Most people in this country are not happy with how it’s being run. No Shit Sherlock. If approval ratings of Congress go any lower, it might come down to the Last American.
"The Last American to give Congress an approval rating appears on MSNBC with Rachel Maddow.
Rachel: So how is it, Last American, that you decided to give an approval rating to Congress?
Last American: Well Rachel, when I took the poll I thought it said push 3 if you disapprove and 4 if you approve. I was microwaving ramen noodles at the time and mistakenly pushed 4.
Rachel: So you actually disapprove of Congress along with the other 307 million people in this country?
Last American: Hell yes Rachel, do people think I’m stupid? Shit, I was just cooking dinner and made a mistake."
The reasons may vary among the various categories we like to group people into: conservatives, liberals, progressives, left, right, center, libertarians, independents, and Greens, etc. But there has to be an overall reason that causes such a large percentage of citizens to disapprove of their political representation.
Overall most people believe the system is corrupted and both parties cannot work together for the good of the country. So everybody complains, grumbles, bitches and moans and the best we can come up with is having a few thousand people camp out in city parks demanding that the powers that be allow us to grumble, bitch, moan and complain in public spaces. Specific demands aren’t needed they said because something is being built. A new way. Meanwhile the police state turns up the volume and knocks the movement on it’s ass.
It ain’t dead, but what will it’s second life look like?
One thing the movement did emphasize, although it wasn’t truly grasped by nearly enough, is that both major political parties serve the 1%, and more directly the .01%. It planted the theme that the rich are getting richer and directly benefiting from our political system while everyone else is getting the shaft.
Many in the Occupy movement have made it clear that it is not a subservient of either major political party and those true to the movement have steadfastly refused any cooptation toward democratic and republican party goals and elections, although attempts certainly have been made and will continue. The entire premise of the 99% versus 1% meme assumes both parties have been sold out to the oligarchy that pulls the strings.
Front line supporters such as Chris Hedges have advocated for those in the movement and all willing to rebel (rage) against the machine to withhold their votes from the two major parties.
In a Truthout interview regarding his newly released book, “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt”, Hedges made this statement.
“But at the same time it is vital to remember that we cannot achieve significant reform or restore our democracy through established mechanisms of power. The electoral process has been hijacked by corporations. The judiciary has been corrupted and bought. The press shuts out the most important voices in the country and feeds us the banal and the absurd. Universities prostitute themselves for corporate dollars. Labor unions are marginal and ineffectual forces. The economy is in the hands of corporate swindlers and speculators. And the public, enchanted by electronic hallucinations, remains largely passive and supine. We have no tools left within the power structure in our fight to halt unchecked corporate pillage. “
Movie actor and evidently citizen activist John Cusack recently published an article reflecting his views on voting for Obama via a discussion he had with Constitutional law professor Johnathan Turley.
"Now that the Republican primary circus is over, I started to think about what it would mean to vote for Obama…
there are certain Rubicon lines, as constitutional law professor Jon Turley calls them, that Obama has crossed.
All political questions are not equal no matter how much you pivot. When people die or lose their physical freedom to feed certain economic sectors or ideologies, it becomes a zero sum game for me.
This is not an exercise in bemoaning regrettable policy choices, or cheering favorable ones, but to ask fundamentally: Who are we? What are we voting for? And what does it mean?
Three markers — the Nobel prize acceptance speech, the escalation speech at West Point, and the recent speech by Eric Holder — crossed that Rubicon line for me…
Obama wants your vote– make him earn it."
Cusack listed a litany of reasons why he doesn’t feel he can vote for Obama and yet tells us that if you vote for Obama, make him earn it, without explaining how that could be possible, particularly considering the significance of his primiary issues.
How can people make Obama earn their vote?
Or is that antithetical to what Hedges is saying relative to “But at the same time it is vital to remember that we cannot achieve significant reform or restore our democracy through established mechanisms of power."?
Hedges elaborates in the interview:
"What was left of electoral politics in the United States gasped and sputtered to its extinction with the 2010 Supreme Court ruling known as Citizens United. At that point the game was over. Legalized bribery now defines the political process. The most retrograde elements of corporate capitalism, such as the Koch brothers, are the undisputed king makers. They decide who gets elected by anonymously pouring hundreds of millions into campaigns.”
If “they” decide who gets elected President, what’s the purpose of voting? If money is the determinant of who wins the election, what does that say about the minds of the American public? Money fuels the messages that persuades the citizens who to vote for. Why don’t we just save time and have the billionaires, play a game of Five Card Stud. We could get it all over in one night.
“It is not going to get better. The climate crisis alone will assure that. The corporate state knows what is coming. Globalization is breaking down. Our natural resources are being depleted. Economic and political upheavals are inevitable. And our corporate rulers are preparing a world of masters and serfs, a world where repression will be our daily diet, a world of hunger and riots, a world of brutal control and a world where our spirits must be broken. We have to stop asking what is reasonable or practical, what the Democratic Party or the government can do for us, what will work or not work. We must refuse now to make any concessions, large or small. We must remember that the lesser of two evils is still evil. We must no longer let illusions pacify us. Hell is truth seen too late. In large and small ways we are called to resist, resist, resist, as we race heedlessly into the abyss.”
The lesser of two evils is still evil yes, but it depends. Some evil is worse than other evil isn’t it? Isn’t that the primary argument Obama supporters have now, that he is the “lesser” of two evils? But what if one believes that both parties are beholden to the oligarchy, that elite 1% that have accumulated more assets, wealth, wages, power and influence than the 1% have had at any time in this nation’s history and apparently vying for the greatest percentage of wealth in human history.
As Cusack said
”Instead of scrutiny, the usual arguments in favor of another Obama presidency are made: We must stop fanatics;—he’s the last line of defense from the corporate barbarians—and of course the Supreme Court. It all makes a terrible kind of sense and I agree completely with Garry Wills who described the Republican primaries as “ a revolting combination of con men and fanatics…the current primary race has become a demonstration that the Republican party does not deserve serious consideration for public office.”
There’s that Rubicon line, the term Cusack used, a point of no return, a line in the sand. Obama has crossed so many lines in the sand for those truly disturbed by what happened during the Bush administration, they’ve melded together and have created a giant barrier. A barrier of conscience, justice, morality, and humanity. A barrier so large for many that even a batshit crazy venture capitalist and his neanderthal "rape is good for the soul" party partners aren't enough to spark a need to pull the lever in Obama's favor.
Obama appears like the wolf in sheep's clothing. He's given the Nobel Peace Prize before he does anything, then proceeds to make it the most Orwellian award since Caesar proclaimed himself the Humanitarian Emperor. It's unbelievable to even think about at this point after the escalation in and continued occupation of Afghanistan, the expanded drone wars, the imperial pivot to a reinvigorated Cold War with Russia and now with China, continued torture, failure to close Guantanomo, Executive privilege assassinations, and elevation of the police state apparatus formalized under Bush. A Nobel Peace Prize, can there be anything more ridiculous, maybe even evil than that. Talk about a lesser of two evils.
Cusack said make him earn it before we vote for him. I agree. Hedges said we must no longer let illusions pacify us. I agree with that too.
Evidently Obama is a competitive person, likes to win at everything. You can bet he wants to win this election and even more so because his opponent is Romney. He and his cronies (i.e., Rahm, etc.) have continually taken their base for granted and have offered nothing during this general election season to even provide a new illusion.
Make him earn it. I'm not voting for Obama as things stand and I don't think there is a dang thing he can do between now and election day that will change my mind. In fact, every day that goes by solidifies my decision. I'm very antiwar, anti-imperialism, anti-financial oligarchy, anti-police state and Obama has expanded all of those. I just don't think it matters, the powers that be have their plans and they will be carried out by whoever is there. If there was something that could change my mind, I'm not sure what it is. We have the budget negotiations coming up and the issues of social programs versus U.S. military imperialism. We have many issues but that one is immediate and front and center on the table, unless Obama decides to attack Iran and/or Syria. Maybe we make Obama earn it by telling him if he doesn't stop the attacks on social programs and curtail the military empire within the next two years, he must promise to the American public that he will resign while in office. Of course I'm not voting for Romney, that would be an absurd assumption considering what I've written. I may consider a third party but there are pro's and con's in that to me. Personally I'd like to see the American public make a mockery of American democracy in front of the entire world by having a presidential election with a turnout of less than 40%. What would that say about the beacon of democracy that is a global force for good? Could that spur change?
"I started a joke, which started the whole world crying, But I didn't see that the joke was on me,..."
That's how hard it is.