(Before I start, I'd like to welcome Meg O'Halloran to my blog. Thanks for your readership! Also, a belated welcome to those who joined last year, including Neil and Naomi Montacre. If you live in the Portland metro area, feel free to check out their store some time.)
I've been thinking about my visit to the #Occupy Portland protests, especially in light of the mainstream media's continued lame coverage of the #Occupy movement in general. While the MSM have not been exactly enthusiastic or even diligent in their coverage of the protests, they have been very enthusiastic in providing coverage of the Republican presidential campaign. This is interesting in that it shows the rapidly widening rift between the MSM and the ordinary people of the United States.
One message that came through loud and clear in my interviews with the #Occupy Portland protesters is that increasingly, most Americans do not believe that either main political party serves the interests of the common people. Increasingly, people are coming to believe that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are actually interested in providing solutions or adaptive responses to the problems and predicaments facing ordinary Americans in this time of economic decline and contraction. An increasing number of Americans is waking up to the realization that the entire electoral and political process has been bought by the rich in order to serve the rich at the expense of all the rest of us. And more and more Americans are realizing that the story they are being fed by the mainstream media bears no resemblance to reality – especially the reality lived daily by ordinary people of small means.
Meanwhile, the New York Times is pushing stories about Texas Governor Rick Perry's proposed policies for America while Herman Cain chews up the airwaves with controversial and schizophrenic statements. (If ever there was a man suffering from a massive case of Stockholm syndrome, Herman Cain fits the bill. He's at least as bad as Clarence Thomas.) And AOL News recently ran a piece advising its readers which Republican presidential candidate would be best for their wallets. At least Sarah Palin has experienced a rare moment of decency and has decided not to run for president.
Increasingly, the Republicans remind me of a line from a Warren Zevon song, Werewolves of London: “You better stay away from him. He'll rip your lungs out, Jim...” And the Democrats? They are being paid by the werewolves to do nothing while the rest of us get eaten. In fact, I can see a few well-developed canine teeth in the mouths of many Democrat politicians. As for third parties in the United States, most of them also seem to be insane and more than a little bit feral.
Maybe we ordinary people should send an election year message of our own to whoever might be listening. I propose a campaign consisting of homemade bumper stickers (for those who drive) or bicycle helmet stickers (for those who pedal). Let the stickers read, NO ONE FOR PRESIDENT. I also propose that ordinary working-class people devise means for election-proofing their lives. This means finding strategies that will enable you to live in some measure of dignity without danger to your lungs or any other body parts, no matter which werewolf gets elected in 2012.
P.S. I will have a couple of more technical posts in the next few weeks, including (hopefully) an interview.