Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Political déjà vu

Over the past 25 years, I’ve occupied real estate at both ends of the political/ideological spectrum. I’m not sure why that is—I’m sure its some kind of character flaw, at least that’s how the flawless types might explain it.

Engaging in my own uniquely personal self-assessment, I could say it was a search for “truth” that lead me first, during the teenage political genesis, to the polar left as a starting point, at least what one understands of the left, as a wet-behind-the-ears 17-year-old.

Next came my wilderness years, marooned on a desert isle of right-wing fundamentalism. A loss of faith, burgeoning family obligations (along with house and car payments), as well as a job that kept me behind the wheel of a truck for much of my workday hooked me up with talk radio and several hours per day listening to Rush.

Housecleaning brought me face-to-face with my leftist past, and books by Chomsky, Zinn, and others aligned with various other isms.

One thing is clear to me having spent enough time living to glean some modicum of wisdom, is that truth is often a mirage. Seeking it as an ends can leave you disappointed, deluded, taken for a ride, or worse, lacking the kind of Pollyannaish optimism that’s required to be “clubbable” today, a condition made possible by disassociating with a reality-based worldview, and/or heavy dosages of pharmaceuticals.

Fed up with our two-party clusterfuck of a political system, I've chosen to unenroll, and plan on remaining that way. I’ve made the decision to cast my lot with one of the solitary third-party figures, residing in what could be called, the "ghetto of unelectability." I like to say it’s a principled choice, but it probably has more to do with disillusion and cynicism than anything else. Whatever the underlying rationale might be, I now have an amazing sense of being freed from the chains of voting for the evil of two lessers once again.

Whether I define it as the Libertarian left, or post-Xian pragmatism (a town where the right and left join forces), there are fewer and fewer sources of information that provide me with some sort of context, and a rendezvous point with fellow travelers. One such zip code is Counterpunch, where most of the contributors would probably self-identify as left of center, but lack the ideological straitjacketing that is prevalent at most other news/commentary sites.

I’ve found a rash of articles that nail just how I feel about so much that passes for the political these days.

Glen Ford’s article cuts through all the BS of Obama’s mantra of change and hope, portraying him as just another craven politician, with his fingers wound tightly around the bag of loot, sneaking out the back door.

Obama's party is wedded to Wall Street. At the local level the Democrats have long been the party of "developers" - the money bags who shape urban policy to fit the needs of corporations. These gentrifiers are the "Renaissance Men" that insist black politicians earn their campaign and graft payments by helping to expel their own constituents from the cities, so as to make them more congenial to business. Betrayal starts at home. So it's not surprising to find Rep. Charles Rangel (NY), the corporate-loving Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, among the 18 members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to vote with the Bush-McCain-Obama Wall Street axis. Edolphus Towns (NY), Gregory Meeks (NY), and Artur Davis (AL) are also in their element, reeking as they do of corporate contributions. However, it is strange - and sad - to see Maxine Waters (CA), Gwen Moore (WI) and other relatively progressive members aligned with the rump end of the Black Caucus.

When we wake up November 5, Americans will again find we've been visited by one of two lessers not worthy an attempt at a parsing.

As they say, "meet the new boss, same as the old boss," or maybe it should be, friends don't let friends vote Demican/Republicrat.

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