President Obama & Co’s Vacuous Rhetoric Threatens Our Democracy

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Pulling a page from Hugo Chavez’s playbook, President Obama, whose job will not be in jeapordy until 2012, is campaigning with fierce, alarmist rhetoric for his fellow Democrats in Congress.

The Democrats are in trouble. They may lose significant power come election day, November 2nd. Maybe they should.

Speaking in Philadelphia recently, President Obama said:

You can’t let it happen…Don’t let them hijack your agenda. The American people deserve to know who’s trying to sway their elections, and you can’t stand by and let the special interests drown out the voices of the American people.

The President is referring to the recent Supreme Court decision that permits campaign donations without disclosure. Obama steps onto the speculative bandwagon, going on:

It could be the oil industry, it could be the insurance industry, it could even be foreign-owned corporations. You don’t know because they don’t have to disclose. Now that’s not just a threat to Democrats, that’s a threat to our democracy.”

Is it not curious that this nondisclosure just happens to be such an imminent threat around the time of an election where the Democrats could lose control of Congress?

Regardless, Democrats are also beholden to special interests when it comes to campaign financing.

In the 2008 presidential election, the top 10 donors to Obama’s campaign included the definition of special interests: Goldman Sachs, Microsoft Corp., Google Inc, Citigroup Inc., and JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Money talks. It is power’s most integral ingredient. In fact, a critical factor that led Obama to victory in 2008 was his ability to raise more cash than John McCain and Hilary Clinton.

The Democratic National Committee went even further than Obama:

They’re stealing our democracy, spending millions from secret donors to elect Republicans to do their bidding in Congress,” the narrator intones. “It appears they’ve even taken secret foreign money to influence our elections.”

Yet the Democrats admit they have no evidence to back up their allegations. In other words, the Democrats are engaging in vacuous rhetoric, evading  concrete issues in favor the far easier task of riling up a group of like-minded individuals.

Culture of Empty Rhetoric: A Threat to Our Democracy

In an election, big donors enable a candidate to spread their message to more people in the most persuasive manner possible in order to defeat whomever that candidate’s opponent is.

From my own experience, most campaign commercials are either 1. an extremely one-sided attack of the opponent or 2. conclusory statements attributing the candidate with having done a. b. c. etc. In either scenario, the picture painted is practically void of any pertinent information as to why the candidate would be an effective public servant.

Thus, almost our entire government is an enabler of what has become a democracy with an asterisk. The voters decide who to vote for, in essence, on who is a more effective defamer rather than who is better suited for office. This culture is more a threat to democracy than undisclosed donors. If the Democrats and Republicans focused exclusively on an issue without the 99% partisan nonsense, the special interests would be less powerful.

Of course, it remains that the candidate with more funds would still be able to send their message to more people. But without the fluff, the electorate would be allowed to base their decision more on the substantive stances of the candidates.

The cleansing of our dirty politics will not happen. If anything, the Supreme Court’s decision simply reaffirmed what the current reality it: special interests reign supreme over both the Democrats and Republicans. Both are false prophets; their words, and even their actions sometimes, may create the illusion that some politicians actually have principles.

But behind the well-constructed wall of  propaganda, yawning gaps to the contrary are visible.

War on Drugs and Immigration Expose Cracks in Propaganda

The Democrats are ostensibly proponents of a reasonable comprehensive immigration reform. Yet the enforcement first, second, and third, strategy of President Obama and many other Democrats(see Sen. Schumer) spin a different tale. The alternative tale is one of a steadfast dedication to the growth of the ICE and Border Patrol, as well as the untold amounts of private contractors that profit from immigration enforcement(i.e. prisons, manufacturers of cars, weapons, etc.)

The Republicans, on other hand, stridently demand small government. In fact, the phenomena of the Tea Party claims to focus almost exclusively on less government spending and a reduction in the overall size of government. Yet the Republican position on immigration is “Secure the borders at any cost; enforce immigration laws to the maximum, and no amnesty, ever”. The latter leads to more government spending and more power vested in the government(see the widely accepted idea of a national ID card).

The “war on drugs” further exposes the cracks. Both parties are solid supporters of the “war on drugs”, a war that cannot be “won”. But what the war on drugs does do is line the pockets of thousands if not millions of special interests. The only difference is what the parties say their stance is. Thus, the Democrats say they are against special interests, yet directly contribute to the fattening of special interests. The Republicans say they are for less government spending and small government, but act to increase spending and enlarge the government.

What enables all of this is the complicity of both parties in their consequences-be-damned-approach road to obtaining power.

 





 

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