It is but a few days before the American mid-term elections, and the slosh of hidden money authorized in the name of “free speech” by the Supreme Court’s recent “Citizen” ruling, has risen to tsunami levels, with the likes of Karl Rove directing the funds with hyperbolic “pin-point” accuracy, to put it in military lingo, which usually translates as lots of collateral damages. Well, certainly in this election there’s already been a lot of collateral damage to the Union’s ostensible and increasingly suspect ritual of “democratic elections.” Since the Supreme Court’s heavy thumb on the scales of “justice” in the year 2000, when in violation of its own mandate, it appointed George Bush president (though Gore had a half-million votes more in national counting), the funny computer-count machines of 2004, and the court’s increasingly anti-public/pro-corporate rulings under Roberts, the already ragged mythology of “free” elections has been shredded. American elections are as much a sham as are those of Afghanistan, where our foreign office personnel pretend to be shocked at the suitcases of money delivered to the right-hand man of our hand-picked President Karzai. In America now the suitcases can be delivered, legally, in anonymity.
“We carpet-bombed for two months in 82 races, now it’s sniper time,” said Rob Collins, president of American Action Network, which is one of the leading Republican groups this campaign season and whose chief executive is Norm Coleman, the former senator from Minnesota.
Meantime for months, or actually now some years, on a 24/7 basis, the airwaves and television have been drowned in the hysterical ranting of mostly right-wing, often “Christian” fundamentalist hatred, with ever more pressure to take recourse to arms (in that good old down-home American fashion) and, well, just kill or stomp whoever doesn’t agree. The natural consequence of this is just what you would expect:
And, of course, there’s a bit more to this – a little further examination shows the lady did try to stick her styrofoam board placard into Rand Paul’s car, which scarcely justifies the thuggish behavior of this guy, but hell, he’s been egged on by Rush and Sarah and Glenn and the gang. And she is a MoveOn member, proof positive she’s real trouble. So goes electioneering in America, where soon I expect the private armies that have emerged in the last decade and more – all of course Republican or further right in sentiments – may be out on the streets and, if things go like they’ve been going, left uncontested by the government, State or Federal.
What all of this suggests is that the country is confronted with problems that neither of our traditional established parties can meaningfully address, and in turn either there are attempts to infiltrate them, to re-direct them – as has basically happened with the combination of Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party, who seem to have hi-jacked the Republican party – or to abandon them, which I think increasingly is the left side of the political spectrum’s inclination, especially after the euphoria and subsequent drastic disappointment with Obama. In my view though the American public – left, right, center – is utterly unprepared to cope with our imminent reality of being nationally “down-sized” from what we grew accustomed to in the post-WW2 period. Like it or not, the present world will not continue to tolerate America’s wildly disproportionate take of the globe’s resources – about 25% seized, often by military force, commonly by lopsided economic/business arrangements, by 5% of the world’s population. We got away with it for a while, but no longer, and our future is going to be one of shifting to our fair 5% of the globe’s resources and wealth. While Americans could live quite well on that, it requires a major change in how we share our wealth, and the present political stress in America is that of an oligarchy attempting to retain the major portion of the domestic wealth for 2% of the population, while cutting everyone else down. That’s what is going on now, and has been going on since Reagan was in office, though naturally it was claimed it was for the good of everyone, the real numbers were fudged, and the middle class played frog in the pot. A look at income distribution, or Main St anywhere USA, shows another picture. The subsequent reaction is inchoate, misguided, very volatile and dangerous even for those oligarchs who for the moment seem to have channeled the anger that should be aimed at them towards others. But I suspect in due time they’ll get badly burned for this kind of politics – just as they’ve been burned in Pakistan and myriad other places where they’ve played dirty.
But, likely enough we’ll have a visit from our friends whose graphics share a certain commonality, not to mention a mentality.
I have friends who are a bit more sanguine about the political currents flowing now in the USA. Older enough than I to have weathered the McCarthy red-baiting era, and other similar spasms which America seems to chronically endure, they are sure it is yet another passing phase and we’ll right ourselves in due time. I am less sure of this. Instead I am skeptical that the large American public will sort out for itself an equitable way in which to spread the tightened belt which our failing, unacknowledged, empire will coerce upon us. As the economy shrinks, as it must and will, I am inclined to think we’ll take the frequent recourse for such tensions, and call for a strong man (or woman) to come solve the problems which we ourselves refuse to admit or consider how to solve. In fact, the reasonable solutions run so counter to the alleged traditional American ethos that it would be a hard sell. The examples of dealing with global warming, or our excessive addiction to petroleum, or more fundamental, our warring habit, all point to the intractability of what our real problems are. So more likely we will take what seems an easy route, like the Germans did, and pay an awful price for our bad choice.
And received today on a veterans list-mail based in Oregon on which I participate, came this – which unfortunately is all too likely to be true. Our wonderful citizenry of which some believe in the right to vote… for some, but not others.
TO ALL DEMS, GREENS, MINORITIES ETC, PLS COPY/PASTE/FORWARD PERTINENT PARTS BELOW TO YOUR CONNECTIONS THIS ALERT ABOUT POLLING-PLACE INTIMIDATION REPUBLICAN & TEABAGGER THUGS ARE PULLING IN SOUTH, BUT PROBABLY ALL OVER COUNTRY:
“EDDIE, ET. AL., PLEASE DO A COUPLE OF THINGS FOR ME (AND FOR YOU — AND FOR ALL OF US REALLY) THERE IN TEXAS: I’M GETTING LARGE VOLUMN OF MAJOR INDICATIONS OF RAMPANT VOTER INTIMIDATION IN TX AND ELSEWHERE IN THE SOUTH WITH REPUBLICANS AND TEABAGGERS AT POLLS ATTEMPTING TO INTIMIDATE DEMS BY GOING UP TO THEM AND DOING SOME THINGS LIKE TAKING PICTURES OF THE DEMS AND MINORITIES AND ASKING IN THREATENING MANNER IF THEY (DEMS AND MINORITIES) ARE ALLOWED TO VOTE AT A PARTICULAR LOCATION… THIS IS WHAT I MEANT IN POSTS LAST WEEK ABOUT NOT GOING TO VOTE ALONE AND STICKING AROUND THE POLLS AND ROTATING SHIFTS AT THE POLLS AS THIS IS THE KIND OF CRAP THAT IS GOING ON TO REDUCE VOTER TURNOUT FOR DEMS AND MINORITIES, BECAUSE IF THE REPUBS HASSLE DEMS AND MINORITIES — AND OTHERS THAT “LOOK” LIKE THEY’RE DEMS — THEN SOME DEMS WILL JUST LEAVE AND NOT VOTE RATHER THAN PUT UP WITH THE HASSLE OR BE INTIMIDATED AND BE AFRAID OF SOME VIOLENCE, SO PLS TRY TO GET THIS WORD OUT ALL OVER YOUR TX NETWORKS, AND ELSEWHERE IN THE SOUTH IF YOU HAVE WIDE CONNECTIONS VIA MINISTERS OR ORGANIZATIONS YOU BELONG TO AS I HAVE RELIABLE WORD FROM PROGRESSIVE TALK RADIO ON WEST COAST (MIKE MALLOY SHOW) THAT THESE TACTICS ARE ALREADY BEING DONE AND ARE WORKING FOR THE REPUBLICANS AND TEABAGGERS TO A DEGREE… THANKS”