You see, in corporate Thought Leader World, there's no such thing as the class war.
The 1,300 people contacted by the New York Times/CBS pollsters were asked only to divulge their party and candidate preferences, as well as to rate government performance and to voice their opinions on where the country and the "economy" are headed. They were even idiotically pressed about their feelings about Presidential Consort Michelle Obama.
But were they ever queried about their own financial and employment status in order to determine whether widespread political disgust correlates with widespread precarity and depression? Of course not! Because this poll, like so many others, was mainly designed to give the oligarchs who commissioned it a rough idea of how firm or tenuous their grasp on the governed is likely to be after Election Day.
The questions were designed, much as Hillary Clinton so generously explained to Wall Street bankers in one of her paid speeches, to help politicians coordinate their public positions with their private positions. After they pretend to feel the mass disgust, they then can choose to address it, ignore it, castigate it, or downplay it, depending on the situation and results of further polling and focus group testing.
So the latest poll is not especially good news for the ultra-wealthy donor class which runs the place. Judging from the results, they have much to fear, especially from those mythical, toothless, barbaric hordes of incipient Trump revolutionaries they've dreamed up, gathering even as we speak at the gates of their dream home-fortresses. If we won't vote out of love and admiration, then let us vote out of sheer terror.
The Times imparts the grimmest of grim news to the plutocrats:
How transparent the New York Times is, characterizing the natural disgust of voters as "toxic" rather than representative of healthy, functioning intellects. If the candidates are only passively "seen as" dishonest, then perhaps the fault is in the voters themselves. Something must be wrong with them, or maybe it's just the optics or the narrative.In a grim preview of the discontent that may cloud at least the outset of the next president’s term, Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump are seen by a majority of voters as unlikely to bring the country back together after this bitter election season.With more than eight in 10 voters saying the campaign has left them repulsed rather than excited, the rising toxicity threatens the ultimate victor. Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic candidate, and Mr. Trump, the Republican nominee, are seen as dishonest and viewed unfavorably by a majority of voters.
If I were a seriously wealthy mover or shaker, I would seriously consider goosing the jobless stats by hiring a disgusted down-and-outer as my personal food and beverage taster. Somebody has to protect my august self from all that populist poison threatening my cosseted way of life. I would even pay them three times the minimum wage, with all the benefits, including a no-deductible, no co-pay platinum Obamacare plan.
Sadly for many movers and shakers and opinion-manufacturers, the mass disgust orchestrated by the timely release of Donald Trump's repugnant Access Hollywood tape has not been as long-lived and as beneficial to Hillary Clinton as her campaign might have hoped. Those revolting Trump voters have largely recovered from being revolted at his misogynistic language, and are now back to being revolted about the rotten state of either their own financial lives, or the troubles of their neighbors and relatives. And of course, some of them are indeed as genuinely racist and psychopathic as US imperialism itself.
People are mad and scared, but not about the things that the oligarchy would prefer them to be mad and scared about. Disgust at Trump's racism, sexism and xenophobia does not necessarily translate into support for Hillary Clinton's crony capitalism and unabashed war-mongering. There are too many varieties of loathing experience to even count.
But back to Times/CBS: Since timing is everything whenever plutocrats choose to take the pulse of the populace, the corporate media pollsters conveniently began calling people immediately upon the release of James Comey's shocking announcement that the FBI's investigation of the Clinton emails would continue.
Most voters who were contacted said they had heard about the development. More voters said they were aware of accusations that Mr. Trump had made unwanted sexual advances toward several women.The horror. Those damned voters care more about their own situations than they do about palace intrigues, and backbiting in high places. The proles made up their minds a long time ago that they couldn't stand whoever it was they couldn't stand. October Surprises apparently don't mean as much as they used to.
Yet about six in 10 voters over all said the 11th-hour disclosures about each candidate would make no real difference in their votes. However, more people said the allegations about Mr. Trump were likely to negatively affect their votes than those who said the new email developments would discourage them from voting for Mrs. Clinton.
To the ruling class racketeers, the electorate are like a plague of locusts who come out of hibernation every four years, instead of a more reasonable 17. They raise a fearful cacophony for a very short time, and then presto-chango - all that's left to remember them by are their harmless, silent little husks.
But where there's disgust, there's always the hope that the whirring masses will stick around a bit longer than expected this cycle. Species do evolve, even suddenly and unexpectedly mutate every once in a great while.
As far as the increasingly furious and paranoid media/political complex is concerned, disaffected voters of the right and left might not hail from the same ideological places, but they are eminently interchangeable when it comes to their denigration by rulers. Whether they're in a Basket of Deplorables, or whether they're Berniebro Basement Slackers, they're equally extremist and ignorant. If they refuse to vote as they're expected to vote, then it can only be blamed upon the one horrible thing guaranteed to send chills up the spines of oligarchs: Populism.
As French philosopher Jacques Rancière has rightly pointed out, the Establishment is actually a cabal of democracy haters. Citizen-consumers -- the "formless and squawking horde" -- are periodically allowed to vote, but only so that oligarchies can give themselves renewed power and legitimacy. Therefore, the term "representative democracy" is an oxymoron for the ages.
"It is because democratic man is a being of excesses, an insatiable devourer of commodities, human rights and televisual spectacles, that the capitalist law of profit rules the planet," Rancière writes. "With politics forgotten, the word democracy thereby becomes a euphemism designating a system that one no longer wants to call by its name, and the name of the diabolical subject that appears in place of that effaced word: a composite subject where the individual subjected to this system of domination and the one who denounces it are amalgamated. To paint a robotic portrait of democratic man, the best thing to do is to combine these characteristics: the young idiotic consumer of popcorn, reality TV, safe sex, social security, the right to difference and anticapitalist or alterglobalist illusions. Thanks to him, the denouncers have what they need: the absolute culprit of an irremediable evil."The system that nobody wants to call by its true name is, of course, Oligarchy.
And the consumer-citizens know it. Whether right or left, Democrat or Republican, Libertarian or Green or Socialist or Anarchist or Independent, we're getting sick and tired of being called idiots and extremists for daring to want decent lives.
That 80+ percent disgust rate is actually cause for optimism. Those who govern or who strive to govern actually fear democracy as much as they hate it. Their constant refrain that job destruction and wage suppression and racist globalization are just like the weather, and that we'll all just have to get used to it and lower our expectations and share the sacrifice and bow down to market-based "solutions" simply doesn't fly any longer.
And what is true democracy, anyway, but the constant struggle to wrest a little power away from the oligarchs?