When all the hoopla is over, whether it is Obama returning to promise more hope and change or Romney coming on to promise a return to “exceptionalism” for our beleagured nation, we will all be in the same stink-pile of political and financial shit with nothing new to show for the two year, two billion dollar campaign spectacle.
Consider for just a moment their ‘competing’ healthcare plans: in essence, there is not a sliver’s worth of difference between them. They both completely undo the status quo, expecting 700 billion+ dollars of money now spent in Medicare to be redeployed (the Obamacare plan), on the one hand, or re-allocated (the Romney/Ryan plan), on the other. This is a distinction without a difference.
For all the hysterical jousting, there is barely a difference, except when it comes to the social – not the financial – aspects of these plans. With one we get (eventually, but inevitably) government funded abortion-on-demand, like it or not, and with the other we get vouchers, and the elderly had better be good at investing because the cost of healthcare will continue to rise at a rate faster than the official inflation rate, which determines the value of the voucher. What a choice!
There is a reason why the two men running for office as representatives of the two major parties each have instituted a mandatory healthcare plan. Healthcare reform is what the political class sees as a sop to the middle-class pigeons who vote them into office. Give the masses something else to worry about. The party gets the power, we get the illusion of reform. The rest is just smoke and mirrors. Obama might as well be sparring in front of a mirror, or Romney too, for that matter. No vote is going to change the end result. You get one, you get the other. They work for the parties, and when they win, the parties win; but the parties don’t work for America. They exist for themselves.
They, Obama and Romney, are each members of the same class, the political class, which is both above and beyond the rest of us and out of our control. Regardless of the “I-feel-your-pain” rhetoric, they only deign to stoop to our level when there is blame to be diffused. It is exactly parallel to the situation in the stock market during the ‘Gordon Gecko’ days. When people began protesting loudly about Wall Street greed in the 1980’s, the financial class cried, “Not fair. We are all Wall Street.”(This because the pensions of average Americans were largely invested in stocks, and more and more recklessly so in risky stocks at that. Remember ‘Black Tuesday’?) Did this really convince anyone that we are Wall Street?
They wanted to deflect responsibility and expected us all to bear the blame, communally, for their own extraordinary greed. Today, the political class, along with their financial cohort, want us all to assume a common blame for the present mess. “Not a time for recrimination,” they say. “Plenty of blame to go around in this systemic failure:” as though we – with our own jobs to do - had the power and responsibility to foresee, control, or forestall this man-made, financial-political class-made disaster. Was it any different after 9/11?
Do we see a pattern of argument emerging? a pattern which shifts the blame from the actual culprits to the people at large? But we are not to blame, and they and their bankers, backers, and lobbyists are!
They are not us! Their children will not be subject to the same insufferable restrictions on future safety and prosperity as our own; nor to the debt and the crisis of society that they and their class are creating for us all today. When the piper calls for payment, they and their families will be in a better, not a worse, position. Largely, they will be immune to the violence which will accompany widespread poverty and draconian cuts to services at the state and municipal levels. When half the police force is available to deal with twice and thrice the number of criminals and predators, we will notice a new emphasis on the term “gated communities.” When half the teachers are available to teach twice the student body class size, we will understand why they want school choice. So their kids won’t be caught up in the chaos.
The American Republic has been co-opted by parties that exist now only to defend themselves and the wealth and power of their backers. These backers are not the American people or our nation as a whole. They are dupes, scoundrels, and lobbyists who will take what they can, when they can, for as long as they can. We need to put a stop to it, NOW!
It is too late in the game for a third party candidate this season, but it is not to late to reject the candidates that have been served up by the powers that be.
Let’s defect en masse and see what that brings. Vote Independent! Find a candidate who does not represent the will of the parties – “anyone but them” – and vote for that candidate. So, he or she will not win. So, what? It is not a wasted vote, but a half-hearted vote for either of these clowns (“the lesser of two evils”) IS a wasted opportunity. Let the winners – these two political parties -- witness the mass defection (= disaffection) of the majority of Americans from these corrupted buffoons. Let them take office with the slimmest plurality and the most tenuous mandate to power. Let them know, that they cannot have our sanction for the cheap promise of being less pathetic than the other asshole. The result cannot be worse than the current situation, and it has the merit of sending a strong message, that the days of corruption-with-impunity for the political elites are almost over.
After you vote independent, go home and turn off the radio and the TV talk shows. Watch “Dancing With the Stars,” if you will, but not Sean Hannity or Chris Matthews. Stop playing their game, and get on with the business of living. We are in this crisis alone, and all the talk in the world won’t make the parties more responsive. Only direct action will. Talk to each other, without the notes from Hannity and his ilk. Perhaps we can generate a candidacy or a movement which will overwhelm the influence of money and entrenched interests. The result cannot be worse than what we currently face.