Presidential Elections and other Stories in the Meat Market
A coup is occurring as I write this. It was initiated by the national Republican
party who found, as they found Ronald Reagan 40 years ago, an innocuous celebrity to do their
bidding. This is not about Arnold or the state of California. This is about the 2004
election and the opportunity for Bush to take the most populous state in the nation.
It's about national interests coming in and raping the richest state. It is about the
unbridled greed of Republicans who voted en masse for a disaster, without one iota of
conscience about what this will do in the future.
The Democrats had better get it together before it's too late and we have, essentially,
one party running everything.
The coup has pointed to possible scenarios for a future dictatorship. For one thing, it is
very evident that "branding" in the marketing sense is extremely important. If a personality
is inside the mind of a critical mass of people, the chances of that personality winning
them over is increased ten-fold. That's one reason generals make good candidates after
successful wars. And the means to branding occur in the media. And who controls the
media, controls the nature of the branding. At the point a personality is discovered all
kinds of behind-the-scenes operatives sit around figuring out how they can use this
personality for their own advantage. Once that is settled, they hire PR types to get
the personality to say his platitudes with panache.
In this case, one can say the process destroys the heart of the democratic soul
because it requires little knowledge from the people. In fact, they must remain ignorant
if the show is going to go on. The people are mere cogs in a machine designed and operated
by others. Where is the heart of democracy in such a set-up? And if Jesse Ventura and
Arnold are the heart of democracy, then I would say we are in the decadent phase of
our life as a democracy.
And so what is emerging in America is the very worst scenario: A huge, critical mass
of ignorant, media-drunk people and savvy, nihilistic types willing and able to manipulate
them for power. Therefore, the end of the liberal, democratic culture and
the beginning of something that will implode within a century or two.
The spirit of a culture is the first to die. Later, come the consequences such as the
ending of the Constitution and Federalist system.
What happened between the election of November 2002 and this summer? Money. Celebrity.
Media. Viral marketing. These are the ingredients that went into the overthrow of a
legitimate election. And if people are not worried about it, they are simply agents
of their own demise.
Posted October 7, 2003
A brief impression of the major candidates for California governor as they present themselves in debate:
And will any of these people solve the problems of the state of California? There's
not an authentic leader among them who could take a critical mass of citizens and
get them to go in the direction he or she would want them to go. And with the people,
go the legislators, and, eventually, the bureaucracy.
- Arnold: Goofy, platitudinal cartoon character who reminds me of one of the
angry super-heroes in comic books I used to read as a pre-teen-ager.
- McClintock: Competent but should be running for the Governor of
Louisiana or New Hampshire.
- Camejo: A Berkeley guy who, like the Berkeley crowd, hasn't grown up
in 35 years and still thinks that by taxing corporations you will solve all
the problems. Don't corporations move from one place to another when they are
- Ariana: Fiery redhead who has carefully plotted out her attacks and actually began
to resemble an ancient witch from Samos during the debates. We don't, by the way, hold that against her.
- Bustamante: A smug, inner-circle guy who is the Spanish-speaking replica of Gray
This is a good tune up for the Presidential election next year. It's never about
issues, it's never about command of the issues. These are all done by other people.
The candidate must appear that they have thought through some of these things and must
be able to defend a statistic when another candidate throws out a contradictory statistic.
The only question we need to ask from people running for executive office is,
provide leadership?" Reagan had leadership with half the brain of Jimmy Carter. FDR provided
leadership while handicapped. Lincoln provided leadership while laughed at for his appearance. Martin Luther King provided leadership despite racism in and out of government.
The will to power is commonplace. The egotism to seek high office is rampant among
many. The authentic leader is very, very rare. And without leadership you can not solve
California, again, is pointing to the future; the future of a waiting catastrophe as
years of neglect, dumbing-down, mass culture, corruption, come home to roost.
Posted September 25, 2003