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Christopher Fink

Christopher Fink

Posted: September 19, 2008 09:30 AM

Republicans Prefer Fiction


Wouldn't it be absurd if we had a two party system where one party supported reality and the other opposed it? Sound like a Monty Python sketch or a sequel to the movie "Idiocracy"? Well, "Now for something completely different. It's...John McCain's Freaking Circus!"

Let's talk a little reality first, the financial crisis that flared up savagely this week has been burning furiously for some time. It really shouldn't have come as a surprise. Remember the collapse of the housing market? The ongoing mortgage/foreclosure crisis? Merrill Lynch? Bear Stearns? Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

Publicity of this economic meltdown started well over a year ago, yet because the story wasn't "sexy" enough it didn't stay in the news (if only Britney Spears had been considered "too big to fail" and had needed to have been constantly bailed out by the federal government!).

It brings to mind the story of Centralia, Pennsylvania. In 1961, a fire started in the extensive coal mines underneath the town which still burns out of control today, 47 years later. This fire, which can only be extinguished by exhausting its fuel supply, is unseen...the only sign of it is when there's a collapse.

The U.S. government addressed this situation with a literal bailout, this town was condemned and a government relocation program began in 1984, finally ending in 2005. 42 million dollars and twenty years to evacuate the less than 1,000 residents of the town (and you think it takes a long time to get your income tax refund check back from the government).

That "bailout" may have prevented those citizens from being swallowed up by the results of the problem but it did not and was not intended to extinguish the problem itself.

The allegory applies in multiple ways to our current situation. On one hand, it symbolizes the destructive fire burning beneath the surface of this country, that of the political and financial domination of this nation by corporations.

Corporately financed,controlled and corrupted politicians have made the corporate world's wet dreams come true through widespread deregulation, allowing them to loot and plunder as they choose under the guise of "the free market". Meanwhile, their losses or collapses are bailed out by us taxpayers, all upside and no downside...for them, not us.

That blaze has grown into an inferno that's typically out of view from the nation it threatens. However, its undermining of the ground beneath our feet has continued unabated and has and will continue to cause one collapse after another until it is brought under control...or runs out of fuel ("fuel", AKA the redistribution of the public's assets).

Interestingly, one could simultaneously find a very encouraging allegory in this as well. The majority's simmering desire for change to this corporately dominated nation may have been kept contained underground for some time but has eventually worked its way up to the surface to crumble away the ground beneath what has been the status quo.

Which brings me back to my initial proposition, Democrats have become the party of reality, and the Republicans are the party opposed to reality.

When this latest financial collapse hit this week, the media swiftly declared that dealing with such a reality helped Senator Obama and the Democrats. This was actually borne out by Obama's turnaround in the polls. Senator McCain and the Republicans were on the defensive because actual issues, such as the economy, had taken the spotlight away from pigs with lipstick and Senator Obama's annoying tendency to put "hits" out on babies and teach the Kama Sutra to kindergartners.

What was McCain's initial response to the collapse of Lehman Brothers? To oppose reality, declaring the fundamentals of our economy to be strong. Only later would we learn that this admitted novice in economic issues was smarter than all the economists past and present in uncovering a new reality that the "fundamentals" of an economy are not what everyone had always thought but like Soylent Green, "They're people!"

Of course that's fiction...which is what seems to be the cornerstone of McCain's and the Republicans' platform. Even John McCain's top campaign adviser stated that they want this campaign to be about personalities, not about issues (read "reality").

John McCain and Sarah Palin have run the most dishonest Presidential campaign in memory, the plethora of lies is so unprecedented that the mainstream media has actually had to come off the fence to become unwilling partisans in support of truth.

McCain has repeatedly divorced himself from reality like it was a first wife who was permanently disabled in a car accident. I don't recall the word "Republican" mentioned once at the Republican convention. Our current president does not appear to be connected to McCain's or any party. Nearly 30 years of Republican-loyal positions on issues in the Senate and voting 90% of the time to support Bush are irrelevant to the "fact" that McCain is an anti-Republican "maverick for change".

Unfortunately, this is nothing new. Remember 2004? John Kerry and the Democrats ran on the reality of the disastrous and unnecessary Iraq war while George Bush and Karl Rove ran on the fictional evil of gay marriages magically destroying your relationship with your heterosexual spouse. John Kerry and the Dems ran on reining in a corrupt government while Bush, Rove and the GOP ran on ghost-stories about terrorists hiding in your closet with dirty bombs...and wanting to gay marry you.

The pundits today say that a campaign about the issues helps Obama and hurts McCain. In other words, when people are able to think about what really affects their lives, they vote for Democrats. When people are distracted from thinking about the issues that affect their lives, they vote Republican.

So, if you're undecided about the issues and the candidates, there's an easy way to decide who to vote for. Just ask yourself if you are Pro-Reality or do you believe that life begins at misconception?