This year you will likely have voted for the winning party in the presidential election. The odds are better than 9 out of 10 that you did. Your party won. Again. What can you now expect?
The war in Afghanistanwill slowly wind down, although it will not end quickly as it would if Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, Green Party candidate Jill Stein or Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson had won. Drones will continue to kill thousands of human beings in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere next year and these killings will cause family, friends, and fellow citizens of each country to hate us even more. The US will continue to burn coal at a furious pace—it was up 7% during the last administration and will likely not go down during this one. Unemployment will continue to be a problem since there will be no forthcoming FDR-type jobs program of the sort Green Party candidate Jill Stein promised. The free trade agreement that Obama has been secretly negotiating—even Congress has not been allowed at the table with the administration, the corporations, and the foreign governments—will be enacted by the winning party’s president and more jobs will go offshore. The winning party will carry on business-as-usual.
How do I know that you most probably will vote for the winning party? As a friend of mine inCaliforniawrote: “We have a 1-party system here. I don't see it changing any time soon.” The one party, sometimes called the Duopoly, has two branches: Republican and Democrat.
At the level of presidential politics, the Republican and Democratic parties govern on behalf of the 1% and limit what topics are suitable for public debate and which ones are not (avoid: subsidies to oil giants, three billion dollar gifted annually to Israel, climate change). These two parties, and their talking heads, constitute the Duopoly. When we look at the most significant issues facing the 99% and the nation--the economy and war --it doesn't matter much which of the Tweedles—dee or dum—wins the presidency. There are different emphases, to be sure, differences in campaign talk about theUSalliance withIsraeland aboutIran. Warring campaigns need these “talking point” differences. The basic policies will persist.
The Duopoly basically runs our elections and our "democracy." That's the way the 1% likes it: no surprises.
The 1% did get a shock in the 1960s and didn’t like it. Their global mouthpiece, the Trilateral Commission, later published a book about this problem. The author of the chapter about American democracy, the neocon Samuel Huntington, complained that in the 1960s the president had a hard time ruling because there was an “excess of democracy” (p.113, Huntington). One of the causes of this excess was that some groups, for example blacks, abandoned their role as marginalized groups and became full participants in democracy (p.114, Huntington).
The 1% has tightened its grip since the 1960. That’s why the 1% couldn’t tolerate the Occupy Movement and brutally suppressed it. The 1% owns mainstream media and keeps it restrained. They don’t want and won’t have any surprises this election.
Not everyone will be happy with this result. Journalist Chris Hedges was quite impassioned about his opposition to the Duopoly: “The November election is not a battle between Republicans and Democrats,” he writes. “It is not a battle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. It is a battle between the corporate state and us. And if we do not immediately engage in this battle we are finished, as climate scientists have made clear. I will defy corporate power….. Those who rebel are our only hope. And for this reason I will vote next month for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate…. Voting for the “lesser evil”—or failing to vote at all—is part of the corporate agenda to crush what is left of our anemic democracy.”
Do we need to take Hedges’ sentiments seriously? His party lost and likely your party won. Heck, he may well be jailed indefinitely without trial under Obama’s National Defense Authorization Act. Why listen to a potential jail-bird?