joe pye weed in the rain
One perspective I have from living to a certain age is seeing social convulsions manifest into phenomena like the tea party, union busting, gun madness. I have come to see the social evolution, how the various expressions are part of it, instead of separate from it. The issues coming up one-after-the-other in this time have been problems all along. They just hadn't reached the problematic state of concentration they're in now. It's like the mass of floating plastic in the middle of the North Atlantic the size of two Texases. This seems to be a time of clearing out the trash of a few thousand years in the gathering. The republican never-ending harp on abortion is definitely not new. This has been going on all my life. The popular American love for war is not new. The popular rage for police state is not new. In the 1950s the conservatives and liberals were called hawks and doves. The propaganda from then to now has become so sophisticated I look on in awe at today's propaganda techniques. Elections amount to hard core tennis matches between professional propagandists. My early years were the transition time from oratory in front of an audience to sound-bite television propaganda. Years of studying political science have taught the propagandists that one percent is what they need to win. The attention now is on the undecided, the only of the three voting possibilities to work with. Strategists of both parties are equally proficient, keeping them at a 50-50 rating. They don't concern themselves with the committed to either party, only the non-committed.
Elections have become such slick propaganda events that I wonder what's the use of voting when it is so subject to mind control. Knowing, too, that our representatives do not represent us makes me all the more indifferent to voting. Then I think about the beginning of the republic, before television, the time of oratory, man vs man, instead of one man's propaganda team vs another man's propaganda team. The seed was there. Now the candidates are something like race cars on tv. Each car has equal performance capability to all the other cars. The drivers are almost all equal. The drivers look straight ahead while "spotters" and strategists tell them what to do, what lane to get into, when to change lanes, to pass or not to pass, to pit or not to pit. The drivers keep the cars in motion, the strategists tell the driver what to do. The political parties are the same. Candidates watch what they say, because it has to stay in line with the present moment's strategy. Last election, I gave Karl Rove more credit for strategic propaganda than he was due. He failed to get the one percent needed, even lost a few. I thought he might get us another rich moron for president with his ruthless propaganda techniques. Leave out Ralph Nader, Florida's and Ohio's republican party chicanery, the republican supreme court, and Bush lost that first election by at least the margin Romney lost last go-round. Bush lost the second election by vote count too, but Ohio republican mixing of numbers under Karl Rove's direction took care of business.
Even though I don't take the election process seriously, especially since the process itself has nothing to do with democracy and amounts to a smoke screen, I still like to participate in the process. I know it does not matter, in any way you look at it, how I vote or that I vote. I vote as a single digit saying I want democracy. It's a make-believe process I want to believe in, Peter Pan. I was given a bumper sticker I at the Ralph Stanley Museum in Clintwood, Virginia, DR RALPH STANLEY FOR PRESIDENT. I said, "I wouldn't want that for Ralph Stanley. I love him too much to wish hypocrisy and an especially hot seat in hell for him." I would not like to see Ralph Stanley's picture in The Nation on the Timeless Whoppers page with a long, pointed nose. I took the bumper sticker thinking I might cut out the Ralph Stanley and put just his name on car bumper, but I don't want to. I think about it until it comes to picking up the scissors, and then decide not to. It takes a certain "Gimme" personality to be a politician, like it takes to be a preacher, the outstretched hand. Old-time mountain preachers were not paid. They believed the "gift" was received freely and must be passed on freely. The people of the church took care of maintenance. It was their role, not the preacher's. The preacher was one of them. He just happened to have the gift.
geode and ferns
It appears one hidden social ill after another is brought up into the light to be dealt with. None of the issues are new. In some cases it's just the first time they've been paid attention to. Like gay marriage. I personally do not care. I'm for the freedom not to get married. Other people can do what they want. I can see the practical side of it from the perspective of a civil society over employee benefits, taxes, insurance, and a great long list of paperwork and money to be saved by not having to file separately on taxes, for example. The telephone just now rang: a computer male voice said, "May I speak to Thomas please." I clicked the END button. It's like issues swept under the rug over the years are coming up for review. Issues buried are surfacing. The preacher in the church I grew up in gave an illustration for, Your sins will find you out. A mother without much money made her daughter a doll and stuffed it with oats. The little girl's brother mad at sister buried her doll behind the barn. In the spring, oats grew up behind the barn where he'd buried it, in the shape of the doll. This seems like a time in our national identity to put to rest old pre-judgments from the time before scientific inquiry, from the Age of Fire. Evidently the Age of Electricity must set aside belief systems from the previous age. Another couple of generations and the slate will be clean of the old ways.