You remember those plays you went to when you were a kid, where you’re suppose to cheer for the good guy and boo the villain, or else it’s all going to go to hell?
It’s a nice illusion for the kiddies. It makes them feel like they’re in control of the outcome of the story.
We’re still playing it, aren’t we?
With the election around the corner, and the god-awful spectacle of buffoonery that are the debates, you’d think people would have woken up to the fact that it’s all a giant show. A play act for the kiddies, to make them think they’re really in control of the outcome.
We’re still supposed to pick our “hero”, who is supposedly a glowing angel of salvation for all of humankind, and boo the “villain” who, if he or she gets their way, will herald the End Times.
We’re never supposed to contemplate that they might all be villains and that the whole thing is a crock of shit. That they are essentially career actors paid to smile at the cameras, shake hands with “important” people, and deliver sweetly-worded speeches that tell us exactly what we want to hear.
We’re never supposed to think it all might be a carefully-orchestrated smokescreen to cover up treachery, deceit, and power-brokering.
And we’re never, ever, supposed to ask: how in green holy hell is anyone supposed to actually fix anything once elected, when the whole system is sliding down the slippery slope to ruin? A debt increase of 1.4 trillion in the last fiscal year? Global debt levels twice the size of the world’s economy? The complete insolvency of social security and Medicare? A looming financial crisis that will make the last one look like a puckish prank?
Whoever wins this election gets the illustrious position of being the person helming the ship as it sails off the edge of the world.
It doesn’t matter if your candidate has a “magic plan” or not. The damage is already done.
But these are Forbidden Thoughts in the land of make-believe.
This is supposed to be the land of democracy, where everyone gets their say, and anyone who is cynical about the whole process is dismissed as a crank.
I’ve talked to quite a few people who have woken up, this time, to the fact that they’re not represented. But you still see people waving the campaign flags, and rolling around with the bumper stickers, and getting whipped up into tear-filled frenzy any time their candidate opens their mouth and the platitudes come frothing out.
Here’s the reason it all works: people want to believe.
People want to believe someone has all the answers. They want to believe that someone else will fix things, right wrongs, and curb injustices.
The professional office-seeker counts on this belief. They thrive and capitalize on it.
Here’s why it’s all a lie: politics does not make culture, it reflects it.
People have already decided what to believe, long before the politician ever shows up on the scene. The office-seeker simply comes along and spouts it right back.
The politician is really nothing but a mouthpiece of a vast marketing team, who have realized something no one else seems to notice: you don’t invent new things for people to believe. That’s exactly how you become reviled, opposed, and ostracized. No, what you do is tell them, from the biggest pulpit you can find, what they already believe.
Office-seekers don’t create anything new. They reflect what you have already created.
It might be true that you don’t have the answers. But neither does the politician. He or she simply tells you the answers you want to believe are true.
It might be true that one person is too weak to change anything. But so is the politician. He or she can only claim to be the agent of the changes that we want made.
You see, we do have actual power over them, in a way. They will fawn and beg for your favor, telling you whatever you want to hear, so long as you will put them in power. Then, once in power, they will tell you whatever you want to hear to stay there, and whether their actions actually line up with their words is the second to least of their concerns.
It’s all about the game of appearances. The business of seeming.
We all know this, right?
And yet somehow vast sections of the populace still put up the lawn signs. They still want to believe in the kiddie play show. They still believe in this facile notion that it’s all about “sides”, and if their side wins it will herald the coming utopia.
If you really want to take “sides” put up this lawn sign: I’m not Voting. I am Not Represented. End the two-Party System. I vote to Dismantle in 2016.
Let that sink into a few brains and then we’ll see where the play actors stand in four years when the farce begins again.
“I just don’t understand why every four years you people freak out over whether to vote for a Giant Douche or a Turd Sandwich. Why are we doing this again?” -Stan, South Park