Well folks, it’s now 2012 – the year when time is supposed to end. I am not referring to an ancient Mayan Calendar, but the electoral calendar. The Caucus in Iowa yesterday was a foreshadowing of the end of times. Long before December 2012 the end of the illusion of American democracy will be complete along with the American dream for generations to come.
Yesterday in Iowa, Romney barely wins with Santorum trailing behind (apologies to Google). The real significance of the Romney-Santorum result is not in the religious overtones of an American Mormon virtually tied with a Christian Taliban and the whole pseudo-religious-cultural values nutery going on with the GOP. The real significance of the Iowa Caucuses is the fact that after 5 years of organizing and over $10 million spent, Romney could do no better than to tie a man who spent about $1 million who talks to God via the fillings in his molars. The bottom line in Iowa is who and what wins elections (the rich and money). That is the state of our (former) Democracy. The man with the most money will win, because this is a country of the 1%. This election will not be decided on the policies on issues that really matter to the liberties and security of most Americans. Sure, there will be the usual stuff about “values”, “jobs” and “terrorism”. However, the discussion will be nothing more than appeals to fear and prejudice rather than reality. The results will be virtually the same no matter who gets elected.
Maybe this is the cynical ramblings of a disappointed Obama supporter (Summers, Geitner – really? Afghanistan – really? Military detentions for American citizens – really?) however, the sense that whatever happens in the next elections matters very little to most of us is shared by many, and for good reason. The critique that money buys elections and government serves the 1%, applies just as much to the Democrats as the Republicans. While Romney has been beating off the religious bigotry of the GOP base by implicitly appealing to their racial bigotry against Obama, President Obama has been quietly raising millions from Wall Street firms, millionaires and billionaires, with the same devil’s bargain.
Is 2012 the end of times – or just the end of any illusion of American democracy?