As it is every four years, we’re in the midst of another presidential election. I hate it. The hot air is so heatedly stifling at times—especially during party primaries—that it’s nearly impossible for many of us to breathe.
We’re lucky, though; because, had Barack Obama chosen not to run for reelection, we’d be facing a double whammy of primaries from BOTH parties: Republican AND Democrat.
And, even at this point, there is no guarantee that some third party won’t smack us between our political eyes with another set of primary debates before it’s over.
At my age, speaking ONLY for myself, mind you, I’m tempted to try alcohol for some peace and quiet—although, were one available, I’d be giving a Jack Kevorkian-type solution some consideration.
This isn’t a “for WHOM to vote” article. And, while I WILL vote in next November’s election, I can’t say for whom at this point. The fact is that while I’m a Republican since 1961, it NEVER has been—nor is it now—a guarantee that I’ll vote that way.
Frankly, as the political turmoil NOW churns in this country, especially over the past 12-years, it’s not going to matter a twinge whether a Republican or a Democrat takes up residence in the Oval Office.
Until a majority of the electorate understands that it has always been a relatively proper social, political, and economic balance that’s kept America on top, we’re going to struggle along blindly—perhaps even self-destruct in the process.
Communism ultimately fails wherever it occurs simply because its premise is in diametric opposition to human nature. Government regimes, armed with adequate weapons; armies of secret police willing to torture miscreants; and hordes of citizen tattletales willing to report them, can “make” people work at tasks in the collective’s good, but they can’t make them “want to.”
However, it’s the “want to” that produces economic and social productivity, which begets a country’s collective prosperity. And, minus the prosperity, the economic system fails, followed by the eventual collapse of the political structure, even though millions of people may die in the eventual overthrow.
Socialism, taken to the extreme, fails as well. It fails because, even though some aspects of it work well for the collective good, its basic virtue always stresses the sharing of misery as its prime directive.
Thus, employing socialism to overcome poverty is tantamount to using holy water to cure cancer.
If you’re one who riles at monopolistic power, advocating socialism solves nothing. All it does is replace multiple private-sector monopolies with one giant public-sector one.
So, this brings us to CAPITALISM, wherein things tend to become very murky. It works well given a reasonable balance between the power of free enterprise initiatives and a determination to employ a reasonable social consciousness.
But, no matter what, if we don’t restrict governmental regulations to ONLY those matters that support a balanced playing field, we’re wasting our time. Regulation for its own sake or merely to assuage special interests is a death knell.
While it’s relatively easy to tell the difference between deft prose and pure bullshit within the confines of pure science, it’s an entirely different matter inside the domain of politics. All bets are off.
We humans, generally speaking, are not prone to be creatures of scientific logic; we’re creatures of emotion, often quite willing to ignore the scientific method whenever it collides with our preconceived notions.
And, whether we’re willing to admit it or not, we are usually bristling with bias, often driven by pride and vanity.
In politics, people—both the politicians AND their constituencies—don’t tend to state FACTS as much as they tend to state their OPINIONS and claim that they’re “facts,” mere FACTOIDS, actually.
Factoids are things that look like facts. And, along with a generous sprinkling of made-up statistics, they certainly sound like facts. But, they are rarely, if ever, FACTS. And, whenever it comes to this, the extremes among us never debate or discuss; they merely emote.
And, while I used to joke about it, I find far less humor in it nowadays. For me, American politics has become too grim to view as comedy and too silly to view as tragedy.
Lefty and Righty extremists may worship in different cathedrals, but both sects offer sacrifices to the same god, at identical altars: the god of allusion at the altar of pernicious liars.
In certain respects, I agree with the late Christopher Hitchens, especially his take on a certain pernicious liar and his post-enema burial requirements. Only I’ll take it a step further.
BOTH political parties sponsor their own star-studded headliners when it comes to pernicious liars. And, if we gave ALL of them a collective enema, we could bury ALL of them in ONE standard size shoebox.
Over the past couple of days, I’ve read two articles concerning the level of political AD negativity and their degree of personal attacks. Both of them claimed that today’s level is mild by that of the 1800s through the early 1900s.
I agree, but with a caveat. We’re REgressing, not PROgressing in our collective thought processes. We should know better!
Back then, the country had far fewer people than we do today. And, even many members of the “educated” masses were dumber than are those of the mere modestly academically gifted of today’s generation. It was OK to say stupid things. We didn’t know any better.
But, by this point in our social and academic processes, we don’t seem to have learned a thing.
And, add in the easy availability of the Internet as an instantaneously available virtual outhouse for the intellectually clueless to deposit copious bouts of mentally deficient digital diarrhea, and it makes matters even worse.
It seems as though too many of those who apparently know how to run the country are far too busy posting socially and politically inane crap on way too many Internet forums.
Even worse, after all these years, we still have not learned that, in elective politics, truth is not the objective; pleasing listeners IS. We still elect those people who are merely the BEST at getting elected, NOT those who may be best at governing the nation.
The former still say whatever it takes to get elected, while the latter don’t. And, we, a constituent majority, anyway, keeping braying on about our alarm over dishonesty in politics, but continue rewarding unapologetic liars, perniciousness notwithstanding.
Joe Walther is a freelance writer and publisher of The True Facts. Email comments here.