Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 05/24/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: Real Answers For A Simple Question
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]

(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – "American Idiot Remix" – by Green Day and David Matthews 2)

Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.

You know, sometimes a really simple question requires a really simple answer.

Unfortunately when it comes to politics, there is no such thing as a really simple answer to even the simplest of questions. Oh those kinds of answers are out there, but you’re not going to hear them from the people that NEED to answer them.

Here’s one of those simple questions that was asked over at the Fox News website: Why do the political parties – Democrats and Republicans of course – champion flawed or screwed-up candidates?

Let’s say you have a really popular person who wants to run for office. He’s perfect for the job, and the person currently holding the job is inept and incompetent and corrupt to the core. This candidate has potential, he’s popular, and already has a campaign issue that would carry him through the election. Common sense says that this should be the person to run.

BUT the party bosses have someone else in mind for the job. A veritable nobody who’s more known for his work behind-the-scenes. The only thing that this candidate has on his side is party loyalty, but that’s all that the bosses care for, so they’re going to reward that person with their support.

Guess what that means? Yup, the party bosses will pull out all of the stops to get the popular figure to drop out of the race and possibly put his support behind the nobody, even though the nobody will certainly lose the election.

I’m sure we’ve all heard a few of those instances, right?

Or just the fact that you have some politician who continuously gets elected and re-elected who’s flawed and corrupt and couldn’t work an honest day even if they paid an honest man to do it. But he or she still gets elected and re-elected because they know how to play the game.

And like me, you’ve probably been asking yourselves "WHY" this has been allowed to go on for some time. I mean, you take a look at the number of people who vote. The more pathetic the race, and the more disgusting the candidates, the fewer people that actually give a crap and show up at the polls. And the party bosses KNOW this! If they want their party to win all they have to do is find a really good candidate to match them up against the corrupt incumbent. But they don’t do that!

Now this could and SHOULD have been a no-brainer question. But instead, Fox News turned to a former member of Congress who focused on the examples instead of actually answering the question. Obviously that trick would work for some folks… but not for yours truly.

And in truth, anyone currently IN the system really doesn’t want you to know the answer to that question! It’s the white elephant in the middle of the room that nobody wants to talk about and nobody wants to acknowledge is there, and yet you can’t help but know that it’s there.

Why do the parties field flawed candidates?

Well let’s get brutally honest here… the reason why these parties field flawed candidates is because THEY CAN!

Our political system, whether we like it or not, has been corrupted and corroded by a duopoly. That’s a two-party monopoly, in case you didn’t know what the word means. Two dominant and domineering political parties that have been in power for so long that they actually believe that they have a Manifest Destiny to rule over us.

And the sad truth is that for the most part, our country has been run by two dominant political parties. That may be a bitter truth about our political history, but that still doesn’t make it right. And contrary to the delusions in places like Florida, it wasn’t ALWAYS the Democrats and the Republicans! Sure there was a limited period of time when there was NO dominant political party, but that more or less came to an end after Abraham Lincoln got elected… representing a little-known fringe third-party group of the time called the Grand Old Party… or the GOP.

So what happens when you have a monopoly, or in this case a duopoly? Concentrated power brings up feelings of entitlement. They’re not there to serve the masses. They can’t even claim to serve the voters anymore. They’re there to serve THEMSELVES. They’re there to serve themselves and their party bosses and all of the lobbyists that funnel money their way. THOSE are the ONLY people that matter in their world.

And when you have an instituted monopolistic system, what happens? Then there’s no real incentive for quality. Quality work, quality service… these thing go right out the door when you have a monopolistic system in place.

The best example of this is your local cable service. Remember when it came out? There was this big push for every community to have Cable TV… and they got it… and of course it was and still is regulated by the local government. There is usually only one service for the area, so here you have a GOVERNMENT-SANCTIONED monopoly.

Bear in mind that there were very few alternatives when Cable TV ruled. What, go back to rabbit ears? You were screwed if you lived in an apartment, or if you lived in an area where you can’t get anything without putting in a huge antenna that some zoning boards and local neighborhoods deem to be an "illegal eyesore".

And what did you get for your subscription? You’d get your local channels, a couple of extra channels, and possibly a couple of movie channels if you were willing to pay for them. Pay-Per-View services were limited to the occasional special events, and of course you’d pay through the nose for them. The channels you would get were pre-determined by the cable company, and they would set up these bizarre billing packages instead of an all-inclusive price for all of the standard channels.

And the service? Well if you needed something set up, they’d come to help… eventually. And if you had a problem, they’d come to fix it… at some point. Just don’t hold your breath.

Today, however, it’s totally different. Today cable companies offer digital signals, high-speed Internet access, movies on demand, digital music, and even Internet phone service! And while service isn’t always instantaneous, it certainly beats the hell out of asking the rhetorical question of the past… namely "You want it WHEN?"

So what happened to change the cable companies for the better? Competition!

Back in the 1990’s digital satellite made its debut, changing from the monster radio dishes that were banned by local zoning boards (sometimes at the behest of the cable companies) to little pizza dishes that you could put on a porch railing in your backyard. They offered a larger variety of cable channels, ALL of the movie channels, ALL of the pay-per-view opportunities, movies on demand, digital music, and, yes, eventually high speed Internet access! The service was faster, more readily available, and competitive with the cable companies!

And now with even the phone companies offering high-speed Internet access through DSL and providing downloadable movies, the cable companies have something to really worry about. They HAD to change and offer more features, because if they didn’t they would be going out of business.

Well that’s the way it is with our political system. It is under duopolist control, and while there ARE alternatives, those alternatives are stymied heavily by rules that were written by and exercised exclusively for the benefit of the two dominant political parties. And it is because of this corrupt and dysfunctional system that neither party has any incentive to look for or champion ideal candidates that will serve the public instead of their own pockets.

And that’s also WHY they don’t want you to know the really simple answer to that really simple question. It’s really all about keeping power.

(Computer – you may have heard this clip, or you may haven’t… but you won’t know if you don’t hear it)
(Fade Music In – "Mythodea" by Vangelis)

You know, I always found it hypocritical that we as a community can think that it’s great to have five or six different grocery stores… twenty or so different gas stations… five Wal-Mart stores within a ten-mile radius of any community… thirty-two flavors of ice cream… 500-channels on TV… and fifty ways to leave your lover… but that it’s somehow sacrilegious to have more than TWO political parties and more than ONE perspective in religion.

Well we can’t do too much about discussing religion because that’s really just ego-gratification, but there is something that can be done about the problems we have with BOTH political parties. If you want the political parties to start throwing their support behind GOOD candidates… candidates that will ACTUALLY represent the voters instead of the special interests… candidates that won’t rob America blind and then cover it up with a phony crisis layered in demagoguery… then there needs to be REAL competition in the system… and that can only come from the third-party candidates! It’s only when these political parties face some serious challenges do they actually do something to EARN their votes.

But as long as voters sit back and listen to the lies and the zero-sum arguments from the liberals and conservatives and their respective talking head representatives in the media… And then continue to support either Democrats or Republicans or else not vote, then they will never get the kind of government that they NEED. They’ll just end up with the kind of government that they DESERVE.


Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production, all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and I’ll speak with you soon!

(Fade out)
(Computer – Ending/"End of Recording")

[End of program]

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