Friday, May 8, 2009

Something strange is happening in America--

something no virtually no living American has seen as an adult.

People just aren't drinking the Kool Ade any more. The cat's out of the bottle. The genie's out of the bag. There ain't no goin' back now. We have the power, we have the popular will on our side. There's a new game in town, and the politicians had better learn it.

A new poll says 52% want to legalize pot despite a decades-long, intensive propaganda campaign to keep it illegal.

65 or 70% support Obama and/or his supposedly liberal policies, despite a concentrated effort by the M$M media to sink him.

Harry and Louise be damned--57% of Americans would be willing to pay higher taxes in exchange for universal health care.

A large majority would gleefully see the rich start carrying their share of the tax burden.

Everybody, from both parties, is Goddamn sick of seeing bailouts of the corporate criminals who caused the current economic mess with their greed.

Hell, even the teabaggers, if they could figure out exactly what it is they're mad about, would discover that they too are just damned sick of being exploited by the corporate ruling class.

The Republicans and DINOs (who, combined, sadly constitute majorities in both houses of Congress) ignore these signs at their peril. If they manage to thwart the public will on these and a few other hot-button issues, I suspect they are going to find themselves confronting some unwelcome and unexpected turns of events in 2010.

The fact is, the rules of the game seem to be changing. All that corporate lucre will only guarantee your re-election if the public is willing to buy your propaganda message. The poll data I mentioned above indicates to me that this is not necessarily the case any more. People are finding new sources of information, largely online, but elsewhere too. Just as the establishment forces managed to capture public radio and turn it into a corporate mouthpiece, Amy Goodman appears on a thousand little low-power FM stations across the land. Internet radio, satellite radio--new voices appear everywhere, singing songs the corporations don't want you to hear.

Since the beginning of the Republic, with a few slips (such as in the period between 1932 and the end of the War), the rich have controlled public opinion. "America is a center-right country," they screeched.

Well, despite the best efforts of the propagandists, the public doesn't seem to be falling for it any more. The majority is discovering itself. That is to say, we are becoming aware of the fact that we are indeed the majority. There is perhaps nothing more powerful on the political scene that a populism that has suddenly discovered its own popularity.