Friday, August 07, 2015

Political Debates, Theater, not Substance

Political Debates: Theater, not Substance

by Stephen Lendman

Thursday night in Cleveland, demagoguery took center stage. Ten Republican aspirants participated. 

They avoided explaining their support for endless wars, monied interests over popular ones, and police state crackdowns on resistance to what no one should tolerate.

US-style political “debates” are farcical. Why anyone wastes time watching them, they’ll have to explain. America’s political process is too corrupted to fix.

The late Gore Vidal said “I do not think that the American System in its present state of decadence is worth preserving. There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party…and it has two right wings: Republicans and Democrats.” 

He called US-style democracy a system "where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates" no different from each other.

"By the time a man gets to be presidential material, he's been bought ten times over.” America is “rotting away at a funereal pace. We’ll have a military dictatorship pretty soon…”

Bread and circuses can’t conceal it - nor phony political debates. On issues mattering most, all major party candidates are cardboard cutouts of each other.

Thursday’s farce was made-for-television theatrics, raucous sparring to hold the attention of viewers tuning in to watch - entertained, not informed, wasting time best spent on productive activities.

Even the staunchly Republican Wall Street Journal admitted the event “provided lively political theater but little clarity” on anything else.

As expected, the “showdown” was a huge letdown. The New York Times said Trump “st(ole) the show, mixing politics and pizazz (with) his antic performance.”

It then called him “outrageous…demeaning…somewhat menacing…with his tendency to describe the women he dislikes as ‘fat pigs,’ ‘slobs,’ or ‘disgusting animals…’ “

“Everything about (his) comportment…conveyed complete indifference to the expectations of the Republican establishment.”

He’s one of America’s prominent monied interests. He buys politicians like toothpaste. His financial disclosure documents submitted to the Federal Election Commission show his net worth exceeds $10 billion.

He’s vulnerable to criticism because of his unorthodox style, bravado, outspokenness, outrageous at times, and his top ranking among GOP aspirants in recent polls. He’s way out in front so far. Whether he stays there remains to be seen.

Does it matter? Money power runs America. No matter who succeeds Obama in January 2017, business as usual will continue uninterrupted.

Campaign promises will be prove empty. Endless wars will rage. New targets will replace old ones. Social justice will keep eroding. Fundamental freedoms may disappear altogether.

America will be even less fit to live in. Nuclear war on Russia may loom closer than ever. Bipartisan lunatics in Washington make the unthinkable possible - no matter who serves as America’s next president.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.