ON the most pressing issue for most voters—jobs and the economy—the candidates found themselves bickering over particulars, but agreeing on the overall approach. The list of other issues where Obama and Romney share fundamental agreement—and which therefore are never debated—is far longer than you’d ever guess from the mainstream media coverage of the campaign.
— Education: Obama’s Race to the Top law is the embodiment of the corporate approach to education “reform”—the legislation promises more education funding for the states, but only if they eliminate caps on charter schools that steal money from public schools and clear the way for merit pay and teacher evaluation based on testing.
This is the exactly the agenda that the Chicago Teachers Union went on strike against in September. Romney didn’t hesitate, of course, to express his support for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff, in his war against Chicago teachers.
— Civil liberties: Obama has continued and even accelerated the Bush administration’s assault on civil liberties—most notoriously with the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act that allows the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens in violation of basic constitutional rights.
But this is only the most open violation of our rights. The Obama administration has also ruthlessly pursued the war on Arab and Muslim communities in the U.S.; carried out raids on antiwar and social justice activists; and prosecuted more whistle-blowers than any White House in history. You can be sure that Romney won’t be raising his voice in defense of any of these targets of Obama’s Department of Injustice.
— Austerity budgets: During the debate, Obama explained that his administration had cut $1 trillion from domestic discretionary spending. “That’s the largest cut in the discretionary domestic budget since Dwight Eisenhower,” he said. And then he promised to seek another $4 trillion worth of cuts in his second term.
Here, too, both candidates agree on the need for “austerity”—though the real issue is not that the U.S. is spending too much money, but rather that it is failing to collect enough revenue—from corporations and the 1 percent.
— Foreign policy: Sarah Palin will put solar panels on her house before either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney admit that one critical way to address the U.S. budget deficit is to cut military spending. Throughout the summer and fall, Obama and Romney took part in a dangerous escalation of rhetoric against Iran, something that will likely continue through November. When the two candidates get together to debate foreign policy on October 16, expect Obama to repeatedly remind viewers that Osama bin Laden was assassinated on his orders and that he ordered an escalation of the war in Afghanistan.
It’s not that Romney and Obama are exactly the same, but that the emphasis on their differences ends up overshadowing the many ways in which they are similar. The way the media covers the campaign feeds into this: the relentless focus on who’s winning and who’s losing; the incremental swings in polling numbers; the minute-by-minute movements of the candidates; and latest ad campaigns, as if the ads weren’t enough themselves.
In these final weeks, both candidates and both parties will spend hundreds of millions on focus groups, polls and marketing strategies to win votes. They are both compelled to motivate their supporters to get out to the polls.
But all this serves to obscure the political issues that ought to be at stake in the election. Those of us who care about democracy and justice need to see the bigger picture—that the rhetoric of the candidates hides a fundamental agreement on many issues, which ultimately serve the rulers of U.S. society.
Source - taken from full article here