The Fall 2015 Fox replacement for the popular show "American Idol" is the GOP Debate series. It is spectacle and theater that even has some of my left of center friends talking about "if you had to, which of them would you vote for?"
Of course the debates are entertaining. Laugh In was funny, Saturday Night Live -occasionally funny. Curb Your Enthusiasm? -always funny. However to think any of the candidates offered by the party working to destroy the hard fought gains in civil rights, voting rights and women's rights; promotes a foreign policy equivalent to "Let them hate us as long as they fear us" -a policy of perpetual war (paid for in blood by our poor and working class -and in future generations of indebtedness) -while ensuring that everyone has a gun or assault rifle would be acceptable as President is irreconcilable and irresponsible.
Nevertheless -it is a spectacle -and it is successfully distracting us. The real issues as I see them are
- The Iran Nuclear Agreement (which will avoid yet another long, protracted war in the Middle East -and all of the horror that manifest in war -for generations).
- The growing inequality between those that have and those that don't in America stemming from tax and economic policy from the disastrous Reagan administration.
- The regressive attack on women's rights, racial justice and voting rights.
- The attacks on our environment (Keystone XL, the Gulf Coast has a dead zone from the BP catastrophe, the negligence by All American Plains leading to the pipeline disaster in central California and now Shell is on their way to destroy the Arctic).
- Attacks on environmental protection and regulation.
- Attacks on Unions and the middle class.
- The war on education and intellectual capability.
- Ignorance-fueled discrimination against people by those hiding behind "religious liberty" as a means to hate.
- The attacks on tax fairness that subvert a progressive tax system such that the wealthy and corporations legally avoid their responsibility to America.
The spectacle IS American Idol's Fall season replacement on Fox.
Let's not forget for a moment what is really going on -and what is really at stake. It is well past time for all of us to unite and demand that "We the People" not the Koch brothers, the NRA's, the extreme fundamentalists of any faith, the Exxons, Chevrons or "Defense" industry are represented by our Government. Our Government is not separate from us -it is an extension of our civic engagement, voting -and carefully monitoring our elected officials so they are in fact representing the best interests of American society -not a particular party or of the wealthiest Americans.