On September 3'rd, 2007, Anthony Wade wrote this article entitled "The Ghosts in The Machine". I feel this article, more than any I have ever read, reflects on how I feel about American politics today, and it warranted a re-post.
"There is a machine operating behind it all in America. It drives policy and outcomes. It drives legislation and the continued deterioration of culture and society. It buys what, and who it needs to ensure that it continues to be fed. It exists for the sole purpose of its continued existence and power. It absolutely owns the mainstream media and wields it masterfully as a weapon of mass distraction and destruction. It desires that America continue down the path of least resistance. It requires the people to care more about who won the last American Idol than who won their last Congressional race. It requires that 50% of the people do not even bother to vote for the very elected officials that will shape and decide their futures. We use terms like “corporate media” and “part of the machine” when discussing political matters but rarely do we truly examine what these terms mean. That is how the machine wants it and too often we play right along.
The machine requires two sides and two sides only. It demands that you pick a side and get off the imaginary fence they swear to you is there. The machine says that to be a good American you must believe in one set of values and you cannot deviate from them without somehow violating all of them. It says that you are red or blue; conservative or liberal, republican or democrat. It forces you to choose only one side though. It derides the other side; it mocks it. It lays all the blame for the ills of society at the feet of the “other side.” It gives you someone to blame for your lot in life. It tells the average “republican” that it’s those damn liberals and their anti-family ways that are destroying the American culture. It tells the average democrat that it is those damn republicans and their intolerant views of differences that is causing the erosion of all that was once good in America. In order for you to believe that tolerance is a good thing, you must embrace the entire package of a layered federal government that intercedes in all areas of your life. In order to believe that life begins at conception you have to embrace the party of war and poverty. They have sold you a lie and we buy it every day. Somehow in this country we have been convinced that while we can have 31 flavors of ice cream we can only get two coherent lines of political thought. The result is exactly what the machine wants. We snipe at each other at the lower levels of society while the machine keeps getting fed above us.
The problem with a machine this large is that it cannot possibly control for everything. It is set against a system that was designed to be free and because of that there are often people who get into the machine and refuse to play the game. Occasionally, the machine runs into people that it cannot buy, it cannot corrupt, and it cannot remove because they are legitimately in the machine. While greed and power corrupt most, there still remains some that resist. These remain our hope in this country that personal conviction can win out over the machine. It is not that hard to spot them if you understand the rules. Just look for the ones that espouse something different than the party line. Something radical. Then see if they are marginalized and attacked by the machine. See if they are mocked or dismissed, despite the apparent resonance of their message. Once you find them, you need to really listen to what they are saying outside of the context of the filter provided by the machine that wishes them away.
Lets also dismiss the notion that one side is drastically different than the other; they are not. They are both lined up at the trough to feed. One needs to only look at how quickly John Kerry folded his tent in the face of massive voter fraud while still holding onto over a million dollars, which was supposed to be used to contest the results. It had nothing to do with national unity because if the votes are not being counted fairly, there is no real “nation” let alone unity. The work of voting advocates since has virtually proven that Kerry did indeed win in 2004 but no one cares because the machine tells you what to care about. You need to care about whether Britney Spears is fit to be a parent, not that your vote may not have counted. So why did John Kerry run away so fast with that million dollars? Because he got to go back to the Senate where it is better to be the runner up but still get to line up at the trough. Sure, there are huge differences between Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton and America would look vastly different under both leaders. Ultimately though, the machine would still win one way or the other. The main point though is that the machine has culled you into one of their camps (assuming they win their primaries, ugh) and you will line up and cheer. You will think you won if your party comes out on top but in reality only the machine wins. You might get universal healthcare if Hillary wins and you might get to bomb 2 more Middle Eastern countries if Rudy wins. In the end however, you win nothing and the machine keeps humming.
I had written a couple of articles recently praising the performance of Ron Paul at the republican debates. I did so because I felt that he was the only person on the stage that seemed to be speaking from his heart, and not his cue cards. You see, when you don’t really believe what you are saying, you need to write it down but when you own it, you know it. Paul spoke about limited government, eliminating the illegal IRS, and a foreign policy that starts with this country. An infrastructure plan that dealt with this country. A rebuilding program that starts with this country. He was the only sane voice in a gaggle of would-be presidents calling for tripling Guantanamo and nuking Iran. I might add that he did this while the machine driven debates and media tried their best to ignore and marginalize him. He got one question it seemed for every three that the machine dubbed “front-runners” received. In the end though, RudyMcRomney all sounded like they were reading from the same script and only Ron Paul sounded like he cared about the true future of this country. This does not mean that I embrace everything Paul stands for but he is a far better start for this country than anyone else up there and the majority of the machine bought and anointed democratic “front-runners.”
Right after these articles, I received an email from a familiar friendly source; one that actually runs my work and they were taken aback that I would be supportive of the “libertarian” Paul. This illustrates what I am trying to speak about. People have been conditioned to take their side and abhor anything that grates against the illusionary sides that have been drawn up. Each side thinks theirs is somehow immune to the machine when in fact they are all part of the same problem. Hillary Clinton is probably the most bought and paid for candidate running. A political chameleon, Clinton has a record that the GOP will tear to pieces if she wins the primary; which is exactly why they are pushing her to be the candidate. Either way, she is Bush Lite. My allegiance after God; is to my country, not any party. I am sure that after reading my articles for the past four years, one would assume I was a democrat. I was never a registered democrat or republican because both parties are part of the machine and ultimately the two-party system is the true cancer eating away at the heart of this republic. The notion that both sides have a grasp on absolute truth, politically and morally is one of the greatest lies perpetrated against the American people. The truth is always somewhere in the middle but the machine cannot survive unless you pick a side and throw rocks at the other side.
The issue is not the labels the media wishes to put on people like Dr. Paul. If you wish to call him libertarian, fine. All I know is a see someone who doesn’t partake in the trappings of the corruption offered by the machine. He opts out of the plush pension plan for congresspersons and does not keep any unused monies. He speaks things that are not in the script. The machine has a script. They tell the republicans to speak about bombing Iran while they tell the democrats to speak about getting out of Iraq. They tell the democrats to speak about national healthcare while they tell the republicans to speak about socialized medicine. Seriously, next time you watch a primary debate listen to what they are saying America. It is all the same. There are nuanced differences but the script is the same. They are clearly delineating the two sides the machine is offering you this time around.
Except those noisy little ghosts rattling around in the machine. Like Ron Paul, the democrats have their ghosts mucking up the smooth operation of the machine as well. People like Dennis Kucinich stand out as being outside the machinations of the created general will. Sure Mike Gravel was a better example but his presentation ruined any chances he might have had. Ideally, I would love to see a Kucinich versus Paul presidency run. Two people who seem to truly believe what they do, for the sake of it, and not the machine. That is quite a dream though because the machine is always hungry and will not give up its power easily.
Take a serious look at how the primary season started and you can see the handprints of the machine all over it, through the corporate media. On the democratic side we were told it would be all about Hillary, Obama, and maybe John Edwards. On the republican side it was all about Rudy-Mc-Romney. Never mind that Rudy had three wives and ties to organized crime. Never mind that McCain sang “bomb Iran” and was polling lower than the lower –tier candidates. Never mind that Romney gave a new definition to the term “flip-flopper.” Nope, these were the guys. The Grand Wizard of Oz told you not to mind those other guys behind the curtain. Forget Dennis Kucinich. Nice enough guy but the media would rather show you how hot his wife is than talk substantively about what he stands for because it is not part of the script. Forget Ron Paul. They would rather mock his positions than truly discuss them because he is not part of the script. They are just ghosts and we don’t believe in ghosts anymore do we?
No not in today’s America where it is more important to talk about Lindsay Lohan than the Iraq War. There is a machine that needs to be fed and it will not relinquish its power easily. It is well-oiled and hums along, regardless of which party is actually in control. Sure there are subtle differences between the parties but the majority of the differences are not real, they are illusionary in nature designed to get you to pick a side and deride the other. They issue the script and send out their media machine to drub it into your heads until you start believing the script is reality. Iraq had WMD, remember? John Kerry was a flip-flopper, remember? Al Gore liked to exaggerate and maybe even lie, remember? The republicans are all intolerant theocrats trying to march our noble society back to Old Testament times, right? Democrats are all godless heathens who want to give marriage rights to animals, right? Stick to the script, stick to the script. The machine and its media are picking your candidates America. They have been doing it for some time. In 2004 when Howard Dean started sounding like he might step outside the machine, we were brought “the scream” over and over again until his campaign was in tatters. In 2000 when John McCain believed in straight talk and not script talk, the machine push-polled him to death in the Carolinas and made sure they got their boy, George Bush, the nomination. The machine decided early on that the candidates they wanted were from the pool of: Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Rudy, McCain, and Romney. Because the machine has to operate within the backdrop of the republic, it cannot prevent anyone else from running but sure can marginalize them, provide them no coverage, mock them, and eventually have them simply fade away when they cannot compete with the money generated for the machine candidates.
Do I believe in everything Ron Paul does? Of course not but no more or less than I believe in everything Dennis Kucinich believes in. The lie the machine sells you is that one of the two sides stands for everything you believe in. That is a virtual impossibility. That is why it does not bother me that Paul or Kucinich do not match me completely. For starters they are against the machine and that is a pretty good start for me. They speak from the heart and believe in what they say. They are not scripted. They are ghosts rattling their chains around inside of a machine that does not have this country’s best interests at heart. The machine would have us believe that ghosts do not exist. I believe in ghosts though and I would rather vote for the ghost than the machine."