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Tue Jun 7, 2016, 08:26 PM

 

The Myth of the Spoiler: Why the Machine Elites Fear Democracy

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/06/the-myth-of-the-spoiler-why-the-machine-elites-fear-democracy/

Spoiler arguments are part of an interlocking set of social control discourses that too often govern our thoughts and actions regarding elections and representational democracy. While “the spoiler” is deployed on the wings of the “lesser of two evils” and “electability/inevitability,” it most resembles corporate-inspired arguments about austerity.

Spoiler arguments are the political analogue to the “austerity” claims enforced so ruthlessly by corporate elites. Under austerity “we are broke.” But, we must add: except for the trillions of dollars in cash that the big corporations and billionaires are sitting on — at the peak of their wealth — in the richest country in the history of the world. This artificial scarcity is then imposed on the people who, the 1% insists, will have to sacrifice their jobs, incomes, pensions, social services, and security.

In spoiler arguments, the elites insist — and far too many progressives concede — there is a scarcity of votes. But, we must add: except for the 70-90 million non-voters that the dismal performance of government, triangulation, and our failure to organize have left disempowered and driven to the sidelines. This artificial scarcity of voters is then imposed on the people who are told by the corporate media to sacrifice their freedom, democracy, and political judgments by yielding to the parties and candidates they no longer believe in. The spoiler trains us to think that sacrificing democracy to fear is clever tactic. That is exactly why the spoiler is one of the most powerful rhetorical weapons the machines have. It functions to scapegoat dissenters and limit political engagement and competition, when we really need more democracy, more choices, more voices.


Elections are truly spoiled because the existing parties either do not want the American people to participate or make no attempt to register and mobilize the 40% non-voting public or to engage the millions of independent voters. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about social control discourse — given the wide acceptance of such ideas by seemingly rational people — is the degree to which these arguments are not based on facts. Speculation and ideology must masquerade as facts when facts threaten to undermine social control. So it is with “the spoiler.”

2000 Revisited

Since the election of 2000 is the most powerful reference for spoiler argument let’s unpack it........................... SNIP

great read

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Reply The Myth of the Spoiler: Why the Machine Elites Fear Democracy (Original post)
AntiBank Jun 2016 OP
grasswire Jun 2016 #1

Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Tue Jun 7, 2016, 08:30 PM

1. Bernie has changed the face of elections.

No longer is the putrified party machinery considered legitimate.

No longer must a candidate rely on money from billionaires and lobbyists.

It's a new world.

Not the nineties any more.

Bernie's way is the future.

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