American politics and the thinking of American voters always flusters me. The flustering starts from the basic of all political thoughts, class. Where I approach politics from class consciousness, most Americans approach economics from issue based and personal, or I should say personality perspective. Hence the common statement: ” I vote for the man, not the party.”
This election is particularly frustrating, to the point, that I cannot listen to any discussions about the elections. It’s some strange disconnection from political and economic reality fueled by the media vortex of manufactured outrage.
The idea that we have a party system is ludicrous. Sure stalwarts who vote along party lines, like myself, cling to the idea that parties should hold elected officials accountable. Now 38% of the voters are independent. Once elected, the politician has no debt to the party, the only debt is to the people who gave him money to get the independent voter. Since Americans do not vote along class, or political lines, what then is their power as a block of voter?
The non aligned Independent voter, gets frustrated, or uninspired by yet another dud politician, all that the wealth holders have to do, is package another one who will pander to the whims of the “Independent voter”. A new brand of emotionalism, a new re- constituted lie that will warm the cockles of the Independents heart.
Of course, it is considered anathema to challenge the independent voter for their political ignorance and the muddle that has been created by their petulant voting. They will point out how the parties are not to be trusted and his/ her independence keeps them honest. Really? You think this new system is working? Every two years we change our minds and end up with wild swings where no real policy has time to be implemented. Obama for me was the perfect construct of the Independent voter, he did everything he told them he would do, and now they don’t like it cause their silly ideas don’t work: “bipartisanship”, half ass stimulus, half ass health care, militarism, and idiotic tax policies.
So, as incomes did not increase, actually decreased since 1964, wealth inequality is right now at an all time high. Yet, this does not seem to be an issue in the elections, instead, we we dicker around with the misconceptions and miss information that is churned out. Somehow, a tax cut, something that we kept doing since the 1980’s, will cure this wage and wealth disparity. But, tax cut sounds good and like a Pavlovian manipulator, the politicians uses the word and the Independent voter buys the lie.
Look and listen at wealth inequality in the video below from the Working Group on Extreme Inequality. Yet, Americans, in a recent study at Duke University, first do not understand the proportions of wealth inequality, and if they had a choice, 92% would prefer the Swedish model. But, they continue to vote for politicians who do everything in their power to redistribute the wealth and wages of this nation to the top 1% and do very little for the rest. Matter of fact, they get distracted by the people in the bottom and accuse them of redistributing the wealth.
Is it ignorance? Is it extreme optimism? When and how will this cycle of not understanding the economic context by the of the American voter ever change? The mere mention of this topic brings the accusation of class war . Rather ironic since we have been in a class war all the time and the lower and middle classes lost.