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.