The Obama Proof

cokepick Back in 2008, your humble TCT blogmaster still retained some pretty big illusions about the existence of democracy in corporate capitalist America.

Since then, events have proceeded in such a way as to push TCT to proffer a new thesis, one that TCT hereby states as a 97 percent serious, 3 percent hyperbolic claim: In corporate capitalist America, electoral politics is a mere marketing operation.

Selling is the foundational reality, market research and advertising the basis for every peep of the communication and action that comprise an “election.” Brands never change, though their respective sales trends wax and wane.  Choice attaches entirely to the minutiae of style and microscopic difference that undergird almost meaningless product differentiation.  The degree of democracy involved is perhaps — a big perhaps — 3 percent greater than in economic marketing of goods and services, where it is vanishingly small. In both processes, the odds of the masses changing the range of choices offered by those with the money and the power is exceedingly low.  Coke or Pepsi.  Jack Johnson or John Jackson.

And, just as in regular product marketing, the amount of money spent from above always increases.

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Martin
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Martin

You were big enough to link to your earlier credulous welcome to Obama – something no other pundit seems to admit to, not willing to introduce any public self-criticism. The situation is as you eloquently describe it, but those vaunted third-party choices are not much better – Rocky Anderson is hooked up with something that has the gall to call itself the “Justice Party,” and whose website waves all sorts of red-white-and-blue flags and calls to make America America. The Socialist Party and Green Party have “candidates” (more like public-access hosts) who could do all sorts of wonderful things in… Read more »

Michael Dawson
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Elizabeth Warren sucks.

James Keye
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James Keye

There is, with the reality that you describe, a great mass of amorphous discomfort in the country. It is the great dough-boy being pushed and prodded by advertising’s power – like being poked in the eye or roughly marched along. I can almost feel it forming some fight, but I think there will have to some serious blooding before that fighting impulse will have any recognizable direction.