The Coastal Post - December, 1998

The Holiday Environment

By Frank Scott

"The challenge is to accelerate the pace of creating an environment in which capital will flow to its highest return use..."

So spoke a Clinton Treasury Department officer, giving a clearer picture of our material world than the recent elections. Climate change? Ecological degradation? Not to worry, kids. Let markets and investors remain uncontrolled, and everything will work out just fine. Sure. Just like in our political shopping mall.

The November vote saw a few victories for democracy, but those were barely noticed in the media depiction of presidential triumph. While the extreme right was defeated, the center right maintained control, and all talk of a victory for reason must be taken with a barrel, not a grain of salt.

Most significant was the pitifully low turnout. Despite the attention on exit polls, more important were the missing entry polls. Nearly 65% of the electorate-more than 119 million people-never entered the polling place. Remember that when you hear some political gasbag polluting the intellectual atmosphere about what the American people clearly stated in the election.

The extreme right suffered a much-deserved setback, but the extreme center right stood fast. Two hundred and twelve Republicans ran for re-election to Congress, and 207 succeeded. Only Americans can be told a Republican success rate of 98% represents a great victory for Democrats. Half a million more people voted for Republicans for House seats than for Democrats, and the national vote for governor was more than 4.5 million in the Republican's favor. Some Neanderthals were defeated, but many remain, even if they are labeled moderate by our mind managers.

In some parts of the nation, the voice of democracy was heard. The greatest voter turnout was in Minnesota, where an ex-wrestler running on the Reform Party line was elected governor. He defeated the corporate candidates with a populist message in favor of choice, gay rights, common sense, and even hinted at decriminalizing prostitution and drugs.

There were also victories for campaign finance reform, especially in Wisconsin where Senator Feingold was re-elected despite a multi-million dollar campaign against him by the Republicans. The Democrats can't be too happy about a candidate who calls the political process a form of legalized bribery, and who refused corporate dollars in his campaign. This was an inspiring victor in the midst of a national spending orgy that brought shame to the very concept of democracy.

Arizona and Massachusetts both voted for public financing of elections, making five states which now have spoken out for a real democratic process. There were also six more measures passed relating to medical marijuana, despite fanatic opposition from the war on drugs thugs in Washington DC.

The Christian right wing suffered a setback, but the semi-Christian wrong wing maintained control of both parties. The good news is that the Congressional Progressive Caucus will grow by at least 10 members, but the bad news is that the Regressive Caucus was strengthened even more. The disappearance of some arch-rightists will bring voices of slightly less bitter fanaticism to Republican leadership, but the party remains the same. And despite the nearly brain-dead liberals who rally around Clinton, it is the center right Democrats who maintain control of that party.

The impeachment vs. censure debate drags on, and while some rightists would prefer castration, there is no left in this dialog. Liberals still desperately cling to the hem of Clinton's soiled garment. Republican calls for an end to impeachment include demands of a post-presidential trial which could send Clinton to the slammer. Does our system offer separation of powers or separation of senses? Clinton is politically unimpeachable, but legally convictable? Oh well.

More important to consider than this spectacle of immoral stupidity, especially as we enter the holy days of religious shopping, are the Christians, Jews and other worshippers who are united in support of the most brutal hate crime committed in our name: the continued slaughter of innocents in Iraq, with new bombings threatened to further the already murderous sanctions which kill thousands of children every month. While politicians battle over who loves kids more in this country, the struggle seems to be over who hates them most when they live in the Arab world. Those citizens who understand and accept what is going on are without souls; those who created and actively support this degenerate policy deserve nothing less than to incur the wrath of their hateful patriarch of a god.

And most important to understand at holiday spending time are the economic interests which maintain their domination of everything. Taxpayers manipulated into braying about four years, 40 million dollars and the demon Ken Starr, are silent about 100 million taxpayer dollars devoted to financing a criminal attempt to destroy Iraq's regime. Worse, the five billion dollars sent to Brazil to save minority capital at the expense of majority labor. All this to continue the assault on a rapidly diminishing natural and social environment, and to protect the process mentioned in the opening quote, but unmentioned by critics or supporters of the president and his economic comrades.

Those comrades are members of both wings of the major party, differing only in rhetoric when it comes to the production of material reality. Reckless statements on issues like abortion or civil liberties may become more subdued, but mass murder and environmental destruction will continue until we create a political voice for real democracy. Consider that as you plan your holiday shopping, and contemplate what could be the greatest gift for your future: a more democratic environment for the next election. Happy Holidays!

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