Chapter 15: Beyond the Bliss of the New Consumer Society and the New Dark Times
15. Between the bliss of the new consumer society and the new dark times Maurice Mullard The mid-term elections of November 2006 in the USA reinforced the hope of politics. The coalition of Christian leader, business and corporate interests that deﬁned the conservative movement and shaped the thinking of the Republican Party and had come to dominate American politics was brought to a halt in November 2006. Despite declarations by President George W. Bush that a vote for the democrats was a vote for the insurgency in Iraq and referendums on gay marriage and stem cell research to mobilise the Christian votes, the Democratic Party still won 53 per cent of the vote – a landslide victory: We may be seeing the downfall of movement conservatism – the potent alliance of wealthy individuals, corporate interests and the religious right that took shape in the 1960s and 1970s. This alliance has become mainly a corrupt political machine, the movement is fundamentally undemocratic; its leaders don’t accept the legitimacy of opposition.. And the determination of the movement to hold on to power at any cost has poisoned our political culture. Just think about the campaign that just ended, with its coded racism, deceptive robo-calls, personal smears . . . not to mention the constant implication that anyone who questions the Bush administration or its policies is very nearly a traitor. (Paul Krugman, New York Times, 10 November 2006, p. 27) Although democracy is being corrupted and distorted by money in politics it would seem that as...
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