"We've got to face it. Politics have entered a new stage, the television stage. Instead of long-winded public debates, the people want capsule slogans—'Time for a change'—'The mess in Washington'—'More bang for a buck'—punch lines and glamour."— A Face in the Crowd (1957)
We are one year out from the 2024 presidential election and as usual, the American people remain eager to be persuaded that a new president in the White House can solve the problems that plague us.
Yet what is being staged is not an election.
It's a con game, a scam, a grift, a hustle, a bunko, a swindle, a flimflam, a gaffle, and a bamboozle, and "we the people" are nothing more than marks, suckers, stooges, mugs, rubes, or gulls.
We're being duped into believing that this mockery of a choice between two candidates who are equally unfit for office actually translates to having some say in how the government is run.
To the contrary, this particular con game is part of a long-running, elaborate scam to keep the Deep State in power and leave the populace deluded, distracted and incapable of demanding accountability, transparency and decency from the government and its cohorts.
It is a heavily scripted, tightly choreographed, star-studded, ratings-driven, mass-marketed, costly exercise in how to sell a product—in this case, a presidential candidate—to dazzled consumers who will choose image over substance almost every time.
This year's presidential election, much like every other election in recent years, is what historian Daniel Boorstin referred to as a "pseudo-event": manufactured, contrived, confected and devoid of any intrinsic value save the value of being advertised. It is the end result of a culture that is moving away from substance toward sensationalism in an era of mass media.
As author Noam Chomsky rightly observed, "It is important to bear in mind that political campaigns are designed by the same people who sell toothpaste and cars."