I speak, specifically, of the disastrous recent events within the Republican Party. Now I have to admit that I have had greater sympathy for the progressive (dare I even say “Liberal”?) ideas of the democrats of recent years, but I actually have had some respect for Republican ideas and the people who have held them, even when I have felt they were wrong.
That started to change a few years ago with the rise of the so-called “Tea Party Patriot” movement. All the evidence which I have seen suggests that this didn’t really start as the grassroots populist uprising which it is often portrayed as. No, it’ seems to have been largely bought and paid for by a few of the mega-wealthy, and without this support the whole thing would probably collapse. Since it has the support of some of the mega-wealthy, however, there seems little danger of it going away, since the idea has seemed to be proven to be true that all that is necessary to obtain votes is to have enough money to devote to supporting the people one owns by keeping their names in a positive public light while spending even more money on advertising intended to portray their political opponent (and ANY position that candidate supports) as crazy, un-American, un-Constitutional, anti-Christian and/or downright dangerous.
Once you do that, it’s not necessary to actually have an actual platform yourself, you’re just against anything the other guy is for and want to make sure that “those” ideas are stopped. I am reminded of the wonderful speech given by President Andrew Shepherd in The American President a few years ago which I have slightly edited below:
… whatever your particular problem is, I promise you (these people are) not the least bit
interested in solving it. (They are) interested in two things, and two things only: Making
you afraid of it, and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how
you win elections. You gather a group of middle age, middle class, middle income voters
who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about family and
American values and character and you ... scream about patriotism. You tell them
(someone else is) to blame for their lot in life.
And it’s worked! The extreme Right (ultra Conservative, reactionary Evangelical) seem to support the idea that the mega-wealthy are somehow eventually going to get around to “trickling down” those good jobs they have been promising since the 80’s when they got that handsome actor to be President, since he could learn his lines and say them with confidence and assurance. (Who knows, he might even have believed some of them!)
One doesn’t have to be terribly old, however, to see that there doesn’t seem to be much real reason to believe in the “ideas” of the Tea Party Movement, at least by us average people, since the primary beneficiaries of those “ideas” seem to be the mega-wealthy who have supported the whole thing in the first place. Yes, we can get the satisfaction of seeing an extreme social agenda advanced. After all, would we want “those” people (people of color, members of other religions, people who are different from us in almost any way we can imagine or make up) to have such important things as voting rights, the right to marry, the right not to be discriminated against in the workplace and in public accommodations, the right to worship as they see fit, all the basic civil rights which we expect and demand?
This has even gotten so nutty as to have some folks go out of their way to make it more difficult for college students to vote. Now, these are our own kids, but apparently we are supposed to believe that even they will be “improperly” influenced by colleges and universities which are full of advocates for the “Liberal” arts and sciences, so we have to make sure that such influences are kept to an absolute minimum by making sure that it’s difficult to impossible for such people to vote. I find the voter ID laws which have been advanced to prevent the “voter fraud” which there is no evidence exists especially amusing since many of them require a “state issued” photo ID, but won’t accept a “state university issued photo ID.” Obviously, not all state institutions are created equal.
Anyway, since such forces have seized control of most of the Republican Party (what hasn’t been given to FOX News), it has been almost impossible to get anything accomplished in Washington. That’s what happens when enough folks have a “mission” to make sure that only what they want is even considered, knowing that those ideas aren’t going to win majority support to pass through the legislative process. No, it’s better to shut the government down than make a compromise with the “enemy” which would allow anything to get accomplished. Apparently, doing nothing is better than doing anything.
It’s been said that “Politics is the art of the possible.” which means, “It's about what you can actually get done.” There would appear to be a lot of truth to that. While poking around the web, I found this rather interesting quote.
Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican]
party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem.
Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise.
But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't
and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them.”
― Barry M. Goldwater
It seems to me that Goldwater still should have reasonable “conservative” credentials, but maybe I’m wrong about that, although I think he predicted the current situation rather well.
Anyway, all of this seems to have come to a head in the past few weeks since a certain member of the mega-wealthy actually decided to become a candidate for the Presidency and (reportedly) had to hire folks to attend his announcement so that there would be “supporters.” Since then, this individual (He Who Will Not Be Named) has completely dominated ALL aspects of the political scene mostly by making one outlandish statement after another, all suggesting that because he is rich; he knows more than anybody else, is smarter than anybody else, owes nothing to anybody else and, basically, anyone who disagrees with him is a “loser.”
Now, I have yet to hear one practical suggestion resembling anything like a platform from HWWNBN, but I have heard him say that the Mexican government is purposely sending us drug dealers, murderers and rapists, although I guess we are supposed to take his word on that since he hasn’t even offered anything resembling evidence. He HAS suggested that we should charge the Mexican government (I think $100,000 a head) for the illegals “they are sending over our border,” but I have heard nothing about how we are going to collect these “fines” short of armed invasion (which HWWNBN has not suggested, but which seems to be the only way it could happen). He seems to think that we should just go to the Middle East and TAKE the oil we want because we want it. Sounds like another war to me (and one not likely to achieve the desired ends), but what do I know? I won’t even start to get into his “John McCain isn’t a war hero because he was captured” discussion. That would take more time than any rational individual should spend on such a point.
Anyone who disagrees with this blowhard is a “lightweight,” a “loser,” and/or “an idiot.” Yet this is a person who wishes to control a major, nuclear-equipped military force and be in charge of the foreign affairs of our country. Anyone want to guess what the reaction of the rest of the world would be when the leaders of our allies (to say nothing of those with whom we disagree) are labeled as “idiotic, lightweight, losers?”
Yet, he is playing by the rules that the Republican Party allowed FOX News to set, so he will be a part of the upcoming “Republican” debate as if we should take him seriously. What seems a bit scary to me is that, apparently, we need to do so. After all, the Republicans are so afraid of HWWNBN just running off and being an independent candidate (he hardly seems to be in the mainstream at the moment and the most recent case of having an independent presidential candidate actually seems to have had no significant effect of the actual outcome [look up the data, don’t rely on the myth]) that they will do almost anything to placate him, even as they try to condemn him for blatantly engaging in personal attacks on everyone else in the party who is running for President (which seems to be about everyone else in the party).
The reason I have chosen to refer to this blow-dried clown as “He Who Will Not Be Named” is because I think that it’s time that we all see him as the distraction he is. I’ve seen no evidence that he doesn’t seem to think that he can run a country the same way he is running his campaign, out of his hip pocket and according to his personal whim. I wonder if he has actually READ the Constitution? Does he understand that the powers of the President are, in fact limited; that he can’t just fire anyone who disagrees with him? The sooner we simply all start to ignore his presence, the sooner we are going to see some sort of a meaningful campaign start to develop.
Of course, the press is having a wonderful time, as HWWNBN creates good copy cheaply. All one has to do is follow him around, put out what he says and then report on what the pundits say about it. It’s quick, easy and cheap. You don’t even have to worry about what the other candidates (from either party) are doing or saying, because you have plenty of copy from HWWNBN.
Personally, I won’t put his name in these postings. I wish other folks would follow the lead of The Huffington Post who recently said,
After watching and listening to ****** ***** since he announced his candidacy
for president, we have decided we won't report on *****'s campaign as part of
The Huffington Post's political coverage. Instead, we will cover his campaign as
part of our Entertainment section. Our reason is simple: *****'s campaign is a
sideshow. We won't take the bait. If you are interested in what T** D***** has to
say, you'll find it next to our stories on the Kardashians and The Bachelorette.
He sooner this clown is recognized as the egomaniacal jerk which he is, the better off the country as a whole will be. I would urge the national media, in all it’s forms, to simply refuse to waste the time, space and energy to cover this so-called campaign.
By the way, I just heard that The Glenn Beck radio show has decided not to spend any more time covering HWWNBN. I thought that that was considered to be a “conservative” show? Maybe my idea is spreading….