The satirical video I’m Voting Republican made its first appearance in 2008, but has made quite an impression on the ol’ series of tubes that we know and love recently. While biting and humorous, the partisan nature of its message misses the root of the inanity of American politics today. The most unfair charges levied against Republicans are those which decry corporatist values and offer the Democratic Party platform as the counterpoint. As the video begins, a young couple is presented. They proclaim:
“We’re voting Republican because we don’t like shopping at small neighborhood stores. We don’t want the problem of choosing where to shop, and we just love cheap plastic crap from China.”
Democrats and Republicans largely support the prevailing economic order, with only minor nuances and rhetorical flourishes distinguishing their positions. While they could be rallying against government transportation infrastructure or other anti-market corporate gifts, which make the Walmart-infested world that they hate possible by forcing all Americans to subsidize the excessive transportation costs of those nasty Chinese goods, the videographers instead offer a backwards solution.
ImVotingRepublican.com, supports the Democrats’ call to restrict freedom of trade through “fair trade agreements” and more regulation. Just to make myself perfectly clear, I too seek their ends where workers are not exploited and the world is not dominated by corporations, but the solution to this is not statism, nor could it ever be.
The Democratic solutions to these problems only mean more complex trade laws, which make it far harder for small businesses to absorb additional regulatory costs, and actually entrench the corporate power they claim to be opposing. If I want to trade under their commercial regime, I now have to wade through thousands of pages of legalese that a well-established firm with a legal team can navigate like champs. The more barriers put in place — supposedly for the protection of the little guy — the more ammunition the state and big corporations have over those who don’t already play at their level economic privilege.
Another ticklish gem from the video is delivered by an elderly woman who says, “I think the whole world should be run by one big corporation. I think it’d be so much cozier!”
The tag under this statement says “when that happens, we will all be slaves. America’s strength comes from the ability of its citizens to engage in free enterprise, to compete, to innovate, and to create jobs for themselves and other Americans.”
This is certainly true, but how is the solution to corporatism the establishment of a giant state monopoly which will make sure I’m engaging in free enterprise, by interfering in it? To propose a solution of that nature is to open up a parallel universe; a portal into the realm where doublespeak makes actual sense.
By treating the society we live in as one created by natural and just market forces and not through corporate control of the state, it leads the creators of the video incorrectly to the point of thinking that maybe a strong state is the answer to combat corporate tyranny, rather than the privilege-annihilating power of a freed marketplace.
What could have been a major video for the delegitimizaiton of the American political parties, turned into a intellectually squalid affirmation of partisan hacksmanship. What I’m Voting Republican gets right is far outpaced by the facepalming resulting from another voting season in American history.