A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Two candidates with almost identical positions on virtually every issue fight to exhaustion over non-substantial concerns for months, and will doubtless soon celebrate having achieved "unity." Tweedle-dum Hillary Clinton and Tweedle-dee Barack Obama may or may not emerge from the primary battles as friends - but what does that matter? "Their policies are interchangeable, as are their advisors.... All serve the same masters: the financial corporations." The general election campaign, already begun, will see Obama and McCain draw politically closer each day, until at the end "the voters' choice will be just a matter of personality and individual taste" - and race.
"Very little of the general election campaign action will have anything to do with policy, just as in the primary campaign."
If all goes as scripted, the Democrats hope to spend from now to November congratulating themselves on their ability to forge unity out of the seeming chaos of the excruciating primary election season, now thankfully over. "Unity" will join "change" as a meaningless buzzword in the vapid Democratic vocabulary. The fact is, corporate Democrats have been unified all along, joined at the hip in grim determination to ultimately plant themselves so microscopically to the left of the Republicans that the voters' choice will be just a matter of personality and individual taste. So, who do you like - Barack Obama or John McCain? At the end of the general election campaign, that's what it will boil down to for millions of voters, as the two corporate dancers draw ever closer together.
To be sure, there will be lots of manufactured drama, but very little of the action will have anything to do with policy, just as in the primary campaign. McCain's age will be a constant undercurrent, as will Obama's race. But the actual conduct of the war in Iraq, for example, and precisely when it is to be brought to an end, will be buried as the candidates battle over who loves "the troops" the most, and which standard bearer's personality is best suited to waging never-ending war on "terror."
It does not really matter if Senators Obama and Clinton ever develop a fondness for one another, now that the pay-for-play primary charade is over. Their policies are interchangeable, as are their advisers, most of whom will wind up drawing big fat checks from some section or another of the larger Democratic campaign effort. All serve the same masters: the financial corporations that this season definitively redirected their infinitely corrupting campaign contributions to the Democrats. Hedge funds are reported to be backing Democrats, nine to one. They are betting that, whatever "change" occurs, it will not alter basic power relationships in ways that threaten the rule of the rich one iota.
"Whatever ‘change' occurs, it will not alter basic power relationships in ways that threaten the rule of the rich."
Those citizens that want to abolish the American oligarchic form of government should vote for the Green Party, and put Cynthia McKinney at the head of the ticket. That's the very least one can do; the real task is to create multiple people's movements that will force an end to imperial warfare - a prerequisite for all the other tasks that face humanity. But opposition to oligarchy operates in a state of invisibility in America. Corporate media, through whose bizarre, distorted lenses most people view their nation and world, can make the opposition disappear, in an instant. Remember Dennis Kucinich? Most people don't, thanks to private media corporations that stage-manage and slick-package cosmetic versions of U.S. public discourse and call it "democracy."
The New York Times this week sneered at Russian television executives for causing critics of the government to disappear from the small screen. The Times presents this as proof of the superiority of the American political system. They're wrong. U.S. corporate censorship is just as heavy-handed as the Russian kind - and it's a lot more expensive.
For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford.
BAR executive editor
Glen Ford can be contacted at