Photo (c) Getty, provided on the Politico website
Politico ran an article today that I'd like to comment briefly on. (Delegates face death threats from Trump supporters)
I read media with a skeptical mind. Having said that, there are many signals in this article and other sources to worry about.
On a broader scale, I have wondered since GW Bush just how long the American Republic would last. Can a system so obviously dominated by money and special interests survive? (I speak here non-ideologically: the money and special interests are on both sides of the aisle).
The candidate pictured below, with his personal pledges of allegiance and his Mar-a-Lago, reminds me not so much of "bread and circuses", but of torchlit rallies and Berchtesgaden. This is the first time that I can recall a Presidential candidate openly organising around the threat of political violence.
It's also the first time I can recall so much effort being placed on "influencing" convention delegates, both positively and negatively. Perhaps this is only the latest step in a general culture so enamoured of military, celebrity-success-at-any-price, and guns. But it does not bode well for the future.
Civil liberties are already practically non-existent, or available only to the rich.
We see daily just how badly the primary system and the general election systems work.
We read how much more money each election costs, as if this were an acceptable cost of doing business.
We read that a former lobbyist for the big bulge banks is appointed head of the SEC--the very institution charged with regulating those banks. And that the revolving door in politics is alive and well.
We admire Frank Underwood and binge watch each new season of House of Cards precisely because it confirms what we all suspect.
We accept that Hillary Clinton earns hundreds of thousands of dollars from banks, but that this does not influence her vote.
If we are all frogs in a pot, just what temperature has the water reached?
(c) Philip Ammerman, 2016