|Is Thomas Jefferson turning in his grave?|
For outsiders like me, the entire process is of dubious value, save only for the politicians who seem to enjoy making as much publicity and mileage for themselves out of the event as they possibly can. Recent developments, such as the sudden emergence of the Occupy movement serves to highlight the paucity of policy on both sides of the House, and how bereft America has become when, at a time of economic crisis, the same tired, old wise saws are trotted out as gospel: the country is still a great power; we can fight back our enemies; don't let the terrorists win; -- and so it goes on, ad nauseum.
As the supposed opposition to this kind of nonsense that is apparently trotted out because it's the only way the Republicans can get re- elected, the Democrats fashion themselves as the spokespeople for the underdogs: the unemployed, working people, African Americans, minorities, trade unions, that is anyone who isn't a millionaire and cannot hope to profit from the brutal austerity measures and giant corporate funding policies of the Republican party. The Democrats remind me of a peashooter thinking he can down the elephant, and upon discovering that he can't, proceeds to join the elephant.
The Democrats are ideologically off-balance. Loathe to be murdered by the Republicans by acknowledging that American society is as riddled with class bias and inequality as any other country in the world, the Hill has the unhappy knack of stabbing its mainstream supporters in the back whenever it suits them, with the threat that if Republicans win back office, things for them will be far worse than they are now.
We had the unedifying spectacle of that bastion of fearless journalism 'Mother Jones' not only attempting to smear Julian Assange as he was emerging as a hero for his exposure of state secrets through the Wikileaks website. Recently, (and surprisingly ) they were one of the first to put the boot into the Occupy movement in an article which was not only negative but downright hostile, from a magazine that supposedly encourages dissent and is some kind of 21st century version of the counter-culture movement magazines like 'Ramparts' and 'Rolling Stone' which genuinely encouraged free expression and political involvement of groups and individuals in such issues as Vietnam and the Watergate scandal.
To put it bluntly, 'Mother Jones' is no 'Ramparts', and is doing its readers a disservice if it thinks that it is. Attacking movements and individuals who have a sincere agenda for change, rather than attempting to correct their own ideological pratfalls, will not win 'Mother Jones' a wider readership. If they would only stop hitting their supporters over the head with a lot of meaningless noise about how profoundly wonderful Barack Obama is, and concentrate on the issues without giving the opposition all the free publicity, they would get a fairer hearing from those of us who believe in honest journalism, even if it has to come from the mainstream-liberal-establishment media.
I guess that after all is said and done, it's going to be the public who loses out. The media of the left as well as the right, only think of the 'public' in the crudest of all possible terms, that is, how much money is to be made out of us, and how stupid they seem to think we are. In that respect, I cannot imagine the 2012 Presidential race as anything more than a protracted and corrupt piece of political theatre, merely designed for the lowest common denominator and utilised for the business of keeping the public in the dark, and severely ill-informed of any concrete or meaningful political agenda.