Saturday, July 21, 2012

Political unreality and cultural denial

I've been thinking a lot about the reality of what America is, as opposed to the keyword-laced marketing jargon that presents an idealized America that may have been largely fictitious even at the time when it was much more ethically and morally righteous than it is now.

I have come to the conclusion that both the America sold by the G.O.P. and FOX News, and the America sold by the President, are differently but equally dissatisfying. The America presented by the former is more anxiety-inducing and dangerous than the real thing, encourages us all to seek our safety in corporately-provided things and services instead of real bonds with other human beings, and pretends that returning America to 'greatness' is just a matter of fine-tuning a marketing campaign. The America presented by the latter is a fallen land with great promise, where hard truths are proverbial roosting chickens and piping pipers, and the only way to redeem it is to sacrifice more, do with less, and work harder than the modern American mythos (a largely corporate creation) has led us to believe is our birthright.

Whether by reason or intuition, Americans across the political spectrum are left wanting by both versions of this American vision. America is in denial about its fall from the status of a 'great' nation to one who is merely economically and militarily 'mighty', and few of its citizens have the stomach to do what's necessary to bring about a renaissance back to greatness.

Such a renaissance would involve a willingness to sacrifice our current misconception of 'greatness', along with its creators, and return to a path steered according to a justice, ethics and morality cleansed of cynical profit motives. The corporations, whose lies and marketing spin are daily echoed in every well-funded media outlet and careerist political mouth, have to go. They swear no allegiance to this or any other country. They put their profits as far from the reach of just taxation as they can, thereby starving the infrastructure that gave them their start and charter. They regularly aid and abet our enemies, making them traitors to the country which has so recently seen fit to give them as much – if not more – political power than any flesh-and-blood citizen. It's us or them.

As long as corporations are both the funders of political campaigns, and the providers of a media voice for the players in those campaigns, we have no hope of seeing true public servants in office. How would I or any other well-meaning citizen of modest means have any chance of getting into public office? Why would I want to, when all I could look forward to was which corporate master I would serve, and how loud the lies I would have to say to gain favor in those eyes?

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