Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. (JFK, Yale graduation, 1962)
If newscaster ‘facts’ land in your lap and you uncritically accept them as true; if you find yourself siding with one or another pundit in a televised debate; if you repeat talking points; if you’ve never looked at the hard evidence of the major events of our times, accepting official explanations as true; if you have ever ridiculed someone who does not accept official truth….
You’re an American. A thought-controlled, behavior controlled, no-threat-to-anyone-in-power American.
American public opinion is under complete control of the state. You, as a Democrat, might vociferously disagree with Republicans. That’s allowed, even encouraged, and the state will even furnish the issues you are allowed to vociferously disagree about. (Abortion, gun control, etc.) Once elected, they are the same people. But if you stray beyond the bounds of party politics, you’ll be ostracized, marginalized.
Think of what they do now at political conventions: They erect fenced areas, force demonstrators inside them, and then ignore them. They are called “free speech zones.” I am not kidding about that. This is what they are called.
That’s a nice metaphor for party politics. But there are real jails too. Eugene Debs campaigned from a prison cell in 1920, and Ralph Nader was arrested when he appeared at the two-party “debate” in 2000. We are only allowed freedom within the fences. Stray outside, the gloves come off.
Once every two or four years you get to throw the bums out. It does not change anything, but validates you. That is why we have elections. Otherwise, we might have real change, real progress, which is not allowed.
If the man or woman you support enjoys wide media coverage and is welcomed at newspapers editorial board meetings for serious scrutiny by serious journalists, and gets to ride on floats and is touted as a “front-runner” … move on. You’re supporting an apparatchik. Your candidate has already been vetted and found acceptable to insiders.
American party politics is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.