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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Glenn on the never-ending Presidential campaign
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Glenn on the never-ending Presidential campaign

yes, and we're expected to sit here like the good reality-show addicts we've been so carefully trained to be, eating our popcorn and reveling in the spectacle of our substance-free "democratic" process...

you go, glenn...

The reality is that both parties' voters, early on in the process, like to flirt with candidates who present themselves as ideologues, but ultimately choose establishment-approved, establishment-serving functionaries perceived as electable (e.g., the Democrats' 2004 rejection of Dean in favor of Kerry, the GOP's 2008 embrace of the "maverick" McCain). In those rare instances when they nominate someone perceived as outside the establishment mainstream (Goldwater, McGovern), those candidates are quickly destroyed. The two-party system and these presidential campaigns are virtually guaranteed -- by design -- to produce palatable faces who perpetuate the status quo, placate the citizenry, and dutifully serve the nation's most powerful factions.

They can have some differences -- they'll have genuinely different views on social issues and widely disparate cultural brands (the urbane, sophisticated, East Coast elite intellectual v. the down-home, swaggering, Southern/Texan evangelical) -- but the process ensures a convergence to establishment homogeneity. The winner-takes-all, Most-Important-Election-Ever hysteria that precedes it masks that reality, creating the illusion of fundamentally stark choices. That's what makes the 18 months of screeching, divisive, petty, trivial rancor so absurd, so distracting, so distorting. Yes, it matters in some important ways who wins and sits in the Oval Office chair, but there are things that matter much, much more than that -- all of which are suffocated into non-existence by the endless, mind-numbing election circus.

i honestly can't believe it's all in full swing yet again... what a joke...!

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