Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Masters of Puppets
I mentioned in my previous entry the fear of impermanence among those whose livelihood and identity face diminishing returns. I found today Chris Hedges' "Defying the Politics of Fear," a speech to Greens the weekend before this election. "We cannot betray the ideal of a popular democracy by pretending this contrived political theater is free or fair or democratic. We cannot play their game. We cannot play by their rules. Our job is not to accommodate the corporate state. Our job is to destroy it. 'We think we are the doctors,' Alexander Herzen told anarchists of another era. 'We are the disease.”'
A typically brutal rhetorical passage from this Presbyterian minister turned radical firebrand. Hedges' style alienates many. His books and essays tend towards repetition, but he is one of the few who call out the party politics and the charade they've become. Although in retrospect already three weeks later, his embrace of the Greens under Jill Stein appears idealistic, he argues in his essay as elsewhere that there's no use in what my friends would call out as a 'false equivalence' equating the relatively minor flaws of Her with the massive liabilities of Him. But as at the dinner table Thanksgiving I mentioned in the last post, I respond that they both represent corruption and perpetuate power plays.
These plays, to go back to Hedges' "contrived political theater," betray an illusion. Our supposedly representative democracy has been proven a farce. Those we are assigned to elect, for the parties control this process and not ourselves, for nearly nobody can afford to run on their own and get anywhere unless indeed they're a zillionaire, show themselves the masters of we, the puppet voters.
Now even the Stein campaign is financing, mysteriously for such a shoestring operation, a purportedly crowd-funded effort to recount. But in the three states where her rival lost narrowly, rather than the other three where the Greens did, as everywhere else, enormously. I'd ask, as one who's voted for this party since they qualified in my state in '94, where this has gotten us, truly?
Despite the large profile given her and Gary Johnson's Libertarian ticket this time around, compared to previous tallies, the Greens and the Libertarians did not increase their share of the vote by much at all. I am sure third-party backers will battle as in '00 the blame doled out by the imperious Democrats. What's less certain is if the faction that claims to have the interests of all citizens in mind truly cares a damn about the "deplorables" tossed aside, those of not only the "white" category to tick off who remain ticked off about candidates who only pretend to call and plead for attention every four years. Who ever hears from their "representative" any other time? Living in a county where the results were 72% for Her, 22% Him, 2.2% for Jill and 2.6% Gary, what competition exists at all here?