Democracy Diner. (Written before the Obama election)

The US election is dominating the press and airwaves worldwide, but what is the real relevance of this spectacle? Neither McCain nor Obama nor Palin nor Biden will have any more control of America Inc than the Revlon Spokesmodel has over Revlon Inc, or the Playmate of the Month has over Playboy Inc, or Ronald McDonald has over McDonald’s Inc. The candidates are competing for the job of representing government policy to the public, not the job of deciding it. The job of deciding policy is not an elected position, but rather is a ruthless, cut-throat, back alley, no-holds-barred cage match of raw power. Any candidate who is not already vetted as being willing and able, nay, eager, to serve the powerful never raises above school trustee, if they make it that far. The candidates are selling themselves to the power elite, what they are selling is an ability to gain compliance from the American people. What they will gain compliance for, exactly, is not up to them, but rather decided by full-contact conflicts among the rivalrous, and internationally involved, power elite. And whatever campaign platforms they take or promises they make in selling themselves, including policy promises, are not binding, but rather a screen-test of their ability to represent a certain policy, and a market research project to help the elite understand exactly what sort of masses they need compliance from. The candidates are competing for the job of legitimizing the interests of the elite, not for representing the people. A head of state is no more chosen by the people than a Pope or a King is chosen by god, the public spectacle of the choice is only needed as a means of creating legitimacy. Each time a new leader is chosen, the crimes and failings of the nation’s elite are washed away. No matter how much legitimacy was squandered during the last administration, a brand new celebrity spokesmodel is an absolution, the very act of the previous administration’s end of term is celebrated as a victory for it’s victims and discontents. The Holly King kills the Oak King, yet the two are one and the same. The individual presidential candidates and their parties fight just as bitterly for the job as the mothers of juvenile beauty queens fight for their daughter’s crown, but that the job is quite important to those that seek it should not lead anyone to conclude that it makes a difference to anybody not involved in the contest. Democracy is like going to a restaurant with only one thing on the menu  and being given the choice of which waiter  serves it to you.

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