Watch out! Here they come – stomping and tromping, smashing and bashing... trampling Tokyo underfoot... breathing fire and noxious gases far and wide. Yes, it's those terrible twins of tyranny, Mittzilla and Robamadan – monstrous and grotesque creatures hatched in the atomic kitchen. And they're coming to your house! To stay! At least until Election Day.
So... thanks to Texas (Ron Paul's adopted home state, even though he was raised and nurtured right here in the Pittsburgh area), we now know for certain who will lose the election this fall. Oh sure, the media will be full of scare stories between now and then – Obama hanging on by a thread etc. -- but I've said before that, despite what the polls say, Obama's base is firm. At its heart are non-income tax payers, who now constitute a good half of the populace, and therefore of voters. Another way of looking at it is that the natural Democratic constituency consists of people who are on the take, who believe they're on the take (even if they aren't), or who would like to be on the take. In this era of infantile, thumb-sucking passivity and dependence on government largess, this has to include well over half the citizenry. Yes, the days of the iconic rugged individual, the self-made man, the hard-working American with potential for heroism... those days are long gone. We have become, by and large, a nation of junkies, and the pusher is the government. And if you think that's bad... well, just consider that it's still thought to be our job to bail out, economically and militarily, a good part of Europe, a good part of the Near East, and pretty much any other place on earth that “needs” our help. On demand! The miracle, in my opinion, is not that times are tough but that they aren't even tougher. If you visualize the American taxpayer in the place of Atlas, bearing the burden of at least half the world on his shoulders (quivering from fatigue), you have to wonder where all this “excess” wealth comes from. How can we afford, even for an instant, to be on the hook for half the world's economic and military problems? And yet it appears that we are – which tells me that that half of the world must be in even worse shape than we are. Or – they are smarter than we are, and are just using us the way one would use a brawny but brainless servant. (I tend to go by the latter assumption for purposes of ordinary analysis.)
So much for Obama's hard-core base. But to that you have to add the mainstream media, the unions, academia, the entertainment industry, trial lawyers, at least half of Wall Street, folk singers, mimes, virtually all government workers on all levels, NPR, PBS, the arts community, “legacy” Democratic voters (mostly white ethnics), minorities of all stripes... is there anyone I've left out? Plus – the Democrats have an added advantage that most people (but not me!) are too polite to bring up during election season – namely that they know how to steal votes. They have vast experience in this matter (think 1960, for starters), they have the infrastructure, the will, the opportunity, and the total lack of morals (not that the Republicans are all that stellar in this regard). I mean... why do you think Eric Holder, the Clown Prince of this administration, is running around complaining about various states' voter ID laws and anti-voter fraud campaigns? Is he really afraid that truly qualified voters will be barred from voting – by pot-bellied sheriffs with police dogs straining at the leash? Is it really a civil rights issue? Hell no – he's afraid that it will put a crimp in the business-as-usual of voter fraud, which the Democrats have depended on from time immemorial to give themselves an edge. In a close race – and let's face it, a lot of them have been close lately – that might be all it takes to put your man over the top.
And then we come to the Republicans, and it's been pointed out quite frequently of late that the Republican base, namely white middle-class heterosexual Protestant men, is a vanishing breed – and it is. This is the group that, rightly or wrongly, has been carrying the torch for “traditional American values” all this time. They and the mainstream parted company sometime in the 1960s, as I recall – and ne'er the twain shall meet again. Now, this group, sometimes known as WASPs or AWM (Angry White Men), and of which Mitt Romney might as well be the poster child, is feeling... a bit left out, you might say. They have seen the entire culture shift away from them, never to return... and yet they claim to exemplify core American “values” -- the same ones the Founding Fathers honored, and promoted in the founding documents. All true! And as flawed as those values (and documents) might have been, they have shown considerable durability – more than, e.g., the delusions of communism or the absurdities of the few remaining monarchies.
But here's the dirty little secret of American politics: White heterosexual Protestant men are still in charge -- but only the elite top layer. The average AWM is angrier than ever, as witness the Tea Party movement. They feel a real diminution of power and cultural influence -- but the elite doesn't. The only difference is that they've had to go underground, in a sense. They exert influence through politics, business, banking, secret societies, international cartels... I mean, who makes up the bulk of “those organizations” the conspiracy theorists are always talking about? White heterosexual Protestant men, of course! Always have, always will. But their power cannot be paraded about in public as in times past – it has to be exerted in more subtle, hidden ways. But exerted it is, and will be – and make no mistake, the main difference between Romney and Obama is that Romney actually looks the part, and Obama doesn't. But no matter who wins in November, that person will be, or remain, a loyal servant of the real ruling power of this country.
So then, does it make any difference to the ruling elite who wins? Not at all. They could not care less. Oh sure, there is a bit of window dressing required to maintain the “street creds” of someone like Obama – but we see how well that has worked out so far. He is surrounded by adoring acolytes and fans wherever he goes, either within our borders or overseas. The precise formula for controlling the proletariat has to be tweaked now and then – but it all comes out the same in the end. One could ask, who are the real victims of the current economic era – I mean in the long run? Clearly, the middle class and the small businessman. And they are openly maligned and persecuted by Democrats and liberals. But are they any better off when a Republican is in the White House? Not really. What changes is the rhetoric, and the iconography, but the long-term trends continue apace. The middle class is doomed... small business is doomed... independent farmers are doomed... and no one who gets anywhere near the levers of power (or the appearance thereof) is inclined to do anything about it other than talk. (“Go back to your cabins, folks, there's nothing to worry about” -- from an officer on the Titanic.)
But if it doesn't matter to the ruling elite who wins, it certainly seems to matter to the parties and the individuals involved. Well, of course – everyone has his or her rice bowl. The elite allows politicians to play their little games, because they know that no matter the outcome, those politicians will only become more dependent on them (the elite) for support, protection, and a kind of superficial validation. If the point of American politics is to fool the American people, then the goal of the Regime is to fool politicians into thinking that (1) they're important; (2) they're doing important things; and (3) the country and its citizens need them. So... what sort of person would fall for such a naked deception? Now you have a clue as to why politicians are the way they are, and what makes them tick. They are the ultimate egoists and narcissists, with delusions of grandeur and illusions of power; the result is that they are the most malleable and most easily exploited people on earth. No one with any sense would actually put people like this in charge of anything important... and we can at least be grateful to the Regime that it, indeed, refuses to do so. Congress is an impotent Tower of Babel, the courts are hotbeds of moral chaos, and the executive branch is bloated with high-paid serfs. No one, as I've said, who depends on the American voter for their position can be said to have any real power. We say, in cases like that of John Edwards, “lo how the mighty have fallen”, but, in fact, they were never mighty – not really. They had the perks, the self-delusions, the aura of power, but when we see how easily it's stripped away we realize the truth – that these people are all made out of cardboard. They are make-believe people in power suits and expensive hairdos. The difference between John Edwards, whose name is mud, and Barack Obama, who is still considered, by many, to be The Chosen One? Hardly any. The thinnest of wafer-thin political structures is holding Obama up, and at one word from the Regime he could be like that guy in “Ben-Hur” who winds up getting dragged around the Coliseum behind a chariot. That's how tenuous these people's positions are – but I do not feel sorry for them; no, not at all! They have traded in all that is good and honorable for a mess of pottage... for a delusion... for the roar of the crowd, and they will have only themselves to blame when that roar turns into hissing, booing, and catcalls.
So as I've said, the pols are allowed to play their petty games for their own gratification and for the entertainment of the voters... and to give the media something to do during that endless 24-hour news cycle. And the pols know, on some level, that they are being used and exploited, but they don't care. They would rather give up their honor and win an election than be real men (or women). And the elite know this, and exploit it for all it's worth. I mean – lots of luck having someone who is a member of the ruling elite, and who has real power – someone like Henry Kissinger, say – run for office. Forget it! So instead they run surrogates... “faces”... people like Edwards, or Obama, or now Romney. It makes the voters happy (kind of), it makes the media happy, and it staves off revolution for another election cycle. Mission accomplished! The fact that all the pols, with precious few exceptions, are working for the same master seldom occurs to anyone – although it must be said that it occurs to more people now than it used to. But when you see that “differences” in domestic policy between the two major parties are no more than trivial tweezing at the margins... and differences in foreign policy are... well, they don't exist, actually... you have to wonder. We used to have great fun mocking the “one-party system” in Iron Curtain countries, where everyone would raise their hand on cue for whatever idea the dictator-in-charge had that day... but when you see Congress at work, is it all that much different? Wouldn't it be more efficient, in fact – more honest – if they just admitted, once and for all, that ours too is a one-party system, and started conducting business in the manner of the Supreme Soviet? We could eliminate election campaigns, too – think of what an enhancement to the quality of life that would bring! And – no more quibbling about “campaign financing”. And who knows, we might even be able to avoid ridiculous debates about things like what should be officially declared the “national mammal”.