Dollar Democracy

The two best financed presidential candidates of the democratic wing of our ruling party have been battling over money, and support from two of America’s most important minority groups: Blacks and Jews. Those reduced to desperation by a regime which may be the worst in American history are excited by this advertised-as-charismatic pair.

Having treated the constitution as if it were a non-binding resolution while further blemishing an already badly pockmarked American image, the regime seems anxious to be replaced. As it happens, its term will conveniently be up just as a new regime takes over. So the race for the real stuff of our democracy has been under way since long before any vote will be electronically distorted, stolen, miscounted or even cast.

The advertised-as-dynamic duo have already raised fifty million dollars between them, and we’re still a year and a half from any vote.

Our elections usually find the black vote being turned out in support of candidates financed by Jewish money, so it may not be long before the said-to-be-exciting pair form a ticket. They’ve both pledged allegiance to Israel before Jewish groups, while joining in a lusty chorus of We Shall Overcome before black groups. Along with Israel’s supporters in and out of government, many old civil rights figures have been swept up in this campaign circus, supporting one of the two front running money gatherers, or hedging their bets and hoping to be power brokers at some later date. They can see being courted for endorsements as great progress between the ugly racist past and the cosmetically improved racial present. Especially for themselves, since most of them have achieved political and financial success far beyond most Americans, let alone most black Americans. But as long as the said-to-be-progressive dollar dynamos occasionally quote Martin Luther King or murmur something about the plight of New Orleans survivors, those expressions of alleged race consciousness seem enough to get the old guard to smile with favor on them, separately or together.

The senator from New York is regarded as a soul sister by many women, especially if their souls were shaped by the Motown experience they had while at college. She is the wife of a former tenant at the White House who was called our first black president, in a hysteric burst of euphoric praise from an otherwise sensible person, over some appointments of upper class blacks to his administration. He later opened an office in the gentrified and newly whitened atmosphere of 125th street in New York. This gives the couple resonance among middle and upper income blacks for whom affirmative action has meant more money, better neighborhoods and being labeled african americans more often than black. Blacks tend to live in the projects, ghettos and prisons of America; african americans are more likely to be suburban, go to college and may aspire to positions in government and industry, mostly token but occasionally very well paying.

The senator from Illinois is truly African American in that his father is an African, and his mother is a white American, and they have money .

This helps to not only make his looks but his upper class speech patterns more palatable to whites . Especially dunderheads who still think an articulate black must be alien to the race. While women generally consider the New Yorker one of their own, even if her financial class is beyond theirs, many black Americans seem not yet convinced that the Illinois senator is necessarily one of them. In fact, his economic background is so far above that of the average white american that it is the stuff of comedy for him, or for that matter her, to be treated as a voice of and for the great majority, though this is the usual situation with political leadership in America. Neither of them live near, dine among, or consort with – except for photo ops during campaigns – most of the people who are passionately supporting them as if they were winners on American Idol. Well, maybe not that passionately.

Another former senator advertised as the populist in this mix has also raised millions of dollars. And he may gain support from gays, having been called the “f” word by a political anorexic with a warped sense of humor. Not the often used if unspeakable in public four letter one, but the often used though equally unspeakable in public six letter one. The gay vote is far less numerically important than the black vote, but gays can produce dollars on a per capita basis that rivals the Jewish bloc. And genuine sympathy for his cancer stricken wife may help create more support for his presidential bankbook. The issue free battle over how many dollars you can get to buy votes isn’t over yet. He’s got quite a few, but the duo have far more. Isn’t democracy wonderful?

There are several other job seekers collecting funds which will be wasted between now and November 2008, but the lowest on the dollar gathering chart may be the only one who actually represents a majority of Americans, no matter which identity group or ethnic minority they have been herded into believing is their essence as human beings.

Dennis Kucinich attempts speaking truth to power, but power will do its best, and sadly succeed with the consent of its powerless, to muffle his message. It is relatively simple: get out of Iraq, create a peaceful world and a nation within it that provides health care for all its people without the use of private insurance. These and other planks in his platform will remain unknown to most citizens, and the advertised-to-themselves as liberal and progressive sector will support him only in small numbers. This is because of their habitual practice of crackpot realism which says: for the good of the nation, don’t vote for what you supposedly stand for, and in fact vote against it.

Since the a combination of non-voters and those who do select from their master’s choices will have little to do with actually picking the next representative of great wealth, corporate capital and Israel in the white house, Americans may soon notice that and react in healthy anger by acting in their own collective interests. But that can only happen once there is rejection of minority democracy by dollars, and a demand for majority democracy by votes.

In the short term, we should expect the worst. But in the long term, we should hope – and work for – the best.