What’s NOT Up for Debate in the Presidential Election... And What This Tells You About This System

November 4, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

The presidential debates were broadcast on every major TV network, dissected and spun endlessly by pundits and political analysts. We’re told the two candidates have laid out very different plans and visions for "where the country needs to go." But we can learn a lot about the nature of the system that both of these men represent if we look at the things that were NOT up for debate, if we look at the things they agree on:

Wars for empire

Wars for empire, assassination by drone bombings, the "collateral damage" of large scale civilian death, including children, a weekly "kill list" drawn up by Obama and his advisors. Above: Funeral of man killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan, 2012. (AP Photo)

Mass incarceration

The Republicans are more than all right with using the force of the state to lock up millions of people, the majority of them Black and Latino. As for Obama, he has used the fact that he is Black—or else he has allowed it to be used—to lend credence to the argument that if people DO get caught up in the bowels of the criminal in-justice system, it’s their own fault—because, after all, Obama made it to the top. Above: Prisoners arrive at a state prison in Shelton, Washington, 2012. (AP Photo)

Militarization of Mexican border

The never-ending militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border, leading to more than 5,600 people dying trying to cross the border in the last decade and 18 killed by Border Patrol since January 2010; and record numbers of deportations, overwhelmingly of people seeking work in the lowest paying, most back-breaking jobs. Above: Arizona National Guard patrol the border with Mexico, 2010. (AP Photo)

Environmental destruction

Devastating destruction of the planet—the wanton assault upon the earth and its resources that continues to accelerate at an alarming, potentially catastrophic pace in a world dominated by capitalist imperialism.
Above: Mountaintop removal in Kentucky. Coal companies rip apart the landscape and let the debris flow into valleys, streams and towns below. (Photo: GabeB/Flickr)

War on women

The degrading, enslaving culture of patriarchy and pornography and the continuing attacks on women’s right to abortion. Above: Protest at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. (Photo: Li Onesto/Revolution)


Laws—such as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that extend the arbitrary and illegitimate authority of the President to indefinitely detain, without charge or trial, a broad and vague category of people.
Above: Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, imprisoned almost three years without trial, accused of leaking information about U.S. war crimes in Iraq. (Photo: www.bradleymanning.org)

Obama and Romney are battling to preside over a system of capitalist imperialism that savagely exploits billions of people across the globe, a system that has given itself the right to rain death on whomever it deems an enemy, that oppresses and exploits millions of people in the U.S. and criminalizes generations of Black and Latino youth. But as Revolution recently wrote:

There is an alternative to the current capitalist-imperialist economic and political system in which increasing exploitation is the driving rule and people, in fact, count for nothing. A different society—a socialist society in which masses of people are empowered to set about wiping out exploitation and oppression, and all the institutions that go with it—is possible. There is a constitution for such a society. And there is the leadership to lead the revolution needed to bring it into being.”

“Stop acting against your deepest principles. Start checking out, getting into and supporting the real alternative that gives expression to those principles.”

Spy aparatus

A spy apparatus intended to be capable of intercepting "trillions" of messages, in which, according to one official, "Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target." Above: A U.S. government "cyber security lab." In 2013, a new National Security Agency center in Utah will begin concentrating all electronic surveillance worldwide, including on U.S. citizens. (AP Photo)

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