American politics is like professional wrestling combined with figure skating; it’s a fictional play that the judges score regardless of who won the fight.
There are many psychological layers to professional wrestling. The spectators know (I think) it’s fiction, but they all agree to be in a state of mass-psychosis because the pleasure they derive from it is all the same anyway.
It’s similar to sex plays. Both parties know they are pretending, but it does not matter because the pleasure they get from it is the same. At least with sex, there is a concept of “safe words” in case they want to stop the pretense.
What troubles me about American politics is that the audience sincerely believes it. With professional wrestling, even when you get angry, you are aware, at least to some degree, that you are enjoying that expression of anger. This is not true with American politics; the audience is earnestly angry at the actors and does not realize that it’s a form of entertainment when they watch politicians and TV commentators express their anger towards, say, Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, the real fight goes on behind the scenes between the two camps of the super-rich, which we can call “Wall Street Money” versus “Oil Money.” The leak of Podesta emails in 2008 gave us a rare glimpse into how this works. A Citigroup executive, Michael Froman, emailed Podesta the “Lists” of the cabinet members he wants for the Obama administration even before he was elected. And, the final selection matched his lists almost exactly.
The real politics is fought over the government policies that would allow these two camps of the super-rich to get even richer, but because these policies are so technical, complex, and boring that there is no entertainment value in reading about them.
Conveniently for Wall Street Money, Democrats are obsessed with identity politics. So they put on a show about race and gender. They don’t realize that the race and gender of these actors have no bearing on real politics. Like with professional basketball, we could fill Congress with people of color and women, but who ultimately become richer and maintain power would not change, because what goes on in Congress and basketball court is only a play.
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