MUNCIE, Indiana – Well, election season is coming to an end with this being the last day before Tuesday’s election. We’ve heard many comments about the “lack of interest” for the mid-term elections even though the congressional senate is up for control and the house has many seats up for grabs. The power structure is predicted to change with republicans controlling the legislative body while a democrat holds the executive seat. Get ready to hear the word, ‘VETO’, used often over the next two years.
Democrats are using social media and grassroots efforts to energize their base. The old truism remains to this day, “An un-cast ballot is a vote for republicans”. But, is it that simple?
Throughout the year, Muncie Voice tries to educate our readers so voting should be an easy process. Our niche is to create informed voters – citizens who refuse to be “pandered” to by politicians. However, we’ve come to realize over the years that voters are easily manipulated into voting for the wrong people – time and time again. They aren’t presented facts, because facts will make them change the channel or stop subscribing. They watch and read what they do because it reinforces their belief structure. Instead of changing their beliefs to adapt to reality, they choose a media outlet which reinforces their beliefs. We refer to it as the “echo chamber”.
Other citizens refuse to vote because the system is rigged. Of course it’s rigged…the ‘establishment’ has favored monied interests from the beginning since that is who wrote our founding document. However, over the short history of our country, ALL meaningful changes in our country have come from conflicts arising from oppression.
The industrial period has ended for our country – we’ve moved into the technology era. Information is key.
However, with the age of technology and speed of information, the apparatus for controlling citizens, the media, is also changing with the internet, and social media like Facebook and Twitter. Journalists and citizens can now report on events half way around the world, with thousands of people reading it instantly, unfiltered by editors at a newspaper.
We don’t need to wait for a reporter to collect the information, check references and facts, write an article, have it edited, published, and delivered to our front door. One Tweet with 140 words from Israel with a photo, and message delivered. Citizens have joined the Fourth Estate – a free and independent press – in holding our government, private sector, and media accountable. A whole new group of “media watchdogs” have formed over the past several years because they’ve realized the message is contrived – fixed – rigged.
With this new informational flow, we now have to use our critical thinking skills as editor, publisher, and interpret the message ourselves. For those of us who partake in this process, we have the advantages of obtaining news and information days or weeks ahead of others. In addition, we get the information before it is shaped with biased eyes, ears, and pen.
Why is this important, and how is it relevant to the 6th District congressional race against the incumbent Luke Messer (R) and Susan Heitzman (D)?
Muncie Voice is a child of Middletown Media which is using Muncie, Indiana as the microcosm of the United States to study socio-economic and political changes. This particular congressional race puts forth two separate and distinctly different candidates. Luke Messer is a completely owned Plutocrat’s tool – insurance, finance, energy and defense industries to name a few. His opponent, Susan Heitzman refuses to accept campaign dollars from monied interests because she doesn’t want to be beholden to them. The Democrat is only taking money from people who can go online at Act Blue to give individually.
If voters are informed, they would clearly vote for the person who has their own best interests at heart. Right?
The problem is the system is rigged to favor those of monied interests. Our founders established a government that became over-powered by those who owned the capital – the capitalists – Plutocrats – Oligarchs.
Webster defines Capitalist as “a person who has capital especially invested in business; broadly : a person of wealth : Plutocrat”.
One of the world’s greatest minds, Albert Einsten, said this about Plutocrats within our capitalist economy in 1949:
Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an Oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.
If you read this paragraph very slowly, you will see exactly what has happened within the United States was predicted in 1949.
In reality, all societies will go through transformation based on class inequalities or the oppressors versus the oppressed. Going back to the founding of our nation, the colonies rebelled against the oppressive government of Great Britain. The British kept restricting the American colonists after each small rebellion.
As with the founding of our great experiment, transformations happen through a series of conflicts. We are experiencing many such conflicts now – some blame the government, while others are focusing on the Oligarchs who control the government. Still others haven’t formed an opinion yet.
Alan Sears’ (Canadian sociologist) in his 1998 book, A Good Book, in Theory: A Guide to Theoretical Thinking wrote this about conflict theories:
The State serves the particular interests of the most powerful while claiming to represent the interests of all. Representation of disadvantaged groups in State processes may cultivate the notion of full participation, but this is an illusion/ideology.
The reality is it’s really like 0.5% versus the 99.5%. However, the 99.5% is divided by ideology along a spectrum of liberal to conservative. The Oligarchs know this and manipulate us via the media interests they own. We turn to the media to be informed, but it’s really marketing and public relations for the Oligarchs.
How is this being played out locally with our congressional race?
Voters will have to become more informed by refusing to be manipulated by their bias, prejudices, and belief structures.
Voters watch and read media outlets which reinforce those beliefs. If they don’t like what they hear or read, they turn the channel. Instead of opening their minds to new ideas and growing, their minds are closed – “I vote republican because they are looking out for my best interests by eliminating the lazy minorities from the public teat!”
Luke knows exactly what the demographics are within his district. He knows the majority watch Fox News and read conservative newspapers published by Gannett like The StarPress in Muncie, Indiana. For even more insurance, the republican party has carved up all the congressional districts to make sure they consist mainly of republican voters.
The only way Hoosiers can defy this abuse of power is to oppose these tactics by voting contrary to their wishes. Much like the 1 million Indiana voters did in 2012 when they voted for Glenda Ritz over Tony Bennett for public schools superintendent. Have Hoosiers learned the lesson? Do they understand the problem, or was 2012 a fluke?
We’ll know late Tuesday evening after the polls close and votes are tallied.