human being on Sun, 10 Nov 2002 17:51:13 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[Nettime-bold] the United States of Texas

  There is so much that could be shared about the
  elections in the U.S. yesterday, and yet there is
  little point in ruminating over a victory by votes.
  If anything, this should be proof of why some people
  object to the blanket export of the democratic system
  as it is organized here in the US. Welcome to Texas.

  Enron was the economic plan that is no longer. Harken
  and Halliburton are the energy future that is the past.
  Lawyers, courts, and corporations are in queue getting
  ready to sue their way to sociopolitical victories.
  The odd legislation that never was, with the phantom
  task-force, is now issue #1, rabbit out of the proverbial
  black hat: energy policy is back on the fast track table.

  What happened? One who guessed wrongly, as I did, that
  massive voter fraud would be needed to stop the momentum
  from building against the private Republican agenda were
  proven entirely wrong: the voters did it, fair-and-square.

  In Minnesota, where the biggest upsets occurred, with both
  a Republican Governor and Senator taking control, campaign
  sloganeering became 'the future is now' or something such.
  This means that, because of fractured voter blocks, and
  massive citizen-voter turnouts, three of four candidates
  for Governor, for instance, had on their platforms an
  aggressive funding of mass transit, and were a majority
  block. But because of the structural configuration in
  electing public officials, the one Republican candidate,
  now Governor-elect Time Pawlenty (R-MN) was the victor-
  even though he ran with a "No New Taxes" platform in a
  state with a 3 billion dollar deficit, and clogged roads
  where his Lieutenant Governor is pre-tasked to be a one-
  person SWAT-TEAM at the state's Depart of Transportation,
  to ensure more roads and bridges get built, and to yank
  further support for the needed work just beginning on a
  light-rail system. That is, the winner's policy, against
  the wishes of the total electorate is going to pursue a
  transportation policy exactly opposite of what the majority
  of voters during the election supported, and to take this
  as a mandate to pursue backward public policies.

  The new Minnesota Senator, who beat an unbeatable Walter
  Mondale, did so by votes, no matter how they came about,
  they overwhelmed votes for change. Senator-elect Norman
  Coleman (R-MN) immediately brought up energy policy after
  being elected, as a top priority. No wonder, as it has
  been tied with his campaign but held in the background,
  out of view, until after the victory. In matters of the
  civility of contestants and constituents, it is held in
  high-regard here to be civil and let go of the campaign
  once an opponent concedes. And, Minnesotan's, possibly
  moreso than others, like everyone to know there are no
  hard feelings and to move on, to work together, and that
  these, our candidates, represent all of Minnesota, when
  all is said and done. Unfortunately, policies don't jive
  that way, whether it is national energy policy and still
  corrupt connections in the planning of this policy through
  Dick Cheney's hand, the same one who hand-picked these two
  successful state races from headquarters in the White House,
  or possibly a secret bunker somewhere inside of a mountain.

  The definite and radical slant, a warped distorted world-
  view has Republicanized (as in, vulcanized) the nation.
  This alludes to the notion of an independent republic of
  Texas, and best describes how Minnesota is now like a
  quadrant of Northern Texas. Florida, its south-eastern
  quadrant. New York and the surrounding area, North-
  East Texas. And Washington and California, rounding out
  the new expansion of the Western-most quadrant of the
  new United States of Texas. The reason this is so is not
  meant to be derogatory to Texas, but to reflect how the
  issues of Texas, the priorities, the liabilities, the
  strengths and weaknesses have reconstituted the nation.

  Evident is that which unites the Senate, the Congress,
  the White House, likely also the Judiciary, and also
  like fractals, often down through state Governors, to
  state senates and houses, and local districts, their
  representatives, employers, communities, neighborhoods,
  neighbors, people on the street. The split is always
  portrayed as 50:50, a country divided, until the spin
  is needed to portray unity by the mass media. Never has
  it been so convenient to feel so alone in the world as
  never-never land closes in around each remaining bit of
  difference, the mob psychology rarely becoming so strong.

  There is nothing to do anymore, one could propose. There
  is no chance out out-voting this malaise, this retro-
  futurism, this 1950s idealism so surreally painted. And
  these voices may be correct. For what has happened here,
  it is being presumed, is that people voted on the defense,
  from having to address issues raised in the few short
  days of the opposition movement against such a detached
  ideological machination forward, that which firmly arrived.

  People, it is guessed based on an intuitive attempt at
  understanding by a local, voted to retain the massive
  hallucination already underway with current policies.
  Nothing in their lives has changed, much, and everything
  is so _simple_ that, to think, to question, to dissent,
  or challenge-- well, that's absurdity in itself. How could
  families and people who voted against change, do so, with
  any sense of purpose? Here is one person's guess...

  The Suburban Mind has overtaken federal politics. This
  may be different from the 'soccer mom' phenomenon, and
  the demographics are proposed as much more broad-brushed.
  It would be interesting to know how inner-cities and city-
  cores voted against first, second, and third ring suburbs
  and the rural communities. The internal, local politics,
  even farmers included in these areas between megalopolises,
  and issues beyond locality, related to city-based priorities,
  where the diversity of the US is itself the most noticeable.

  What would a shift from an urban-national and international
  worldview to a suburban-rural localism possibly consist of?
  It may be one of false-simplicities, out-of-site, out-of-
  mind, mentalities, and it may also be a major proponent
  behind the existing policies, which focus on keeping car-
  dominance and lack of mass transit, suburban sprawl growth,
  focus on no taxes for social services, as suburban systems
  function somewhat autonomously from the collectivity needed
  to keep a city running, and a type of whittled-down world-
  view, based upon a commonality found in the banality of
  the unexamined life. That is, people voted for what today
  exists as the greatest threat and those problems that the
  world and half the nation agree profusely needs rigorous
  attention, now, immediately, to even have a future world.

  Yet, because of the same-old same-old same-as-it-ever-was
  ideology, voices of change are twisted into radical agents
  threatening the way of the suburban mind, closed, compart-
  mentalized, and uninformed, as the media and education and
  other systems only serve to reinforce the status-quo world-
  view that was inherited from 'simpler' times, when these
  same suburban communities arose en masse, and whose main
  inhabitants were post-war occupants, breeding communities
  of like-minded people, now paid with full homage through
  The Greatest Generation tributes to the local war heroes,
  and is presumed to be the model for replicating the nation
  on this pattern of development, growth, inflation, profit.
  And through this, the American Dream is supposedly reborn.

  The United States of America has suburbanized geopolitics.
  The election was not lost but won by this Republicanization
  of the nation, the new, improved, United States of Texas.
  The vote was lost by numbers, by people who voted _against
  change, _against questioning, _against local and global
  responsibility, _against social contracts and compacts,
  _against the future, for an inverted version of the past
  past referred to as 'the future'- it is the eternal-now.
  And what is now? Complete horror, chaos, and dysfunction.
  And people voted for this? No. They voted _against having
  to recognize this. That, with all the election magic, it
  would be possible for the U.S. government and its same
  photogenic administration to make-believe these troubles
  away, as just mere opinions of radical troublemakers. And,
  with continued efforts to politicize every sector of the
  government, including the CIA, FBI, NEA, and others, it
  can make 'the facts' speak for themselves, with a little
  help from the Presidential pen, for edits and censorship,
  so as to match the reality that is desired, for portrayal.

  The closing of the American Mind is not even it, as the
  mind is closed shut, tight as a coffin six feet under,
  the final nails driven through in the election results
  today. The issue is that the American Mind does not want
  nor need to open. It can ignore everything at its whim.
  Pollution? As executive Edsel Ford said in an interview:
  ~people want SUVs, what's wrong with that?~ What was not
  mentioned is that Ford lobbies against fuel efficiency
  standards before the people vote with their pocketbook,
  and so 'giving the people want they want' is a Pavlovian
  exercise, as are washington politics on the whole today.
  All that need be accomplished is to trick the mind into
  believing it does not have to think, and to keep those
  disturbing questions away from them, through all means
  possible, and so, to have a predictable electorate that
  does not necessarily vote _for ideas, but _against ideas.
  Against change, questions, truth, logic, reason, values.

  And, this is the suburbanized democracy that is supposed
  to be exported as a mass-produced product, to all parts
  of the 'uncivilized' world, as the people here believe
  that pollution is a choice, that energy efficiency is
  a choice, that automative and development patterns have
  no relation to anything but themselves-- unlike, it should
  be added, the Drug War which ties a joint with Terrorism,
  or those who question policies as being leftist-wingnuts.

  What swept that nation was the victory of an 'uniformed
  electorate' which brought out the vote, that supposed
  redeemer of democratic governance, to prove the point
  that content is critical to politics, truth is greater
  than any amount of power, and its suppression paramount.
  The victory for the losers is the loss of the delusion
  that the system works, and can self-correct itself prior
  to its own collapse. And, as goes Israel, so too the US.
  That is, the fledgling Sharon government on the election
  night in the US, is reported to have said that next after
  Iraq, Iran will need to be attacked. That's two wars now
  that we are getting into in addition to real questions of
  the longevity of stability in Afghanistan, at present.
  Maybe the US could contract out the wars, as they are
  discussed not as life-death, but as business decisions,
  with an overseas CEO in need of constant bailouts/aid.

  Economy, anyone? Energy, anyone? Social justice, anyone?
  Environment, anyone? Free speech, anyone? Peace, anyone?

  As stated, responsibility now sits squarely on this new
  old administration, similar to a bunch of wildcatters.
  What will happen next, and who indeed does the US now
  represent? It is proposed that, if anything, it is
  likely that the Republicanization of the United States
  into a vastly expanded, mythical US of Texas, best and
  most successfully represents the Suburban American. All
  issues lead back to the principles, born, bred, and also
  despised for the same reasons as are the US foreign and
  domestic policies at the forefront today. The best thing
  to do, it is guessed, is to try to 'inform' ourselves of
  what this voting electorate is, is about, what are its
  strengths and weaknesses, where it works and does not,
  and how the uninformed voter can become more informed,
  so that politicians and politics can reflect the present
  without rose-colored glasses on, potentially the color
  of blood due to the lack of context for American Minds.

  this is an offering in that direction, nowhere near
  absolute nor complete, and is sent for discussion,
  not as a diatribe or to deny the truth of victory.

  the uninformed electorate is winning. mob and multitude.
  how do we get there from here- without violence- to
  a common ground, where city, suburb, and rural voices
  do not need to cancel each other out in gridlock and
  zero sum games on the screen of the world stage? here
  is a window with some otherwise innocuous information.

  no copyright 2002. bc

Nettime-bold mailing list