It is clear that the old left-versus-right duality, the lens through which we have been asked to view American politics, is really dead—or rather, that we can now see that it is a distraction. The understanding that we are in a time in which the real conflicts are not conservative versus liberal, but the many against the few is far more widespread. When culture-war issues, such as gay marriage or native-born Americans versus immigrants are thrown out into the electorate, many more sophisticated voters on all sides of the political spectrum are aware that these issues are trotted out in election years to ramp up the appearance of differences between the parties.
In reality, both are largely beholden—albeit in different proportions—to the Big Six, the major special interests: what I call War Inc. (and its emerging major subsidiary, Fear Inc., or the global surveillance and security industry); Big Pharma; Big Insurance; Big Oil; Big Agriculture; and Wall Street. We can probably add Big Incarceration to that list now.
Smart voters realize that whatever their political beliefs, it is those who don’t hold power in these major industries—that is, all the rest of us: teachers and nurses, cops and factory workers, new immigrants and small business owners, the unemployed, the retired, veterans, the plain old middle and working class—who, whatever our views on abortion or gay marriage or bilingualism or gun ownership, are getting screwed. The only way for such outsiders as the rest of us to regain our seats at the table is through understanding what is going on behind the curtain.
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