Guest Column: Captives to our captors
By Gregory John Campbell
Americans are slated to be the dupes of the establishment parties in November again. The “Tea Party” could do some good, but probably won’t, because it’s been co-opted by the GOP elite. Mr. Glenn Beck, its spokesman, citing Thomas Paine and others, cannot begin to speak for Paine or his ideas, because Paine’s thoughts on American political and economic freedom are progressive, which Mr. Beck does not reveal and opposes. Paine wouldn’t have associated with Mr. Beck in his day, because Beck is a media opportunist and political decoy.
Mr. Beck serves to create an emotional bond with his followers to vent their political and economic frustrations, by offering a “people’s” alternative to the “establishment.” But this is the same kind of “rancid populism” William Greider addresses in his book, Who Will Tell the People?, the GOP uses to gain voter support emotionally and politically, but not factually or truthfully. For once, a “product connection” is established with a voter, which is a matter of emotional attachment, not critical thought, it doesn’t matter what is said or done; that association enables voters to “buy” anything regardless of the truth. Both parties count on this incredible gullibility for their success, which they always seem to get.
The false Republicans have used this approach in their “public deception” campaigns since Mr. Reagan. Because once they hook the little “cons” by expressing their anger, they do little more; shifting their resources to their wealthy corporate sponsors, the only ones they care about. This is why James Bovard, in his book, Attention Deficit Democracy, writes that national elections are just reverse slave auctions, in which the slaves get to pick their new masters. There’s nothing new or hopeful in this, because the slaves remain captive to the same captors over and over again. It just seems Americans can’t put two and two together—hire perennial frauds, get perennial fraud.
The false Democrats are no better. Mr. Obama’s election campaign based on “change” has delivered none. His—not ours—touted financial, health and immigration reforms/bills are a self-evident mockery. They are the clear expression of a party that left its activist base during Mr. Clinton, for the lawyers and management of corporate America and never looked back. His attempt to generate enthusiasm with his base reflects a failure of genuine moral leadership for “political” expediency—the mirror image of the GOP—yielding two different peas from the same career pod—the Republicans using “emotional baiting” and the Democrats “activist rhetoric,” while real public service vanishes.
As Roy Masters notes, people (and nations) “cling to that which violates them,” because all captives given time, begin to identify with their captors more than with themselves, their predicament or real solutions. And because Americans have been morally, politically and historically “Stockholmed” by a decade of neo-conservative, neo-fundamentalist, neo-intellectual and neo-capitalist captivity (ideology), they’ve come to identify (vote) with their “cultural” captors more than with the moral, spiritual and constitutional principles forming their nation.
This is not surprising given the historical a-literacy of America. For given the choice to become literate morally, politically and historically, Americans choose not to do so, deeding themselves to failure. In this sense, today’s voters who can read a ballot do no better than those who can’t when they remain in such historical and political denial. Thank conservative “talk show” hosts and the “liberal media” for this.
Consequently, no party incumbents should be re-elected! For if their candidates were in office when these current problems emerged, they permitted them and did nothing to prevent them. Accordingly, it’s their fault, and they should be fired. If we don’t, then we’ve chosen to identify with our abusers more so than with the truth, repeating election outcomes foolish for ourselves, but beneficial to them, remaining captives to our captors. Choose what you want to be Nov. 2.
Gregory John Campbell is a Rockford resident.
From the Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2010 issue