The 2016 election has plumbed new depths in its celebration of ignorance, bigotry, and crudely Robber Baron self-interest . . . . In the end, the media that now refers to this as “a dumpster fire” accumulated the garbage and set it on fire. Although Donald Trump rants about the alleged ideological bias of the industry, he has always been entirely its creature. The idiocies and arrogance of this reality show celebrity have been grown viewers. The industry never cared whether those tuning in detested or admired him, so long as they grew in numbers and continued to goose gooses advertising revenues. So as the election year neared, we saw him on TV repeatedly talking about Barack Obama’s birth certificate.
We have an election process that imposes nothing on the candidates. This time ’round, it doesn’t even seem to require any of the usual hollow promises. The winner–whether it’s Trump or Hillary Clinton–will have no mandate from the voter to pursue any particular set of policies or approaches. We are supposed to pick the most comforting image and sound bites, while leaving it to the armies of corporate lobbyists occupying Washington to determine what they will mean in terms of policies. It’s so efficient to exclude the electorate from any real voice and run the entire thing like it was the Super Bowl or the World Series.
So, we wouldn’t want to spoil that, would we?
Every election, corporate American pours record levels of money into Democratic campaign coffers. The best of their hired mouthpieces tell us that we are in grave danger because of what the power-mad, ruthless Republicans.
We need to remember that these are the same characters who gave war criminals a miss on seriously investigating and bringing them to trial over the WMDs in Iraq. Or the explicitly illegal war the Reagan and the elder Bush waged on Central America from the dark and cobwebbed corners of the plantation home that is the White House. Or even giving Nixon a pass over Watergate. The Democrats made possible the worst “excesses” of Dubya.
Of course, these Democrats have done so because they have done much the same themselves—and aspire to do more of it in the future.
The beneficiaries of this arrangement tell us that it would create no end of conflicts and troublesome investigations and prosecutions to spoil the institutionalized indulgence of wrongdoing in government.
It is inconvenient to argue for war, even among officeholders of your own party. Best for them to just have the soap salesmen market the president and their inner circle decide these things.
The politicians, the media, the culture-makers warn us of the dire consequences of having this arrangement spoiled.
They’ve created a sweet arrangement where the money-makers and their office-holding servants have done absolutely nothing about the human-caused massive degradation of the climate system and a resulting global warming. They’ve pretended that there’s a difference between doing nothing about global warming because you deny it’s happening and just doing nothing about it. A real distinction without a difference.
Still, it makes money, which they say will eventually trickle down on us if we have the good manners not to spoil the setup.
There is the systemic bipartisan neglect of the mass interest in equal pay and a general equality for women, as for equality regardless of race, gender, and gender preference. Doing something about these things would take guts and–far more daunting–it would detract from the real priorities–war, the national security state, tax subsidies for the corporations, etc.
What sort of ingrates would want to act as spoilers of such lucrative enterprises?
Then, there’s what the political institutions have encouraged the owning class to do to the entire planet. To the climate, to the natural world, to the air, to the sea, to animals, to people.
Heaven forbid—whine the pundits—that lowly citizens aspire to become the “spoilers” or the ruling power of their lords and masters!
If you believe that voting for what you want makes you a “spoiler,” you are probably confusing an election with a coronation. . . . and, if you decry spoiling a coronation, you need a time out for some serious thought.
We have nothing to hope from the world of corporate politics, and are only fooling ourselves if we pretend otherwise. Let’s give the apologies a miss this time. Repudiate the idiocies of “safe state” strategies. Shun the habit of going through the motions of a campaign without building a serious long-term alternative party that can offer not just protest candidates but alternative politics.
Let us do everything we can to spoil the spin, whoever it is. Let us do strive to spoil their media coronation.
What we see at stake in this election is their injustice, their wars, their chronic mismanagement, and their disregard of everything beyond their profits.
We can be aiders and abettors of these things, sit on our hands, or do what we can to be their “spoilers.” My recommendation is that we take the latter any day of the week.
And the success of our efforts will depend on the extent to which we can get the people to be up and doing between the elections.