It occurs to me that if the two political factions struggling for power in America, the Democrats are the real conservatives; they seek to preserve the New Deal-era social contract between capital and labor that won World War II and went on to create the unprecedented prosperity of the 1950's and 1960's. The Republicans, by contrast, have an agenda that is at once radical and reactionary: to create a society in which capital holds all the cards, ruled by a small elite that cares little for anyone's welfare but its own. For most of the last four decades, the proponents of Empire have largely had their way, and the country we know today little resembles the dynamic hive of industry that landed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon.
Since 1970, we have seen deindustrialization; disinvestment in public education, particularly higher education; the empowerment of capital at labor's expense; and the promotion of speculation instead of investment. The blame for these developments cannot be laid entirely on Republicans, for plenty of Democrats have helped them along. "Deregulation", for instance, began with the Carter administration, and it was Bill Clinton who signed into law the act eliminating the Glass-Steagall barrier that kept commercial banks from speculating in the stock markets. Republicans are right to protest that it was not they alone who brought about the current crisis. The whole Clinton-era boom was largely a mirage brought about by policies encouraging the reckless accumulation of debt. The masterminds at the top of this pyramid scheme knew full well that when the bill came due, as it did in 2008, the government would step in and bail them out to avert a collapse of the general economy.
If Mitt Romney wins on Tuesday, it will be because of the Citizens United decision and the consequent flood of money into his campaign and those of his fellow Republicans from institutional speculative capital. These people own the Republican Party, lock, stock, and barrel, much as the former KGB owns United Russia, the party of President Vladimir Putin. The financial elite have done everything in their power to weaken the Obama administration and limit its ability to govern. Do not imagine that an Obama victory on Tuesday will change that; too many Democrats can be bought as easily as Republicans. The media, too, can be bought and have been, thanks in part to President Clinton signing the Telecommunications Reform Act of 1996. Since then, American TV viewers and radio listeners are little better than Denethors staring into Wall Street palantirs. I fear we are on the fast track to Empire, no matter who wins Tuesday.
Yet the Democratic Party still stands for the Republic: for open and honest dialogue, for social justice, for the myriad communities that make up our nation, and ordinary working Americans, if not (yet) for socialism. Who are the Republicans? They are money, magnates, and medievalism. They want to refound this country on the basis of one dollar, one vote, under a white Christian aristocracy of capital personified by Mitt the Merciless. How can any sane person outside Wall Street support that agenda? Yet there are millions who do, convinced by the distorted images and lies fed them by the media.
I look to the far future when common-sense socialism will bring lasting prosperity to the world. But in the meantime, I look to the Democratic Party to defend the best interests of the American people and preserve the Republic.
And I'm voting for President Barack Obama on Tuesday.