Sunday, October 21, 2012

An Australian Take on the American Voter

The 2012 presidential election is so close that the outcome will come down to the undecided voter.   Yet it seems this is the group most easily buffaloed with nonsensical claims disseminated repetitively by today's corporate media.   The Sydney Morning Herald has one Australian's take on the state of the American voter who will decide this election.

In rally after rally, from airport hangars in Florida to obscure Ohio colleges, Mitt pops up, impeccably groomed, like an ageing Max Headroom with his soft-focus wife, Ann, by his side, and his five sons, interchangeable as a set of spanners, behind him, and tells the crowd: ''I have a plan.''

A plan that will create 12 million jobs in four years, and balance the budget! That will cut taxes for the middle class but add $2 trillion to military spending, to make sure America is respected again! To crack down on the ''unfair competition'' by the Chinese, and ensure that full employment returns. Taken together with his promises not to touch key programs such as social security and Medicare (the socialised medicine program for the over-65s), the proposal is nonsense, reliant on deep cuts, and as likely to reverse recovery by lowering demand as it is to stimulate the dozens of new Apples and Microsofts that will somehow replace vanished manufacturing.

 But as visions go, it's a beguiling one, the future as the past, the economy of the 1950s, the mores of the 1960s, and all the cool stuff that started coming in the '70s. Even in Springfield, a Democratic stronghold, the Romney vision tempts.

''Yeah, I'm really thinking of giving Romney a shot,'' says Martha, a former factory nurse, from the days when there was health and safety, and factories. She'll be voting in Pennsylvania, a state that could come into play should Obama's campaign falter further.

Adds her husband, Steve, an electrician: ''Y'know, we gotta stop buying cheap stuff from China.''

This election illustrates - yet again - that far too many people are willing to believe nonsense when their media won't tell them it's nonsense.   The essential function of the media as gatekeeper to ward off and expose outright lies is no more.   And the segment of the voting public left confused and misled is more than enough to swing an election.   Mission Accomplished.

It's a worthwhile article that deserves to be read and considered in its entirety.

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