2016:A Political Odyssey (or how we stopped worrying and learned to love Kabuki Theater)

When last we talked, I strongly urged we refocus our energies on reversing the takeover of our government through what has been described as "a corporate coup d'etat in slow motion". Unfortunately, what I've witnessed over the last few months has been deeply disturbing. A justifiably enraged white middle aged working class betrayed by a corporate sector which no longer needs it. People of color arguably traumatized by both corporate abandonment and what can best be described as racist terrorism. Each group a critical source of electoral support for U.S. presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and neither group assured of any change in current policy other than what a corporate owned government allows.

Still, we stand ready to cast our vote for one or the other of these two candidates. And that is sad indeed.

We find ourselves at a time in history when the specter of economic ruin for most Americans is so threatening that we cling to any possible hope of return to a dignified way of living. And so we've invested our dreams in two candidates whom we trust less than any ever in the history of U.S. presidential politics. Each promising a return to "the good life" amid staged spectacle, manipulative language and spun scandal. One, recently investigated for corruption and the other, amazingly - casually suggesting the assassination of his opponent. Just recently, one well respected scholar explained the differences between these two as being essentially those situated around their "bedside manner''.

Yet we remain closed to alternatives for lifting ourselves out of this ever darkening future.

Look around us; violence and protest in the streets of our cities from Baltimore to Oakland and from Baton Rouge to Milwaukee. Why? Not because of some inherent desire to destroy one another but because of the despair which results from loss of economic well being. A despair created by multinational corporate greed which places individual good over public good - the very opposite of what true democracy is supposed to be.

A greed which quickly deploys our "political class" to exploit our grief by promising us a safe and prosperous future. Then enshrining the exploitation in national party conventions where - amid media cameras, celebrity speeches and endless punditry, we are bombarded 24/7 with the sound and vision of 21st Century Kabuki Theater - replete with soaring rhetoric, dazzling stagecraft and triumphant music. Thus we are skillfully maneuvered into choosing one or the other of these "front person candidates" and in the final analysis it all ends in tears...

Because its back to business as usual where the Orwellian surveillance and brutality of a populace going mad continues unabated across a landscape of fear and repression. Now in power, our elected "heroes" ruthlessly continue the profit maximizing schemes of the oligarchic elite who ultimately controls them. And the anguished cries of those suffering constituent groups referred to earlier go largely ignored by a subservient media which couldn't care less.

And still, we cling to the idea that one person - if elected, will change all this...

You know, I've had the honor of serving as a party operative for many years but unfortunately, the two party system just ain't what it used to be. Too many Democrats have gone deeply corporate and too many Republicans have just gone crazy. Moreover, in this years election cycle something very telling has occurred: a melding of billionaire supporters from both parties in an effort to offset what appears to be the near "clinical instability" of Mr. Trumps personality; making clear what many Washington insiders have known for some time now: there is but one party - "The Business Party" and it has two wings - Republican and Democrat, thus the corporate sector has completed its purchase of both. And the math is shockingly clear: we pay for your election, then you pay us; with our lobbyists in your face every day to make certain that you do. It doesn't matter what you say to the folks back home.

Furthermore, that debt will be paid out of our taxes to the surveillance industry, the oil and gas sector, Wall Street, war profiteers and the other usual suspects after the elections are completed. And we poor, unscrupulously controlled voters will continue to suffer unrelenting job loss, global violence, climate destruction and a frightening future. Hey, not to worry...we can always elect a better President next election, right...?

Dave - the astronaut: "Open the pod bay doors, HAL."
HAL - the supercomputer: "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that..."
(From the Film - 2001: A Space Odyssey)