Wednesday, June 15, 2011
GOP Presidential Debate Certified the Reality of American Democracy
June 15, 2011
With plenty of pride and grinning tough talk about President Obama, Monday night’s second GOP presidential debate certified the reality of American Democracy. Completely absent from the discussions were new ideas about the structural problems that have caused a working-class crisis in America. In fact, the GOP’s Magnificent 7 thought it important to illuminate their respective child rearing accomplishments while not wasting time on discussions about the economy, leaving unsaid the obvious--tax cuts and nothing else will carry the day.
Political humor aside, most people would have to expect that a town hall meeting of serious candidates might discuss the clearly downturned economic cycle and the accumulation of deeper structural problems exposed in this non-recession recession. What about the inability to generate middle class incomes and unsustainable levels of debt—wouldn’t these be subjects on which serious candidates might offer their insights?
It may be that America is supposed to recognize that Michele Bachman’s dozens of adopted children equates to economical craftiness. But, for those of us who aren’t that intuitive shouldn’t someone at a voters town hall meeting have questioned or commented on the steady, if not rapid, growth of special interests and increasingly dysfunctional nature of our current political system?
Let’s not leave all these concerns on the door step of the GOP’s Magnificent 7, as it should not be presumed that the undeclared Sarah Palin, while absent from Monday night’s debate, wouldn’t have her party’s solution for these problems—tax cuts, right?
To be fair, the Democrats, though having recognized the huge problem of wage stagnation, have really nothing new on the table either. While they have New Deal dreams, they are completely absorbed in defending Medicare and so, for as far as the eye can see at this point, it’s more of the same in their camp as well.
Despite this lack of new ideas, it appears that new ground in campaign spending will be broken in this next election. As they continue speaking, the wheels of creativity are spinning rapidly toward devising new strategies timed around the 36 states that have early, before Election Day voting--to get an electoral edge and maximize the unprecedented level of campaign spending anticipated in this next election.
Campaign spending in these early voting states has become a major area of study across the political landscape particularly in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v Fair Elections Committee. Town hall meetings, like Monday night’s clearly choreographed made for TV event, should be seen in the broader light of how these candidates and their strategists are rethinking the money they sink into their later buy ads and get out the vote programs.
Even without a real town hall discussion and regardless of which party’s lack of agenda you favor, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the brazen level of political insincerity and corruption. The unprecedented alliance between corporatism and government is beyond being merely unholy—it has become sacrilegious.
The ever rising conflicting interests of our political structure have brought us never ending discussions from political buffoonery. Candidates, who like trained parrots, now seriously willing to say whatever they think people want to hear--just won’t change the downward trajectory of this nation. Americans should be insulted by these candidates who are willing to wade into these early discussions without real ideas and attempt to sell more of the same. Our political system has become a matter of gamesmanship where transparent self service is confused with public service.
Without the commentary and satire of SNL, Colbert and Steward, a real fear exists that this Magnificent 7 field of candidates might be taken seriously. Save discussions of hope for the next episode of, Is America Smarter than a Fifth Grader?It is time to seriously begin a public discussion about election reform. While corporations can’t vote, it is their money that shapes our policies, political process and the empty promises we’ll be told to get our vote.
The inherent conflicts which have become the current state of campaign finance must first be separated from the election process before the interests of Americans, individually and as a nation, will again be placed above that of the corporate agenda. Save President Obama’s State of the Union address reference to the Citizens United decision, to the total absence of discussion about our corrupted political campaign finance system on the part of the entire field of candidates clearly mandates the critical need for a grass roots movement that shifts our electoral system back to serving the people.
Herald the folks in Madison, Wisconsin whose grass roots actions have begun the struggle to restore a government that is of the people, by the people and for the people, before it forever perishes from this once great nation.