Buying the Government

Nowadays I prefer to think of myself as a Canadian, but I was born and raised in the USA, so I still care what happens to the Great Experiment in Democracy.  Sadly, it seems to be over.

The 2014 midterm elections are only a few days away now, and if you believe the deluge of panicked Emails from various progressive Democrats (many of whom I have already sent a few bucks), the Republicans are about to commandeer Congress due to the massive funding of attack ads on TV by the Kochs and other billionaire friends of the Repos.  The Dems’ idea is to repurpose the demonstrated power of social media to “crowd-source” a counterattack.

I’ve stopped donating, and I’m about to stop caring.  Want to know why?  It’s not because I’ve suddenly turned more conservative in my old age.  It’s not because I’ve decided to throw my lot in with what appears to be the winning side.  It’s not even because whichever side “wins”, the shadow government seems hardly affected (although that is a contributing factor).

It’s because everyone seems to have accepted the premise that elections are decided mainly by who can afford the most TV time for their attack/defense ads.

Either this is untrue, in which case I am profoundly disappointed in the Democrats who are trying to convince us of it, or it’s true, in which case I am so nauseated by the electorate that I can’t help hoping they get just what they deserve — even though the rest of us will probably perish with them.

3 Commentsto Buying the Government

  1. Randall Head says:

    I give a few dollars to candidates with whom I agree, even those who have no realistic possibility of success, because if little guys like me don’t donate, the ONLY people who donate are the rich pukes who are not donating so much as investing.

  2. Jess says:

    Yeah, me too. But Al Franken’s hourly pitch of, “If you can, make a contribution now to make sure we have the money we need to win,” is really starting to piss me off. If money is all it takes to win (which seems to be the message) then we’ve already lost; America belongs to the corporations (who alredy have all the money) and they are laughing at our pathetic efforts to take it back. All these ads just reinforce that view.

  3. UPDATE, 30 April 2016:

    The primaries are now nearing an end, and the frantic e-appeals are getting ever more Kafkaesque. Here are a few examples from (the worst offender):

    “The Republicans outraised us by $3 million last month. Their enormous fundraising haul could help them keep a Republican Congress and keep trying to reverse all of the progress we’ve made that gives the middle class have a fighting chance.”

    “We. Will. Fail.”

    “…with just 11 hours left before tonight’s End of Month Fundraising Deadline, we are running WAY behind our goal.”

    Every one of these panicked predictions of disaster carries the same message: “The ONLY thing that matters in an American election is HOW MUCH MONEY the party gets to spend on propaganda ads. The voters are going to be swayed by every assertion they hear on TV, and the only way to win is to make sure they hear OUR assertions more often and most recently.”

    This is the party I PREFER?

    That rumbling you hear is my gorge rising.

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