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Demobilization 2016: The American People and the Spectacle of Our Election


Demobilization 2016: The American People and the Spectacle of Our Election

Tom Engelhardt

You may not know it, but you’re living in a futuristic science fiction novel. And that’s a fact. If you were to read about our American world in such a novel, you would be amazed by its strangeness. Since you exist right smack in the middle of it, it seems like normal life (Donald Trump and Ben Carson aside). But make no bones about it, so far this has been a bizarre American century.


You are a good writer, Tom E., but put out far too long pieces!


Rosie the frequent flyer...a great line. I don't think the piece was too long because I read fast. However, perhaps Tom should write slower to accommodate slower readers. (That's an old joke and is NOT aimed at the reader who says the piece was too lengthy...)


Tom talks about war a lot more than Bernie Sanders ever does.

It's notable that this year's liberal Sparkle Pony is not even bothering to hint that he might try to end our War Against the Afghan People or any of other scores of wars and 'humanitarian interventions' of mass killing.

This is a defacto admission on the part of the Real Government of the USA that there is no intention of ever ending these wars.


Why was not the stolen election of GWB mentioned. It would of been proven if not for 9/11 which makes you wonder about all the accusations that it was an inside job.


Good point, but it is "would have"... not "would of." Yes, the simple fact that the Bush crime family stole the 2000 election twelve ways from Friday, not the least of which was the James Baker CIA-style assault squad, nor the Bush Corporate Supreme Court arrogation of unconstitutional power, nor the Jeb Bush/Katherine Harris match made in hell. That American believers in democracy never mobilized in mass numbers against these atrocious crimes against democracy's fundamental institutions continues to fill me with despair.


How much is the admission price to your own personal Disneyland? Are Sparkle Pony rides free? Sanders has called for cuts of $80 Billion to the DoD, alone. Get off your high horse, here, or do we have to wait for the quarter to run out.


I'm not sure about the Obama point. The crowds were huge in many cities. Has he been a large and bitter disappointment? Yes, of course. Your speculation is just that and, only that, on Sen. Sanders. But hey, project away!


So I guess you never read even magazine articles, much less books?


Actually, if I recall, the media had already buried the report before Sept 11. Recall that the stolen election was only made possible with the full cooperation of Al Gore's campaign - specifically their refusal to simply assert their right to a full recount in Florida and before that, their complete caving to that polo-shirt-golf-pants assault of the Palm Beach Country elections office workers.


The Democratic Party was complicit in the GOP "stealing" the 2000 election. The Democrats knew their propaganda machine could make Nader the fall guy so they failed to demand a Florida recount.


Will those cuts include his F-35 jobs program?


At least some of us who are "speculating" on Sanders also "speculated" on Obama, and Clinton (at least in '96), but it seems Dem voters just love to be fooled ...


I think your point about his failure to take a whack at Hillary, let alone defending her (Thank you, Bernie!) is too seldom commented on ... Sanders serves at the pleasure of the DP, and it would not be pleased if the one who may well be its nominee were tarnished by one of its own - he is hedging his bets, with a stated intent to support her if she wins the nomination ... sorry, but this is no part of any "political revolution" i would want to be part of ....

This is so reminiscent of all those who overlooked or dismissed all those little "details" that foretold O's course ...


But you have to admit that there is nothing that so focuses one's mind as the thought that one's son or daughter might have to risk coming home in a body bag ....


Shucks, you can't get a book on Twitter, can you?


"In the meantime, the national security state’s power is largely uncontested"
Therein lies the "rub"....


As a candidate, Obama was correct when he said that there could be no change unless the people united, got to their feet and DEMANDED change from Congress. I guess we (those who aren't on the right wing) discovered that we don't agree on what change is needed. Clearly, liberals (media) think our greatest concern is to stand up for the better off alone, the middle class. They are wrong. Just who are the People, and what do they want? At this point, there's the sense that everything is out of our hands, beyond our control.


On the other hand, people foolishly forget the role of Congress. Congress (Dems included) have shot down one progressive Obama proposal after another. Also, people easily get confused between what they think a politician is all about, and what that pol actually says, what his/her record,shows, etc. Many are grievously disappointed that Obama did not wave a magic wand and deliver rainbows and unicorns. What did the masses say they wanted? What did people actually unite on? That's what matters -- whether people can agree to anything, organize, get to their feet, and MAKE government listen.


Apparently Mr. Engelhardt checks these threads. That's why he's revisiting 911 and using Disney metaphors to describe it. Unfortunately, this Disney-fantasy reference refuses to touch the core of the illusion, itself. Instead it turns its attention to the behavior codified AFTER the Great Deception.

Also: I have used this specific reference to define Mr. Engelhardt's sports-casters' view of events within "war theaters." He has chosen to lift and use it for his own devices:

"In addition, retired military men were brought in to do Monday Night Football-style play-by-play and color commentary on the fighting in progress."

As I've noticed in the past year, too many of Tomdispatch writers sound alike and march lockstep with a particular storyline. That storyline always defers to the Official Narrative of 911 events; and it takes a stance towards the M.I.C. that is based on "reform" and correcting its failure to win wars. Nothing more. The moral lapses in this level of commentary mortify me. And since this messaging is deferential to the Pentagon, which always has plenty of funds to pass around to writers and journalists who are amenable with its Cause... I believe that Mr. Engelhardt could well be compromised.

This article supports my suspicions.