I spent my high-school years in Bangkok—we had a great time and came home having learned a great deal about other cultures. However, we also discovered that in Southeast Asia (like other parts of the world), one part of the military or another attempted to take over the government in a coup d'état every year or so. We just stayed home from school when the tanks started rumbling through the streets. In Bangkok in the 60’s, it was considered to be an unfortunate part of the culture.
Typically, a coup would occur if one or more of the power groups felt it could not get their way through the elected government. Here in the US, we’re seeing the same thing playing out in the media. No, there aren’t any tanks in the streets (they aren’t back from Iraq yet), but this kind of coup is being fought with money and the media.
Yes, IMHO, I think we’re witnessing a coup here in the United States. While it’s not the military taking over the TV stations (yet), it’s a coup just the same. Years from now history students will pour over the news accounts from Faux News and the spineless media outlets that played into the hands of the mega corporations and discuss how it happened—or almost happened. They’ll shake their heads as they add up how much money was spent buying votes (projected to be over $5.8 billion). While much of this money is coming from secret sources and corporate donors, too much of it is been wrung out of individuals from both parties using fear tactics, harassing phone calls and urgent pleas that suggest if a deadline isn’t met the election will be lost. In these hard times, this money would have paid for groceries, gas to get to work and rent. It’s a disgrace.
I made the mistake of giving to the Democrats. After that, I was called, emailed and incessantly prodded for more. I even offered to make another donation if I would not be contacted again. It’s like giving money to your derelict uncle who keeps coming back for more once he figures you’re a soft touch.
Sadly, this entire election seems to be about money. The for-profit corporations that provide us fuel, healthcare, food and supply the military and about everything else have seen a golden opportunity to take over the country—literally. They know if a progressive congress is put back in place run by a progressive President, their days of wonton profiteering and election rigging are numbered. The military suppliers (what Eisenhower called the ‘Military Industrial Complex’) want us back in Iraq and Iran and North Korea—because they’ll be paid for everything from bombs to body bags. The corporations know if President Obama is reelected, the Supreme court will be repopulated with justices that really believe that corporations are not people and don’t deserve the rights and freedoms of individuals. They know that the people will ultimately insist that media corporations be held accountable for what they broadcast. I think it’s obscene that while a network can be fined for showing a human breast but are permitted to blatantly lie without fear of censure. While there are shades of truth to any story, outright lies and evil distortions of the truth must be eliminated from political discourse. If that takes a Constitutional amendment, then so be it.
I expect campaign reform to be a plank of the Democrat’s platform. We have some very serious problems to face in the next decade, but we can’t face them if we don’t hear the truth from our media sources and those who would use their money to influence elections beyond their single, individual voice.