Obama’s Trauma

Obama CampaigningFrom Open Left:

I’m a great believer in overdetermination. Virtually nothing in human affairs has a single cause. So nothing in this diary is meant to disparage, diminish or trivialize other factors. There are all sorts of socio-political reasons for Obama’s obsessive and equally fruitless mania for “consensus.” Corporate power has grown so enormously over the past 40 years that it’s grown far more daunting to oppose it straight-out, and this, in turn has given rise to a welter of reasons not to do so-not to mention the entire Versailles political culture that finds such opposition quite literally unthinkable.

But there’s more to Obama than simply going along with the political tides. There’s also the vast pretense of doing no such thing-of being someone who brings sweeping changes … by seeking consensus with the titanic  forces of the status quo. Contradictions such as this should also be understood as being primarily generated by the socio-political system as a whole. (Just to take one example-if Obama really were the great reformer he pretends to be, would he have been Wall Street’s #1 beneficiary of campaign contributions in the 2008 election cycle? Or would he have been starved for such funds, like, say, John Edwards, or even Dennis Kucinich?) But a politician who actively and continually embodies such contradictions in their everyday life will have a definite edge if their personal psychology is particularly suited to embracing those contradictions for purely internal reasons.  A true believer in public falsehoods has the edge of “authenticity”-always  a big plus in politics. And it’s hard to argue that Obama’s relentless, ideological commitment to centrism is inauthentic.

So what explains it?  The specifics may be rather complicated, but in broad outline, the answer is fairly simple: it’s the ego-defense mechanism known as reaction-formation.

I’m not sure how much of this I buy, but it does raise some important questions. For instance, if a leader’s (or citizen’s) psychological problems result in part from the socio-political system as a whole, cannot that system be said to be dysfunctional on a much deeper and more radical level than is usually meant when described that way in the mainstream media?  Read more here.

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  • baph777atyt

    After all the criticism they’ve directed his way could it really be that Obama as a centirst has been the right’s best friend in these times all along because once the Tea Party gets in next week and only does things to further their top brass’s own interests over the next six years while doing nothing for the rest of the country, there’s going to be a shift towards the hard progressive left in 2016.

  • baph777atyt

    After all the criticism they’ve directed his way could it really be that Obama as a centirst has been the right’s best friend in these times all along because once the Tea Party gets in next week and only does things to further their top brass’s own interests over the next six years while doing nothing for the rest of the country, there’s going to be a shift towards the hard progressive left in 2016.

    • myth_slayer

      Exactly!

      No authentic democrat ever came out of the University of Chicago academia system — NONE!

      This morning my darned cat was playing with the radio, and accidentally turned the dial to National Petroleum Radio (NPR) and they had a “breaking news” item (they’re sooooo cute).

      Imagine, NPR calls years-old news breaking news? Unfrigging believably stupid, those NPR listeners (and Foxtard listeners, and CNN and anybody else who listens to Ameritard MainStreamNonMedia — I gave up years and years ago, only read all those frigging government docs and the foreign press).

      Now NPR wussies had finally figured out that the private prison corporation(s) were responsible for lobbying for that Arizona law — Geez, thanks for clueing someone in who’s been either in a coma or living in a cave the past few years, guys!

      Now let’s do the numbers (or connect those pesky dots): Obama moves Napolitano from Arizona governor to head the DHS, which means she directly heads I.C.E.

      Next Brewer assumes the Arizona governorship, bringing along her staff of former private prison lobbyists.

      Next, those laws get changed (thanks to payoffs and lobbyist payments from Corrections Corporation of America) to insure a constant supply of immigrants (some illegal, some probably legal, etc.) in those private prisons.

      And among those Wall Street lobbyists, pharmaceutical industry lobbyists, and Monsanto lobbyists, and Goldman Sachs people Obama has appointed to HIS administration, there are also some former members of that private equity firm, for many years the largest private bank in existence, the Blackstone Group.

      And the last time I checked several years back, what PE firm was heavily invested (as in ownership share) of Corrections Corporation of America, and their subsidiary, Prison Realty?

      Geez, what a coincidency! None other than the Blackstone Group.

      Will wonders never cease?

      • Liam_McGonagle

        Einstein,

        Napolitano left office in January 2009. If you actually read the article that you are commenting on but apparently don’t have the guts to post to directly, you would note that ALL events described AFTER Napolitano’s tenure–during the tenure of her successor, Jan Brewer (R).

        So much for you being a better fount of wisdom than “mainstream media” like Salon, NPR.*

        *National Petroleum Radio? Dumbass, they’re the LEAST commercialized American outlet with any international coverage at all. Less than 22% of its funding comes from businesses.

        http://www.npr.org/about/aboutnpr/publicradiofinances.html

        You need to be a little more discerning media consumer, though the glaring gaps in your knoweldge of the chronology of SB 1070 don’t give me much hope that you have either the willingness or capacity to learn the much more complex realities of media finance.

        • myth_slayer

          Please read my comment under that private prison post, thanks.

          • Liam_McGonagle

            Likewise.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Oh, get over it, man! Everyone’s so focused on the President that they never freakin’ bother to ask themselves whey THEY’RE so messed up.
    Let’s face it, if we live in a society that’s so goddamned sick that a gang of Tea Bag jerkwads actually feel morally justified in stomping on the some woman’s head, it’s a sign that our wider society is sick, sick, sick.
    http://www.disinfo.com/2010/10/rand-paul-backer-stomps-on-woman-outside-kentucky-senate-debate/
    So how’s about focusing attention on the REAL problem–that totally insufficient humanity of our culture, instead of pissing and moaning about how the Health Care Act only forces Big Insurance to stop predatory recission policies instead of granting universal coverage all in one sweep?
    How many Health Care Bills has Paul Rosenberg passed? Get fuckin’ real.

    • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

      I still think Bill Hicks was right on the money…Obama’s ‘trauma’ was spending the first minutes of Day 1 of his presidency in a smoky dark room where a few dozen men with cigars made him watch a black and white reel of the Kennedy Assassination…over and over again, from an angle that had never been seen before like perhaps behind a grassy knoll…then asked him if he had any questions…and he answered “Only one…what would you like my agenda to be?”

      • Liam_McGonagle

        I love Bill Hicks, too. And I agree there’s a lot to be done still. But let’s not let ourselves get carried away with fantasy.

        Do you really think that the ball is going to be moved forward by tearing apart the one President who’s done a goddamned thing to make things better?

        If you’ve ever spent any time teaching you know that you don’t get good results by beating the shit out of kids for getting an 85% on a test instead of a 100%. Encourage people for what they do CORRECTLY, and move the discussion forward towards improving the rest. That’s why they call it “progress”.

        • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

          Larry Summers is no fantasy. It was a bad omen for things to come when Wall St was recruited to supply people to advise…on how to help bail out Wall St…which is why a lot of time and money got wasted. It says volumes about real time priorities and goals.

          On other issues, I can see the impossibility of breaking the status quo (ie, I may want Bush/Cheney arrested and tried for treason, but I logically understand that this would fracture the US into immediate civil war. So I forgive it not happening.)

          Or ending the wars…which haven’t really ended so much as transitioned into new phases…some of this just can’t be done quickly…not without greater bloodshed and chaos than we already have. I understand this and accept that I must be patient…

          Or Guantanamo not closing because the legal hurdles are in the way…or Don’t Ask Don’t Tell being spared only by the actions of the DOJ…or the Patriot Act surviving…or assassination orders etc etc etc…a lot of it might have been “necessary” or more needed than we know…

          …but when it comes to the economic hit squad theoretically hired to steer us back towards profitability…hiring douchebags so epic that even other douchebags nod with envy…says louder than words that the fix is in…and that the priority is protecting the looters from justice…not salvaging the economy. On this I am unforgiving, because that power to make a difference was truly his…and the choice to not use that power wisely and effectively was his as well.

          It was a choice to roll over or go down swinging…and he dropped almost as soon as the bell rang. I’ll save my applause for people who earn it…not for a guy whose accomplishment so far is “not being as bad as Bush”…I mean Christ…even Jeffrey Dahmer or Charles Manson could meet criteria that low…thats not congratulation worthy…thats just “less shameful than than being the worst president in history”. If I catch a guy breaking into my house and stabbing my wife…I don’t shrug and say “Oh well…at least he’s not burning her face off with a blowtorch. Let me give him a medal.”

          So I guess the only favor Obama will get from me is that I still think he’s better than the last guy…but thats all the slack he gets…if the last guy ‘crashed the car because he was drunk and doing 180mph’…I’m not going to clap because the new guy is ‘less drunk and only doing 150′. They both fail…but the previous guy failed more spectacularly.

          (Almost had a Hicks moment myself…I want to start doing fake pro-GOP posters with slogans like “Vote Republican!! Because torture/killings aren’t as bad as people make them sound!” or “Give me the Red State Blues! We didn’t need those jobs as bad as Asian orphans did anyway!”)

          All thats stopping me is the terrifying fear that the irony and sarcasm would be completely missed…and they’d be adopted officially by enthusiastic supporters.

          • Liam_McGonagle

            While I totally agree with the factual statements above, I strongly object to the manner in which they’re characterised. Not because I believe they’re mean spirited, but because I fear they’re nihilistic–and that’s basically cultural suicide.

            I think you may not be giving enough weight for the ability of people of good will to change the world. I’ve gone at length in other comments how change is gradual, and depends crucially on the balance between cultural AND electoral developments. The eighty years it took this nation to abolish slavery, the over one hundred and thirty years it took to get popular Senate elections, women’s sufferage and child labor laws–I could go on and on if required, but I’ve done that elsewhere.

            Yeah, no shit Obama hired former banksters to man the helm. Who else could possibly know the markets well enough to do it? FDR hired that old crook Joe Kennedy to head up the SEC and police securities for the first time–and many regulations were implemented that stood us well until the bullshit “Reagan Revolution” gradually destroyed all that.

            And the implied moral deficiency of failing to act more forcefully in his first two years? You wanna talk about some really morally deficient people, let’s talk about Bobby Kennedy and Gunther Grass; Kennedy began his career as a stooge for Joe McCarthy during the Red Hunts and Gunther Grass lied about his early career in the Waffen SS.

            But these guys redeemed themselves. Kennedy later went on to protest the Vietnam War and work for racial equality, and there have been few more celebrated opponents of warfare and murder than Gunther Grass. I would encourage people to focus on the transformative power of redemption rather than the petty powermongering of the politics of condemnation.

            Yes, I totally agree with you that the President has to get his shit together–but he can’t (and for that matter NOBODY can) do that until we give him a fucking break. He’s been raised like all of us under this fucked up mythology of the Laugher Curve, and like it or not, until we move to destroy the power of that Cultural Lie, that’s the political context he has to negotiate.

            So it’s clear to me that the choice is to work with the imperfect system we’ve got or to surrender to evil and corruption completely. Of course I choose the former–knowing that it’s gonna take a little more than a wet ‘pity-woe-is-me’ to get the rest of the culture up to speed. Like any teacher, I know that we’ll have to send a simple, consistent and hopeful message if we want the class to succeeed.

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            I suppose I should take a break from the harsh and mention some ideas that are positive.

            For years I’ve pimped the “Move Voting to Saturday” concept. At present, in a changed work culture with multi shifts and many 12+hr per day type jobs…we need to give people every advantage in voting…this changed the paradigm that facilitates other changes. We have an uninvolved electorate…except for political diehards…and the retired/unemployed. Working people deserve as much slack as possible to get their vote in the game…so Super Tuesday has got to go…make it Super Saturday…and make it a national Federal Holiday on the same par as Christmas. I mean seriously…we’ll celebrate Columbus Day with a Fed Holiday…but not the day we exercise the freedom to choose our leaders? Free the votes, free the people.

            At the top of the mission list…before all other acts of decency, even before ending war and torture etc etc…get the big money out of politics. I know its been tried, but we all divide endlessly into tiny camps and break up support, accepting tiny changes in the rules instead of sweeping ones. Ignore everything else…make this platform issue number 1…scream it to the press, write it in the papers, email it to your representatives with the expectation that they support it or face abandonment. When all pressure is solely focused on this it can finally pass…and THEN we can actually get some forward movement without having it bought out from under us.

            Just a couple thoughts, those two…because I think if those two obstacles can be dealt with, the rest will become plausible…and to call positive change impossible at this time isn’t nihilistic…it’s just horrifyingly true. As long as vested apathy and helplessness are the lot in life for most of us, and any action we undertake is purchased out from under us…there will never be real change.

            Metaphorically, the bicycle isn’t stalled because we’re nihilistically not pedaling hard enough…it’s stalled because both wheels and the chains are gone. Fix the bike first…then we can climb aboard and really get rollin!

          • Liam_McGonagle

            See THIS is the old VoxMagi that keeps me coming to Disinfo! Actual solutions rather than boilerplate condemnation of the system.

            And you know what, that voting thing is TOTALLY within the realm of near-term possibility. Early voting, absentee voting are already here. I voted on Saturday already. All that’s needed is a campaign to nudge the commissions ahead a wee little bit to extend the timing these things are available and for existing advocacy groups live MoveOn.org or whatever to add this as one of their campaigns. Your getting involved in getting out the word–like you’ve been doing here–is part of it.

            Why not join MoveOn.org or whoever and push it onto the platform? You name the group and I’d probably end up sigining on within the hour–try to do the viral networking thing to push it up onto the agenda.

            Getting big money out of the process is gonna be tougher. Brain storm with me here on the design of the bill that could practically acheive it. The obstacles aren’t just entrenched interest and a gullible electorate–there’s some for-real legitimate free speech concerns as well. Let’s sidestep those and not get lost in the equally unprofitable realm of disclosure fantasies.

            I personally see the single biggest “Big Money” problem being corporate funding. Why the fuck should a fictional entity have more legal rights than a natural born person? That, in my opinion is the thing to focus on.

            True, the bullshit ‘Citizens United’ case offered some phony sop to the unions saying they could contribute as well as corps, but let’s face facts: Unions are weaker than they have been at any time since the 1950′s, and the Corps already have way too many underhanded ways to ‘discourage’ participation and contribution by union members, who are suffering from huge erosion in discretionary income with which to contribute in any case.

            So I say the law should read to the effect that no entity other than a lawful United Stated citizen, a natural human person, should be able to contribute to an election campaign or advertisement directly bearing upon an election campaign.

            Let’s light us up a candle rather than be cursing the dark!

          • Darklord

            Holy Hell! That has to be one of the most epic posts i have ever read. Kudos.

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            Thanks…I kinda got on a roll there…deep and abiding disappointment fuels my inner rage against the machine way more than usual lately.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, get over it, man! Everyone’s so focused on the President that they never freakin’ bother to ask themselves whey THEY’RE so messed up.
    Let’s face it, if we live in a society that’s so goddamned sick that a gang of Tea Bag jerkwads actually feel morally justified in stomping on the some woman’s head, it’s a sign that our wider society is sick, sick, sick.
    http://disinfo.com/2010/10/rand-paul-backer-stomps-on-woman-outside-kentucky-senate-debate/
    So how’s about focusing attention on the REAL problem–that totally insufficient humanity of our culture, instead of pissing and moaning about how the Health Care Act only forces Big Insurance to stop predatory recission policies instead of granting universal coverage all in one sweep?
    How many Health Care Bills has Paul Rosenberg passed? Get fuckin’ real.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly!

    No authentic democrat ever came out of the University of Chicago academia system — NONE!

    This morning my darned cat was playing with the radio, and accidentally turned the dial to National Petroleum Radio (NPR) and they had a “breaking news” item (they’re sooooo cute).

    Imagine, NPR calls years-old news breaking news? Unfrigging believably stupid, those NPR listeners (and Foxtard listeners, and CNN and anybody else who listens to Ameritard MainStreamNonMedia — I gave up years and years ago, only read all those frigging government docs and the foreign press).

    Now NPR wussies had finally figured out that the private prison corporation(s) were responsible for lobbying for that Arizona law — Geez, thanks for clueing someone in who’s been either in a coma or living in a cave the past few years, guys!

    Now let’s do the numbers (or connect those pesky dots): Obama moves Napolitano from Arizona governor to head the DHS, which means she directly heads I.C.E.

    Next Brewer assumes the Arizona governorship, bringing along her staff of former private prison lobbyists.

    Next, those laws get changed (thanks to payoffs and lobbyist payments from Corrections Corporation of America) to insure a constant supply of immigrants (some illegal, some probably legal, etc.) in those private prisons.

    And among those Wall Street lobbyists, pharmaceutical industry lobbyists, and Monsanto lobbyists, and Goldman Sachs people Obama has appointed to HIS administration, there are also some former members of that private equity firm, for many years the largest private bank in existence, the Blackstone Group.

    And the last time I checked several years back, what PE firm was heavily invested (as in ownership share) of Corrections Corporation of America, and their subsidiary, Prison Realty?

    Geez, what a coincidency! None other than the Blackstone Group.

    Will wonders never cease?

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I still think Bill Hicks was right on the money…Obama’s ‘trauma’ was spending the first minutes of Day 1 of his presidency in a smoky dark room where a few dozen men with cigars made him watch a black and white reel of the Kennedy Assassination…over and over again, from an angle that had never been seen before like perhaps behind a grassy knoll…then asked him if he had any questions…and he answered “Only one…what would you like my agenda to be?”

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Einstein,

    Napolitano left office in January 2009. If you actually read the article that you are commenting on but apparently don’t have the guts to post to directly, you would note that ALL events described AFTER Napolitano’s tenure–during the tenure of her successor, Jan Brewer (R).

    So much for you being a better fount of wisdom than “mainstream media” like Salon, NPR.*

    *National Petroleum Radio? Dumbass, they’re the LEAST commercialized American outlet with any international coverage at all. Less than 22% of its funding comes from businesses.

    http://www.npr.org/about/aboutnpr/publicradiofinances.html

    You need to be a little more discerning media consumer, though the glaring gaps in your knoweldge of the chronology of SB 1070 don’t give me much hope that you have either the willingness or capacity to learn the much more complex realities of media finance.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    I love Bill Hicks, too. And I agree there’s a lot to be done still. But let’s not let ourselves get carried away with fantasy.

    Do you really think that the ball is going to be moved forward by tearing apart the one President who’s done a goddamned thing to make things better?

    If you’ve ever spent any time teaching you know that you don’t get good results by beating the shit out of kids for getting an 85% on a test instead of a 100%. Encourage people for what they do CORRECTLY, and move the discussion forward towards improving the rest. That’s why they call it “progress”.

  • Anonymous

    Please read my comment under that private prison post, thanks.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Larry Summers is no fantasy. It was a bad omen for things to come when Wall St was recruited to supply people to advise…on how to help bail out Wall St…which is why a lot of time and money got wasted. It says volumes about real time priorities and goals.

    On other issues, I can see the impossibility of breaking the status quo (ie, I may want Bush/Cheney arrested and tried for treason, but I logically understand that this would fracture the US into immediate civil war. So I forgive it not happening.)

    Or ending the wars…which haven’t really ended so much as transitioned into new phases…some of this just can’t be done quickly…not without greater bloodshed and chaos than we already have. I understand this and accept that I must be patient…

    Or Guantanamo not closing because the legal hurdles are in the way…or Don’t Ask Don’t Tell being spared only by the actions of the DOJ…or the Patriot Act surviving…or assassination orders etc etc etc…a lot of it might have been “necessary” or more needed than we know…

    …but when it comes to the economic hit squad theoretically hired to steer us back towards profitability…hiring douchebags so epic that even other douchebags nod with envy…says louder than words that the fix is in…and that the priority is protecting the looters from justice…not salvaging the economy. On this I am unforgiving, because that power to make a difference was truly his…and the choice to not use that power wisely and effectively was his as well.

    It was a choice to roll over or go down swinging…and he dropped almost as soon as the bell rang. I’ll save my applause for people who earn it…not for a guy whose accomplishment so far is “not being as bad as Bush”…I mean Christ…even Jeffrey Dahmer or Charles Manson could meet criteria that low…thats not congratulation worthy…thats just “less shameful than than being the worst president in history”. If I catch a guy breaking into my house and stabbing my wife…I don’t shrug and say “Oh well…at least he’s not burning her face off with a blowtorch. Let me give him a medal.”

    So I guess the only favor Obama will get from me is that I still think he’s better than the last guy…but thats all the slack he gets…if the last guy ‘crashed the car because he was drunk and doing 180mph’…I’m not going to clap because the new guy is ‘less drunk and only doing 150′. They both fail…but the previous guy failed more spectacularly.

    (Almost had a Hicks moment myself…I want to start doing fake pro-GOP posters with slogans like “Vote Republican!! Because torture/killings aren’t as bad as people make them sound!” or “Give me the Red State Blues! We didn’t need those jobs as bad as Asian orphans did anyway!”)

    All thats stopping me is the terrifying fear that the irony and sarcasm would be completely missed…and they’d be adopted officially by enthusiastic supporters.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    While I totally agree with the factual statements above, I strongly object to the manner in which they’re characterised. Not because I believe they’re mean spirited, but because I fear they’re nihilistic–and that’s basically cultural suicide.

    I think you may not be giving enough weight for the ability of people of good will to change the world. I’ve gone at length in other comments how change is gradual, and depends crucially on the balance between cultural AND electoral developments. The eighty years it took this nation to abolish slavery, the over one hundred and thirty years it took to get popular Senate elections, women’s sufferage and child labor laws–I could go on and on if required, but I’ve done that elsewhere.

    Yeah, no shit Obama hired former banksters to man the helm. Who else could possibly know the markets well enough to do it? FDR hired that old crook Joe Kennedy to head up the SEC and police securities for the first time–and many regulations were implemented that stood us well until the bullshit “Reagan Revolution” gradually destroyed all that.

    And the implied moral deficiency of failing to act more forcefully in his first two years? You wanna talk about some really morally deficient people, let’s talk about Bobby Kennedy and Gunther Grass; Kennedy began his career as a stooge for Joe McCarthy during the Red Hunts and Gunther Grass lied about his early career in the Waffen SS.

    But these guys redeemed themselves. Kennedy later went on to protest the Vietnam War and work for racial equality, and there have been few more celebrated opponents of warfare and murder than Gunther Grass. I would encourage people to focus on the transformative power of redemption rather than the petty powermongering of the politics of condemnation.

    Yes, I totally agree with you that the President has to get his shit together–but he can’t (and for that matter NOBODY can) do that until we give him a fucking break. He’s been raised like all of us under this fucked up mythology of the Laugher Curve, and like it or not, until we move to destroy the power of that Cultural Lie, that’s the political context he has to negotiate.

    So it’s clear to me that the choice is to work with the imperfect system we’ve got or to surrender to evil and corruption completely. Of course I choose the former–knowing that it’s gonna take a little more than a wet ‘pity-woe-is-me’ to get the rest of the culture up to speed. Like any teacher, I know that we’ll have to send a simple, consistent and hopeful message if we want the class to succeeed.

  • Darklord

    Holy Hell! That has to be one of the most epic posts i have ever read. Kudos.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Likewise.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I suppose I should take a break from the harsh and mention some ideas that are positive.

    For years I’ve pimped the “Move Voting to Saturday” concept. At present, in a changed work culture with multi shifts and many 12+hr per day type jobs…we need to give people every advantage in voting…this changed the paradigm that facilitates other changes. We have an uninvolved electorate…except for political diehards…and the retired/unemployed. Working people deserve as much slack as possible to get their vote in the game…so Super Tuesday has got to go…make it Super Saturday…and make it a national Federal Holiday on the same par as Christmas. I mean seriously…we’ll celebrate Columbus Day with a Fed Holiday…but not the day we exercise the freedom to choose our leaders? Free the votes, free the people.

    At the top of the mission list…before all other acts of decency, even before ending war and torture etc etc…get the big money out of politics. I know its been tried, but we all divide endlessly into tiny camps and break up support, accepting tiny changes in the rules instead of sweeping ones. Ignore everything else…make this platform issue number 1…scream it to the press, write it in the papers, email it to your representatives with the expectation that they support it or face abandonment. When all pressure is solely focused on this it can finally pass…and THEN we can actually get some forward movement without having it bought out from under us.

    Just a couple thoughts, those two…because I think if those two obstacles can be dealt with, the rest will become plausible…and to call positive change impossible at this time isn’t nihilistic…it’s just horrifyingly true. As long as vested apathy and helplessness are the lot in life for most of us, and any action we undertake is purchased out from under us…there will never be real change.

    Metaphorically, the bicycle isn’t stalled because we’re nihilistically not pedaling hard enough…it’s stalled because both wheels and the chains are gone. Fix the bike first…then we can climb aboard and really get rollin!

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Thanks…I kinda got on a roll there…deep and abiding disappointment fuels my inner rage against the machine way more than usual lately.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    See THIS is the old VoxMagi that keeps me coming to Disinfo! Actual solutions rather than boilerplate condemnation of the system.

    And you know what, that voting thing is TOTALLY within the realm of near-term possibility. Early voting, absentee voting are already here. I voted on Saturday already. All that’s needed is a campaign to nudge the commissions ahead a wee little bit to extend the timing these things are available and for existing advocacy groups live MoveOn.org or whatever to add this as one of their campaigns. Your getting involved in getting out the word–like you’ve been doing here–is part of it.

    Why not join MoveOn.org or whoever and push it onto the platform? You name the group and I’d probably end up sigining on within the hour–try to do the viral networking thing to push it up onto the agenda.

    Getting big money out of the process is gonna be tougher. Brain storm with me here on the design of the bill that could practically acheive it. The obstacles aren’t just entrenched interest and a gullible electorate–there’s some for-real legitimate free speech concerns as well. Let’s sidestep those and not get lost in the equally unprofitable realm of disclosure fantasies.

    I personally see the single biggest “Big Money” problem being corporate funding. Why the fuck should a fictional entity have more legal rights than a natural born person? That, in my opinion is the thing to focus on.

    True, the bullshit ‘Citizens United’ case offered some phony sop to the unions saying they could contribute as well as corps, but let’s face facts: Unions are weaker than they have been at any time since the 1950′s, and the Corps already have way too many underhanded ways to ‘discourage’ participation and contribution by union members, who are suffering from huge erosion in discretionary income with which to contribute in any case.

    So I say the law should read to the effect that no entity other than a lawful United Stated citizen, a natural human person, should be able to contribute to an election campaign or advertisement directly bearing upon an election campaign.

    Let’s light us up a candle rather than be cursing the dark!

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