Why Don't I Care Anymore?
It used to be so much fun to bash the rightwing crazies like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul. I used to love it when Keith Olbermann would fulminate in righteous rage over the latest horrors coming from "Mr. Bush." I used to laugh my butt off when Rachel Maddow would make fun of wingnuts, and when Al Franken would play "Bill O'Reilly: Lying or Stupid?"
But now, when I hear the latest outrage over Rand Paul or Sarah Palin or the Tea Party or some other alleged threat to the very fabric of our country, I just feel uncomfortable and slightly queasy. Why? Why don't I care anymore?
I've been reading, thinking and analyzing, and this is what I've figured out. (Bear in mind that I do not speak for my co-bloggers, and I expect that a lot of you will disagree with me).
The oligarchy/patriarchy, aka the Ruling Class, presents two Parties to us. One Party appears to share the values of mainstream America, with a platform that promotes social and economic justice for all. This would be the Democratic Party; the party of educated, intelligent, urban, ethnically diverse, soup-kitchen-volunteering, non-racist GOOD people. The narrative of the Democratic Party is that it's trying and trying to push for the values shared by most Americans - a strong social safety net, the government staying out of our personal lives, and a good standard of living for them and their families - and it would succeed, too, if it weren't for those meddling kids! (Sorry, I couldn't resist - it is all like a cartoon to me now.) Ahem. It would succeed, too, if it weren't for the other Party! (Insert vaudeville-like hisses and boos here.)
Ah, that other Party - the Republicans, the party of the hypocritical, banjo-playing, non-spell-check-using, Conferedate-flag-waving, public-library-banning, black-and-brown-people-hating BAD people. This Party appears to be so extreme that one would have to be absolutely insane to belong to it. In fact, the people who belong to it ARE insane, if you listen to any "progressive" out there.
Does this narrative still make any sense to you? It sure doesn't to me.
If the Democratic Party is really on our side, then why is it doing exactly the same things Bush and the Republicans did when they were in power - the things we all hated so much? This is a very long list, including (but not limited to): continuing current wars and adding "mini-wars" to them (like Pock-ee-ston and Yemen and possibly Iran, Jesu Christe), pushing epically failed Reaganomics down our throats, legislatively punishing women and LGBT, hemorrhaging jobs, allowing a massive environmental disaster and terrorist attacks to occur on their watch while they have their thumbs up their asses and they trot the clueless Dear Leader out for photo ops, grabbing an unprecedented amount of executive power...etc. etc. etc. ad freaking infinitum. Is Rand Paul REALLY the problem here, folks? Who's in charge? Isn't it the Democrats?
Or is it? Seems to me the oligarchy/patriarchy is getting its own way no matter which Party is in charge. Doesn't it seem that way to you? Doesn't it seem that whenever Obama or the Dems do something particularly egregious slapped with a "reform" label (The Dems keep using that word, "reform." I don't think it means what they think it means.), along comes a woman like Sarah Palin, or a guy like Rand Paul, to wave their shiny extremism in front of our eyes, hypnotizing all of us - and the oligarchical/patriarchal media forces the mass hypnosis as much as they possibly can. (Yes, this includes the "access" bloggers, which is why I don't let their pernicious bullshit into my life any more.) OMG! they burble, using the word "racist" about 40 million times, Rand Paul wants to overturn the Civil Rights Act! Doesn't that trump the fact that Obama has removed reproductive rights from millions of women with the Health Whatever Bill? Doesn't that mean we (the Democrats) are STILL so much better than the Republicans?
I can't believe this type of two-party trompe l'oeil is still working. What's happening is that the Republican Party keeps going farther and farther to the right, so that Democratic voters feel virtuous and "Good" by voting against them. The Democratic Party then feels free to adopt as many Republican Party policies and platforms as it can, which means becoming ever more true to its oligarchical/patriarchical roots.
When people protest the latest corporatist and patriarchal policies coming from the alleged "good" Party, we either hear that we're crazy Republicans, or "hey, at least Sarah Palin's not in charge, and besides, where else are you gonna go?!"
As for the Republicans, they don't mind being the "Bad" guys; not one little bit. Both Parties are laughing at us, all the way to the banks. Why? Because they're taking our money, using it to line their own pockets, creating a permanent underclass of unemployed, desperate, starving people who will do anything to survive, and we on the left are "worried" about the latest Scary Extremist Du Jour, whereas they on the right are "worried" about Obama taking their guns away, forcing abortions and gay marriage on them, and Governing While Black. Is it funnily tragic, or tragically funny?
Too many of us are still mesmerized by the old two-party two-step, wanting so desperately to believe that we are the good guys, really we are! Guess what? No, we're not. We are allowing the most horrible atrocities to occur in our names by accepting the "Good Party, Bad Party" narrative as a given.
How about if we don't do that any more?
What if we just said "No" to it all? What if we believed that by saying, "Hey, at least we're not the Party of Rand Paul, OMG!" we're giving the oligarchy/patriarchy more power? What if we believed that neither Party gives a flying fuck what we do, as long as we keep enabling their two-step? What if we didn't spend one more iota of time "worrying" about morons like Rand Paul, and spent our time instead doing things to fight the oligarchy/patriarchy which controls our entire political system right now?
What things? Well, I know I'm not voting for either Party in November. I'll write in, or protest, or something. As for what happens after that, I think we need to remain fluid and adapt to the situation as it develops, because as Chat said yesterday, no one really has a clue what's going to happen in those ballot boxes across the country.
As for me, I'm not going to focus on wingnuts like Rand Paul. I believe that's just what they WANT me to do. I don't feel superior to them; I don't feel inferior to them. I frankly don't feel anything at all about them.
I don't care anymore.