12. Theatre or Politics

I sometimes wonder which is more theatrical: Theatre or Politics? In the America I grew up in you knew the difference between a Republican and a Democrat. I saw a bumper sticker the other day. It said "Not a Republican." It is obvious this person is traditionally a Democrat, but disillusioned with the current administration and with the political climate in Washington. The biggest complaint I'm hearing is there is virtually no difference between what the two political parties are offering this November, so it is easy to understand the disillusionment behind the bumper sticker. A recent poll said 41% of American voters consider themselves "independents," so this bumper sticker is not alone.

I too wonder which, Theatre or Politics, creates more of an illusion. Voter apathy is the most powerful tool politicians have. Their second most powerful tool is our ignorance: not our ignorance of the issues, but our ignorance of the disconnect between what politicians say and what politicians do. This is a perpetual deceit. They invalidate us as human beings and as thinking people with their lies. The problem is we are a magical thinking electorate. The American voter has yet to figure out Santa Claus couldn't possibly fly around the world and deliver packages to every household in one evening. How long will it be until we put 2 + 2 together and get 4, as opposed to the 22, they tell us the answer is?

The truth is the Democrats and the Republicans are failures. They have failed the public trust as much as Goldman Sachs, AIG and every other "too big to fail" business that failed and was bailed out by the American taxpayer. There must be a price to pay for failure. Goldman Sachs, AIG and all of the others we bailed-out did not have to pay a price for their failure--but we taxpayers did. If we don’t hold the Democrat's and the Republican's feet to the fire for their failure--it will be our failure.

Here is a story beyond theatrics, beyond illusion, that is pure fantasy! What would happen if the bottom 99% rallied together and voted one of ourselves into The White House? Instead of being disillusioned by another ultra-rich politician--how about all those "independents" voting for an independent candidate? How about every "independent" voter voting against disillusionment this November? How about a grass-roots-pauper-President who will represent all the people of the country! My guess is if everyone in the bottom 99% voted for an independent candidate, the candidates for the two major parties would each receive about a 1⁄2% of the vote! What a novel idea! The Republicans get 1⁄2% of the vote, the Democrats get 1⁄2% of the vote and independents get 99% of it!

If we start now, before the 2012 election and give ourselves four years, I bet we can overcome these ultra-rich, self-interested, bought-off politicians we use to vote for and put a real human being in The White House. Well it may be a fantasy, but it's worth thinking about. It would be a story that could only happen in America, at least it could have happened in the America I grew up in.

originally posted October 2012
reposted March 2018

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