Sunday, April 03, 2016

The Party's Over, Part 3: Controlled Demolition

Once the smoke clears, it might be a good idea for the little people across the political spectrum to consider just what their expectations are out of their party machinery, and if maybe there's another way. Technology has evolved so rapidly and massively, faster than our ability to keep pace with all its capacities, that it's likely that it can facilitate a political paradigm that does not require the current system of institutionalized bribery.

The grievances from Sanders supporters and Drumpf supporters are nearly identical in many respects, and mostly concern the lack of responsiveness from their elected officials. Part of this is obviously the usual chicanery and deal-making that has left a lot of people out, sending away their jobs without adequate replacement or retraining, decimating their towns and communities. But part of it, as we've seen consistently, especially with Drumpf voters but along the political spectrum, is that the people don't know what they want, or they think they do, but have no idea how it should be made to happen.

It makes sense that the largest swath of these discontented folks would gravitate toward the "none of the above" candidate, filter through his generic, anodyne nonsense to hear the self-affirming bits they needed to hear, and perceive any skepticism with outright hostility. Again, the defining characteristic of the Drumpf voter is to see opponents not as individuals with a differing viewpoint that may or may not have some validity, but as a threat, an enemy. This is a natural consequence of following a candidate who communicates mostly in authoritarian rhetoric and boastful, self-serving lies.

Without that candidate, those people may just go back to not voting, they may form a third party, they may decide to form a rebellious fifth column across the nation, standing for nothing but resistance to the presumed jackbooted tyranny of Hillary Clinton. But the fact is that unless HRC has some serious coattails in the fall to affect down-ticket races, the Democrats will to serious observers also be exposed as, if not an empty shell, at the very least considerably less than it purports to be. Not only are they just as beholden to their own investors and special interests, but as the lineup of state legislatures and governorships shows, they are not very effective.

If we think closely on what exactly political parties are for, when you get right down to it, a primary function is simply to mobilize and legitimize support for whatever the people who run the party want to do. If they can convince you that it will benefit you as well, or even that it was your idea, so much the better for them.

But again, it needs to be seriously considered, can the improvements in technology be utilized in such a way to make government more responsive to its constituents, and disempower what has become a parasitic class of consultants, lobbyists, power brokers, and other such bottom-feeding scum? The media might have to learn to live without their permanent horse-race pelf, but they are rapidly outliving their usefulness anyway. Maybe not giving Drumpf almost two billion dollars in free coverage in the first place might have prevented some of this.

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