Brought To You By “Clean Coal:” All You Need To Know About the 2012 Obama- Romney Debates
A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
A few weeks ago, we wrote about the top 15 things that Mitt Romney and Barack Obama agree on. It was a list that easily could have been longer.
Both agree on more money for the military, more wars in more countries, more drone killings, more privatizations of schools, roads and everything else in sight, and more bailouts for banksters, and continuing the 40 year war on drugs. Both say no, though in different language to minimum wage increases and the right to organize unions and strike. Both say no to climate change treaties, or even negotiations that might lead to such treaties, and both say no to foreclosure moratoriums, WPA style job creation programs and Medicare For All. Neither one will prosecute banksters or torturers, or talk much at all about poverty, although the last time there were this many poor a Democrat called for a War on Poverty.
Given their areas of agreement alone, the presidential debates won't be real debates. The so-called Presidential Debate Commission is a private corporation founded by leaders of the two corporate parties, who choose the format, the location, the moderators and the questions, and explicitly draw up the rules to exclude candidates and parties other than Democrats and Republicans.
Although the broadcast airwaves have existed longer than the sun, and cable networks everywhere run beneath public roads and streets, US law lets private corporations determine on their own what political messages reach the population by controlling news and demanding large sums of money for a few seconds of commercials. These large amounts of money can only be gotten from the same plutocratic shot calling individuals and corporations who make the careers of Republicans like Mitt Romney and Democrats like Barack Obama possible.
How irresponsible, how locked down, how deceitfully scripted and divorced from the real world in which most of us live are these presidential debates? Besides everything the candidates agree on, and who runs the so-called debate “commission”, all you need to know is that one of the marquee sponsors of the 2012 presidential debates, and the 2008 ones as well, is an industry front group called the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. Both Republican and Democratic presidential candidates are deep in the pocket of “clean coal,” as they are in the pockets of Big Ag, Big Insurance, military contractors, Wall Street and other centers of real power.
One answer to the lack of real discussions presented us by the rigged “commission” on presidential debates will be Occupy The Debates, a project undertaken by Occupy activists in multiple cities, in which a live meeting will entertain live questions from a live audience. Occupy the Debates' first scheduled public meeting will be in Denver CO, the same evening as the first so-called “debate” between the two corporate candidates. Occupy the Debates will be streamed live on the internet that evening, and will include the participation of Black Agenda Report co-counder Glen Ford. Several occupy movements around the country are expected to follow suit and organize their own local events over the next few weeks. For more information on real debates on real issues, visit Occupy the Debates, either on FaceBook or at www.occupythedebates.org. That'swww.occupythedebates.org.
For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at www.blackagendareport.com.
Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and a member of the state committee of the Georgia Green Party. He lives and works in Marietta GA, and can be reached at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com.