Like, seriously, who really cares what the outcome of the Iowa Straw Poll is? Iowa is not even remotely representative of the rest of the United States. The Straw Poll is a good 14 months before the 2012 elections, making it meaningless on that score alone. Similarly, the winner of this strange contest virtually never (if ever) goes on to become President, or even the nominee of the party, so what is the point? Today’s winner, Michele Bachmann, won by only one percentage point over Ron Paul, neither of whom has any realistic chance of ever becoming President. The presumed front-runner, Mitt Romney, did not even participate, and the presumed “Great White Hope,” Rick Perry (another religious nut case), didn’t even announce his candidacy until today. Pawlenty, who had to make a good showing, came in a rather distant third, which may well allow him to continue, knowing that Bachmann and Paul are not going to go much further, but probably will prove to be a waste of time against Romney and Perry. Sarah Palin, whore for public attention and housewife from hell, still teases her followers about a possible run that is not going to happen. In fact, even those who finished far behind in this “poll,” like Huntsman and Santorum need not necessarily give up all hope (unless their contributors stop funding them) because the whole contest is basically absurd, settles nothing, and anything could potentially still happen.
I don’t know how this Iowa straw poll tradition got started, but you have to give the State of Iowa, and especially the good citizens of Ames, some credit for creating (for them) a good thing. Just like the merchants that created Valentine’s Day, they have managed to raise a lot of money for an exceedingly questionable purpose. I’m sure the merchants of Ames, especially the hotels, restaurants, and bars do a lot of business during this basic “fun fest” that serves no truly useful purpose. And even the worst of the losers can one day regale their grandchildren about how they once ran for President of the United States. They needn’t mention it was during the period of (hopefully) temporary insanity that characterized the second decade of the 21st century.
Looking around the rest of the world leads me to believe there are powerful forces at work to bring about meaningful changes. There are terrible riots in England, Spain, Greece, France, Italy, and elsewhere. There is the so-called “Arab spring,” featuring uprisings in many Arab countries such as Egypt, Yemen, Libya and others. In the U.S., so far there have been mostly the demonstrations in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio, and now a potential strike by Verizon workers. I think the labor unions are beginning to see increases in membership and many unions are going to refuse to attend the Democratic convention because it will be held in a “right-to-work” state. It appears to me the rumblings of discontent are picking up steam and there is no guarantee we will not see rioting in the U.S. It is also said the wealthy are beginning to hire more and more bodyguards as protection from the growing discontented. You would think they might be willing to give up a small percentage of their ill-gotten gains to avoid what appear to be coming “troubles,” but don’t bet on it. There is little doubt the depth of anger is growing and also little doubt that Congress and the President are failing to act seriously to alleviate it. I note that even a respected and important economist has recently observed that Marx was right and capitalism is in the process of destroying itself as predicted. It is obvious, at least to me, that massive changes will have to occur in our economic and political systems, wresting control from the corporations and returning government to the people. I fear, however, that the Fascist takeover may have already gone so far as to be impervious to change, at least without months or even years of resistance. The “people” in a so-called “people’s democracy” have become so irrelevant their wishes and desires and demands are simply increasingly ignored. They want jobs, ignored, universal health care, ignored, and end to the useless “wars,” ignored, more taxes from the wealthy and the corporations, ignored, accountability for war and other crimes, ignored, and their voices are drowned out by unlimited and uncontrolled corporate spending to insure corporate interests are put above all others. It is, at the moment at least, the American way.