(This was originally posted on Open Salon January, 3, 2012)
There is little if any sincere discussion about the content of these commercials, although they do have a limited amount that pretends to analyze them from the corporate media but they only go so far and only when it suits their purposes. Both the corporate media and the political establishment including the candidates pretending to represent the public are controlled by the corporations. This is the type of speech that is protected by the Supreme Court while many academics and sincere critics who have much less opportunity to get their points across aren’t allowed nearly as much free speech; and in many cases they even have their right to free speech suppressed when they don’t limit it to the “free speech zones” that the Supreme Court has declared to be constitutional. This essentially means that people can have all the free speech they can afford to pay for because speech isn’t really free anymore in a modern corporate plutocracy. When the Supreme Court declared that money equals speech in the Buckley v. Valeo decision they essentially ruled that the truth can be bought and sold. They didn’t change the fact that money often also equals bribes they just essentially declared that bribes equal speech.
It didn’t used to be quite as bad; they used to have some more active groups like the League of Women Voters that would organize and moderate some of the debates. We also used to have a mush more diverse Media. This doesn’t mean that they were perfect; in fact they had many problems and a close look could almost certainly have improved things. Unfortunately instead they allowed the corporate media to consolidate and control the vast majority of the media that can get the attention of large audiences across the country. The current Mass Media is of course now under the control of a small percentage of the public with little or no accountability and they have almost complete control of the election process and it has turned into a propaganda and money making process that has little to do with informing the public about many of the most important issues.
A few years ago when they did a “couch commercial” where both newt Gingrich and Nancy Pelosi agreed that it would be a good idea not to destroy the environment I thought this was a good message although I didn’t think they should have delivered it that way; now they don’t even have a good message, they want to destroy the environment and they’re delivering their message in a deceptive manner. It has become a political correct thing to do to believe that we should eliminate any protection of the environment so that we can “drill baby drill.” When I first heard that slogan I thought it must be a satire but it turned out that Sarah was actually cheering it on as if it was a good things and they’re convincing a large segment of the public of this with their propaganda and commercials.
Of course this isn’t the first time that candidates have tried to run their campaigns based on commercials that appeal to emotion or attempt to provide good images without actually addressing the issues; some of the classics include Democrat Daisy TV ad for 1964 Presidential Campaign and 1956 - I like Ike for President. The truth of the matte is that we have never had as good a system as we choose to believe. If we’re going to have a sincere democracy we desperately need a much more educated public that could be helped with an Educational Revolution or something similar that could lead to some form of Election Reform that would enable the public to have more control over the interview process and perhaps even increase the amount of direct democracy by increasing the public participation in choosing policy through Ballot Questions and other efforts that the public can control.
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