Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A comment on American politics

posted by Mr. Vidiot @ 11:41 AM Permalink

It is interesting to observe the factors that led to the present Administration’s victory in the latest presidential election. Certainly race and other “feel good” factors were significant variables. Let us look more deeply. Obama, as other members of the power elite, have full access to the means of communication, access that most American citizens are denied. Our media now serves as the mouthpiece of power; they are no longer critical or objective (I am not sure if they ever were) but rather legitimate the dominant logic that shapes our discourse. It is how hegemony works, by winning and shaping the consent of the masses, creating the problems and offering solutions or alternatives to these problems from within this logic. It is how power is maintained and won, less with coercion and more with ideology. With the means of communication at his disposal, a well-paid team of advertisers have simply marketed Obama--and quite brilliantly. A president is not what was voted for, rather the American people voted for a mass-marketed logo, a brand. Voting for Obama was akin to purchasing a stylish and high status pair of Addidas--all style with little substance. What an unfortunate situation.

Further, we must now question this idea of democracy. Let us look at what happened. A very powerful propaganda campaign ensued in this last election, a “get out and vote” campaign that somehow manufactured a reality that access to the ballot box is the most important process in a democracy. This is simply false. Democracy requires endless struggle, activism, participation, equal access to the means of communication, and an intelligent and critical public. This is not what I see. I witnessed a bunch of pansy New Yorkers jumping stupidly in the air the night of the present administration's victory. When night faded to morning, the present administration seemed to say, “Thank you for voting...now shut up, go home, we will take it from here...thank you for participating.” And here we return to the status quo, that government is our savior, that it makes all the decisions, that people can return back to their comfortable couches and internet blogs and passively watch the spectacle. This, I believe, falls short of America's potential.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home