For the last 40 years we’ve been told lies on top of lies and we can’t process them anymore without losing our minds. Indeed, what we witnessed the other night at the presidential debate is evidence that America is suffering a nervous breakdown.
Speaking of which. With the “most important election in our lifetimes” approaching we are endlessly exhorted to vote, vote, vote!
If your sole goal is to replace Trump then yes voting matters. But if you are interested in changing the policies of our country, you’re shit out of luck.
For instance, while they may strongly disagree on cultural or social issues when it comes to economic policies both Democrats and Republicans are in lockstep. Both parties loudly insist that they are capitalists and promote a system where incentives, economic imperatives and shareholder value promote a race to the bottom. While maybe they don’t set out to be evil that’s the end result because “evilness”–the psychopathic pursuit of profit above all other values–is the business model for the corporations that control our country.
Following this insane logic both parties agree that income and wealth inequality should persist in the US and that the plutocrats should continue to rule America. They do, however, differ on which plutocrats get to call the shots. Pick your poison–Koch or Soros?
Meanwhile, everything is commodified according to the logic of the market. A sort of short-term thinking based on the religion of profit at all costs. As if somehow, magically, each corporation acting in its selfish interest is going to produce a utopia. This thinking is contagious. Most of our political and business class have imbibed this corporate culture as a sanity survival strategy, as way to placate the cognitive dissonance that would overwhelm them if they did not. For the rest of us, I believe that the mental illness that plagues so many Americans is caused by the temporary, precarious nature of jobs and work. We’ve become aware that we’ve been commodified too and are ultimately superfluous.
Foreign policy offers a similar dynamic. Both political parties agree that the US government should remain the dominant global hegemon and that there should be a massive US military presence around the world to garrison this empire, but they angrily argue over the details of how that empire should be organized. Should we confront China as the Republicans desire or Russia as the Democrats insist? Or both? And while maybe our foreign policy officials, intelligence and elite military units (of which I was a member) don’t set out to be evil that’s the end result of managing and policing the empire.
The problem with all this elite agreement while pretending to be in utter disagreement is that the lies have piled up to such a degree that they have lost the plot, as we witnessed with the crazy debates between Trump and Biden and now Pence and Harris.
The dirty little secret is that on economic and foreign policy issues the Democrats and Republicans are in emphatic agreement. They just manufacture lot of sound and fury into the cultural and social policies wherein they have some disagreement. The Republicans rile up their base with abortion, gun control and immigrants while the Democrats are down with Identity Politics.
This lie of omission is why partisan politics feels so hollow. Team red insists that all our problems are caused by team blue and vice versa, when in reality it’s a tag team project. The real debate in US politics is not between the Democrats and Republicans. Instead, the debate should be between the oligarchs and their political sock-puppets and the rest of us.
If politics were real in America, this would be the debate we are having. Not the fake one between two sociopaths about who hates socialism more, but between the side which opposes the oligarchic empire and the side which promotes and protects it.
In the meantime the lies continue to pile up.
Update: Here’s all you need to know about our vicious partisanship.
“First…the elite wing of the Republican Party is being folded into the Democratic Party — not just in theory, but in practice, in dollars, as well. It’s clear that the Chamber and those who give it their money have made the calculation, at least for this presidential cycle, that their interests will be genuinely served by a Biden White House and a unified Democratic Congress.
In other words, they want a united government controlled by the Democratic Party. They know Trump is going to lose (Trump was scheduled to lose even before the recent Covid incident), and they’re working to both maintain a Democratic House majority and to sabotage the current Republican Senate majority.
Second, as stated above, the Chamber of Congress and the big-league donors who support it know that a Biden White House and Democratic Congress will further their interest far more than a Trump-led divided or Republican government.”