I woke up this morning to the news about the Georgia congressional race, and the apocalyptic stories about how important it was, and how it would greatly affect the political life of our country and change the course of history.
Nuts, unless you are a Washington consultant or a billionaire, in which case you are not reading my blog, this election had nothing to do with you at all.
Reading the news this morning, I felt confused, grumpy, and a bit sad. Each day, when I sit down to the blog, I ask one question of myself: "where am I right now? Where am I today?" And I think about it and write about it. It's as simple as that.
That is the very simple formula – along with good dogs and donkeys and Maria – that has drawn many visitors to bedlamfarm.com. And a lot of them write me every day to tell me they enjoy reading the blog even though they often disagree with me, as if to show their open-mindedness and tolerance, as if disagreement is a bad thing. In our country, isn't it the point?
I am a freak in so many ways, and one of those ways is that while I am good at annoying and confounding people, I am no good at hating them. I don't argue with hateful people on Facebook, I just ban them at the first (or maybe second and third) sign of hostility. I don't want such people anywhere near me. I am brilliant at spotting a hater, but not very good at hating.
I don't hate Donald Trump or the people who voted for him, I don't hate people who disagree with me. There is no better way on earth to live in mediocrity and stupor than to avoid people who disagree with you, that is the fatal curse of the left and the right, it dooms them both to oblivion.
But I do have my beliefs and I do feel them strongly and so I paid close attention to the Georgia race this week to figure out if there was anything there that mattered to me or that affected me. I was told the contest was of the greatest importance, so I watched. What a ripoff.
And there wasn't anything of interest to me. Not a thing. I am amazed that so many people bothered to vote for either one of these people, I couldn't find a single interesting idea or quote or plan for all of those tens of millions of dollars and all of the vast amounts of media hype.
Journalists, of course, no longer go out and talk to people, they sit in studios and talk about people. And then wonder why people hate them.
I wish for a true People's Party. For a candidate who would take that $25 million and pay off some student college loans, or feed the poor (think what would have been done with all of that money if there was a real political party, a People's Party, involved) or save some National Parks. Think about how that election might turn out. Don't tell us, show us.
This race had nothing to do with me, nothing to offer me from either side, nothing for me to get excited about or involved with. Not for a second. I wished we had a People's Party for me to join, so we might one day have an election that was about things that are important to us, not to cable news pundits, data-geeks and political marketers. I would march for them, make phone calls for them, fight for the future with them.
Do not believe any pundit who tells you this race is critically important to you, whether you are a Republican or Democrat. It isn't. It has nothing to do with you, or me, whatever our different politics.
The other night, I met with some friends who are wild about Donald Trump, and we had a fine time arguing ideas, issues and meaning. It was not necessary for any of us to hate the other, it is not a crime to be a Republican or a Democrat, not in a democracy, not yet. I am not bound by ideology, but ideas.
Lots of hard-working people gave $25 million of their money of this incredibly bland and cautious man, they even offered voters free rides to the polls in Uber and Lyft cars. Many millions more were spent on his opponent, who looked suspiciously like a timid political hack to me. She had no ideas either.
But she won, amidst great fanfare. If I were a pundit, I would be crying that such a fake and shallow political contest, run entire by bloodless marketers and geeks, could be given such importance. What did it really mean?
We are truly a sick nation if we believe this is what our democracy is all about, and this is how the fate of our democracy will be determined.
I don't have a political party any longer, I am waiting for some angel to emerge and save our souls and help my country find its faith and center again. The Georgia election was certainly not it for me. For me, the message of Tuesday night is that I need to look outside of the system, for a populist with some heart.
What I kept wondering, what this incredibly expensive contest really about? What critical issues were raised and debated? Who inspired the voters the most with their visions for helping people, and lifting them up, and for the future? One commentator said it was really a race between the idea of Nancy Pelosi and the idea of Donald Trump.
What? Then spent $70 million on that?
I'm glad I don't live in that district, I would have no one to vote for. In fact, I don't really have anyone to vote for, the Democrats have disgraced themselves for me, not because they lost in a good fight, but because they seem to have nothing of worth or passion to offer anyone at the moment. Like everyone else, they are all about money, their campaign was all about not having solutions or sharing them. Why should anyone vote for that? Their candidate was about as exciting as a tube of toothpaste.
To me, the swamp has completely engulfed both parties, and there are people who can stand to see it, and people who can't. In a contest like that, it seems the people who don't want to see it win, historians say it is natural for societies to turn away from the things that are fearful or ugly, until they are no longer able to hide.
For a decade, the British people didn't want to believe that war was coming, so they just decided it wasn't. Until it came. Denial is a powerful and popular cause.
The brilliant American social philosopher John Dewey once described politics as "the shadow cast on society by big business." He warned that the reduction of the shadow will not change the substance.
Since the 1970's, that shadow, writes political scientist Naom Chomsky, has become a dark cloud enveloping society and our political system. Corporate power, now swollen by the growth of financial capital rather than work or jobs or the middle class, has reached a point where both political parties are no longer independent or self-sufficient, and are far removed from the vast majority of the general population on almost every major issue.
They sure do not reflect my values. Do these people reflect yours?
The Georgia race was sold to us by the media as a contest between progressivism and corporate and anti-democratic power. Another round of hysteria to boost ratings and make money, another blotch on the electoral process. The contest was between different wings of the billionaire class.
Last year both candidates talked all year about reducing the gap between the rich and everyone else; they talked again and again about how the pharmaceutical companies are bilking the sick and breaking the treasure, they talked again and again, both of them, about chasing the lobbyists and big money out of Washington and politics, about jobs for the left behind, about easing the loan debt on the young, reforming the criminal justice system which leaves us with the highest ratio of people to prisoners on the earth.
More than 70 per cent of all Americans, left and right, favor addressing the deficit by taxing the very rich. Did anyone discuss that or even mention it in the Georgia congressional campaign? Is there even a proposal for curbing the obscene profits made by drug companies at the expense of ordinary people?
I don't know if we will ever see a genuine political contest this year in America, there hasn't been one so far. For me, there is no comfort for anyone to take in a faux election like this, it was political theater, all for the benefit of political consultants and manipulable reporters and incestuous pundits and fat cable new channels.
Speaking only for myself, I would prefer to go down fighting rather than hiding. I think only the young can save us. They are not yet turned cynical and numb by this noxious system.
Maybe there is something to this idea of "fake news" after all, but perhaps not in the way we have been led to believe.
Hopefully, my People's Party is an Army gathering on the horizon to come and save us from ourselves. I will march for them.That is where I am today. Time to take a walk.