Tomorrow, Monday, the two main (mainstream, lamestream) candidates for US President will have their first real, big so-called debate. Does it really matter? Is everything already rigged anyway?
I hear and consider at least two sides to these questions, and I am somewhat partial to both assessments. Yes, I think much of what goes on in US politics at virtually every level, including most especially at the highest level(s), is extensively rigged. But I also feel it matters, somewhat, that we at least know what the powers-behind-the-throne want us to see and hear. It may not make that much difference, but it may help for each of us to be aware of what “The Spectacle” is being constructed to look and sound like. Maybe, maybe not.
On the “maybe not” side, I am reminded of an incident, by now famous, related by US Buddhist writer and former monk Bill Porter (Red Pine) regarding his pilgrimage to mainland China back in 1989 in search of Buddhist and Daoist hermits. One of the hermit-monks he discovered had been living alone in a cave in a remote part of the Chinese mountains for over 50 years. Porter asked the hermit how he had fared during the long, repressive Maoist years. The hermit replied, “And who is this ‘Mao’ you speak of?” Then there was another famous case of a family in Russia, who retreated into the Taiga, the huge dense forest of Siberia, when the repressions of the Stalin regime began. They lived on, unscathed, in their log cabin deep in the forest for decades, being discovered only after the USSR collapsed decades after the death of Stalin. But such situations are extremely rare.
On the “maybe it matters” side of what information/disinformation we follow, there is the famous statement by “gonzo journalist” Hunter S. Thompson:
“Anybody who thinks that ‘it doesn’t matter who’s President’ has never been Drafted and sent off to fight and die in a vicious, stupid war on the other side of the world — or been beaten and gassed by Police for trespassing on public property — or been hounded by the IRS for purely political reasons —or locked up in the Cook County Jail with a broken nose and no phone access and twelve perverts wanting to stomp your ass in the shower. That is when it matters who is President or Governor or Police Chief. That is when you will wish you had voted.” ― Hunter S. Thompson
Personally, I regard Thompson as an a-hole of the umpt degree — a civilian a-hole. That makes a difference. He was completely f—d up on booze, coke, acid, speed, and assorted other brain-rotting, liver-melting lethal substances as well as being a verbally viciously abusive, gun-shooting crazy rightwing nutjob. But mostly he was just a cowardly outright f-ing a-hole bully with massive brain damage. But in this quote he speaks a distinct truth.
It matters who is in power. Whether anyone’s individual vote, or indeed everyone’s collective votes taken all together make any difference at all any more is another matter.
Quite possibly the system is so rigged that voting has absolutely no effect whatsoever in who gets into or stays in office at any level –from that of Police Chief or Sheriff (witness the re-election the other day of Trump supporter Sheriff Joe Pink Underwear Arpaio!), to Mayor (witness Rom Emanuel), to Governor (look how many utterly corrupt governors are in office, or were, such as Trump’s VP! or prison-builder Johnson!), to Senator (ditto), to head of the Democratic Party (Wasserman Schultz!), to head of the Pentagon (remember the pro Iraq war circus show put on by My Lai cover-up artist Colin Powell!?!), to President (no need to comment on this office!). It’s all a big rigged Spectacle put on for the masses by the evil Corporate-weapons-manufacturers, Oilslime Trillionaires, and Gazillionaire Bankers. Multinational money entities (Wall Street , et al) who have no concern whatsoever for the citizens of the US much less the citizens of Iraq, Iran, etc.
But still, if enough people stand up and refuse to take what s-t is being handed to us, perhaps it may still be possible to turn the tide. We certainly can’t do it by all of us running off to hide-out in the forests of Siberia or Far-Inner China till the storm blows over. This is the last stand possible. This is the last frontier edge. This is the mounting storm to end all storms. If we don’t save the planet this time from corporate greed and globecide and the mass genocide of endless war, then the current political/economic wars and the current political-economic war against the planet (same wars!) will succeed in killing us all off very, very soon.
I don’t really see much difference between Hillary and Trump at this point. In terms of what is likely to happen with regard to war and fracking and TTP and corporate greed-and-control-of-the-world, and US govt/military cause-&-reaction to world events and the consequences that will follow. Maybe some difference, but I have no way of knowing if it is enough to matter which person sits on the throne of Empire.
Certainly I could never vote for Trump or support him in any way. To me he has forfeited his humanity long ago. But I also think Hillary has as well. I don’t wish to “demonize” anyone, “dehumanize” anyone. Yes, I assume they were both born human, but I really don’t know what to call what they have chosen to become. Certainly nothing I can recognize as humane, humanistic, humanitarian…human. They both seem “demonically” evil to me (as in crazed corrupted individualized egomania as “demonic”, the ‘demon of egoism’ as the Hindu, Buddhist, Daoist and other traditions categorize it). Somehow they both have become “insane in the membrane” to the extent that it is insane to put profit and personal greed (for power, or control, or acclaim or wealth or whatever) ahead of people, ahead of the life of the entire planet. Trump doesn’t believe in the climate crisis, doesn’t believe that humans (corporate bullies, mostly) are having a negative effect on the environment!!! He wants to expand coal consumption !!! Deregulate all industry, especially “energy” industry!!! (as does Johnson!). Hillary also denies the climate crisis by wanting to expand oil fracking & sludge-oil pipeline construction!!!, as does her VP, who also is still pushing for TTP (along with Obama) !!!
These are all a gang of anti-human, anti-Earth, demonic egoistic a-holes, no doubt about it!!! They are all utterly corrupt, utterly evil, as far as I can see. Their vision is idiotic but also evil.
Jill Stein, I think, is a passionately humane human being and progressive-activist, as I think Bernie is, also. But Bernie’s campaign was scuttled by the corrupt Democratic Party, and the corrupt two-party monopoly system will never allow a Dr. Stein to be elected, or even to be heard in a debate.
So we are back to tomorrow’s debate. The election itself will take place in just a very few days now. But first there will be tomorrow’s debate, and I guess one or two more such circus shows before the final votes are cast for who shall be “elected” president, Emperor of Earth.
I shall try to catch at least some of Democracy Now’s pre-show and post-show assessment of the event. I may even catch some of the actual debate while it is happening. If I can stand to do so.
Below I’ve posted the Democracy Now! page on their program covering and critiquing tomorrow’s debate. But first, I’ve posted the latest Jimmy Dore Show episodes about the election and related issues.
Maybe exposing ourselves to any (more) of the media-spectacle “news” about the larger Spectacle and its various theatrical masks/masques, such as the debate(s), makes absolutely no difference. But the larger events going on in the world certainly make a difference. We really are on the brink, folks. There really is no place left to go and hide. We really do need to do something, friends. While we still can.
Jimmy Dore re: Hillary part one
Democracy Now! 2016 Expanding the Debate Coverage
Monday Night September 26: Tune into Democracy Now!’s live coverage of the first U.S. presidential debate from 8:30 pm –11:30 pm ET.
This broadcast will include the live debate between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman will host a pre-debate roundtable discussion from 8:30–9:00 pm ET from our New York studio, followed by the live feed of the debate at Hofstra University, and a post-debate discussion from 10:30–11:30 pm ET with scholars, activists, and analysts you won’t hear anywhere else.
How to Watch
Stream LIVE starting at 8:30pm ET at democracynow.org/debate or tune in live nationwide on Free Speech TV (Dish Network Ch. 9415 & DirecTV Ch. 348), KCET/Link TV (Dish Network 9410 & DirecTV Ch. 375) & MNN in Manhattan (Time Warner Cable 1993 and Verizon FiOS 38).
Tuesday Morning September 27: Democracy Now!’s Expanded 2-Hour Post Debate Coverage starting at 8:00 am ET.
Tune in on Tuesday, September 27th for a special 2-hour broadcast of Democracy Now! from 8:00 am–10:00 am ET. We’ve invited Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson to participate in a special expanded presidential debate.
As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump square off in a series of debates in one of the most polarized U.S. elections to date, Democracy Now! has broken the sound barrier by expanding the debate—including major third party candidates shut out by the corporate-sponsored Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD).