This year is an election year in the US where one can hardly go anywhere without hearing the political bickering between the candidates: a Billionaire Business Man and a Female Political Titan.
Once again, 'fear' is used to goad the masses into a frenzy. People form opinions, which later fuel emotion-driven behaviors. Hate campaigns and speeches are given which are intended to discredit or mar the opponents credibility. Rallies are held which capitalize on groupthink to steer the direction of the herd. These speeches are rebroadcast on television and published in online journals and newspapers to reach as wide an audience as possible.
It's a bit Orwellian in actuality to see our 'telescreens' broadcasting such messages along with our cell phones equipped with two way camera/microphones used by simple 'proles' (short speak for proletarians or common man). In fact after numerous attempts at privacy protection with online protests such as Sopa/Pipa, it seems that individual privacy is a thing of the past. In the name of national security, We the People have been coerced into submission by the powers that be. This means that anything we post online whether through email, social media, or web searches are recorded as part of our digital footprint. (Good luck to all the parents raising children in this era of online transparency.)
Today I met a man bathing in the restroom as I went to wash my hands before lunch. He apologized and asked if I could help him with a few dollars. He was an older man but not as old as he appeared. His hair was still more colored than gray, and he was missing all of his teeth. After I finished washing my hands, I invited him to join me for lunch. While they prepared my food, I discovered that I had amassed enough 'loyalty' points and was able to secure some chips and guacamole with my meal which was more than enough for two. We split our burrito and he introduced himself as "Popeye" (I think due to his toothless one-eyed grin). He thanked me over again, and we both bowed our heads and gave 'thanks' before eating. He asked if I liked music and shared that he was an Elvis Presley fan; he even belted our a few bars while we ate. I noticed that he struggled with chewing as his teeth were gone and he frequently washed his food down with what was most likely alcohol. I listened and ate until it was time to depart. He hugged me and I wished him well.
In George Orwell's 1984 he discusses the class distinctions between the upper, middle, and lower classes. His dystopic novel, published in 1949, offers insight into the human condition as well as the maxim that 'absolute power tends to corrupt'. The novel explains that throughout human history there have been essentially three classes of individuals, those with power, those with some, and those with none. (The inner party, the outer party, and the proles.)
When the ruling party fails to maintain their vigilance, becomes lazy, or allows the middle class to rise against them in revolution, the middle class seizes control and they themselves become the ruling party, all while the poor stay poor. The inner party in Orwell's novel had figured out how to cement their control over the masses through the illusions of constant warfare, a barely sustaining economy (despite abundance), and fear. This way the middle class could never amass enough wealth or strength to over throw the ruling party and would remain forever under manipulation. If any challenges were made, drastic measures were taken to ensure the demagogue or agitators were punished, tortured, or even killed. Freedom had ceased to exist. History books were re-written to reflect the inner parties politics, to keep the masses ignorant and dependent.
"He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past."
― George Orwell, 1984
With the political war between the Conservatives and Democrats in full swing, it really makes no difference to the poor. The candidate most likely to garner the majority vote will be the one who can emotionally manipulate voters into action, but it is my opinion that the best candidate is the one who does not want the job for their own ego satisfaction. The best candidate is the one who will use their power to enrich the lives of the poor, to free them from their dependence.
The same goes for Men and Women. When there is no feminism or chauvinism, but Humanism. When both parties treat one another with the respect that each deserves. When there is fairness and open dialogue. When there is reason, accountability, and compassion. When we no longer have to campaign and simply BE the best person for the job. Then we can make some real progress.