Passing thought on media and the differences between the two big parties

The American media largely limits its view of politics to questions that are at issue between the big two parties. Abortion is a major issue of contention between the two parties, therefore it is discussed. Monica Lewinsky was a major issue of contention between the two parties, therefore it is discussed.

Where the parties agree, there is no discussion in major media. The benevolence of so-called “free trade” is agreed on by the two parties, so is not discussed. The idea that “social security is in crisis” is agreed on by the two parties, so the alternative (that social security is in pretty good shape) is not discussed. Real election reform is opposed by both major parties, so cannot be discussed in the mainstream press; only faux-reforms like the ridiculous McCain-Fiengold bill can be discussed.

If you had asked me in 1999 what the single most important issue was, I would have said “the sanctions on Iraq, which have killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children”; but since both Democrats and Republicans are (or were) pro-Iraqi-child-killing, the sanctions were not an issue the media ever discussed.

One thing which particularly infuriates Democrats about Nader is his oft-quoted claim that the two major parties are identical. I never thought that was true (still don’t), but hell, it was a political slogan. (“It’s the economy, stupid” wasn’t exactly a substantive analysis, either). Nader’s point – as he said over and over in interviews – wasn’t that the parties were alike in every detail, but that from the Green Party’s point of view the two major parties are alike in substantive and important ways.

To some extent, I think how much people are capable of seeing that depends on how much they get their thinking about what is and isn’t important from the major media. In 1999, I thought the most important issues were Iraqi sanctions, “free” trade versus fair trade, and comprehensive universal childcare. (Or maybe free universal healthcare. Or maybe AIDS in Africa. Or maybe real election reform. I waver on what the third issue is, to tell you the truth.)

The point is, most of the issues I give a damn about aren’t talked about much in the major media, because the leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties are largely in agreement on those issues.

Are there significant differences between the Republicans and the Democrats? Of course there are. But are their differences more important than their agreements? Well, that depends. If you think the issues I care about are unimportant, then the differences between the two parties are more important. From my perspective, the opposite is true.

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One Response to Passing thought on media and the differences between the two big parties

  1. 1
    Lord Cerbereth says:

    There really aren’t substantial differences between the two major parties. Yes if you take a look at what a extremely far right supporter of the republican party believes and what an ultra far left supporter of the democratic party believes and you are going to see huge differences, but parties don’t go to the sides they go to the middle to attract more votes.

    The republican and democratic parties are extremely similar barring a few high profile issues that the media very helpfully obsesses on constantly. Before now it was temperance now its abortion eventually its gonna be something new. The parties point to this issue or that to distance themselves from each other, but they are alike more than they are different. This way people can vote by party and not by individual. The voter gets to be lazy the candidates avoid too much attention payed to their voting records or political stances and the media helps this process go smoothly everyone wins.

    Ralph Nader always says every four years that no matter who wins the real winner is the corporations and he is right. The only difference is which corporations are gonna win big. There are corporations that benefit from conservative administrations(big oil, construction, defense(although moderate democrats favor defense spending as well especially the delegates from new york), tobacco, agriculture(big agro) etc. the old money basically.

    Then you have corporations or groups that are esentially corporations that benefit from liberal administrations (law firms(especially medical malpractice lawyers which is why caps are never put on pay outs from hospitals despite the fact that everyone knows and agrees it would cut healthcare costs), labor unions, green companies(like solyndra) although these kind of fell by the wayside when people realized they weren’t very profitable, newspapers(hope for a bailout from the democratic party is their only hope for not going under but it looks like that isn’t gonna happen), Hollywood etc government money/union money. These groups seem more benevolent(except for the lawyers), but the problem is they really don’t generate a lot of tax revenue(you might disagree this is my own opinion.)

    Then you have corporations that donate to both sides every year, because they know that no matter who wins they are fine like big pharma(no one wants to mess with them, because they are so generous with their money around campaign time), software giants like microsoft and apple, banking(which is why they got a bailout and why investigations where never actually launched once democrats and republicans figured out they were both well tied to fanny may and freddy mac), the automotive industry(another industry that got a partisan bail out), etc pretty much every other corporation.

    Democrats like to point to Republicans as the big money party, but Barrack Obama had more donated to him by various corporations last elections and he is gonna get more this election. George Bush got more money that Al Gore or John Kerry.

    Corporations pick candidates based on which side they think is gonna win(race horse style betting basically) and which side can help them the most(government subsidies and contracts).

    The media helpfully turns the election into a competition full of name calling and jabs that everyone likes and when one candidate wins everyone parties like they won. No one every asks who really won?

    No matter what people tell you corporate donations control what happens in washinton not votes(exceptions do occur like the stop sopa campaign the internet ran and that the media was very upset about because people were ignoring what they said was important.) Politicians do need to be elected by law after all so they can qualify for all those corporate bribes.

    I am fine with all this. All government are corrupt. Either you have corporate greed to contend with like we have in America or the goverment itself becomes the criminal like it was in the Soviet Union.

    I like corporations(they are more efficient that goverments) and globalization ensures that they are the future. People who don’t like corporations need to ask themselves why they follow a system that is based on and run on corporate wealth.