The most expensive election campaign in American history ended with more good than bad results, given the choices allowed. Voters defeated the possibility of cancer, but were unable to cure the polio we still suffer. A reactionary effort to take us further back than we have already gone was mostly unsuccessful. But the advances made were smaller than some wishful thinkers suppose. We need radical change in substance and got nothing more than stylistic moderation in form.
A host of seeming victories result from a system so critically diseased that anything short of terminal condition is seen as positive remission.
While many still claim a healthcare triumph in Obamacare they fail to see the program as primarily an aid to profit making private insurers. More access to financial entities who make money from illness is hardly enabling more access to better health. As in every other economic aspect of life , some will certainly profit while others will most assuredly lose.
The rush to lesser evilism provoked by paid fear mongers and amateur hysterics cost the alternative left dearly in that the Green Party was unable to gain a mere 5% of the vote. This would have insured public funding of up to 20 million dollars and an organizing possibility in all 50 states for the future. In an election which saw both corporate parties getting even less votes than last time and more than 90 million citizens totally opting out and not voting at all, shame and disgrace are kind words for the performance of something calling itself a democracy, let alone for an entity calling itself a “progressive” left. That group did gain a small group of democrats who will at least stand for domestic forms of equality, even while continuing lock step support for Israeli brutality, imperial global rule and the threatened future slaughter of Iranians. The master race/chosen people/American exceptionalism syndrome embraced by both corporate candidates continues, with might makes right policies in command.
Even some Obama lovers have become skeptical, no longer politically orgasmic over the great half-white hope and demanding that his feet be kept to the fire. Such a liberal inferno might be extinguished by one glob of conservative spit, but there are signs of an awakening public, already being smothered in analysis by demographic dividers. While unions have shown new life and citizen social movements a new spark, individually oriented, ego centered, identity focused politics induced by market research and advertising maintain dominance over the sales process that passes for electoral democracy in the USA.
Growing inequality is bringing greater changes that showed up electorally but were quickly placed into minority packaging lest people see their similarities, a dangerous tendency toward real democratic action. Our ruling marketeers isolate us by ethnicity, race, sex and any other divisions that can help perpetuate minority rule by the 1% and its servants. They have us laud progress when members of forced-into-minorities are elected to support entrenched political economic relations.
The 1% deities will be happy to have a pot smoking Rastafarian running the Defense Dept, a married gay couple on the Supreme Court, a Transvestite Asian-American heading the Justice Dept and an Arab-American lesbian HIV positive Rosicrucian in the senate, as long as these house servants carry out the dictates of profit and loss excess at cost of public losses which grow greater and more global every day.
The presidential campaigns of the corporadoes never mentioned climate change, poverty and a host of issues critical to the future of our nation and the world in which we occupy a minority position. That was their job and remains so; to keep the public unaware of the failing of a system that threatens most of humanity while it makes a small segment more comfortable and at the very top, wealthy beyond the wildest nightmares of a perverse democracy.
Millionaires of only a short time ago have suddenly become billionaires, their numbers and intellects shrinking as their fortunes expand at public expense. While fabulous wealth accrues to a smaller and smaller group, poverty in America is growing as the working class dubbed a middle sees increasing hardship. This is true all across the capitalist world, with Europe currently suffering a greater contradiction than the USA between its moneyed and working classes, but with America catching up all to quickly.
The problem of minorities living as royalty based on the work and total lack of power of majorities who support them was not mentioned except by alternative candidates who were barely heard, according to corporate plan. The next election had better be countered by an organized plan and party for the majority of the electorate or the storms of the marketplace and nature will grow more fierce to the point of making us finally equal in our helplessness to withstand what we may help unleash.
We’re about to become the major fossil fuel producers on the planet. Sea levels are rising while thought levels are sinking. We have military bases in hundreds of locations all over the world and an anti-terrorist program spending billions in what is called homeland security, but we cannot protect our people from the ravages of a storm that wreaked havoc, death and destruction in the largest city in the nation. A media inflated alleged war hero slated by some for the presidency is deflated by a sex scandal with no attention paid to his open criticism of the US-Israel relationship as being detrimental to our interest almost at the same moment as Israel resumes killing Palestinians in Gaza and Syria approaches breakdown under inside and mostly outside assault. Austerity is called for with belt tightening not only for the rich but all others in a bi-partisan bargain with feigned equality between billionaires and pensioners, rich people and workers, the affluent and poverty stricken. But let us give thanks for small favors, even if we have to be stoned, drunk or on an induced messianic high to locate or identify them.
More important than any individual or party we may support is the system we need to change. It is profit and loss capitalism that is the obstacle to peace and humanity, not one or another capitalist servant, whether Romney for Bain or Obama for Goldman Sachs. A wonderful person who owns a bandage business can only profit when people are doing lots of bleeding. Everything we produce, distribute, buy and sell shows a benefit for some, at a loss for others. That’s the problem, not a particular villain on Wall Street, Main Street or in the White House.
So while there is always much to be thankful for, there is even more to be wary and mindful of lest we face the future with a full belly but an empty mind and an increasingly barren planet. Whether you dine on turkey, tacos or tofu, remember that your elite doesn’t care what you eat so long as they profit from its sale, and if it profits them more to feed dogs, cats and the military-prison industrial complex, that’s what they will do. Until and unless we create a better way of organizing society. That calls for system change and the sex, race, religion and political philosophy of those who affect that change is far less important than that they act in unity to transform capitalism into humanism.