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D-wo



Joined: 13 May 2004
Posts: 239

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:36 am    Post subject: Debate Reply with quote

Some 50 million Americans watched the presidential debate last Thursday. I was one of them. I watched on CNN, where the viewing experience included randomly updated scorecards and a pulsating audience response meter (I imagine the latter was a result of some Clockwork Orange style device, that holds participants, wide-eyed and electrode tapped, in front of the rhetorical carnage). As I watched I remembered that the last months of the presidential election are never strictly about politics. At this stage we have moved well beyond politics into the realm of meta-politics (if not meta-meta-politics). The media does not care to analyze how McCain/Obama will resolve our so-called economic crisis, they only want to report how a prospective demographic may or may not react to what the candidates say about such issues. I suppose this is true because it is so much easier to package and sell stories about polls and electoral blocks than it is to break down real issues. I mean, who really understands the Federal Reserve? How do you break that down into a five-minute segment? The candidates willingly play along, mouthing carefully scripted keyword rich texts that always feel like the preface to the real speech. They aren't speaking to individuals, demographics and voting blocs - characterized with trite phrases like soccer moms and NASCAR dads – are the key focus. Undecided voters anchor every discussion, every focus group and every poll. One asks, “How can anyone be undecided after nine months of campaign inundation?” Perhaps undecided voters are just undefined voters who have yet to be packaged into a convenient group. Once they are in the group, then they will know who to vote for. For example: If I am a Cuban aquaculturist living in north Florida then Carmen Miranda must be my candidate. You get the picture (maybe).

Also, bad news for the Democrats. The dumbing down of ideas (the correlative of our reliance on meta-politics) will always work against the reformers. A reformist position has to be articulated. Stasis merely has to be accepted - we have it, we believe in it, it will work. McCain doesn't have to bring any ideas to the table. We already know the script. Government - less is better. Taxes - less is better. Iraq war - more is better. It doesn't matter that those things aren't working. We've seen them in action and we are told they will work. We are being anesthetized - little doses of bad will drive away the greater evil. It is like the margarine commercials of the 1950's. One housewife says to the other, "You're not using margarine in your cake." She says this because cakes are supposed to be good and margarine - whipped and processed vegetable oil - is inferior to butter. Later in the commercial we see the housewives enjoying the margarine cake. Yes, an inferior product can be good. As Americans we are being asked to accept margarine in the form of dead soldiers, greater national debt, less personal freedom, less pay etc. We are told that one day everyone will feast on the cake that a few (the empowered) have been feasting on for years. That cake just never seems to come. (Apologies to Roland Barthes).

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FredFX



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 220
Location: South Bay Area, CA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:08 am    Post subject: Re: Debate Reply with quote

D-wo wrote:
We are told that one day everyone will feast on the cake that a few (the empowered) have been feasting on for years. That cake just never seems to come. (Apologies to Roland Barthes).


This is not just in America, this is since the dawn of mankind. See the following examples:

French Revolution: The people tried to get more power over the nobility, only succeeded a little, for example, industry started up a lot at that point and the people went from agricultural peasants to coal-mining, underpaid workers for the bourgeoisie (upper middle and middle middle class) rather than the nobility for whom they had worked for before.

Communism: Supposed to make everyone equal; has never worked and thus in this case, the government becomes overly powerful and is thus the "empowered" you're talking about.

Democracy: Same thing as Communism. Supposed to make everyone equal via taking the taxes of the rich and giving it to the poor (also known as socialism), and for this you need strong government, which ultimately brings us back to the previous argument of Communism. I find it odd that no one seems to understand that welfare, the current tax system, etc, are all "democratic" which is the exact same thing as socialism. (though I may not know enough about welfare to say that)
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FredFX



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 220
Location: South Bay Area, CA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My point is that the lower class being equal to the upper class, or "everyone will feast on the cake that a few (the empowered) have been feasting on for years", will never happen unless communism happens to take over the world.

haha this is kind of OT but the cold war was a war between democracy (ie socialism/communism) against communism

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jpbassman



Joined: 19 May 1998
Posts: 3178
Location: Leo

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was slick Willy and George Sr. all over again.... Cool

"stay the course, a thousand points of light" ..?? huh? whatch you say batman?

Can't wait to see the Biden/Palin debate.


I see Mexicans, they are mowing my lawn. Can I be VP? Embarassed
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mogunn



Joined: 03 Apr 2006
Posts: 1301
Location: SF Bay

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:09 pm    Post subject: When life gives you hardship... Reply with quote





Rolling Eyes

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