Making Sense of the Election Part Two – The Hedges Perspective


Posted by Bob Lord

I decided to make my last post into a three part series, viewing the election through a different lens in each part. In that post, I explained the three possible perspectives from which to view elections:

There are at least three perspectives from which to look at elections. One is the Chris Hedges view, which holds that elections are a sham and that corporate America will control no matter who is elected. Another is that elections do matter, but that the majority of voters are functionally illiterate at this point, such that their votes are as likely to be opposed to their own interest as in their own interest. The last is that elections matter, and that the majority of voters make decisions they belive are in their best interest. Although I fear Chris Hedges is correct in his view, this post is written from the most hopeful perspective — that some modicum of reason motivates voters and that there is at least some difference between the parties.

My last post actually was from the perspective least likely to have real validity — that there is some real difference between the parties and that voters actually are motivated by some semblence of reasoning skills applied to the information they're given. I think that's giving today's voters, most of whom get their information solely from television, far too much credit. 

This post is the easiest of the three: the Hedges perspective. In his own post on Monday, Hedges presents his view eloquently as ever. If you have time, the entire post is a very worthwhile read, but the first paragraph sums up his view on American elections well:

The November election is not a battle between Republicans and Democrats. It is not a battle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. It is a battle between the corporate state and us. And if we do not immediately engage in this battle we are finished, as climate scientists have made clear. I will defy corporate power in small and large ways. I will invest my energy now solely in acts of resistance, in civil disobedience and in defiance. Those who rebel are our only hope. And for this reason I will vote next month for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, although I could as easily vote for Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party. I will step outside the system. Voting for the “lesser evil”—or failing to vote at all—is part of the corporate agenda to crush what is left of our anemic democracy. And those who continue to participate in the vaudeville of a two-party process, who refuse to confront in every way possible the structures of corporate power, assure our mutual destruction.

My last post in the series will looks at the election from the perspective that although the choice does matter, the great majority of voters are functionally illieterate and get bamboozled into whatever choice they make.