Saturday, June 30, 2012
The Politics Of Stupid
I never get over my surprise at how stupid people can be about politics—the media ‘ostinato’ giving equal weight to religion and reality, truth and spin, and lying and talking. Can’t folks see they’re being manipulated by some very cold-blooded psychopaths? The tremendous wealth and power these people possess is only an enabler, camouflaging their sociopathy under a veneer of dignity and worth. And this country (and the world at large) assents to this bull. I’ve accepted this as fact many years ago—but it is always in the back of my mind, coloring my vision of the future with inherent dishonesty and greed.
As a US citizen, I have endured a plethora of cognitive dissonance. As a child, I would see race riots in the southern states and be ashamed to be white. In school I would learn about the genocide of the Native Americans and the purposeful destruction of their culture being passed down from the survivors to their children. This would muddy my pride in being American. As a young, fire-in-the-belly Madison Ave. man, I learned about advertising vs. truth, financial might over ethical right, and propaganda/indoctrination/spin and the media-neglect concerning coverage of injustice in ‘attractive-resources nations’ vs. the total lack of coverage in nations suffering mere injustice (without any impact on the US economy). No amount of speechifying can change the fact that we care more about some countries than others. And it is crystal clear to me, personally, that these are short-sighted paradigms that ignore the long-term effects on the globe, and thus the USA’s own interests over time.
It is no picnic being an American, as far as morality goes. We get enough threats from foreign countries to make grousing about our foreign policy a tricky business, especially for media-figures like the Dixie Chicks girl band–who’s CDs were the subject of CD-burning protests in some cities, in reaction to the Dixie Chick’s public protests against the second invasion of Iraq. For such a free-speechy kinda country, it is surprisingly easy to become a pariah. Some of our greatest intellects (Noam Chomsky comes to mind) are marginalized into media blackout by the minimal-IQ-audience entertainers who spout conservative, fundamentalist, small-minded garbage into the ears of the electorate. And we, the electorate, have seen our education stats fall so low that we despair of any realization by the majority of us that we are being led like sheep.
I define the Republican party as ‘overt rule by the rich and powerful’ and I define the Democratic party as ‘covert rule by the less rich and less powerful’. I think this explains very neatly the back-and-forth of these two parties being elected for presidents, senators and congress-persons over the latest decades. When one side has power, they abuse it until the cracks in their façade start to show. The opposite party offers itself as the solution—and repeat, ad infinitum.
A specific node of cognitive dissonance in our government is this: we know that both parties have long since given us the dirty end of the stick –and- we know that a third party can’t be elected because of the tactics of the two big parties. This leaves us being forced to vote for the lesser-of-two-evils candidates, when in fact, long term, they are equally evil in their eschewing of good government and their eternal battle over which party machine lies the best.
Because of this fault in our democracy, many people do not vote—the years have proven that a different President, a different Senator, will make virtually no difference in their quality of life. These people will never vote unless a third-party candidate shows some chance of beating both parties. But those of us who still vote will avoid a third-party candidate in our urgency to vote for the lesser of the two conventional evils. In addition, the third-party candidate may be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, ushering in something even worse than our present status quo.
Our distorted and distorting media have taught us never to trust anyone. This is an improvement over the old-fashion concept of trusting whoever is in power, but it goes too far. I blame mass media for this—their new, commercial-based ‘journalism’ always quotes both sides, even when one of those sides is evil, stupid, or simply obnoxious. If we could hear an honest politician (Oxymoron, that.) without his or her message being juxtaposed against sheer, full-throated dishonesty, we might begin to cull from those elected offices individuals that are unquestionably more in favor of advancement of their personal careers over any wish to be a civil servant acting for the benefit of their voters.
But, as with all things that generate revenue (i.e. make money) the news media will never change except to improve their ratings or protect the large corporations that own them. So, now we need a third-party candidate and a whole new news service that conforms to the old-fashioned, public-service-oriented journalism that was once such an important part of our political process.
What else do we need to rescue Democracy? Well, I wouldn’t mind seeing the body-politic grow a pair. Who are these crazies that want to use Brown-Shirt tactics during electoral campaigns? Can the Tea party fail to see how un-American their behavior is? They seem blind to the contradiction between their beliefs and their actions—I suppose a majority of the Tea Partiers are using their politics to self-administer primal therapy—their lives have come to a place where nothing is left for them to do but scream at the tops of their lungs. And, in that sense, they are identical to the Left (but less restrained) in that they want big changes and more honesty and some government that makes even one iota of sense.
We have just endured the biggest robbery ever perpetrated against the entire country—and it was committed by the richest people in the world, our own financiers. Billions of dollars were just crossed off the people’s bank accounts and investments—and added to the ledgers of Fat Cats who just happen to be their own industry’s policemen. Shouldn’t the Tea Party be concerned with that? Do they ignore it simply to avoid agreeing with those ‘damned socialists’ in the Democrat party?
Then there are the rest of us—how did we rationalize this draining of the coffers of nearly every individual in this country? Why isn’t Washington, DC still the urban uprising it would have become in any other country (and has become in many Arab states’ capitols) with the people demanding at least the pretense of fair dealing from their government?
”…But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
United States Declaration of Independence
Which reminds me of another notable wit who pointed out that all governments are democratic in that, if a big enough majority is desperate enough, even a dictatorship will be removed from office—the only difference being that they won’t technically ‘vote’ him out of office. It would be more in the style of a bloodbath—which we’ve seen in recent news in several countries where people are tired of not having any say in their own governing.
Also, the above quote, from one of our three Founding Documents, makes clear that real Americans should not sit still for ‘absolute Despotism’. Also made clear is the fact that those early revolutionists were dissolving bonds with a government that was, in terms of today’s transportation, on the Moon—We have to deal with a government intertwined with our lives, our lands, and our way of life. To revolt from this is not nearly so easy as to rebel against George III. But our founders foresaw this difficulty and made allowance for it—democratically elected leaders. Our country has withstood the bombardments of the world and the chaotic growth of itself for over two centuries.
But the power-hungry and money-coveting of this era have finally broken the code. They have boxed us in with our own democracy. And now they are in charge. They control the media, the government, and the jobs. They have an army, police, and private security. Employees are paid subsistence wages while their hard work makes the Boss wealthy—the majority of jobs in our country today are simply slavery 2.0—the modern style of oppression, mislabeled as the ‘middle class’. I would think ‘working class’ more appropriate—and what do we call the super-wealthy? Royalty? Demigods? Or should we go more ‘honest’ and call them a pack of .… [insert expletives here]