It is depressingly predictable how the public conversation in the U.S. becomes mired in the cesspool that is electoral politics every four years. Really, the cycle never ends nowadays, but it ramps up considerably in the months leading to an election that will make very little difference how we are governed.
Corporate government puts on this show for you the same way corporate media puts on Super Bowl Sunday: to keep you firmly rooted in the belief that dichotomy dominates über alles, that said dichotomy is not false, and that you must develop a fervent adherence to one side or the other in order to function as a citizen.
One of the minor elements of this depressing phenomenon is that you will be roundly scourged if you do not signal that you adhere to the side deemed correct by your fellow citizens. Thus, if you are female, you must support the female candidate. Or, if you have socialist tendencies, you must support the candidate who spouts socialist rhetoric (but who is meanwhile voting in the Senate on behalf of the Boeing Corporation).
And, you are expected to spend lots and lots of keystrokes vilifying the opposition. For instance, you must pay immediate and copious attention when a former candidate who was a terrifyingly bad joke endorses the current candidate who is a terrifyingly bad joke. You are expected to spend lots of your mental time thinking about this and calling both of them insulting names. You must do this in order to fit in with the crowd.
Occupying the public narrative with this kind of inconsequential nonsense drowns out real concerns, real issues and real suffering inflicted by corporate government.
Corporate media is good at drowning out even the minimal sounds of dissent issuing from the body politic these days. There is little room for actual discussion amid the roar of the gladiator games.
Activist Bruce Gagnon recently had this paragraph censored from his op ed reporting back on his trip to join the resistance to expansion of U.S. military presence in both Okinawa and South Korea's Jeju Island:
The Pentagon today has more than 800 military bases scattered around the world. It's well known that due to the rapes, drinking and violence toward the host people, U.S. troops are not wanted in most of these places.Gagnon's local paper, The Times Record, regularly runs laudatory articles about General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works where the nuclear-equipped destroyers and other warships that will dock at Jeju Island are built. The paper's editor was afraid to anger people (or most likely, advertisers) by appearing to dishonor "the troops" with Gagnon's entirely true statement. The paper does not appear to care about or even notice the suffering of women and girls raped and otherwise assaulted in the vicinity of U.S. military bases. And it doesn't want you to notice their suffering either.
Corporate media wants you to notice a candidate's bad hair. It wants you to ignore voting records and concentrate on empty promises. The fact that liberal and progressive voters are enamored of a Zionist candidate who has voted to bomb civilians in oil-rich countries leads some to wonder if they are ignorant of the facts or just not very bright.
A cogent essay on the effect of the occupation of public narrative by David Masciota in Slate ran with a provocative, name-calling headline and photos of the three leading candidates to have D after their names. I suspect an editor played a key role in nudging Masciota's observations back toward the Punch & Judy Show direction. But it's actually a great essay, reading in part:
Given that morality and legality seem to have no influence over American foreign policy, the end of empire will likely emerge out of fiscal anxiety and insolvency. It might be fun to blow up the world, but eventually, we just won’t have the money for it. If liberals are satisfied with that eventual outcome, and if they have the patience to sit through years of unnecessary death and destruction while the cash register slowly empties, they can continue to ignore America’s military presence around the world, and they can continue to act as if bomb craters and dead bodies amount to just one more issue for consideration alongside tax rates, standardized testing, and gay marriage.This week Senate Speaker McConnell introduced an Authorization for the Use of Military Force against ISIS. The new authorization would leave the 2001 AUMF in place (as the 14 year occupation of Afghanistan shows no signs of ending), would not limit ground troops, and would not not limit the length of time or the geographic area for military action. Sound like World War III in the making? Hardly anyone noticed.
How much evidence do taxpayers need that the "war on terror" is never-ending and, in fact, designed to be that way? How many more bombs will they fund to kill innocent civilians in 2016 and beyond? Congressional switchboard to weigh in on the proposed AUMF with those alleged to represent you: (202) 224-3121.
But wait -- which team do you think will win the Super Bowl?