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'For Entertainment Value Only': US fake elections exposed for the farce they are

US President Donald Trump (R) and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden participate in the first presidential debate at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University on September 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. (AFP photo)

By Daniel Patrick Welch

This election farce should come with a warning label like they have on children's toys, “Valid For Entertainment Value Only,” otherwise you run the risk of mistaking it for a real election, where real change and real policies may be decided, as opposed to living under an oligarchy in which the election process is a sham. There's no policy discussion. There's no hope of change. There's nothing at all besides this ad hominem sandbox fight which makes for good television sometimes, although that display the other night was horrific, it is also is dangerously distracting from the truth. I mean, this is not a real thing going on here. 

One of my favorite definitions of US democracy came from a friend years ago and I still use it today: two virtually indistinguishable candidates spending a billion dollars to convince voters that the other guy wet his bed when he was seven.

And now to bring the COVID situation into it just makes it even more of a farce, to be honest. Everyone, you have half the country waking up and thinking Ha! Ha! like the old Nelson Muntz routine from the Simpsons. That it's Karma. Karma is a bitch. You call out someone's addicted son on national television and this is what happens, you know. But the focus really should be on the major questions that are burning for the American people - the question of access to health care--that should be on Medicare for all.

Will COVID kill Trump? Who cares

I mean all the speculation of what's going to happen if Trump dies? That's all taken care of in the Constitution in its excruciating minutiae of what if, and before the election if he dies and so on. But really the guy has the best health care in the world. He's not deprived of it like hundreds of millions of Americans are. And that should be the focus, not this silly debate that we had the other night.

Everyone was appalled by Trump's behavior. Yeah, he's a bully. Yes, he called out Biden's son. Biden told him to shut up. He called him a clown. Trump kept interrupting him. He has no respect for the rules. He lies. Again, circus entertainment value.

Biden stood there looking like Mr. Magoo trying to defend a position that he doesn't share because he doesn't stand for anything. I mean that's the trouble. You have another meme floating around like the Batman. vs Penguin debate from the old Batman series. Entertainment! And Biden has nothing to say, no leg to stand on because they're left fighting a battle they are not prepared for. It's the ideas that the Sanders wing of the party pushed, these mega-popular ideas like the Green New Deal, like Medicare for all, like higher living minimum wage, etc, etc.

As mild as they are, they can't defend them because they don't share them and guess who is best to defend those ideas: People who actually believe in them! But Democrats have to remember--or people who are going to vote Democrat--that the DNC and its oligarchic levers of control already won the election that they chose to contest. They much preferred to beat Sanders and his ideas for taking over the Democratic Party than to lose to Trump.

They really at this point, couldn't care less because they already won what matters and they are in a trap of their own making. All of that rhetoric, all this Russiagate crap, all of that manipulating Facebook sowing discord and all this stuff is meant to devalue the very notion of populism as equated to fascism. In other words, it leaves the only thing available as right-wing populism. People are pissed off. They want and need real policies, real change. These ideas are wildly popular but they're untouchable because they're not running on this platform. But the right-wing knows they can run against it.

Call him a socialist, call him a radical left-winger. It sounds silly to Trump opponents, but it lands with his half of the electorate. And besides, it's better entertainment. That's the thing.

What do you what do we learn from this contest? This virtually identical in foreign policy, you have in many attempts Biden outflanking Trump on the right in terms of Trump not being hard enough on China, the constant chattering about Russiagate and Putin's puppet and all that stuff -- just ridiculous stuff.

Kids in a Sandbox 

And Trump was right to call him out over the Crime Bill and calling young Black men super predators. That all happened. That's all real. Just because Trump is cynically manipulating doesn't mean that the Democrats have a leg to stand on against it, and that's the issue. That's why this election is not worth paying attention to outside of this circus component because it doesn't change anything.

Just like the Russians have said: "Presidents change, policies don't." And the oligarchy will be in control on November 4. And it will be in control on January 20 and it will still push this agenda. In fact with things returning to normal, so to speak, and you go back to the kind of support like the guy who's really good at killing people and the drone wars. That is arguably worse than the stalemate that exists now.

I may be wrong, but I don't think Trump's going to die. I think he's going to come back and say that this was huge, one of the best. He recovered bigly and it's the best recovery ever and you ain't see nothing yet. It's just like the economic recovery, all of his usual shtick. And the Democrats are left looking like they don't want to win the election because, in fact, they don't. They really don't care.

They already beat down what they consider to be radical ideas which are people-based ideas. And they're going full sail into all the wars, all the foreign policy, the kind of attacks on Russia and China, the continued use of police to beat down dissent at home, all those expansions of police power that took place under Democrats as well-- don't get it twisted. And they're not going to be rolled back by a Democrat president.

So you know I say pass the popcorn and we'll just have to enjoy for what it is, or just shut the TV off. Either way is fine.

Daniel Patrick Welch is a writer of political commentary and analysis. Also a singer and songwriter, he lives and writes in Salem, Massachusetts with his wife. Together they run The Greenhouse School. He has traveled widely, speaks five languages and studied Russian History and Literature at Harvard University. Welch has also appeared as a guest on several TV and radio channels to speak on topics of foreign affairs and political analysis--around his day job. He can be available for interview requests as time and scheduling permit. Despite the price of being outspoken against US foreign policy and military adventurism -- which can be steep in today's circumstances -- he believes firmly as did Rosa Luxemburg that "It will always be the most revolutionary act to tell the truth out loud."

Welch recorded this article for Press TV website.

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