Smoke And Mirrors
We thought the trivialization of the electoral process had gone as far as it could until the GOP opened its shoddy bag of tricks in Tampa. We quickly learned that this election won’t be about the economy, no matter how many times ‘Mr. Sincerity’ (Paul Ryan) promises to tell us some hard truths. To quote a movie character played by Jack Nicholson: “You can’t handle the truth!”
Truth #1: ‘Job Creators’ don’t exist. Markets can create jobs but they generally destroy more jobs — in the United States, at least — than they create. Global markets paying workers a few dollars a week can quickly wipe out any U.S. job gains.
Education, if highly focused and heavily subsidized, could create jobs in the hi-tech, creative industries but they’d be competing with the constant robotization of the workplace. Beyond that, we are already way behind many of our global competitors in education. Way behind.
We have an investing class sitting on lots of money and asking for tax breaks but it won’t take any risks and doesn’t care about innovating. The only thing they invest in is buying congresspeople.
Then we have a group of voters who think they already pay too many taxes. They don’t. We have retirees who believe they’re just getting back what they put into Social Security. They aren’t. Most of them drained that well long ago.
These are the voters who have been lied to so skillfully by the advertising/industrial complex and many of them believe that they can “have it all.” They can’t. This is the kind of dishonest, stupid economics which leads to stupid voting. Which leads us back to this year’s political conventions. Welcome to a ‘Truth-Free Zone.’
The once-familiar chants of ‘USA! USA! We’re Number One! We’re Number One!’ may be muted this year. Most people don’t like to chant ‘We’re Number Twenty-Three.’ But the self-congratulatory speeches about American particularism are repeated endlessly by our only successful jobs program: journalism.
After hours of waiting endlessly for the song and dance act to be over it will suddenly be time for the roll call to begin. This will be the chance for some brave delegate to call for a new stand by the GOP on something important. It won’t happen.
A woman no one had ever seen or heard of will begin calling the names of our 50 anachronisms, er — states.
“Madam Secretary, Alabama, the Diddly-Squat State — home of canned cling peaches and nude gopher-hunting is proud to cast its votes — ”
“–Indiana, home of the synchronized shuffleboard conference and the ‘Hoosier Daddy?’ Championship Team — cast all of its votes –”
State after state will rise to bravely strike a blow for democratic process and principle, better known as drivel.
The next time we continue our great national discussion will be in Charlotte, N.C., unless this week’s television ratings are really bad, in which case, we can expect re-runs such as ‘Great 20th Century Elections’ hosted by Tony (“The Fixer”) Scalia. Stay tuned.