The American Theater of the Absurd is called the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention. Yes, theater – as in “suspension of disbelief.” Leave reality behind and believe what is advertised.
We have been told: “There is not enough money to fund public schools or Social Security or relief from student loans or keeping water free from deadly pollution or feeding homeless children or providing mental health care clinics or… But, we need conventions.”
Hundreds of millions of dollars, out of a total that exceeds over a billion dollars for each of the two major parties, is being fed into the Political Campaign Industrial Complex while we Americans are deprived of the social services that are the basis of a healthy and growing nation.
“America is the greatest country in the world and will be again.” (?????)
“Look how much we have accomplished in the last eight years in spite of opposition, so let’s continue austerity measures for Americans while granting special financial sanctions to multinational corporations.” (?????)
So why have the conventions at all?
(from Robert Reich in TruthDig)
First, because they’re perks awarded to people who worked hard for candidates during the primaries — just as top sales reps in companies are awarded trips to national sales conventions. Delegates will have fun and spend money, which hotels and restaurants in downtown Cleveland and Philadelphia will sop up like dry sponges.
They’ll enjoy circulating on the convention floors for five or six hours each night exchanging gossip and business cards, hugging old friends and meeting new ones, and taking selfies.
And they’ll feel important when they hear party leaders, heads of state delegations, members of Congress and occasional celebrities tell them how critical it is to defeat the opposing party in November…
If they’re lucky… have a chance to clench the hand of the nominee himself or herself.
But isn’t this how nominees are chosen? No.
Our two major political parties no longer nominate people to be president. Candidates choose themselves, they run in primaries, and the winners of the primaries become the parties’ nominees.
The parties have instead become giant machines for producing infomercials, raising big money and rewarding top sales reps with big bashes every four years.
What can we do about this?
- The very first step is to refuse to be willing victims. Act upon what we know is reality. Save Our Schools, United Opt Out, Network for Public Education, Badass Teachers Association, Move-On.org, and so many more national and local groups need our support. Be part of them. We are all in this together.
- Be among the activists and protestors in the streets of the conventions and in cities across America. Record actual events and the issues addressed on social media sources.
- If you cannot attend in person, use social media to re-post the realities recorded. Call people and talk to friends and acquaintances.
- Make a great and glorious noise as we engage in telling truth to each other, truth in the face of power.
If we don’t, who will? Stop the “suspension of disbelief.” Take part in reality.