Ben Sen's Blog

Politics, Culture and Religion Without Projections

Ben Sen

Ben Sen
New York, N.Y.,
December 31
I'd rather be judged on the basis of my posts than anything written in my bio. It's put down and gathered as a record of my experience and a response to what I see as the important issues in the world today. I don't pretend it's anything other than subjective. The purpose is to analyze, interpret, express opinions, challenge the status quo, open a few doors, and entertain. I heartily welcome ratings, comments and dialogue. That's what makes this media unique and valuable. It also keeps me honest and encouraged since I'm not getting paid. Take a risk and say something; it feels better. A "conversation" is essential for the growth of the individual and the collective. I have faith it extends beyond the confines of what is said here. "For it is necessary for awake people to be awake, or a breaking line may discourge us back to sleep, the signals we give--yes, no or maybe--should be clear: the darkness around us is deep." From A RITUAL TO READ TO EACH OTHER by William Stafford


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NOVEMBER 5, 2012 8:19PM

My Predictions For the Election

Rate: 5 Flag

     The GOP will sweep, with the exception of the Pennsylvania Senate race, where substance will win out over another pretty face.

    You think my tongue is wobbling in my cheek?  I saw Nixon, who turned out to be a paranoid, win promoting a war that is now generally agreed was unnecessary, even by Robert McNamara, the man who waged it.   52,000 lives didn't matter and I then saw another "President" win a second term after taking the nation to war under false pretenses!  That's in an age of instant communications.  It's hard to imagine, but it happened, didn't it.

     Call me a fool at your own risk.  I refuse to take 99 per cent of what is said, and has been said by the candidates seriously for months.  It's a masquerade run for the inmates of a zoo.  Romney created the template for the Health Care Act Obama past.  It's the most progressive piece of legistation since the time of Johnson, and most of those against it are the most likely to gain from it's passage.

     You say I'm a man who has no faith in democracy?  I say the opposite.  I'm a realist.  The consensus moves forward incrementally.  The most important thing to keep in mind to preserve ones sanity is that the average American reads at the fifth grade level.  Who are these poor saps without a dime in their pocket or a plan for the future who want to put a guy into office who could care less if they live or die? 

     If social security had not been forced upon them they'd be dependant upon their children in old age, if they don't simply roll over and die.  If it wasn't for Medicare and Medicaid they'd expire from hangovers.  If it wasn't for the GI bill that let them into college they'd be selling Murdock's newspapers on the street, and the folks in NYC would be just as screwed as the folks in New Orleans when Bush wrote them off. 

     My explanation is sheer stupidity.  I blame them.  The pols are forced to cater to them under the terms of our social contract.  As a result, some are outright venal, and some are outright incompetent, or both.  It doesn't matter when ideology is the primary motivator.  My advantage is that I'm not paid by anyone.  I don't have an editor responsive to advertisers or those who control the networks.  I have no asses to kiss.  I am the enemy of the status quo.

     Daniel Patrick Moynihan said America is "ideologically conservative, but liberal in practice."  That's what gives me what little hope I possess.  It can't survive otherwise and the rich have to sell their merchandise to somebody.  They know it, why do so few others?

     If they push the middle class and poor  too far, and give them even less reason to work than they have now,  if they refuse to respond to any need for dignity the general populace has, the history of humanity is that eventually they will rebel, no matter how much free cake they give out.  

   You may not think of that, but the guys who run things must, and our system is such that much blatant suffering is in bad taste. I'm not saying we still couldn't become more barbaric, only pointing out what mitigates against it.  The rich can't support the whole nation by philantrophy to keep them from knocking down their door.

     Not only that, but two thirds of those on Medicaid, for instance, are members of the middle class who can't afford nursing homes otherwise, and some of their offspring have the capability to make the connection, even though it's not the majority.  They're all just hoping nothing bad will ever happen to them, despite the fact that nobody has ever gotten out of here alive.  Somebody has to tell them.

     The dialogue with the right is hopeless at this point.  They desire only that the white race continue its dominance, even if they are dying out as a result of their own selfishness.  Patrick Buchanan expressed it for them calling it the "browning" of America.

     Most are unconscious of it since their demagogues have given them plenty of other arguments.  Their identities are so weak they need them to tell them they exist.  It gives them a claim to still consider themselves members of humanity, even if they have to hide their faces in the poor parts of town, and smile their fake smile at the clerks who serve them.  My question is how they are able to look in the mirror, but my cards are now on the table.

     The fringe left is the greater problem since they pretend to be reasonable, even if they do not accept democracy as it is practiced in this country.  They want daddy to come save them even if daddy is dead.  I personally find them more revolting since it was once my perspective before I became a militant moderate.  Their hypocrisy, portending to "liberalism" when it is nothing of the kind is like the priests who diddle little boys in God's name, or women who drive their sons to suicide to keep them "nice."  Protect us from them.

    That's America!  That's the America I've known all my life.  That part of it isn't going to change.  A very small per cent will point the way toward the future and the rest will drag their miserable asses until they have no other choice.  That's the way it is, as Walter used to say. 

     And on America's behalf I will say that's the way it is throughout time and throughout culture.  Reaction and fear are in far greater supply than conscience or "thought."  A hack is much more likely to make a buck than anybody who dares tell the truth.  The "revolution" that changes that may take more than a few milleniums, but don't plan on it then either. 

    That's why I'm prepared.  If and when I wake up on Wednesday, I will not be disappointed.  My God, if I lived through Bush II, I figure I can live through anything.  Bring it on. 





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well, I definitely hope you're incorrect in your predictions. but I agree with you that whatever happens, we'll all live through it...
Rated, not that I want to agree with you - but because you're of a sound mind. R
You're giving the left in this country far more power and influence than they actually have.
I'll take the "Bring it on" ironically. Another spell of Bush the Lesser, only more pro-business, anti-immigration and Tea Party flavored will cause a lot more suffering. I've got my (real) money on Obama and I'm getting worried about tomorrow night.
Call it wishful thinking, but I respectfully disagree with your prediction of the outcome of the election, including in the down-ballot races.

That said, I'm afraid I share your opinion of the electorate, and I've lived long enough to see a distinct decline in the collective intelligence of the electorate. In my view, that is a direct result of the rise of corporations and advertising, and fed by the "circus" even Roman emperors would have envied -- television, the new opiate of the masses.

That said, the former opiate of the masses also plays a significant role. Kristian fundamentalism, with its xenophobia, racism and anti-sciencism, also bears a large portion of the blame for the decline and fall of civilized society.
Ben Sen,

Do you remember when we were regular salon bloggers during the 2008 election? You brought up this same point that young voters give up too easily. That they supported Obama in online media, but would they show up on election day? Or would they show up on election day four years later? You expressed your skepticism.

I think for too long the media has been looking at American elections through a 1960's lens. And yet, a re-alignment has taken place under Obama. He's not a radical liberal. Or even a person Paul Wellstone would have said was from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. But Obama is able to reach centrist voters, particularly centrists under 30, minorities, and women and this matters. Another blogger recently wrote that Bush won 60 percent of the white vote in 2004 and won significantly. Romney won 60 percent of white voters and lost significantly.

I was walking along 4th street in San Rafael listening to the radio on my headphones when I heard about Ohio and tears started falling down my cheeks. Obama isn't a 60's liberal or a radical liberal. Although he has definitely been portrayed as one on Fox News. But he speaks to the fact that you don't start cutting government services to poor people during the worst economic period since the 1920's. You don't give rich people a twenty percent tax cut while claiming to care about debt and deficits. You don't mouth off about rape and women and expect women to support your candidacy. You don't demonize the dream act and promote self-deportation and expect that Americans aren't going to show our disapproval at the ballot box.

I hope for the best for this country. But I just wanted to say that I found it interesting, in this election, that Republicans are the new radicals. And this is something interesting (or maybe boring) about this country. Barry Goldwater said, "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice." But in this country, extremism is seen as a vice.

Take care. And a good 2012 to you, my friend.