POLITICAL POWER! (sweeter than opium)

Anyone involved in politics knows that one of the biggest thrills of being involved is obtaining that next iota of political power.  Say you start out in local politics, for example.  You get interested in a city council race, and you even back a winning candidate. Wow! Suddenly you have just come into possession of a few coins of political power that you didn't have before. You have been hooked, perhaps so hooked that eventually you become a road warrior on a presidential campaign.

Us old fogies had our experiences with Gene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy. I had Mike Dukakis and the little woman was a high level official in the Gary Hart machine.  At this level, it is about like being permanently on the good side effects of cocaine.

And so, looking at the constellation of political power as it's arrayed in the current presidential race, we can see two kinds of political power operating from the two parties' probable nominees -- Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  On the Democratic side, Hillary has been climbing the mountain of political power since she was a pup. And now she is standing on the top of Mount Everest.  No one loves political power more than Hillary, and this dynamic can make her appear unattractive and very much like Richard Nixon. But on running the machinery, I can assure you that she has a laser's edge in knowing how to handle all those government tools and piggy banks.  Hillary's path is comparable to the career paths of women who attain power in the corporate sector.

On the Republican side, we have Donald Trump, who has honed his skills as a TV celebrity to a razor's edge. The end result is political rallies that look a lot like arenas filling  for Worldwide Wrestling TV (and their audiences), presided over by an insult comedian who has pretensions of being the USA's first emperor. It does not matter that he is in fact, a short fingered vulgarian. Nor does it matter that the man personally is a baboon. It doesn't even matter that he has nil life experience or interest in having the qualifications to be the next President of the United States. He is at least, equally qualified as a baboon for the Oval Office. What matters is the spectacle.

TV, print and electronic media have their own power dynamics. Since they are advertiser based, they depend on the eyeballs, and are therefore addicts to spectacle that The Donald is only too happy to provide. And in the problems of providing content on an around the clock basis, the media has taken upon itself to deluge anyone interested in the presidential race with a veritable tsunami of information junk food.  It's not just the daily horse race of who did what last night. That, in and of itself, is maddening in that it is like studying the ocean only by looking at its surface. But when one goes to deeper think pieces from so-called experts, we are deluged with an infinite multitude of contrarian and even counterfactual opinion pieces written by some starving scribe for his employer, who no doubt suggests cheeky and fluffy subjects to drive more eyeballs in that never-ending spiral towards the lowest common denominator.

Last but not least, we have the great right wing conspiracy. The Scaifes and Kochs, the Adlesons  and Murdochs and Karl Rove all have their own cottage industries in attempting to destroy Hillary Clinton for over 25 years, among other things.  All in all, they've gotten quite comfortable with their lifestyles, and are now slightly aghast to find minor restless murmurings from Trump and Sanders supporters. And if you had billions of dollars, you'd have to ask yourself this question.  How am I going to insure that I'm going to continue my lifestyle (and political power) as long as I possibly can? While we could write volumes on how they plan to maintain their power, let's just look at one aspect, and that is the arc of the daily horse race between now and the convention.

I don't have a television, and that makes me very lucky in that I'm not exposed to the Donald Trump Network of news stations' daily spewings. It should be obvious that until the Republican and Democratic Conventions are finished, the media game plan will be to ignore Sanders and focus almost exclusively on whatever Donald Trump is saying and doing. If I am correct, with the exception of convention coverage, I would expect the American media to suddenly change its direction. Imagine a school of hungry mackerel that discover a new food source. There will be a swerve. My hypothesis is that we will see a sudden surge of real investigative reporting on the myriad foibles that Trump has committed as a businessman. He will be skewered on his zero knowledge or interest in vital questions of public policy, and he will be made to look like an orange Joe McCarthy ultimately, I think.

Asking another question for the 0.01%, which candidate will they tacitly support -- someone who is most reliable in supporting their interests? I think you know the answer to this.  Bernie supporters (and to some extent Trump voters) are 100% correct to feel angry, abused, and saddened by the American political system. 71% of the American public thinks the political system is rigged.  I assume the rest of Americans still believe that Elvis and JFK are still living on that desert island. Such is an analysis of political power as far as it goes.

Rather than me putting in my own editorial, I would ask the reader to start seriously thinking about the most appropriate way of obtaining progress for your causes under the Clinton administration. And then what you need to do is to talk to as many of your neighbors as you possibly can. Above all, be sure to talk to people who will disagree with you!


Views: 98

Comment by koshersalaami on May 5, 2016 at 8:42am
Rated especially for your last paragraph, in that you know the important question.
Comment by JMac1949 Today on May 5, 2016 at 8:49am

"...Above all, be sure to talk to people who will disagree with you!"  Those conversations have been the tools of political trade for most of American History. 

Comment by nerd cred on May 5, 2016 at 8:50am

Without a TV how can you be sure you're properly horrified by Trump? ;-) And how do you know the media is ignoring Sanders? I watch way too much TV and I don't think he's being ignored.

The thing is, if the .01 were taxed at Scandinavian levels, it wouldn't touch their standard of living. They're that rich. I suppose there's plenty of astute analysis to be done but I'm a simple woman, content to think they're just selfish assholes.

The American political system is what it is. Many of the people who are feeling aggrieved now have ignored it for their lifetimes, voted, if they even bothered, based on their daddy's party or bullshit advertising and now are pissed that everyone hasn't been doing exactly what they wanted and what benefitted them best. If they'd paid half as much attention to who's making the rules they live by as they do to their favorite football team's record or the lives of celebrities things would be working better. If that amounts to Elivs and JFK palling around on some island, well, maybe they are.

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on May 5, 2016 at 9:17am

"...from the two parties' probable nominees -- Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump."


Nice job spreading the Hillary "inevitability" manure, however.  

When you look at things like #DropOutHillary has been the highest rending Tweet for the last 48 hours, that her store bought popularity is going to take a HUUUUGE hit as soon as she is deposed by the DoJ (and probably is indicted), that Sanders is projected to win 6 out of the next 8 states (including California which is a whale), that several of her largest donors are now facing criminal allegations, that her husband is being sued for illegal electioneering, the American people's utter disgust with her manipulation of campaign funds and super delegates etc. etc. etc. her "inevitability" is far from assured.

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on May 5, 2016 at 9:32am

BTW, from Reuters...


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