FULL POCKETS AND EMPTY CHAIRS September 6, 2012Posted by wmmbb in US Politics.
The US party political conventions are great shows as they are intended to be, but how can the profound failure of leadership be explained?
The major problems confronting the people of the United States are those faced by people elsewhere, except the ideological straight jacket in which American politics appears to be conducted makes them worst, even insoluble. You have to wonder how grown people can take some of the nonsense of display seriously. I suppose that as watchdogs of democracy the traditional role of the media was to call politicians on their claims by questioning them.
There are many issues that do not get systematically looked at, or when investigated, is not widely disseminated. The classic case if the role of money in the electoral process. Karl Rove is smart in realizing the big prize it is to be had not just about electing the President but winning control of Congress. Then there is the super-sized defence and war spending, including the immoral use of drones to murder people in non-declared wars, or wars declared by presidential edict. The executive powers of the president sit oddly with the context and conception of the Republic. If bang for the buck is desirable, then it would be desirable to see the outcome in health system, which makes that result structurally impossible. Then there are consequences of the financialization of the economy and the destruction of the possibility home ownership for many. This prospect reinforced by low wages and marginal employment and enhanced by movement of jobs to slave labor factories.
It is not that these problems are not recognized, it is rather that those who are best able to articulate them are never given the billing on the main stage. The Ecological Internet is surely right when they identify climate change as the fundamental global, economic and cultural challenge:
It is profoundly disconcerting to watch U.S. Presidential political conventions argue over important yet often mundane issues of personal opinion, as there is nary a mention of abrupt climate change and ecosystem collapse as global emergencies that the best scientific minds tell us threaten all of humanity’s survival and well-being.
So when politics is disconnected from realities, you are left with entertainment. Clint Eastwood addressing an empty chair sums it up nicely. His metaphor crosses more issues that perhaps he might have realized.
According to Jeanne Moos the empty chair haunts the DNC:
ELSEWHERE: . . . the usual suspects
- Noah Chomsky, America is not a Democracy:
- Chris Hedges,We Distract Ourselves With Petty Spectacles While the World Goes to Hell(AlterNet):
The giddy, money-drenched, choreographed carnival in Tampa and the one coming up in Charlotte divert us from the real world—the one steadily collapsing around us. The glitz and propaganda, the ridiculous obsessions imparted by our electronic hallucinations, and the spectacles that pass for political participation mask the deadly ecological assault by the corporate state. The worse it gets, the more we retreat into self-delusion. We convince ourselves that global warming does not exist. Or we concede that it exists but insist that we can adapt. Both responses satisfy our mania for eternal optimism and our reckless pursuit of personal comfort. In America, when reality is distasteful we ignore it. But reality will soon descend like the Furies to shatter our complacency and finally our lives. We, as a species, may be doomed. And this is a bitter, bitter fact for a father to digest.
- For sale: The American dream (Al Jazeera)