Okay, the primary elections are behind us, and come November the voting begins.
This election is pivotal on both the national and local levels. With the selection of Paul Ryan as Romney’s VP, this presidential race may be a referendum on how government should work in America; in the words of Ryan, individualism vs. collectivism.
This Ayn Rand inspired libertarian ideology has been bubbling, some might say festering, below the surface of American politics for decades. It opposed FDR’s New Deal from the get-go, and still seethes at the welfare system, and any thought of a national healthcare system. It hates regulation on business, be it banking, energy or commerce. It wants privatization of the public sector, from government programs like Social Security to drilling by corporations for oil and gas in our National Parks.
Its adherents have been very successful in using their money and connections to get their ideology into the mainstream, creating the Heritage Society and the Cato Institute and many other “think tanks,” which the docile corporate media has come to accept as the third voice in our political debate. It can generate huge campaign donations from the rich and corporations because its policies, if enacted, will save and make them even MORE money.
This is a wake-up call that brings to mind the old bumper sticker/button slogan, “If You’re Not Outraged, You’re Not Paying Attention.”
What we have, unfortunately, is a society that is utterly addicted to distractions, disconnected from the political process and in some cases reality itself, such as the denial of evolution or the statistical data on climate change.
We’ve all been aware of the attacks on women’s reproductive rights, but now we have this Representative from Missouri stating that there are different kinds of rape, and in forcible rape (the word he actually meant to use, not “legitimate” rape), women have this biological power to resist getting pregnant, and that these pregnancies are rare.
I would say unbelievable, but the Republican Party platform, election cycle after cycle election, would deny even rape victims access to abortion. Rep. Akin is not an outlier; he is mainstream, side by side with Paul Ryan. Ideology trumps reality in these peoples’ minds.
“Another World is Possible” is a slogan from the World Social Forum. It was seen as an inspiring call for a better world of social justice and sensible environmental policies. But there are other worlds possible, too.
Please, if you have access to the Internet, watch, listen or read the program on DemocracyNow.org from Aug. 22 with author Craig Unger on his new book “Boss Rove.” Karl Rove has a vision of another world, a one-party USA, and it is coming our way unless we wake up and exert our own vision. Please pay attention, and get outraged, informed, organized and active.