Meet the new third party in national politics: Reality.
Reality is the only party with an agenda consistent with what is actually happening in the world. Reality doesn't need to drum up dollar donations from anyone. Reality doesn't have to pander to any interest group or subscribe to any inane belief system. Reality doesn't even need your vote. Reality will be the winner of the 2012 election no matter what the ballot returns appear to say about the bids of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to lead the executive branch of the government.
In the vicious vacuum that national party politics has become, the Republicans and Democrats are already dead. They choked to death on the toxic fumes of their own excreta. They are empty, hollow institutions animated only by the parasites that feed on and squirm over the residue of decomposing tissue within the dissolving membranes of their legitimacy. Think of the fabled Koch brothers as botfly larvae and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association PAC (SIFMA PAC) as a mass of writhing maggots.
These are desperate days in the republic. Between the two empty spectacles of the official party nominating conventions, a terrible nausea rises in the collective gorge of the swindled body politic. The putative contest of ideas is a dumbshow in a hall of mirrors. None of it avails to reduce, mitigate, or even acknowledge, the tensions that may tear this country apart, in particular the web of fraud that shrouds all the operations of money and banking - which is to say: the fate of everything the nation thinks it has invested in itself and its future. In the USA of 2012, anything goes and nothing matters. Reality has a different view of where this all ends and how it will work out.
Compare and contrast the platforms of the Republicans and Democrats with the Reality Party:
The two major parties both propose that the colossal machine of everyday life in America can not only run indefinitely, but continue expanding, and include ever more member people who trade ever more schwag. All that is required, they say, is twiddling the settings of the machine, to get it back to running smoothly as it did in the good old days before the mystifying crash of 2008. They disagree slightly on which dials to twiddle. Reality knows we have entered along-term compressive economic contraction; that there is no way we can persist in the current living arrangement; and that the necessary outcome to avoid immense human suffering can be described as the downscaling and re-localizing of everything we do.
The two major parties regard the rule of law as optional, especially in money matters. Neither party has any will to interfere with a broad array of financial rackets that range from the blatant manipulation of markets, interest rates, and currencies to computerized front-running thievery, traffic in booby-trapped derivatives and counterfeit shorts, pervasive accounting fraud, channel stuffing, irregularities in central bank bullion leasing, flagrant confiscation of private accounts, municipal bond-rigging flimflams, "private equity" looting operations, offshore banking dodges, and untold other scams, rip-offs, and cons that have crippled the basic functions of finance, namely: price discovery, currency as a reliable store of value, and the allocation of surplus wealth for productive purpose. Reality knows that the absence of the rule of law is suicidal. Reality is incapable of pretending that it doesn't matter. Reality provides work-arounds for intractably dishonest political arrangements: civil war and revolution. Both are invoked out of extreme desperation and have unpredictable outcomes. Like Reality itself, they are what they are.
The two major parties pretend that so-called "entitlement" programs can be simultaneously reformed, improved, and abolished - that is, you can have your cake and eat it (with ice cream) at the same time you throw it in the garbage. Reality rejects this incoherent juggling act and proposes that Americans better just make other arrangements for old age, routine medical care, and daily bread. This implies cultural as much as economic transformation and it will occur emergently no matter what empty promises anyone makes. People who want to get food at regular intervals will have to find some way to make themselves useful to others. Medicine will return to the local clinic model and doctors will have to find another motivation for practice besides the acquisition of German automobiles. Old people will have to prevail upon their offspring for care and protection, and they will be expected to play a useful role in the household or community in return if they are able-bodied.
The two major parties both proclaim that the USA is verging on "energy independence." Both parties are lying. Reality knows that the shale oil "game changer" is a mirage. By 2014, the "sweet spots" of the Bakken will deplete faster than new wells can be drilled, and the impairments of banking will constrict the supply of capital investment for that hypothetical future drilling. All the deregulation in the world will not alter the fact that future oil is expensive, exists in places where it is hard to work, and entails unappetizing geopolitical contingencies. Reality favors letting go of automobile-based living and the adoption of walkable communities connected by inland waterways and railroads.
The two major parties believe that the foreign wars are good for business as long as you can minimize the casualties on our side and keep war news off the TV. Reality knows that war as currently practiced by the US Military is a failure if 1.) you can't control the terrain in the foreign theater of operations, and 2.) you can't control the behavior of the foreign population. Notice that we can't do either of those things in Afghanistan or the sundry other places where the US military might be found today. The two major parties also favor the application of war-time "security" operations on the US public inside our borders - i.e. spying, data harvesting, monitoring of cell phone and bank records., et cetera - contrary to what US law and the constitution says. Reality believes that, if the rule of law remains optional, the time will come when American government officials who authorized these activities may be dragged from their command centers and hanged from traffic signals by a citizenry pushed too far.
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama would label Reality a "terrorist movement" if they could and seek to blow it up with predator drones. But Reality is harder to stamp out than truth, which can be shouted down, papered over, fudged, outlawed, etch-a-sketched, exiled, and reviled. Reality is everywhere. It lurks inside and outside the doors of the phony-baloney convention vaudeville shows in its cloak of invisibility, ready to work its hoodoo on the feckless, the fatuous, and the wicked. Reality is America's last best hope. Join the Reality Party.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.
Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.