This year is the most important year for future of both American and World economies. It is the year of unprecedented economic decline, high energy costs, social unrest and of course a US presidential election. The stakes have never been this high. Even in 1930s, when Hitler was getting into the swing of things, the problem facing the US president then was of less dire nature than what he will be facing after the election. Drought, famine, floods, and climate change will take over the agenda of the next president of the United States. Economic issues, political problems and resource depletion will become front and centre of American policy. Yet, American people are poorly equipped to deal with these problems. And the choice of candidates or the parties is rather disheartening.
At first look, the difference between a liberal incumbent and a conservative challenger is stark. President Obama promotes the message of going forward, while governor Romney preaches of a clear choice. Both ideas invoke the feeling of unity and change, and who doesn't want to go forward or have an unclear choice? Yet, do these two candidates really offer a path to a better future? Or are they just masters of propaganda, skilled at stirring up the feelings of the masses in order to advance their own agendas? Neither offers an easy to understand vision, both want us to blindly follow and obey. The mainstream media charged with presenting an unbiased view of the political landscape is split down the middle and rarely offers a chance to see this drama for what it is - a play about overconfident roosters fighting over which chickens should be slaughtered first.
The key phrase for this election is
reality check. Just like during the previous elections all media outlets were
keeping them honest, this year there are countless pundits, analysts and fact checkers who spend hours googling for facts, analyzing every word, and scrutinizing every number. With so many people involved in such a responsible act as fact checking, it wouldn't be far fetched to assume that anything the candidates say would be given a fair analysis and unbiased assessment. This train of thought couldn't be further from the truth.
A brief survey of mainstream media websites paints a rather bleak picture. CNN, a pro Obama and Democratic Party associated newspaper, seems to be in business of disproving every word that Mitt Romney says. When Romney talks about the failure of half of the alternative energy companies with government funding, CNN, after checking it with reality, informs its audience that the number was wrong and only 1/3rd of the companies had failed. When Romney says that he will not reduce the taxes paid by the highest-income Americans, CNN, after checking it with reality, informs its audience that Romney is not clear about his future tax cuts and has no clear plan on how to implement them. When Romney talks about repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a system that would allow each state to decide what's best for them, CNN, after checking it with reality, informs its audience that Romney would force Americans to pay higher rates for Medical insurance and penalize those who can not afford it.
Foxnews, being a Conservative outlet and a defacto propaganda machine for the Republican Party, dedicates all its efforts into portraying Obama as a socialist hardhead with the hatred for capitalism. When Obama talks about regulating the banking system and ensuring another crisis doesn't creep up again, Foxnews, wanting to keep you in the know, informs its audience that Obama is a closet socialist and wants to run the entire US economy from Washington. When Obama talks about extending healthcare coverage to less fortunate lower class citizens, Foxnews, wanting to keep you in the know, informs its audience that Obama wants to bankrupt the country by increasing spending on healthcare and forcing middle class Americans to fork out more in insurance costs. When Obama talks about cutting the deficit by reducing the funding for the military, Foxnews, wanting to keep you in the know, informs its audience that Obama is putting security of the nation at risk and disrespecting the men and women in the uniform who fight and die for American people.
As political fight goes on, the emerging census, to those who pay attention, is the growing inability of media outlets to present a clear and unbiased view from both sides of the fight. The longer it takes for reports to present the truth, the uglier the name calling and the deeper the division between the red and blue halves of the United States. The reds are labeled racist, fascists, intolerant and ignorant hicks. The blues are portrayed as socialists, communists, hippies and unrepentant tree-huggers. In some circles being a democrat is akin to promoting a socialist agenda while preaching the gospel of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles. Free healthcare, labeled by the pundits as Obamacare, is probably the main culprit that lends itself well to giving the Democrats a socialist nickname. Another tenet of Obama policy, strong central economic policy, is more a staple of Cuba or Communist China, then the United States. The policy of bringing peace and democracy to the rest of the world, although shared by both parties, is more in tune with the Democratic Party line than Republican one. But, the most striking socialist feature of the Democratic party is society's division into lower, middle and rich classes. Reminiscent of the ideas in Marx's Communist Manifesto, the struggle between rich and poor is at the forefront of the Democratic path to power. The middle class is disappearing and the lower class is growing ever so much. The rich 1% is running the country and making everyone poor. We are the 99%. These are the messages that the Democrats cling to dearly. Whether you like it or not, these slogans represent an updated, 21st century version of Communist/Socialist movement.
Conservatives, inappropriately associated with the red colour, get their wind from the so called Bible Belt of the United States. There, a strong sense of patriotism, nationalist pride, and unwavering belief in Lord Jesus Christ shape a party movement that resembles those prevalent in Nazi Germany and Fascist Spain. A strong sense of patriotism is a hallmark of a conservative American citizen. We are American and ours is the land of freedom and liberty. This slogan combines the sense of independence and fears individualism and represents the conservative America to the core. The fact that most of the Republican party consists of white, deeply religious Christians opens the door to slanderous attacks. These attacks usually involve labelling conservatives as racist and ignorant individuals. Their unique form of patriotism and national pride lends well to inviting these attacks and in turn creates a bigger division between two major political doctrines. Conservatives, by definition, only want things to remain as they were, seeing change as an uninvited guest at the dinner table. Progress for the sake of progress is not seen, by them, as a viable reason to abandon their way of life and the speed of progress in our age makes it more reprehensible to many a conservative. Also, as witnessed in the 1930s Germany, a dire economic situation serves as a radicalizing element for the conservative masses. And just like the 1930s Germany, Franco's Spain or Mussolini's Italy, a strong sense of nationalism can create conditions for a rise of another militaristic dictatorship.
As the world economy unravels and the economic situation becomes more grim, the struggle of the either party to keep America going could lead to a deeper crisis. Civil unrest or even a civil war can finally make Democrats turn into communists and Republicans into fascists.