The Real Story
The real story is not about Obama and Edwards trading surges, Hillary rebounding, or the likely determining factor of the Biden and Richardson supporters' second choices. The real story is not about the weather facilitating turnout for Hillary, or the passion of Obama's youth vote, or Edwards's solid ground game with likely caucus goers. The real story has nothing to do with the candidates or the horse race or the volatility of the polls. The real story is that there's a story. In December. Ten-and-a-half months before the general election. The real story is the absurdity of a system that is so broken we don't even pay attention to how broken it is.
The money would be a joke, if it weren't so sad and dangerous. Viability is determined by money. Nobody can honestly believe that any of the candidates capable of raising enough money to be viable is not completely beholden to the interests of those from and by whom the money is raised. Supporters of the various candidates brag about their favorites' prowess at raising money, as if it's a good thing that such a thing is something about which to brag. Democracy has fallen and it can't get up. But it's even worse than that. We are already in the thick of it, yet full-term children who have not even yet been conceived will be born before the general election. Does anyone truly believe this is how we should be selecting the nominally most powerful person in the world?
We've been in full campaign mode for a full year, now. The 2012 campaign will begin in less than a year. How many important issues are being ignored, because of that? How much meaningless rhetoric reverberates and disintegrates rather than concatenating into substantive being? How many critical policy losses have accrued because of a fear of disrupting, now, the political dynamics of a then that when it comes into being will have also receded into dream time? For no temporal present matters as much as does that ethereal future that never arrives. What should be the practical has transmogrified into the mythical, and fewer and fewer people any longer have faith in its ever being anything else.
Our ostensible leaders fear to lead. They have no time to lead. They are out on the stump, posing and posturing, a paralyzed populace mute witness to a chill entropic dissipation. It is a game. A contest. An endless argument that never resolves anything. An endless argument that no longer even recognizes the possibility of resolution.
It is the day before New Year's. The perceived passage of time, in the coming week, will expand exponentially to political partisans, as they grope desperately for the hidden totems of assurance. Their ecstasies and depressions will be subjectively profound, but they will have no other real meanings. The game plays on. The players are gamed. Scores are tallied. Winners and losers are declared, but the steady erosion will continue withering whatever it was this once was supposed to signify.
The real story is that there is no story. Trapped in the mechanics, the necessary paradigmatic disruptions will remain elusive, unknowable, unthinkable, and possibly never to come. There will be neither answers nor happy endings until the system itself is reinvented. In the madness of the coming year, never forget that. The road is long. The work that needs be done remains largely latent even to consciousness. Part of our purpose must be to make it part of both the conversation and the task.