How to Maintain a Democratic "Activist" Base
As the military surges into Afghanistan and Pakistan and Xe Services LLC (formerly known as Blackwater) and the CIA eke into Pakistan and Yemen, the appetites of toadyish liberal analysts demand their daily diet of Republican bogeys. The changeling base must be kept in line, despite the lack of any change at all. Change you can believe must continually slide seamlessly into belief you can change.
Barack Obama is a soporific for liberals, but such a pill, the affected change rhetoric that is, has to wear off after awhile, especially as reality piles up like record dead soldiers in Afghanistan. So how do the Obamapologists keep the righteous liberal indignation at a fever pitch?
Not to worry, for a ready corps of reactionaries will rise to the occasion, such that the wars, the bailouts, the foreclosures, and stagnant unemployment go on without too much Democratic complaint. A right-wing nut like Ollie North will surely come forth to say something ludicrous: the open acceptance of gays in the military will lead to pedophilia, bestiality, and necrophilia. Inordinate press coverage will be given to a marginal cadre of Tea Partiers, who suggest that a literacy test would have kept Obama out of office. Liberal and reactionary bases will salivate at the prospect of a new culture wars as they beat the dead horse of identity politics. Liberal indignation will be directed it at the insane, and the insane will provide an obscene spectacle to justify the indignation.
Am I suggesting that the two capitalist parties and their media mouthpieces purposively conspire to distract the American public? Not exactly: I'm saying that one needs to examine the function of various persons and positions within the political simulacrum, rather than focusing exclusively on what is said. What function does a particular person or statement serve? Who benefits from the statement? How are these mock battles systemically structured and their actors to play parts written for them in advance? How is the script enacted?
This is a matter worthy of serious study. But the result is that capitalist business as usual goes on without a hitch.
Rec, The Rec Report
Michael D. Rectenwald, Ph.D.
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