It's a Set Up - It's not about Obama or Romney
I don't watch the Sunday morning political talk shows. Haven't for a couple years now. The only one I allow myself to watch sometimes is "Up" with Chris Hayes since ever once in awhile some actual alternative voice pops up like the wonderful Occupy the SEC woman whose name I can't remember.
This morning during a discussion of how the elections are being micro managed (which was pretty creepy in itself), there was a very interesting idea that didn't pop up so much as ooze out. The Republicans have had a huge amount of rich guy money flooding into the campaigns and on to the air waves. Well, and so have the Democrats. Why do rich guys do it? Katrina Vandel Heuvel thinks it's to get their taxes lowered and deregulate the financial system. Josh Barrow, the Bloomberg guy, disagreed and said it was to change the discussion to what they want to discuss; their vanity projects. It is to keep the discussion away from issues of climate change or poverty and keep it firmly on the debt and deficit, said Chris Hayes. Ah Hah!
The "UP" yups speculated that rich people and upper middle class types are far more prone to ideology than regular people. They have the luxury of having money and not worrying so much about bread and butter issues. Money allows them to have magazines that supports their views but don't make any money, said the Bloomberg guy. (Did he not realize he might have made a faux pas with Katrina Vanden Heuvel sitting right across from him?) And whether they are on the left or on the right, the rich do think they are better and smarter than the rest of us. They may prefer different kinds of cars and different kinds of charities, but they like the system we've got.
So it's not really about getting one or the other figurehead presidential contenders elected. It is to prepare everybody for "the grand bargain" or as Bill Black calls it, "the grand betrayal" of the dismantling of Social Security and Medicare. Either candidates will suffice for the needs of the top 10% of the top 1%. As Chris Hayes pointed out "Both [parties]play the game within a certain segment of society."
As I was switching channels, I caught Cokie Roberts drolly (is there any other way she talks?) remark that she sees some bi-partisanship happening after the election since everybody has to get serious about, you know, serious things. Wink, wink. Nod, nod. The Grand Bargain, I assumed, because I couldn't stand to stay on the channel long enough to hear what serious people are seriously being serious about.
So this election seems to me to be about dismantling our social safety nets. Even the students at the local high school listed the OH MY GOD NATIONAL DEBT as the second most important issue after the economy. They also talked about reforming tax codes and cutting taxes for everybody including corporations. I think they need to talk to somebody other than their parents who must be the source of this malarkey.
No, it's not really an election to pick a leader. It's to inundate us for 18 months about the insidious meme that we are in grave danger, not from Al Qaeda or drastic weather, but from entitlements and public service employees. And the discussions by the compliant media have made it all about the fiscal cliff we are headed towards whether it be in our Hummers or in our Priuses.
How can we change the discussion? All I can do is try to do it one person at a time. Yesterday I talked to the high school government teacher at our annual Christmas Bazaar and suggested she read David Graeber's "Debt: The First 5000 Years." Discussing debt and money from an anthropological point of view might work in this conservative county. Worth a try.