November 11, 2003
Measure for Measure
Does the term "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy" ring a bell? Well, if such a thing really did exist, Richard Mellon Scaife, publishing magnate & conservative philanthropist, would unquestionably be the spider at the center of the web. And there in lies the rub about the neo-conservative movement: all those little right wing foot soldiers who campaign & vote against their self-interest are fueled by the funding of the uber-rich like Scaife, who are, unquestionably acting in their own narrow self-interest.
Which is why I love George Soros.
Now, don't get me wrong: Soros, the insanely rich financier behind hedge funds like the Quantum Fund, is very much a ruthless capitalist. An argument can be made that he single-handedly crashed the British currency market in 1993 and made a Billion dollars (yes, "B". "BILLION") in a single day as a result.
But as a man who loves the promise of capitalism & the American dream (let alone his ownwallet) , Soros is pained, I mean, physically ill, about what George Bush is doing to this country.
Soros just gave $5 million to Moveon.org. He's given millions more to other progressive & liberal organizations. All for one, single purpose - to get Bush out of office.
When asked if he would trade his entire fortune (estimated to be about $7 billion) to remove Bush, he replied "If someone guaranteed it".
Forces are gathering, friends. Next November is starting to sound more and more like the Mother of All Battles.
The Bully Pulpit
So, this rather dry article from a P'town scholar on why people tend not to vote in their own interests barely scratches the surface. I agree that, clearly, there are a number of people who simply don't understand how certain politicians and political movements will, in the long run, effect their lives.
But I think the author, like so many in the media, seem to miss the glaringly obvious point.
Despite what people will tell you, most of them actually do assume that politicians are telling them the truth. Contrary to all the verbage that's been spilled on the subject, most voters will simply take an elected official at their word because they believe they don't have the luxury of fact-checking.
So, these folks only vote against their self-interest because they believe their actually voting FOR their self-interest.
They have been lied to.
And this is a concept that really needs to get some more airplay.
There are people, in positions of power in our country, right now, who will get on national TV, and simply lie to the American people.
Yes, there is such a thing as spin, but there is also such a thing as a lie, and I, for one, cannot wait for the moment in next year's debate, when Howard Dean calls President Bush a liar, to his face, on national television.