As millions ready themselves for the general elections in November, it takes some effort to summon up the elections of 2 years ago.
In 2006, mid-term elections brought dramatic change to the Congress, and seemed to presage a change in the nation's direction as well.
Those mid-terms centered around the public's demand and hunger for an end to the Iraq war and illegal occupation, and was an electoral expression of that deep national discontent.
Well, it's been two years now, and the Congress has just voted another $165 billion (that's right, with a b) to fund the Iraq war.
It's been two years - and the Iraq mess is still a scar on the national psyche.
It's now become the property of both major political parties -Democrats and Republicans.
It's the very nature of politics that politicians regularly betray the interests of those who have voted for them.
They'll take the votes, yes: but they don't answer to the people. As the saying goes, 'They answer to a higher power' - the military industrial complex.
If we think back to the primaries, candidates of both parties who ran on genuine anti-war platforms had to contend with waves of media ridicule. Think about how the corporate media treated either Dennis Kucinich (D. OH), or Ron Paul (R. TX), or former congressman, Mike Gravel.
All were depicted as little better than boobs, objects of an occasional sidebar, but never seriously presented as candidates of 'presidential timber.'
And, as Marshall McLuhan (1991-1980) said, 'the medium is the message.'
The media, hired guns for their corporate bosses, served their interest by coverage which slanted the perceptions of millions, that only those they thought electable were 'serious' candidates.
'Only so-and-so can raise enough money', most reporters opined, selling candidates as surely as they sold soap.
These processes have produced the very hour we now live in; a time of peril and disaster.
What kind of democracy can such a process engender?
And now, 1/2 year from another election, we will hear a plethora of promises, spun with the best commercials that money can buy.
We will march into the booth, our eyes shiny with anticipation.
In a matter of months, or years, we will look back at the ashes of promises aborted, and wonder how we keep doing it again, and again, and again.
6/19/08 (c) '08 maj