Posted by: slartibartifast | September 16, 2008

Politics 1A, part 2

As I said for part 1, I am not an expert in politics, specifically American politics; no degree in it, no experience in elected office, not even any relatives who are in it. But I have been paying attention for the last 4-5 years, at least more than most Americans can afford, to political events in this country; way more attention than I did in the previous 50 years of my prior life. And this summary is what I have come to believe:

Democratic party- they drive me crazy. They’re the only viable alternative to stolen Republican elections and atrocious government and they are like watching someone trying to herd a thousand cats. If there’s a way for them to lose an election, they will find it. Even if they do get into office they still get bitch-slapped around by the Republicans. And they always seem so genuinely surprised that this is always the outcome.

I nearly have a nervous breakdown every general election, hoping for some miniscule glimmer of hope that affairs can get back into the normal range again by the Democrats gaining enough ground to get out of the clutches of the Republican’s bullying behavior.

At times the Democrats actually do remind me of Battered Wife Syndrome.

Here’s the crux of the matter: stop acting like pussies!! I can’t think of a more neutral way of saying it.

Nearly every Republican I know well enough to reason with is more aggressive than most of the Democrats I know. Dems keep falling into the same trap time after time after time after time. And it’s this- they think that if people know the Truth then they will arrive at the same rational decision I did. They don’t understand that it’s almost never about issues. It’s about having to tell some voters what to do. Way more people than I think want to be told what to do, how to vote, what to think. Once the Dems understand…I mean really understand this fact…they are going to be a force to be reckoned with. The intelligent, informed Dems will understand this and play along, while the people looking for a commanding leader will fall into place like good voters.

If the Republicans have proven anything since Jimmie Carter was voted out of office (because of a shady deal between the Reagan campaign’s backchannel forces to arrange to have the American hostages released from Iran if he won the election) it is that it’s almost impossible to underestimate the American public’s capacity for ignorance, gullibility, and denial. I’m not sure which depresses me more, the fact that this is true or that the Republicans learned to exploit it first. Like it or not, you have to live with it.

The one twinkle of hope I have gleaned in the last couple of years is that, given the state I describe in the previous paragraph, people are finally, with glacial slowness, starting to come around to a more informed point of view. This is evident in the popularity polls of George Bush and his Administration. Of course, look at how bad things had to get to rouse them from their sloth.

I lay a lot of the blame for people’s apathy and laziness at the feet of an almost useless Corporate Media environment. Once great news organizations, like CBS and it’s wonderful cadre of investigative reporters, or The Washington Post reporting the Watergate Break-in and cover-up story, have left the building to hand the reins over to the Infotainment creeps. They have traded access for independence, transcribing what the Administration Press Secretary says for investigation, an invitation to the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner for that probing second question.

I don’t blame the reporters here, but the editors and owners who “filter” the stories for us.

But every time a door is shut a window is opened. Now we have the Internet, where we can guide our own path to the end of that information rainbow. Use it to clean up the bullshit spread through viral e-mail messages with Snopes.com. Check on the veracity of media propaganda with Media Matters for America and FactCheck.org. If you want to know more on a topic of history or politics that you don’t know do a simple GOOGLE search and learn about it.

We have truly outstanding documentaries such as Iraq for Sale, Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room, and Who Killed the Electric Car?.

There are newer, better, sources of alternative information like the Daily Show on Comedy Central, Countdown with Keith Olbermann and the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.

On the radio there is Thom Hartmann in many markets on the AirAmerica network. Daily replays on the Web here. Past shows here.

All of these sources are better than some 20 second report in the Corporate Media Evening News anyway.

BTW, if you want to see comedic genius you have to watch Steven Colbert’s address to the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in 2006. I honestly don’t know how he had the nerve to show up there that night, much less say the things he did to the people in that audience. A high water mark performance.

In the continuing spirit of lightening up a little after some serious stuff here are some political season slogans I’ve heard lately:

Republicans do it TO you. Democrats do it FOR you.

About Sarah Palin’s affiliation with the Alaska Independence Party- If at first you don’t secede, try, try again.

And one I made up (or subconsciously stole from somewhere else)- Republicans believe in the Corporation. Democrats believe in the Constitution.

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