Via the Guardian, Glenn Greenwald on the matters for which there is no choice between the two major parties:
Wednesday night’s debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney underscored a core truth about America’s presidential election season: the vast majority of the most consequential policy questions are completely excluded from the process.
Penal policies vividly illustrate this point. America imprisons more of its citizens than any other nation on earth by far. Professor Glenn Loury of Brown University has observed that these policies have turned the US into “a nation of jailers” whose “prison system has grown into a leviathan unmatched in human history”. Yet none of these issues will even be mentioned, let alone debated, by Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
A long list of highly debatable and profoundly significant policies will be similarly excluded due to bipartisan agreement. The list includes a rapidly growing domestic surveillance state that now monitors and records even the most innocuous activities of all Americans; job-killing free trade agreements; climate change policies; and the Obama justice department’s refusal to prosecute the Wall Street criminals who precipitated the 2008 financial crisis.
This same dynamic repeats itself in other crucial realms. President Obama’s dramatically escalated drone attacks in numerous countries have generated massive anger in the Muslim world, continuously kill civilians, and are of dubious legality at best.
On still other vital issues, such as America’s steadfastly loyal support for Israel and its belligerence towards Iran, the two candidates will do little other than compete over who is most aggressively embracing the same absolutist position.