example of this way back in 2008, when the TARP program was shoved down the nation’s throat with very little explanation given except “we have to do this” to keep the financial system from collapsing. Instead of allowing a few “too big to fail” banks to fail—and suffer the full consequences of their mistakes—the money printers went BRRRRR and “we” were “saved.” In a sensible system, significant reforms would have followed, including the restoration of the Glass-Steagall wall between commercial and investment banking and some serious jail time for those responsible. Naturally, none of that occurred.

When Christopher Hitchens wrote “America the Banana Republic” (Vanity Fair, Oct. 9, 2008) he correctly called “the ongoing financial meltdown” just “the latest trend that…threatens to put the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave on a par with Zimbabwe, Venezuela and Equatorial Guinea.” He described what he saw as banana republic-like features in America at that time: unaccountable kleptocracy, a paper currency that was an international laughingstock, and crumbling infrastructure. He pointed out that the armed forces of banana republics are typically the most efficient and professional organizations within those nations, and in 2008 that was arguably true about America. Now, though?

After fifteen years of Obama/Biden DEI-CRT corruption of the military? After years of recruiting shortfalls? After two years of emptying US and NATO cupboards into the bottomless pit of corruption that is Ukraine, to no discernible effect? After funding both sides, directly or otherwise, of the running sore that is Gaza? None of that fills me with confidence, especially when El Presidente and his cabinet seem determined to drag us into WWIII.

As for the rest of Hitchen’s list? We’ve hit every one recently. Elite and Congressional net worth continues to skyrocket while inflation and debt are crushing ordinary Americans. Our infrastructure is still crumbling, despite gazillions of “infrastructure” spending by the Biden Regime. (Seven billion for one EV charger? Seriously?) The BRICS are dedollarizing like mad, and the Saudis let the petrodollar die earlier this month. And accountability? When the Senate can squash articles of impeachment sent over from the House with a simple party-line vote, there is no more accountability to be had at the levels where it should matter the most.

To Hitchens’ list, I’d add two things for which banana republics are (in)famous: a corrupt “justice” system and an efficient secret police force. Recent events prove that we’ve nailed both of those, beyond any doubt.

Between the blatant lawfare against President Trump, the thoroughly biased and unjust treatment of the J6ers and the vastly differing responses of the Department of Justice to the contempt of Congress charges against Peter Navarro and Steve Bannon versus those against Merrick Garland—we no longer have a “just” justice system. Like all good banana republics, the law enforcement apparatus, the courts and the Alphabet Stazi have been well and truly weaponized against all those whom the Regime perceives as a threat.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble for a cause that’s not approved? Be a reporter who embarrasses an Alphabet? Be about to blow the whistle on shady dealings or unpleasant truths? Or just be a convenient way to send a message? Ashley Babbitt, Gary Webb, Julian Assange, Chris Hastings, Seth Rich, Harrison Deal, Joan Rivers and Tafari Campbell are just a few names that come to mind, without even pulling up the Clinton list. Opposing El Presidente and the Glorious Republic is bad for your health.

Be favored by the Regime like the 51 Spies Who Lied, the entire Epstein List, and too many criminal illegals to count, and you’re golden. Be a member of a “protected class?” Consequences aren’t something you really have to worry about.

Finally, we’re accustomed to thinking of banana republics as being illegitimate, as El

Presidente is often installed rather than being honestly elected. Box, checked.

America has well and truly become a banana republic. The question now is what’s to be done about it. For many of us, it’s ensuring an honest election in November, then years of work rebuilding what this Regime has destroyed.

In JUNTA, every turn has a designated Coup Phase. God help us if enough Americans ever decide to declare a “Coup Excuse!”

Dr. Bill Chitwood is a retired Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatrist who does political consulting and media relations. He is the author of Beyond Maga, available on Amazon under his pen name, Doc Contrarian. He can be found on Substack and social media as @DocContrarian.

Opinions expressed in the Alabama Gazette are the opinions and viewpoints of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Alabama Gazette staff, advertisers, and/ publishers.

 

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