Thursday, November 12, 2015

Essay on Meaning and Nothingness in Politics

There’s all this meaningless beehive activity around the polls and the debates but what good is it except for the people who make a living from handicapping political races?  It provides hours of fun for the chattering classes, of course, but it doesn’t make anyone the wiser because the political status quo has remained what it was when Obama was first elected president.

That is to say people are upset, worried, and inclined toward knee-jerk emotional responses to events that few people make enough effort to understand. That is not to say that most everyone could not or don’t have the ability to understand what’s going on. Rather, it is that people don’t’ really want to, and prefer instead to wallow in their comforting emotional tantrums, the obvious down-side of which is that they can be easily manipulated on the basis of these emotions.

 Like victims of three-card Monte, they are always pointing to the wrong card as the ailment and clutching on to bumper sticker slogans as the bromide.  Meanwhile, the meek are not inheriting the earth. It is the loudmouths, the manipulators, the charlatans, and the demagogues who have taken charge, while “the people,” those shuffling, suffering, heterogeneous masses in whose name so much “good” has been proffered, are left to batter each other angrily with small sticks.

The current Republican Party melee is just like the Republican Party melees of the 2008 and 2012 campaigns when candidates and voters were quite willing to knife their brothers and sisters and sabotage their own best chances of winning. Most people who have been paying attention will admit, if not publically at least deep down in their heart of hearts, that both 2008 and 2012 were “can’t lose” elections against an amateur far-left candidate with mini-experience whose best and crowning achievement had been an earlier inspiring speech at a Democrat’s convention.

This was perhaps the first time many Democrats discovered that black people could be articulate and clean, to use Joe Biden’s description of Barack Obama. There was, too, the anti-Clinton wing of the Democrat Party machine led by, exemplified by, and commandeered by the then powerfully influential Kennedy faction.  Do people remember that there was a powerful feud between the Clinton factions and the Kennedyites? 

Barack Obama was the anti-Clinton response to Hillary. What better way was there to prove dominance than by activating the more powerful Boston Brahmin machine with its national and even world-wide tentacles? 

That was only part of it, but the other part of it, the pending collapse of the economic system, also triggered an emotional reaction almost to the level of the World Trade Center attacks. The emotional reaction to the WTC bombings was understood to be justifiable and justifiably continues.  But when the housing collapse and the toppling of the economy followed, people were just scared and sought safety in the herd. They didn’t understand what happened then, and still don’t, and could then and can now be told what to believe about it.  They’re inclined to believe the government line that government saved them instead of the truth that government took care of its cronies, made the taxpayers pay for their mistakes, and ran the country for weeks by the Divine Right of Kings. Even the wizards in Congress didn’t figure it out until years later, and today are little inclined to speak about it honestly.

I hate to tell you but it’s 2008 again, and the country is in some ways in far worse shape. Foreign policy is a shambles, an ugly failed mosaic of confused tiles. We’ve been wallowing along in a fake economy propped up by fake interest rates.  Democrats have been afraid to stop priming the pump because they know that the minute they do that reality will settle in and people will feel the whip come down.

The voices that could reverse our dismal trends are not the ones screaming at you the loudest. There’s a hint for you -- I’m not going to spell it out because if you haven’t learned it after 8 years you won’t get it because I’m telling you. You have to find the truth yourself, not depend upon someone to do it for you.