Acrimony & Cunning: Preffered Tactics in the 2012 Election
In a bruising presidential race only the electorate is left black and blue. Acrimony and cunning have become the preferred tactics of public influence as Obama and Romney exchange apoplectic blows in the campaign cage match. A recent advertisement financed by PrioritiesUSA Action shares the testimony of a former employee of a steel plant who lost his job after Bain Capital shut down its operations. A mourning man recounts the hardships he endured in the aftermath, drawing a causal connection between Romney’s business decisions and his wife dying from cancer. Another ad paid for by Crossroads GPS portrays Obama as the cool celebrity, who, while drinking Guinness and calling Kanye West a jackass has led to 85% of college graduates moving back in with their parents while student debt has skyrocketed to over a trillion dollars. Obama calls Romney “Robin Hood in Reverse” no sooner than Romney emerges indignant and wounded to reciprocate a calumnious jab through a snarling campaign spokesman summoned like a tag-team attack dog to cast Obama as a mendacious story teller: “President Obama recently said the biggest regret of his first term was not telling better stories”. From birth certificates to public tax releases from the president of American europeanization to the gay bullying presumptive candidate, the 2012 campaign has been dominated by slander and juvenile name-calling at a time when a meaningful discourse is needed to redirect the country and reform its endemic woes. How convenient.
The defamations hurled back and forth by the caterwauling campaigns have relegated the Democratic and Republican parties to childish squabblers more concerned with settling scores than addressing the deep structural problems that make America terminally ill. Both parties, by continuously descending into the unbecoming world of incendiary polemics have successfully made the 2012 campaign a spectacle of entertainment akin to a WWF match or a he-said-she-said-let’s-fight-about-it episode of the Jersey Shore.
The tone of this campaign has been made possible by mainstream media and supported by social media as both information mediums have provided the staging required to carry out this tasteless pop drama until November. Television networks, radio broadcasters, magazines and websites have already received generous remunerations from the super-pacs for airtime, ad-space and generating online traffic. Strategic use of these communications channels by both parties illustrates the extremes our political establishment is willing to go to win an election or rather the information war it has been reduced to.. But in dominating the most popular information resources, the news channels, radio stations and printed materials voters regularly turn to, Obama and Romney have inundated the very resources that democracies need to thrive with kitsch, an effective means of evading real questions about how to fix America.
The conversation democrats have been trying to shape throughout this campaign has revolved around Romney’s secrecy about his taxes, off shore bank accounts and involvement with venture capitalist firm Bain Capital with occasional allusions to marginal social issues like animal rights. Interestingly enough, warmongering, corporate welfare, expanding the surveillance state-the perennial pastimes of the GOP haven’t even been touched upon. Republicans have engineered an equally distracting national discussion about Obama’s iron fisted expansion of the federal government, wayward deficits-the consequence of overzealous spending on social programs and the White House’s gross overstepping of our freedom to choose or not choose to have health insurance. Yet Republican public relations specialists have done little to cast Obama as Bush in sheep’s clothing despite his undeniable continuity of Bush II’s national security agenda. Drawing attention to Obama’s similarities to Bush II seems an obvious weapon for the GOP to undermine support for Obama in the same way drawing attention Romney’s relationship with Bibi Netanyahu could evoke skepticism towards Romney’s international ambitions. Discussing the implications national security has on privacy or American foreign policy are apparently off limits in this political ring, below the belt punches that would call into question the President and the presumptive nominees commitment to the rules of the game. Instead inflammatory monologues are thrown to knock each candidate off his feet. fail to engage the public in a debate about America’s future. By reducing the national discussion to a feverous exchange of diatribes the leaders of both parties have masterfully diverted attention away from the most pressing issues they refuse to confront moving towards the 45th presidency.
Maybe one of the reasons why neither 2012 hopeful has asked how American foreign policy creates terrorists that threaten national security in place of proposing how we are going to keep America safe from terrorists relates to the way they busy themselves planning for the next smear. Perhaps a conversation about the gross inefficiencies of private insurance in delivering quality affordable health care to millions of ailing Americans has been trumped by the question: is imposing an individual health insurance mandate constitutional because the campaign has been intentionally centered upon empty rhetoric to avoid responding to such questions. Or perhaps a reason why the financiers who high jacked the American political system for corporate gain, receiving billions in tax payer dollars when their projects brought the economy to its knees go unpunished while the United States incarcerates more people than any other country on earth, has to do with our leaders inability to admit that white collar criminals, the worst among, them are virtually exempt from punishment. Meanwhile law enforcers vigilantly apply the rules of law to apprehend those found in parks past curfew and those protesting peacefully for justice on restricted public grounds.
Although this small sampling of issues, all of which impact people across the country, barely skims the surface of the problems America confronts heading towards November’s election neither Obama nor Romney has attempted to address a single one of them. Their tendency to favor endless ad Hominin melees over substantial policy debates shields them from being disclosed as the minions of private interests that they are. Neither Obama nor Romney is willing to jeopardize the funding they receive from defense, private health insurance, surveillance and financial industries to mention a few. Speaking against these powerful institutions would result in disapproval by private financiers who control governmental policy at all levels . By detracting from a meaningful dialogue about the direction American is heading towards President Obama and Mr. Romney are condemning America to another term of global American policing, a decrepit health care system made no better by the Affordable Care Act, and the continued abuses of a wayward financial system. America’s taste for acrimonious quarrels is satisfied by the ongoing spectacle of two politicians jabbing their way to the white house, a cage match our political and corporate power brokers have so cunningly designed to maintain the status quo.
-your inquirer profoundly