In his 1843 "Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right," German economist and Communist philosopher Karl Marx wrote, "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people."
I put it to you that the same is equally true about politics and especially true of the upcoming U.S. presidential election, where a weary nation, battered by changing fuel prices, a declining economic outlook, seven years of war and spoon-fed propaganda by a leftist mainstream media, is crying for "change."
In the real world, however, very little changes with the election of a new president and regardless of the election's outcome, we'll once again hear the resounding chorus of "change" in four more years. After all, the president alone can't put an end to this war; he can't substantially lower fuel costs; and if the Democrats win both the White House and Congress, you can be assured that the economy will tank — since dramatically increased taxes on working Americans will stifle capital investments and economic growth.
But what about those engaged in the business of porn? One seemingly contradictory aspect of the industry's politics that I've always wondered about is its overwhelmingly Democratic leanings.
Why wonder? Consider the independent webmaster along with many other operators in the adult entertainment marketspace: these folks are in reality "small business owners" — a group that typically (and overwhelmingly) votes Republican — except in this business.
According to a recent survey by online payroll service SurePayroll, 59 percent of small business owners favor Republicans, as opposed to roughly 35 percent of the general population. Only 22 percent favored Democrats.
"During a time when Americans seem to be screaming for a change in political philosophy, small business owners are saying the Republican Party still holds the key to success," SurePayroll President Michael Alter said. "This is bad news for Democrats. If they want to win, they need to do a better job reaching this community. Small businesses represent 98 percent of companies and employ roughly half of our national workforce — their votes and influence matter."
What do these small business owners care about? The survey offered a dozen issues to choose from, but respondents cited the economy as their primary concern; an issue that includes taxes, the national debt and the budget deficit. Next in line was the war in Iraq and homeland security.
"It is not a surprise that most small business owners are passionately engaged in the political discussion — their businesses and lives in general are directly dependent on the state of the American economy," Alter added. "They are less likely to do guess work at the polls because most realize just how much is at stake for their business and make it a point to do their homework."
And that's what it's really about — doing your homework and realizing that just because someone is a rock star with a cool-sounding name doesn't mean that they'll make a good president; just as being a mature statesman with years of experience doesn't necessarily make you the best man for the job, either.
While the point could be made that the adult industry's Democrat tendencies are an example of the "democratic" nature of the industry and its incredibly low barrier to entry compared to other businesses, which has allowed thousands of people without any formal business education — and often no higher education whatsoever — to open up shop; the fact is that regardless of whatever these people did for a living before, they have now evolved into small business owners — even if their politics don't yet reflect this reality.
For me, it all comes down to the basic differences between the two major parties: the Democrats favor what is euphemistically referred to as "the redistribution of wealth" — in theory, it's the old "Robin Hood" story of taking from the rich to give to the poor — in practice, it's about taking from working people to give to those who would rather suck off the teat of governmental welfare, living off the labor of others. This parasitic behavior is enabled through higher taxes; a large, bureaucratic government to oversee countless social programs; and an attitude that business is the oppressor of the little guy.
Now that might sound all fine and dandy until you read the candidate's statements and learn what they mean by "the rich." According to Obama, I'm wealthy. Ask my wife, however, and she'll tell you a different story. How about YOU? Are you making over $150k per year? Then you're "the rich" too — even if you're living from paycheck-to-paycheck and about to lose your home to a variable interest rate mortgage you can no longer afford to pay...
Republicans, on the other hand, favor a smaller, less-intrusive government that allows all citizens to work for "the American dream." This means less taxes and regulatory burdens for businesses and individuals in an environment that favors economic growth, strong family values and national unity.
Of course, it's likely the "family values" crowd and their anti-porn agenda alienates many industry operatives; but anti-porn sentiment isn't limited to the right — it is also the province of the left, which opposes pornography not because "it's a sin against God" but because "it's a sin against women."
In both of these cases, it's the extremists that pose problems for porn, not the party they happen to belong to. Make no mistake, no politician is going to be in favor of porn.
You'll notice I used the word "work" and that's a big difference between the two parties, where one historically represented the workers that needed a hand-up; while the other party represented the bosses. But today, the "haves" and "have nots" are divided along the lines of working folk on one side and bums that are simply looking for a hand-out on the other side. You might find that overly simplistic, but the realities speak for themselves and the data to support the conclusion, readily available.
As for the elephant and the jackass, these two venerable symbols of the main parties say an awful lot about their constituents in a way that should be understandable to even the least educated of voters.
Stubborn, braying and comical in its appearance, the Democratic Party symbol is the result of Andrew Jackson's 1828 Presidential campaign when he was labeled a jackass by his opponent; and in an act of defiance, placed the donkey image on his campaign poster. 180 years later, the party is still a bunch of jackasses...
Strong and dignified, the elephant became the symbol of the Republican Party when in 1874 a cartoon appeared in Harper's Weekly that depicted a Democratic donkey dressed in a lion's skin and frightening all of the other zoo animals — with the exception of the elephant, which bore the legend "The Republican Vote." The symbol stuck.
On a personal note, I consider myself to be an Independent, and don't believe that either of the leading candidates is the right man for the job. Sen. John McCain is simply too old, but it's not his age per se that hampers him, but his status as a remnant of the Cold War and a time before the revolutionary technological changes that have altered the world forever.
Sen. Barack Obama, on the other hand, is a well-groomed product of the Chicago Democratic machine — and there is no more corrupt a background to have in American politics.
Regardless of who is victorious in November, I believe that the adult entertainment industry will continue to face pressure from politicians seeking to court favor with special interest groups, whether they're faith-based or feminist. The big question then becomes: "Which of the candidates will leave the most money in my pocket?" And the answer to that is McCain.