Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Here Comes Another Election Year (*Yawn*)
Another year where we have to choose between Coke and Pepsi, and NO this is not another rant about how the political parties are both the same. This is a rant about how none of the most important issues for the future of this country will even be touched in this election cycle. All of those crucial issues about the role of money in our politics, whether we really want a democracy, or whether an oligarchy would just be easier, don't expect to hear those even mentioned. And if we formally and legally transition to oligarchy, then what about individual rights or constraints on the powerful? Does fairness mean anything to an ideology of supremacism, national or social? Does that inscription over the Supreme Court Building, "Equal Justice Under Law" still mean anything, or is it a quaint antique and it's time to retire it? Do we really want to be the "Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave," or do we want to be just another empire lording it over a sullen world? Those questions will be addressed, but outside the political campaigns and outside the official public forum.
I'm predicting a very boring election year. All of the "debates" will be about what amount to tweaks one way or another of the Center-Right consensus that's dominated our politics since the 1970s. The idea that the whole political process is rotten, just so much legalized corruption, will never come up. The idea that public office is nothing more than a revolving door for plutocrats and their minions who go in to make regulatory law, and then go out to profit from those regulations will never even be mentioned.
God and Jesus will be invoked repeatedly will barrels full of oily public piety. The Prince of Peace will be dragooned into blessing a society increasingly coarse, brutal, predatory, and nihilistic, a society where "even three in the morning is lit up with the glow of money going rotten," to quote the late John Updike. The God of Love will be invoked to legitimize policies that stigmatize and disenfranchise entire classes of people. The One who said that "foxes have holes and birds have nests but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head" will be drafted into blessing those who have multiple homes at the expense of those who have none. The money changers will continue to be welcome into the Temple. Caiphas and the Sanhedrin will continue to believe that they are martyrs suffering for the cause of right, when in fact they believe with all their hearts and all their minds and all their souls that might makes right.
In the end, Russell Baker said it best, "Watching a politician claim the high road is like watching a hog take a bath."
Put on your wet suits everyone.
The President's hand holding a note slipped to him by an OWS protester in New Hampshire.
Robert Reich talks about an issue that certainly won't be mentioned in any campaign. Both parties have patrons that they cannot afford to offend.
Posted by Counterlight at Tuesday, November 22, 2011