Unmeddled Democratic Process

I was unfortunate enough this morning to hear a candidate for governor of my state interviewed by one of the embedded mass media’s so-called “correspondents.” The candidate tried to bring up the subject of state government policy but the reporter wanted to talk about the latest public opinion poll suggesting a close contest. She wanted to know what the candidate intended to do to stem the tide in favor of his opponent, and she wasn’t about to be distracted by references to public issues. This is typical of the politics industry, preoccuped as the participants are with polls and fundraising. An election is imminent, and the central task is to raise money and spend it to get votes. 

If you’re one of the 60-odd million sanctimonians who populate the political right wing, you’ve seen no let-up in solicitations to battle enemies like Trump-baiter Elizabeth Warren. Uncomfortable as you may be to ally yourself with Saudi Arabia and Israel, you cough up. If you favor Warren, you’re getting incessant appeals for cash to take on Trump and his minions, even as Warren and her party facilitate Trump’s transfer of billions of dollars to arms dealers in faraway lands, like Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Regardless of your leanings, you’re probably not surprised to hear Democrat Joseph Biden plead against impeachment, aware, as Biden is, of the immense value of Trump as a means of raising money. The various political contenders will spend billions to influence public opinion, and the politics industry–advertisers, news-mongers, political hacks–will prosper. In fact, the pursuit of money–not the administration of government–seems to be the principal point of elections in this third millennium. The media like to talk about divisiveness, never acknowledging how much money they make by promoting political divisions.

The media don’t seem to be at all abashed over their part in this process. They decide which candidates you will hear from, and their decisions seem to be based principally on how much money can be raised and spent (with them). Dispensers of political advertising seem disposed to stick with brand names like Clinton, Bush and Trump, betting on them to have the capacity to spend copiously. If you can’t or won’t raise sufficient pelf, they tell the electorate you’re not a “serious” candidate.  History suggests that the ability to raise money is not a qualification to govern, but the election industry operates in its own interest, and big spenders are favored by the embedded mass media. We shouldn’t be surprised that reporters don’t report on their own election meddling.

The main tactic of political manipulation seems to be the selling of enemies to the targeted public. All parties agree that the Ayatollah, Putin, Kim, and Assad are murderous enemies. “Give us money,” say the purveyors of democracy, “and we’ll fight them off for you.” With a national election on the near horizon, ’tis the season to fund that promise. By defeating their proxies and facilitators in the ranks of the political opposition, one or the other crime family pledges to rein in designated enduring enemies. Of course, the sooner these designated enemies are defeated, the sooner the money flow will cease, yielding, ironically, a permanent, futile state of struggle to overcome them.

Political enemies generate money all the year round, but the big money comes in during the weeks preceding an election, and it must come from people like me, because I’ve been bombarded with email from the likes of Warren, Biden, Clinton, Trump, and even Barbra Streisand, pleading desperately for me to underwrite the expenses bankers, lobbyists and other racketeers incur to maintain cooperative Democratic and Republican parties. I wonder whether I’m alone in feeling a disposition to boycott the election in response. Could that be the point of all this?