The Bewildered Herd
"The public must be put in its place, so that each of us may live free of the trampling and
roar of a bewildered herd."

                        - Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion, 1922
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
The Death of Common Sense
OK, the Democrats have folded like the a cheap suit ... again! They appear to have learned nothing in the four years since the coup d'etat in 2000. The neo-cons stole the last election, in part at least, because Gore and the democrats were unwilling to keep fighting for the truth and because they underestimated the lengths to which the neo-cons would go to advance their agenda. So what happened this time around. Immediate concession. No questioning of the discrepancy between exit polls and the results. No discussion of the fact that exit polling had, prior to the use of electronic voting, been extremely accurate. No comparison of the exit poll discrepancies and the use of e-voting. I'm listening right now to John Edwards say all the right things about the importance of every vote counting. So will that mean they'll wait until all votes are counted? Nope, here comes John Kerry to piss on all those uncounted votes and concede, while at the same time continuing to talk about how important counting the votes are. This is why I hate the two-party system. Any minute now we'll start hearing about moving on and putting the divisiveness of the election behind us. In other words, you've done your civic duty by voting, now go back to bed, America. We'll take it from here. Go back to your soap operas, celebrity worship, sporting spectacles, and trying to feed your family. We can count on the media to deliver the press releases to us, the bewildered herd, and keep us shielded from uncomfortable truths. Except, of course, when they make us feel afraid in order to sway opinion in their direction, such as the lying that kept California's three-strikes law intact (we wouldn't want to stop people going to jail for the rest of their lives for stealing a loaf of bread, would we? Not while there's money to be made in building prisons.) and gay marriage illegal in eleven states.

Am I so far outside the mainstream now that I simply can't understand what's in people's hearts? Where is common sense? Has it finally died? Why would 51% of the voting public continue to support economic policies that give everything to the richest 1%? Why would 51% of the voting public continue to support killing our brave soldiers and innocent civilians for the sake of oil? Why would 51% of the voting public continue to support destroying the environment in which we all live? Why would 51% of the voting public continue to support being lied to at an unprecedented level. I can't remember ever feeling so angry at my fellow Americans, to the idiots who couldn't be bothered to vote, the idiots who voted against their own interests, and the idiots who voted to send their sons and daughters to be drafted and killed for private interests. Of course, that assumes the election results are indeed the true will of people which I'm not willing to concede just yet until more information comes to light.

It's a black day in the Brookston household today. And with the neo-cons in power again for another four years, I'm truly afraid for the future our nation and especially for the future of our children. This is not simply the case of one party over another. This is a true revolutionary shift in power that places all of us, the people, as second class citizens whose opinions will not matter one iota. Corporate interests and the interests of the super-rich will inform every decision for the next four years. And we let it happen. It's not Orwellian, it's much more like Huxley's Brave New World. But it's neither brave nor new. We're entering, as Morris Berman so articulately stated it in his brilliant The Twilight of American Culture, a new dark age where religious fundamentalism, feudal-like power structures (corporations), and a peculiar reverence for ignorance are the order of day. And we the people are nothing but a quaint notion.

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