So while I have hopefully established that it is terrible to exist as a child in modern America, it must also be stated that we as voters, consumers, and citizens are subjected to a level of patronization that is unmatched in history. Our elite rulers hold sway over us in a completely demeaning way, and will continue despite the outcome of the 2012 election. The quite obvious fact that this feeling superiority is completely undeserved of course has no bearing on its perpetual existence.
Let’s take global warming. It is real, it is dangerous, and it can be stopped only by effective targeted policy that will change the way in which we live. Why is this change necessary? Because it is essential in order to prevent the inevitable destruction of THE MOTHERFUCKIN PLANET. However the dominant political philosophy of the monied interests that control this country are steadfast in their climate denying bullshit, and are even stooping to defamatory attacks or cartoonish idiocy to “prove” their point. The depressing fact however is that this strategy worked. This election year will feature more analysis of “birtherism” than any serious discussions concerning the terrible future awaiting us.
The dumbass discussion coming from lawmakers concerning Marijuana also needs to be examined. First of all there is the hypocrisy. The last three presidents all experimented with the drug, and their success obviously wasn’t forestalled over the “youthful indiscretion” of using a substance with a very limited set of drawbacks (lets imagine however if Obama as a young black man would have ever gone to law school if he was ever caught for possession as a kid). Nevertheless we are still locking up way too many people for what would otherwise be a safe and wonderful source of revenue to support cash strapped state and local governments. Instead of a serious debate over what legalization would require or potentially cause, we get the same ill-informed moralization on a topic in which the speaker is probably spouting opinions that they don’t personally hold. To make matters worse, despite the fact the half the country now favors legalization, the media and politicians are content with simply laughing at sane drug policy proponents as silly stoners in order to discount whatever they are saying.
Broad economic policy is endemic with this patronization. Instead of taking voters and their needs seriously politicians instead defend the policies that favor only the economic upper class with the increasingly strained metaphor of the government’s budget being akin to “a household“. That’s right, were stuck in a never ending depression caused by upper-class predatory capitalism and our political response is centered on false equivalency and sermons about Burkean humility. Politicians are willing to inflict huge cuts to the basic services and protections that make life bearable for the majority in order to save the Versailles-light lifestyle of the “job creator” class.
Finally it must be said that our decade long adherence to the national security state has reached a level of simply being depressing. Every trip to the airport displays throngs of Americans quietly waiting in lines to be molested. Stories about secret nation-wide wiretappings are seen as accepted parts of modern life. A war rages on featuring soldiers that were in diapers when it started, but it is barely discussed on the campaign trail. The dynamic and important debate over the balance of security and civil liberties stopped happening eight years ago and will probably not even serve as a footnote in the historical record of this era.
Who is to blame for this infantilizing of our democracy? Well it is partly the result of a sycophantic media structure. Those in the business of news are fearful of losing access to the elite they are supposed to be regulating that they traded in their collective integrity decades ago. As Greenwald put it, the lesson of the Nixon debacale for the media apparatus of this country has been to avoid controversies involving actual abuses of power, and to never actually demand accountability under the law when someone is caught for fear of “collateral damage”.
However I believe that our own vast complacency is the real cause of this problem. Ignorance can be cured by a devoted effort to enlighten ones self to media sources outside of News Corp, yet independent critical thinking and research is seen as a social faux pas. However the reality of depressed wages, purposefully degraded public education, and the obvious allure of simplicity and easy-to-digest media narratives are undoubtedly powerful. At the end of the day however it is our own responsibility to demand responsive politicians, our else we are dammed to this constant childish treatment from those we elect to represent our interests.