Sunday, March 6, 2016

Super Delegates and Howard Dean's Hubris


The online news vlog The Young Turks had some good commentary on Howard Dean's tweet about voting for whoever he wants to; this despite Bernie Sanders already winning in Vermont. And there's a lot of other similar blow back on the web to support the general feeling of outrage towards someone who used to be considered a Liberal. That Dean is now a lobbyist for the insurance industry speaks volumes on what even "Liberal" has come to mean in our current political environment.

The guys on TYT also spent some time contrasting Mr. Sanders with what is now the Democratic party itself, emphasizing his incredible integrity, and independence, from what has become of business as usual for both them and the GOP. And it would be hard to disagree with them on that point; Mr. Sanders deserves a great deal of respect for being a down to the bone independent, even if he has to caucus with the Dems in Congress.

What I think is the deeper question here, though, is why Mr. Sanders thinks that working within this money/power corrupt system is going to change it to any degree of either real substance, or duration. If he is now getting this kind of resistance from the party he hopes be the candidate for president of, and he hasn't even secured the nomination yet, how much hope can we hold on to that this party will help him govern within anything even near the dictates of that worthy independence?

I know. The usual comeback to this negativism is to suggest that, only by rallying the American people from within our representative system can we get the mandate to change it; the mandate that will keep members of Congress' feet to the fire of popular demand. And in a perfect world that might be doable, even if only for a limited amount of time.

The fact of the matter is that Big Money controls not only too many agendas in government, and the way things get prioritized, it also controls too much of what generates the national narrative; the talking points, rationals, and inherent definitional power of labeling, by which the voting public is supposed to exercise "informed consent." And even with significant outlets still providing contrast, people are still susceptible to demagogues like Donald Trump; a blowhard huckster who can make his brand out of outright lies, but still do the carney dance to allow it the legs to keep on selling his brand.

It seems to me that the only way to truly make headway here is to attack the system from the outside, using an attack that puts the very legitimacy of the operating system itself on trial; an attack based on not only on the objective facts of technological change, and what that has done to Capitalism, as well as the planet, but on the subjective facts of everyday life that have become ever more absurd and inhumane; precisely because notions of cost, of who pays and who benefits, and the commoditization of all aspects of lving, keep us from connecting or caring about each other. A system that has elevated fear to an artform; keeping us afraid of losing our jobs, where most of our sense of value is supposed to come from, even as it uses our fear of not being attractive, or successful, or cool, or popular enough to sell us on the further lies that some product will fill the aching void.

The bottom line here is this: Knowing that the game is rigged, but continuing to play there anyway simply because it's the only game in town, just isn't going to cut it any more boys and girls. And whether you want to face it or not the survival of our, and every other species left, is what's at stake here. Choose.