occupy the u.s. election, part 1: "we can vote for romney or obama, but goldman sachs and exxonmobil and bank of america and the defense contractors always win."

Occasionally a bit of slime seeps from the sewer of the Republican primaries into my oxygen, and I feel the need to share the smell.

When a public figure says that a pregnancy from rape is a silver lining sent from god, as Rick Santorum did, and that person is a bona fide presidential candidate... well, it's disgusting, and it's dangerous, and it has to be mentioned.

I enjoyed reading this exposé of Newt Gingrich's hypocrisy - or at least some of his hypocrisy, as an exhaustive exposé would fill a book.

Generally, though, I'm paying as much attention to the 2012 circus as I did to the 2008 circus. That would be none.

Chris Hedges explains why this is, and what USians should be doing instead.
Turn off your televisions. Ignore the Newt-Mitt-Rick-Barack reality show. It is as relevant to your life as the gossip on “Jersey Shore.” The real debate, the debate raised by the Occupy movement about inequality, corporate malfeasance, the destruction of the ecosystem, and the security and surveillance state, is the only debate that matters. You won’t hear it on the corporate-owned airwaves and cable networks, including MSNBC, which has become to the Democratic Party what Fox News is to the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party. You won’t hear it on NPR or PBS. You won’t read about it in our major newspapers. The issues that matter are being debated, however, on “Democracy Now!,” Link TV, The Real News, Occupy websites and Revolution Truth. They are being raised by journalists such as Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi. You can find genuine ideas in corners of the Internet or in books by political philosophers such as Sheldon Wolin. But you have to go looking for them.

Voting will not alter the corporate systems of power. Voting is an act of political theater. Voting in the United States is as futile and sterile as in the elections I covered as a reporter in dictatorships like Syria, Iran and Iraq. There were always opposition candidates offered up by these dictatorships. Give the people the illusion of choice. Throw up the pretense of debate. Let the power elite hold public celebrations to exalt the triumph of popular will. We can vote for Romney or Obama, but Goldman Sachs and ExxonMobil and Bank of America and the defense contractors always win. There is little difference between our electoral charade and the ones endured by the Syrians and Iranians. Do we really believe that Obama has, or ever had, any intention to change the culture in Washington?

In this year’s presidential election I will vote for a third-party candidate, either the Green Party candidate or Rocky Anderson, assuming one of them makes it onto the ballot in New Jersey, but voting is nothing more than a brief chance to register our disgust with the corporate state. It will not alter the configurations of power. The campaign is not worth our emotional, physical or intellectual energy.

Our efforts must be directed toward acts of civil disobedience, to chipping away, through nonviolent protest, at the pillars of established, corporate power. The corporate state is so unfair, so corrupt and so rotten that the institutions tasked with holding it up—the police, the press, the banking system, the civil service and the judiciary—have become vulnerable. It is becoming harder and harder for the corporations to convince its foot soldiers to hold the system in place.
There's much more: read it here.


Rural said...

Unfortunately much of the corporate influence that is so obvious in U.S, politics is a little less so here in Canada, however as you are so well aware it is 'coming to a regime near you' and moving to Canada has merely postponed the battle, not eliminated it!
We here in Canada are now firmly entrenched in the middle of the same war but so many do not even know there is a war going on!
Democracy requires dialog, please join us at http://democracyunderfire.blogspot.com/

James Redekop said...

Here is a great example. Casino owner Sheldon Adelson -- the 8th richest person in the US, though you may not have heard of him -- dropped $10,000,000 on Gingrich to keep him in the primary. Gingrich has promised to issue a Day One Executive Order moving the US embassy in Israel from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv -- as it happens, a pet cause of Adelson's.

laura k said...

Rural, thank you for your comment. Please avoid pimping your own blog here. We're all working for the same things in different ways and through different spaces. Thanks in advance.

Rural said...

Sorry, no disrespect intended..... as you say we are all working for the same thing!

johngoldfine said...

Gingrich has promised to issue a Day One Executive Order moving the US embassy in Israel from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv

Wrong way around about the direction of the moving vans, but otherwise on target as far as Gingrich's rental price goes.

laura k said...

None taken!