by Joel S. Hirschhorn
Despite all the hype and rhetoric, only one impact of the midterm elections is assured. Notwithstanding power shifts from Democrats to Republicans in Congress there will not be any deep, sorely needed true reforms of our corrupt, dysfunctional and inefficient government. The culture of corruption in Washington, DC will remain. Hundreds of millions of dollars from corporate and other special interests will assure that.
Voters who think otherwise are either delusional or stupid. It will not matter whether you voted for Republicans because you wanted to defeat Democrats (or vice-versa), or whether you voted for Tea Party candidates, or whether you voted against incumbents, or whether you voted for what you believe are lesser-evil candidates. Americans lost however they voted, but it may take time for most to comprehend that. That is a terribly painful reality, which is why many who chose to vote will resist facing the ugly truth.
When it comes to politics in America, delusion and stupidity are rampant, like a terrible epidemic that has killed brain cells. Several billion dollars were spent selling candidates this year. Who profited? The many media outlets that received the advertising bonanza and companies that supplied mailings, posters and automatic phone calls. At least all that spending was kept domestic.
Yes, you are thinking that this is the most cynical view possible. Cynicism beats delusion. I recommend it.
This is what American history tells us. Americans have been brainwashed and tricked into thinking that elections are crucial for maintaining American democracy. That is exactly what the two-party plutocracy needs to maintain their self-serving political system and that is also what the rich and powerful Upper Class wants to preserve their status. But voting in a corrupt political system no longer sustains democracy. It only sustains the corrupt political system that makes a mockery of American democracy. Think about it.
In the months following this election, when unemployment and economic pain for all but the rich remain awful, anyone who pays attention and is able to face the truth will see that there is little chance of genuine government reforms. Nor will any of the nation’s severe fiscal and spending problems be smartly attacked. The Republicans will blame the Democrats, the Democrats will blame the Republicans, the Tea Party winners will blame the system, the radio and cable pundits will blabber endlessly, and Jon Stewart and other comics will have an abundance of material to take jabs at. The two-party plutocracy will triumph.
Every member of Congress will, as before, spend most of their time and energy doing what is necessary to win the next election. The army of lobbyists will be busier than ever legally bribing politicians to sustain the successful political strategy of the rich and business sector to make the rich and superrich still richer at the expense of the middle class. Anyone who thinks that winner Republicans will work to overturn economic inequality is stupid or delusional. A disproportionate and ludicrous fraction of the nation’s income and wealth will go to a tiny fraction of rich and superrich Americans. Nothing that President Obama or the Democrats have done or championed was aimed squarely at reversing economic inequality and the death of the middle class, which by itself justified defeating them.
President Obama, of course, will continue his self-serving rhetoric with the sole goal of winning reelection in 2012. The presidency just made him destructively delusional. Of course he will speak about working with Republicans. Wait and see.
Here is what non-delusional Americans can hope for: Maybe a decent third party presidential candidate will emerge. Maybe the Tea Party movement will wake up to the reality that electing Republicans is a terrible strategy for reforming the government and restoring the health of the nation and shift their interest to forming a third party. I doubt very much whether any of the Tea Party winners in Congress will stand up and aggressively work for and demand true reforms. The new Republican Speaker of the House is a classic establishment Republican. Maybe the greatly expanded calls for an Article V convention (mostly by Republicans and conservatives) as the constitutional path to reforms through constitutional amendments will gather more energy (especially from Tea Party people) and finally succeed.
Welcome to the good old USA where citizens, unlike those in Europe, do not riot in the streets demanding justice but keep believing in the nonsense that voting for either Republicans or Democrats will work for them and the nation.
Despair follows delusion. Despite the endless media hype, the political revolution of 2010 is like a badly made firecracker – a dud. President Obama, Republicans and Democrats will have learned nothing profound, not enough to dedicate themselves to real reforms. Along with economic pain, widespread anger will persist as nothing tangible results to make the lives of ordinary Americans a lot better. Will Americans demand smarter strategies than voting in regular elections with choices between Democrats and Republicans? What do you think?
[Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn through delusionaldemocracy.com.]
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|William A. Cook|