electoral thoughts.

Fuck "soul-searching."
I was never a 'liberal' in the DNC sense of the word. But yeah, somehow, it snuck up on me, I got into the whole 'election' thing and actually caught myself getting really excited about Bush just going away peacefully.
Well, no more.
It's interesting what's happening now when you read hard-core "GOTV!!! GOTV!!! c'mon, Democrats.... we're gonna win this!!!!"
sites like daily KOS: there's some absolute depression, a whole lotta defiance, there's talk of 'letting' republicans reverse the last vestiges of the welfare so 'the fools will get what's coming to them, they'll learn, etc. etc.'....
This sort of apocalypse-talk usually only exists in the extremes of the left, where theory outweighs any concern for human suffering.
I really, really, REALLY dislike that sort of stuff.... why the fuck do you call yourself a liberal/progressive/communist if you are not hoping to see the human condition improve for those you work for? How can you watch suffering happen and equate with some kind of political 'progress?' It indicates quite obviously why some people are in this game. Humanity is a demographic to be converted; a means to an end; and that end is some combination of power/glory and ideological purity.
Even more disconcerting is the argument to 're-make' the democrats in the same way that the defeat of Goldwater led to a strategic shift among the republicans. That movement led to the 'Institutes': right-wing organizations that focus the media on issues and, more importantly, 'frame' those issues with the right choice of words. (see George Lakoff)
Apparently liberals want to fight fire with fire; to shape their party into an equal force to the republicans by replicating their DNA. Policy-wise, the DNC has been trying to outflank the right on its right for a long time now-- Kerry saluting at that convention.... trying to outmacho the cowboy. Now they feel they need to embrace the same central control of information and of its bias in the media, as well as the same cult-like stage spectacle of its public events. Pretty appalling.
First of all, I don't think it will work. For one, the republicans are near fracturing themselves. The 'old-guard' fiscal conservatives and libertarians have no love lost in Bush. Imagine if the Democrats had spent as much money propping up that Libertarian candidate as they did tearing down Nader. Talk about spoiler. No, the consensus now is that Bush was delivered the presidency not by the moderates, but by the christian fundamentalists.
Okay, so for one, the democrats don't have a rigidly insular and disciplined demographic to appeal to like the new bible-thumping republicans do. Secondly, what we see now is that the central shapers of public opinion, the "mainstream media", are losing influence.
If you look, you will find article after article that describes how the 'traditional' media channels, the big newspapers, the 'big five' cable news networks, are losing their viewers and readers. This is a very small movement but it's happening. People are turning to 'alternative' news outlets, be it Rush Limbaugh or John Stewart or the blogosphere or even Art Bell.
What does this mean?
It means in the future it will very hard for us to maintain a consensus on what reality actually is. America is already fractured in ways that negate the basic groundwork for meaningful debate. How can you argue when the perception of reality is so diametrically opposed between the two camps? People continue to believe, despite all evidence that Bush told the truth about Iraq. The republicans deserve to be commended here. They are the first party to launch a monkey through the looking-glass. Now he can take some photos and play some golf and then prepare for colonization. Because they aren't coming back, oh no. The illusion is going to remain for as long as they can maintain it. If the two camps of American political thought cannot even maintain a dialogue between themselves, well, that's how civil wars start.
What liberal people and what republican people believe about America's role in the world are completely incongruent. If you could sit a republican down to endure a three-hour lecture straight out of a Noam Chomsky tome, well, you maybe have a one-in-ten chance of planting seeds of doubt. Lies are durable, expecially if you feed them. And people want to feed their illusions. The only objective reality is the one that says 'reality doesn't make sense.' Senseless reality drives people insane. They must build god, if only to believe in a meaning that exists concealed from their eyes...
...And that brings us back to the christian fundamentalists, building 'mega-churches' through the country; building their own culture industry, entire campuses where you can live forever and never have to leave....
More on this later. Here are a couple of pertinent articles on this new religious mindset. I find it revolting and fascinating because I don't understand it. There are not a lot of religious 'nuts' in this neck of the woods-- most of the churches have little rainbow flags and care deeply about AIDS. Plus I have never had a religion. Anyhoo, enjoy.
views from a former christian conservative.
among the baptists.
That last article, especially, is a knockout piece of work. Go. Read. It.


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