by Philip Greenspan
(Swans - December 31, 2007 - January 1, 2008) The quadrennial political burlesque currently hitting the headlines features a diversified cast of contentious clowns -- male and female, black and white, right and left -- who will strut and fret as they vie for the brass ring of their parties. The show has just begun and it will keep running for almost a year with lots of revelry, laughs, tears, and hoopla.
Those wannabes who have proven their devotion to the vested interests will receive contributions galore and be glamorized by the mainstream media. They will appear in bizarre debates moderated by a popular commentator who will ask innocuous questions that will reveal nothing of substance. Issues of voter concern are invariably antagonistic to the interests of the establishment. Accordingly, such issues and the candidates who address those issues -- Kucinich, Gravel, and Paul -- are taboo and will rarely, if ever, surface.
Behind the scenes hardheaded politicos will clandestinely trade convention votes they control as the need arises. The quid quo pro? The rights in the incoming administration to select the recipients of lucrative government contracts and/or to name occupants to important positions in the bureaucracy.
The sounds and fury of the acceptable wannabes will reverberate over the airwaves and for a day or two thereafter will be assessed in the news media. The idiotic charade will signify nothing but with so much babble and newsprint devoted to such nonsense the booboisie will be mesmerized and believe that the election of one of those clowns might represent real change.
In truth it does represent change. A change to a new gang of the political bandits who will take charge!
Nothing but nothing beneficial to the general welfare ever came down gratuitously from elected officials and the establishment. Whether they were Republicans, Democrats, Whigs, Federalists -- you name 'em -- it made no difference. There is only one way to get the system to respond. Demand! Demand!! DEMAND, LOUD and CLEAR, the changes you want!!!
It took the suffragettes almost a hundred years to get the vote. Wildcat strikers -- sit down strikers, they were called -- occupied their employers' premises and refused to move resulting in recognition of unions. Black activists defying Jim Crow got civil rights enacted.
The establishment has huge investments at stake in the existing political system. They don't want the status quo altered. "Please" or "Pretty please" is not enough to move their very-well-rewarded representatives -- they're supposed to be the people's representatives, yours and mine. You've got to scare the hell out of those characters. Then they'll move.
Things happened in the 1930s and the '60s. Things are now so bad that another conflagration is due -- it's overdue. Many people in cities and towns all over the country protest regularly. More are needed. The government and the media have got to know that we're mad as hell and we won't take it anymore! Don't just sit there. Join those protesters and there'll be a far better chance for change than by voting for the elephant or the jackass.
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