I was raised in a sports family. My childhood bedroom had an entire wall painted with the logo of the family’s favorite college football team, done by my father. I was taken to games for hockey, football, baseball, et al. One summer I remember, I was sent to a tennis camp. The only problem was that I have never had any interest in sports. It kind of made things awkward with my family because they didn’t really understand it (I remember being in the car once with my father in my early teens and being asked if I was gay). In fact I’ve never had much of an interest in team based competition, and the team based politics of American government is one game that still eludes me. Team R versus Team D, locked in perpetual “struggle” while you and I suffer their consequences.
Maybe that metaphor is inappropriate because as we know, D and R aren’t actually struggling against one another but actually working together to advance the reactionary agenda of Wealth. It is however presented to the masses as an eternal soap opera-esque struggle that can only be won if we participate in
our own theft perpetuating this society. The ineffectual defense against team R’s assaults provided by team D is just enough to give many the misconception that someone is watching their back, so they need not actually look at what’s behind them. The cheerleaders of both teams are now working out well rehearsed routines, chanting and flipping, getting the crowds ready for the Superbowl Extravaganza Presidential Election Showdown Deathmatch Tournament.
This team mentality prevents us from recognizing the qualities actually possessed by politicians. A man like Barack Obama, truly a conservative’s wet-dream in all that he does, is reviled by team R because simply because team D are supposedly “tax-and-spend LIEberals.” Members of Team D who are beholden to corporate interests are overlooked or reduced to “bad apples” by their fans because team D is a “party of the people.” The team mentality prevents us from seeing that the team actually sucks because we are distracted by some crumbs this team or that may have tossed us decades ago.
Thankfully, my father never forced me to join a little league team or play any games I didn’t want to. He recognized my apathy, and knew that forced participation would only sow resentment. I am thankful for that. It is not as simple for the political games of our country. Those who recognize the farce are still made to suffer the consequences of the game. My rights as a worker are dismantled, my rights as a “citizen” are eroded, my identity is alienated and confined. I’m told that if I don’t participate in their games, I have no ability to complain. No matter that neither of the teams I can call my own, nor their causes mine. Am I really to be speechless if I prefer neither the team that wants to rob me quickly, nor the one who prefers to steal slowly and slyly?
Throughout the Obama presidency, self-styled “progressive” liberals have invested so much of their identity and worth into electing and defending a man who has, in almost every sense, used them to advance an agenda no different from their worst enemy, George W. Bush. For every fundamental policy of the liberals’ once mouthed by Obama and subsequently ignored or destroyed, these people are presented with the option of admitting the error of believing and voting for another rich politician who has spent his or her entire career benefitting from the system exactly the way it is, or finding some way of twisting their logic into accepting another defeat and being proud of it. The banner raised over the heads of the individuals who choose the latter strategy is the eloquent and seemingly inarguable truth of, “Don’t Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good.” The meaning of course is nothing more than a defense of yet another destruction of your trust as its adherents are forced to pledge fealty to another crime committed in their name.
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When Republican Governor Scott Walker instituted destructive new rules for public unions, public outcry was enormous. I watched the news and saw pictures of thousands of protestors decrying unfair treatment of Wisconsin’s workers. It was obvious the energy was there, so what did the unions do to funnel that energy? Into a fucking voting booth where anything worth your time goes to die. In reality, if the union bosses wanted anything meaningful to happen to reverse these new limitations, they would have shut the state down with mass wild cat strikes within and without the public sector. It was obvious that the public was on their side, so why not? Because the union bosses have become part of the establishment, stationed to maintain the status quo rather than upset it. Now, we can look and see what a pitifully meaningless outcome has come from funneling all that anger into a voting booth.
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Coming off the discussion in the comments section of my last post, I wanted to talk more (or maybe just repeat myself some more) about the voting practices found in our society today. The U.S. government and the U.S. corporate media are ramping up the propaganda campaign for the next presidential election charade next year, so we’re all getting our regular doses of programming that feeds us with the merits of our electoral system and the importance of “doing your part” and participating. As if the solution to the myriad of troubles facing every one of us can simply be solved by tuning in once every couple of years and selecting someone listed D or R.
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In what can only be described as a coming together of the Property Party to further fuck the humbled masses, a “deal” was forged to “save” us from a government shutdown. With an election season dawning on the horizon, the events of last week are a perfect example of the futility of voting for the “lesser evil” and the extent to which the Republicans and Democrats are representative of the same class interests. At no time was the budget argument about whether to cut or not, but rather how much to cut. Nor was it ever a discussion of who to cut from, the obvious choice had always been the poor, minorities, and women. This was, from the very beginning, a discussion about how much they could take from you and I – yet again.
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