The reason the Todd Aiken rape comments have resonated so strongly is that they bring a bit of clarity to a race that was in danger of being dominated by the ad budgets of Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers. What Aiken and his good buddy Paul Ryan(pictured above) really believe about a number of issues was being cloaked by the feel good marketing campaign gloss of Plutocracy, Inc, the Rove and Koch operation. As has been pointed out for years, the 1% could never have a chance of putting their handpicked Private Equity Master of the Universe in the White House if they just ran on their economic plan (lower taxes for billionaires, kill the EPA and other regulators, privatize Medicare and Social Security). What they need to win is to get the social conservatives to vote against their economic interests in favor of their moral agenda of banning abortion with no exceptions, along with their other anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-poor, anti-women plans.
Fortunately for the Democrats, Todd Aiken is on a mission from God to win the Missouri senate race and so exhortations from mere mortals like Mitt Romney have no effect on his calculation. But the Democrats should not be too confident. The Republican voter suppression operation is in full swing in key states and the Kochs, Rove and Adelson still have $100 million to spend on advertising in the last two months. More importantly, as USA Today pointed out, their is widespread voter apathy with over 90 million people saying they won’t bother to vote.
A nationwide USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll of people who are eligible to vote but aren’t likely to do so finds that these stay-at-home Americans back Obama’s re-election over Republican Mitt Romney by more than 2-1. Two-thirds of them say they are registered to vote. Eight in 10 say the government plays an important role in their lives.
Readers of this blog will note that I have been arguing for years that Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World was the most visionary of the dystopian masterpieces. The reason 90 million people won’t vote is they are too caught up in the lives of the Kardashians to care about Obama and Romney.
The two most important dystopian fables of the future were Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’sBrave New World. It turned out Huxley was right. With right combination of anti-anxiety drugs (Soma to Huxley; Valium, Prozac,etc to us) and the right entertainment (Huxley’s “Feelies”; our 3D and Reality TV) you don’t need Big Brother to keep the proles in line.
Perhaps Aiken’s strenuous statement of what he and Paul Ryan really believe will stir a few butts off the couch and into the voting booth. We will continue to be over-medicated and over-entertained, but the realization that a moron like Todd Aiken, who can make up his own science while serving on the House Science and Technology Committee, is actually the voice of the modern Republican Party ought to be pretty shocking to a public that is still half asleep.