Saturday, November 1, 2014

Electoral Elegy
     It’s not just that our elections have become an utterly corrupt billion dollar business dominated by secret money. It’s not just that countless American citizens are being denied the vote because they are black, Latino or poor.  It’s not just that our senses are being bombarded by literally hundreds of thousands of inane and insulting commercials for candidates. It’s not just that the game is so rigged that 90 percent of Congressional seats never change hands. It’s not just that our elections produce dim-witted, do-nothing legislators who spend their time cadging money and sucking up and kicking down. It’s not just that these dim-wits insist on communicating with us in their own phony weasel vernacular rather than plain English.
    No, it’s not just that the whole damn system is rotten and pathetic. And it’s not just that it’s exemplary of the wise old Wobbly adage that if elections could change anything they would be against the law.
    What it is is that those who run our empire put our putrid politics up as a model for the rest of the world. We allow Washington to spend billions, if not trillions, on “nation building," much of it in nations that are thousands of years old. We, “the greatest,” are working like eager little voles to bring the American version of democracy to benighted not-so-great countries from Afghanistan to Ukraine.
     We pay taxes for outfits like USAID, The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the the International Republican Institute, all created by the government, to “channel grants for furthering democracy in developing nations.” In plain talk, that means everything from buying foreign elections to overthrowing disobedient regimes. And that’s not to mention the countless private contractors doing the same dirty work.
    Just like our wars, our gold-plated political expeditions around the globe aren’t going so well. Again in the huge nation of Brazil, the incumbent leftist president beat the U.S.-approved pro-business candidate.  And at the UN, 183 countries out of 192, including every nation south of the border left or right, voted to make socialist Venezuela a member of the Security Council despite the bitter opposition of Congress and the Obama administration. 
    That sounds like 183 countries that will need a dose of  "nation building" by Washington--whether they want it or not.
    Happy election day.  This message has been brought to you by Pete Karman.