Who created the “Imperial Presidency”? Is Donald Trump really the problem? Or is it the system that created him and allowed him to flourish?

Most people with any intelligence at all understand that Donald Trump, his cronies and the GOP are not the disease, but rather the symptom of a diseased system that has been rotting away for decades. Yet, the mainstream corporate media persists in its ad hominem attacks while virtually ignoring the real issues – namely, the dysfunctional system that they have played a large part in creating.

And why should they do otherwise? The “mainstream” media – under the control of a handful of powerful corporate conglomerates that determine 95% of what most of the public reads or sees – is owned and operated by the same billionaire oligarchs who are busy buying off Congress, and now, even the Presidency.

A recent article in Forbes reports on fifteen billionaires who have a virtual lock on the mainstream media. What is telling about the list is that only a very few individuals on that list – such as Michael Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch – actually made their fortunes in the news business. Most of them acquired media outlets as “side investments” – but they are not using those investments in inform, enlighten, educate and question as Thomas Jefferson once envisioned. Instead, they’re using them to whip up hysteria, inflame emotions and manipulate the public.

At the same time, these major media outlets are busily attacking Trump personally and on ideological grounds, focusing on unproven allegations (such as those Russian involvements). The corporate media, so complicit in enabling the Bush II Administration, is calling for Trump to be removed from office – if not by impeachment (highly unlikely at this point), then by an obscure provision in the 25th Amendment of the Constitution.

What is equally frightening is that some in the mainstream corporate media are calling on the intelligence community to take Trump down – which would surely mean the end of our democracy, if history serves as any guide.

If the mainstream corporate media was actually doing its job, it would be presenting strong, reasoned criticism not only of the Trump Presidency, but the entire system that allowed him to be elected in the first place – and continues to put regressive, right-wing ideologues into positions of power despite the clear fact that the vast majority of Americans are demanding a more Progressive agenda.

But this is not in the interests of the billionaire oligarchs who control that media. Their agenda is keep the public in the dark – while they continue to buy off Washington D.C. so that they well be left alone to bleed the country dry without any controls over their behavior or accountability.

K.J. McElrath is a former history and social studies teacher who has long maintained a keen interest in legal and social issues. In addition to writing for The Ring of Fire, he is the author of two published novels: Tamanous Cooley, a darkly comic environmental twist on Dante's Inferno, and The Missionary's Wife, a story of the conflict between human nature and fundamentalist religious dogma. When not engaged in journalistic or literary pursuits, K.J. works as an entertainer and film composer.