Wednesday, August 24, 2016
The decade began with John Fitzgerald Kennedy; it ended with Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew. Yet -- compared to the political cesspool we're all drowning in today, a cesspool which has spat up the most loathsome and criminal candidates in United States history, the Presidential campaigns of those years clearly retain a connection between what Americans voted for and what they got. Yes, American politics even in the best of times was mostly a war among (usually hidden) elites, yet previously with enough cracks in the system to allow for true citizen influence. Now the cracks are all paved over, paving done by (among others) a Wall Street pimp and Drone Killer -- King of the Nowhere People -- who sucked many of us in eight years ago; or by a cranky gutless old man from Vermont, who conned many youngins throughout 2016. Now it is Endgame, the moment totalitarian corporatists have been moving toward since November 1980: a world with an absolute connection between wealth and political influence; a world with no connection between public needs and public policy. How tragic the American Democratic Experiment will soon result, less than 250 years after it began, in the most total of totalitarian states, one where the air we breathe, the water we drink, the hopes and dreams we have for our children will all be commodified. . .
But not then, not yet. Theodore H. White was the establishment's favorite political reporter during the 1960s, most certainly because none of his books mention 1950s culture and the sexualization of what was pretty neutral stuff pre-rock and pre-TV, nothing about the rise of the military-industrial-intelligence complex, nothing about the Dulles Brothers(et al), nothing about the vast nationalist movements across the world, nothing about the militarization of the society, nothing about the rise of the Western Cowboy economies (space, oil, weapons, big agriculture), nothing about class, nothing about capitalism itself or corporations (the words "capitalism / corporation" are not mentioned in any of his four books, totaling more than 2,000 pages!), and nothing about the slow takeover of media by the far right. His Making of the President series are fables about good men and bad men struggling to succeed in a system recognizable in the front pages of the New York Times, as well as from all elementary school books. As are the television documentaries made from White's volumes. . .
Produced by David Wolper, financed by Xerox, narrated by Martin Gabel, the movies are shadowless, from a time when the shadows were sometimes dominated by the light.
Posted by EJK at 9:04 PM