Novelist John Atcheson begins a recent column like he's channelling "The Gods of the Copybook Headings."
The whole political scene looks like it came straight from the cult film, Idiocracy.

For those who aren’t familiar with Idiocracy, the movie depicts a society five centuries from now in which the average IQ has plummeted due to the breeding habits of the bright (very few kids, late in life), and the not-so-bright (many kids starting in their teens).  Combined with rampant commercialism, a dysfunctional government, and extreme anti-intellectualism, the world is crumpling, and people are facing starvation because one of the major corporations – Brawndo, the thirst annihilator – has convinced people to use it instead of water to irrigate crops.

Two average people from the early 21st Century are marooned in this future dystopia when an experimental device built by – who else – the Defense Department – is lost in crimes and bureaucracy.
That gives him the chance to call for a plague on the establishments of the two major political parties.   His fix?  Straight "cult of the Presidency" with yet another Messiah.
What this country has desperately needed is a candidate who wouldn’t run a Brawndo election.  Who had a strong moral and ethical center, who has a long and consistent track record as a progressive, and who was willing and able to confront the idiocy that has taken over both Parties.  One who would call out Republicans on their failed policies, and the press on their reluctance to report the failures.  One who would challenge the Democratic Party to do more than mumble progressive sound-bites every 4 years and play corporate lackey in between.  One who would take on the moneyed interests not take money fromthem.

Incredibly, we have such a candidate in Bernie Sanders.  Just as incredibly, the Democratic Party is spending more time explaining why he can’t be elected than they are trying to get him elected.
And the oceans will stop rising, and the planet will begin to heal itself. Oh, wait.

Sheldon Richman points out that Senator Sanders is no socialist, not in the sense of public ownership and collective management, anyway, but that doesn't make him able to confront idiocies.
Sanders cannot or will not see that expanding the welfare/regulatory bureaucracy would not help those outside the ruling elite. Beefing up the state won't liberate us. Despite his intentions, Sanders is an unwitting defender of the status quo.

Where is the radical who will make the case for individual liberation and purely voluntary social cooperation through freed markets?
That, too, is the error of placing confidence in the presidency, because there are so many temptations to the man of politics to enjoy the bossing around of other people more than the freeing of them from the political masters.

Just under a year to run.

1 comment:

Dr. Tufte said...

Brawndo! It's got what plants need!

I came within a hair of mentioning Idiocracy in a principles class on Monday.

It was while trying to explain that a lot of the public's dislike of monopolies is because they appear to have cash in nice, easy-to-carry, bags. I was making the point that as long as there is free exit, there are monopolies all around us, but most of them don't make any money because they drop out of the market. That makes it morally problematic to focus on the ones that are left behind just because they do make money.

Unless of course you like money. Which is one of the themes of the movie.