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When you see advertisements for cars or beer, they often feature some sexy model in the frame with very little information about the substance. Presidential candidates are marketed in much the same way. We are told much about nothing- their favorite foods, what questionable things they did when they were teenagers, their thoughts on certain biblical teachings (without any thought to their practice of faith) and various philosophical questions and hypotheticals that have absolutely nothing to do with the office of president.

Regardless of the election’s outcome, there are a few things that will be certain:

>1. We will elect a president (and congress) united on the idea of war and invading other countries for the benefit of American corporations.

>2. We will elect a president (and congress) united on the idea that corporate profits should take priority over the needs of the nation’s citizens; this includes public health, environmental concerns, access to capital, jobs and in general, quality of life.

>3. We will elect a president (and congress) united on the idea that foreign and domestic policy must be dictated to the American people (via corporate interests) and not the other way around.

>Whether Democratic or Republican, these basic parameters are held firm. So then, what will the fight be about with respect to the two opposing political parties? As always, fringe social issues and the typical ideological battles will dominate the headlines. However, the basic core of actual public policy remains stable across the party aisles. As we are distracted by the fringe, we must acknowledge that the true substantive issues of American life are left untouched and indeed are not even allowed in public discourse.

>For example, new occurrences of cancer in humans increased by 20% over the last decade. This is certainly due to the absolute toxic condition of our planet- our air, water and food supply that we consume. No one is talking about this. In any given year, over 3 million experience homelessness- over 1 million of those are children. No one is talking about this. All over the country, state budgets are being crippled by incarceration costs- very often the cost of incarcerating exceeds the cost of attending Harvard. All of this is funded by our tax dollars, which could otherwise go toward more constructive causes. Most of this, obviously, is due to the “war on drugs.” No one is talking about this.

>The larger concerns that impact us all- Democrat, Republican and Independent- are left untouched in the national discourse. Our health, livelihood, tax burden and indeed the very lives of our young men and women are subjects on which both parties agree in principle and we, the people, are left outside of the larger debate. These issues affect us all and yet there won’t even be sincere dialogue about them. Perhaps even more disturbing, while we at least pay attention to the elections nationally, our lives are most impacted by our local electeds. By some magical sleight of hand bills are passed through our state legislatures that cripple our health as a country, completely unnoticed.

2 comments

Duane Terrell

1 If war time makes companies richer, then wouldn't it be true that peace time makes them poorer or are you suggesting that during peace time their growth is slow? How does killing potential customers make a corporation richer? How does the government taking money out of the economy and transfering it to the war machine good for corporations? This idea simply doesn't make any sense.

2. What exactly does this mean? Is this the "They should be taxed more!" argument that's been made over and over again? Nevermind the fact the taxes or an expense and companies roll taxes back in to the products they sale and that poor peole buy.

3. All of foreign policy? What portion of foreign police are you talkinga bout?

I can say all day I look like a plump younger version of Denzel Washington, at some point I'm going to have to prove it or at least show some evidence.

D.M Hopewell

1. in the first place money is directly transferred to private industries for the purposes of war: contractors etc. who is contracted to feed troops? do electrical wiring etc.? who's "rebuilding" these countries we tear down. that's the first, obvious level. but beyond that, there is a larger objective, as explained by the state department in 1898: "it seems to be conceded that every year we shall be confronted with an increasing surplus of manufactured goods for sale in foreign markets if American operatives and artisans are to be kept employed the year around."

2. we don't even have to consider taxes here. it's simply a general truism that in public policy, the needs of corporations will always outweigh the needs of the population. i think public health is an obvious example. if it's better for corporations to pollute, who cares about escalating rates of asthma and cancer?

3. making a generalization but let's just be frank here: the american ppl have certain opinions…look at public opinion polls. as a rule, ppl do the opposite. when cheney was confronted with this once, his reply was basically who cares lol

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