There is always some danger in posting a few Noam Chomsky videos. It's easy for those prone to knee-jerk reactions to say "Oh, it's Chomsky, that's just a bunch of leftist claptrap." I don't see eye to eye with Chomsky on lots of things, but he has always been dead-on when describing American propaganda and how the our political system actually works.
In the last three years we've seen the United States go downhill to an alarming extent. Our politics has devolved into a mostly meaningless power struggle between one corrupt political party and the other. Let's go back to the summer of 2008, before the financial meltdown and the ongoing economic calamity. And that means revisiting the candidate Barack Obama, the Hope and the Change. The first video features Chomsky talking about the Obama Brand before the election. Everything Chomsky said then rings true today.
In the second video Chomsky talks about voting for the lesser of two evils, and tells people to vote for Obama instead of McCain in the swing states because historically, people have fared slightly better under the Democrats and than they have under the Republicans. Chomsky argues (at that time) that there's nothing inherently wrong in choosing the lesser of two evils as long as you know you are doing so.
I urge my readers not to vote because the lesser of two evils is still evil, and it seems to me that events since the 2008 election have significantly bolstered that view. I voted for Obama, but that's very likely the last time I'll vote for anybody who isn't named Bozo The Clown. I am wondering just how much worse things would be under McCain. If Chomsky's view was true in the past, it seems we have moved well beyond the point where being "slightly" better off in choosing the lesser of two evils makes much difference.
Still, it is easy to imagine we would be worse off under McCain, that we would be having a full-blown 1930s-style Depression. One could then further argue that we would have been so ground down under McCain that we might actually be moving toward the real change Obama didn't deliver, moving toward a modern day Franklin Roosevelt. Who knows? It's difficult to think about all this because when you're fucked, you're fucked.
If any thinking person in this country still thought American politics was legitimate in 2008, surely they do not think so today. During Hopey-Changey's presidency we have witnessed an open, unnerving betrayal of what most people thought they were voting for when they voted for him—meaningful change in which most Americans would no longer get the shaft. But they have gotten the shaft once again, and they got it in spades. Of course we easily see now that the Hopey-Changey thing was merely the Obama Brand. There was no substance. The only thing that mattered was the marketing. In the third video Chomsky talks about that betrayal, how people didn't know what they were voting for, how the political system works, and what we're left with.
Obama's extraordinary betrayal of the American people, which we should have expected as Chomsky points out, is an important reason why this blog exists. I hope you will take the time to watch all three videos all the way through. There's about 21 minutes of video altogether.
The Obama Brand
The Lesser Of Two Evils