Advanced Democracy is Punk
In the last Lord of the Rings movie, a king addresses his severely overmatched troops on the eve of battle for Middle Earth. "Men of the West.." his voice rings out. His stirring speech quells their fears, fosters bravery among his ultimately successful troops, and
apparently was so moving that several movie critics wanted to take up arms against the evil forces of Sauron. For director Peter Jackson, this successful appeal to fantasy and heroism in an epic battle against evil captivated movie goers, convincing record numbers to sit through 3 1/2 hours of what was originally a story for British schoolboys.
Back in here in Late Earth we have a president who has also been successful in his repeated appeals to our spirit of sacrifice and heroism in a war against raw, unblemished evil. No one in the Bush administration has won an Oscar yet, but maybe they should, after all they have made hundreds of millions of people sit through 3 1/2 years of a tanking economy, job loss, a wholesale shredding of environmental protection and civil liberties, ridiculous tax schemes and federal budget deficits, under-funding of (the president's own) education plan (remember compassionate conservatism?) et cetera, et cetera.
Unfortunately for those of us who would love to see Bush once again losing other people's money in the private sector, the president's absolutely horrible record of achievement in his first administration is barely reflected in his popularity ratings or his chance of reelection. Here's why: Liberals always think that when confronted by "the facts" (which are pretty shocking in George W.'s case) people will see the light and vote for the logical choice. Liberals don't understand the power of fantasy and the fascist imagination. Bush is seen by many Americans as successful, confident, unpretentious, and morally forthright - these base qualities appeal to people in a leader (even if you know he spent his entire life before, say, 35, trying his damndest to fail - drinking, partying, getting repeatedly bailed out by his family money and influence, et cetera). Bush appeals to people on a emotional level which is perfect today because if politics ever was a cerebral, logical game, it definitely isn't now.
Successful politics is increasingly anti-politics: the world of entertainment, fantasy, and emotions. Witness Arnold Schwarzenegger's election. How could a foreign-born, funny talking, muscle-bound actor who almost definitely broke immigration law and sexually assaulted multiple women be elected governor of California? Is everyone in California stupid, stoned or sunbaked? Probably not. But a lot of people were pissed off at Gray Davis (the ultimate politician), the state's miserable economy and wanted someone who projected and aura of success, strength, and leadership even if he had never been elected class president. Hey, how about the guy who singlehandedly hunted down and destroyed an alien killing machine?
Meanwhile, as the whole political universe is being eclipsed by the entertainment world, liberals who think they are too serious for these kind of shenanigans are muttering and crawling back into their Volvos with "My President is Martin Sheen" bumper stickers. Oh yeah? Fantasy time is over or, rather, fantasy has spilled out into your "real world" and is now calling the shots. In this world, Martin Sheen should run. I'm serious! Because if the Democrats think they are going to win on "The Facts" they're wrong. They need someone who can compete with Bush on the level of fantasy.
Anyway, this is where people at Punk Voter come in. Many of you are creative in some way. Politics have spilled into the cultural sphere and that's where you can inflict maximum damage on Bush. Actors, musicians, comedians, playwrites, models, graphic designers all make their living getting an emotional response from people. Imagine all of the people in those professions undermining Bush in their various subtle, funny, outrageous ways. Don't worry about the facts. For one thing, Bush doesn't give a shit (see "Reasons for Attacking Iraq") and finally you know that what Bush is doing to our country is wrong. You know you oppose him.
Voting is just entry level democracy and this contest between the diseased corpse of the Democratic party and the Republican corporate whore-machine is a pretty nasty show. Advanced Democracy is punk: writing articles, painting murals, making music, passing out flyers, hounding public officials, shutting down roads in protest, and running for office yourself.
OK, that's my bit, now let's Rock Against Bush
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