The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Political Theatre


Danielle Ni Dhighe • 1 August 2004

I must confess to not having paid a great deal of attention to all of the minutiae of the Democratic National Convention. What I did watch was enough to see that it was a piece of political theatre, where all of the actors read their lines with conviction, but nothing of substance was said.

Joseph Goebbels couldn't have scripted it better. The party elite made their speeches, the adoring delegates cheered, and there was even musical accompaniment (although Van Halen is a far cry from Wagner). It just needed Leni Riefenstahl and her camera. There was even less democracy in action there than in the political chambers which approved Patriot Acts and wars.

Aside from Dennis Kucinich, none of the speakers said anything of substance which would even slightly set them apart from their Republican Party brethren, and even he dodged the issue of the war in Iraq. Indeed, all controversial issues were completely ignored. Well, that isn't entirely true. John Kerry boasted that he would prosecute the so-called "war on terror" more effectively than George W. Bush, but that's only controversial if you mistakenly expect a Democratic candidate to be anti-war.

Yet, according to a CBS/New York Times poll, some 90% of DNC delegates were opposed to the war in Iraq. It was a surreal sight to see those delegates cheering for some of the same people who voted in favor of that war and who want to send even more US soldiers to Iraq. There's a glitch in the delegates' thinking that I frankly don't understand.

In a few weeks time, the Republican National Convention will follow the same script. In the end, the message is that the average person has nothing to contribute politically except cheering for vague speeches from their political masters, then casting a vote for one of them come Election Day.

If you're looking for an alternative, it won't be found in the Democratic Party. It'll be found in a mass radical political movement from below with systemic change as its goal, and it's imperative that such a movement take flight sooner rather than later. The DNC was just a tawdry sideshow of bread and circuses.

The November election will simply continue the theme, with Bush vs. Kerry marketed like a Coke vs. Pepsi taste test. No matter which one you choose, you still get a can of carbonated water and high fructose corn syrup. In conclusion, is either choice healthy?













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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
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Index: Current Articles

4 August 2004

Other Articles From This Issue:

Tommy Gorman, Radical Thought
Anthony McIntyre

The UnHung Hero
Dolours Price

State Republicans and Totalitarian States
Kathleen O Halloran

Informers Everywhere
Mick Hall

Now Here's A Political Platform
Fred A Wilcox

Political Theatre
Danielle Ni Dhighe

Energy Crisis in Argentina, FTAA Goes One Game Up
Víctor Ego Ducrot and Martín Waserman
translated by Toni Solo

30 July 2004

Summertime and the living is easy...
Eamon Sweeney

The Strip
Anthony McIntyre

The Provisionals: A Repeat of History
Liam O Comain

Free Seamus Doherty
Martin Mulholland, IRPWA

Sartre Review
Liam O Ruairc

Bollix: Barriers and Borders
Matthew Kavanah



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