Friday, September 12, 2008

Keep Their Heads Ringing

"This election is not about issues," said Davis. "This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates."[1]

So once again this election won’t be about the issues from the Republican standpoint. I’m shocked! I can’t understand why they wouldn’t want to run on the issues. We haven’t had a campaign debate about the issues in the last 20 years. The Republicans have gradually moved the electorate away from the issues and have made each election a referendum on some social issue beginning with the Nixon southern strategy. At that point it was a referendum on law and order and the civil rights movement. At which time the American voting public voted resoundingly against progress.

In each subsequent election since then they have sought to divide our nation. You see the only way the Republicans can win is if they are able to divide us because there aren’t a sufficient number of fringe elements to sustain their policies or issues. You see when you only cater to the top 5% of the population it is hard to get elected; a conundrum to say the least. So how can a Party that caters to the wealthiest of Americans get elected and sometimes even maintain a majority? They have done it through deception and the age old strategy that the wealthy have always relied upon divide the masses. Throughout the years the Republicans have developed ingenious methods to carry out their strategy.

The most successful and nefarious plan has been the false “American Dream” scenario, where anyone in America can become rich and thus be in need of the Republicans policies that protect the wealthy. They have managed to convince a significant number of Americans that they too can someday be in the top 5% if they continue to support the Republican “trickle down” and supply side economic policies. So you have Americans earning 30,000 dollars a year voting with those making millions as if their interests were identical. What do I have in common with Bill Gates? How are our interests compatible?

The second strategy has been the race card or “white privilege”. In this scenario the scheme is to convince a majority of white voters that no matter what a black or minority has the white will always be better. Not only will they always be better, but the Republicans will be the ones to protect the tribe. They will be the ones to keep the other tribes in their places and thus protect the centuries old doctrine of white male dominance. This plan is supported by false studies that link all of the white societies problems to blacks and immigrant populations. Affirmative action, loose immigration, and social programs are all viewed as attacks against whites. While the race card has lost some of its appeal make no mistake there are still many proponents and believers in this strategy.

The third strategy is the red state/blue state, rural versus city, north versus south, pro-life versus pro-choice, etc. What the Republicans have been successful at is turning elections into cultural wars. So instead of having a discussion about universal healthcare we get gay marriage. Instead of a discussion of how the Republicans have turned one of the largest surpluses into one of the largest deficits, we get hockey moms and pit bulls. Instead of debating why we have not made any progress towards energy independence in the last 30 years, we get the most liberal Senator ever.

According to McCain and the Republicans Barack and Michelle Obama are not “our kind of people”, they don’t represent our America values. They are elitist and represent “the selfish” Washington interest. The Republican strategy has become if you say something enough times on enough TV programs then it’s true. John McCain and Sarah Palin are reformers because we say so, they’re records are immaterial. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are supporters of terrorism and are unpatriotic because we say so, regardless of their records of service to their country. Publically they are calling them elitist, but behind closed doors and Republicans in the south are referring to them as uppity. Calling a black person uppity is tantamount to a racial slur because usually following it comes the N word. Again we must keep them ni__ers in their place and that doesn’t include the White House.

I am coming to the belief that for whatever reason people in America no longer care about the truth. It seems that the more of the truth about Governor Palin surfaces the more her appeal rises. It’s almost as if we are living in some bizarro world where everything works in reverse. Lies become truth and truth becomes lies. The more this woman is exposed as being a fraud the more popular she becomes. The more she repeats her spiel of five convention lines, the more McCain’s numbers rise. Why should the Republicans change now these same tactics have worked and been honed for the past 20 years, culminating in the rise of George W.

The frustration with this process is seen in the faces of many Americans, but I am not sure there are enough people to reverse this trend. We have entered into a very dangerous area in a democracy. We are being mocked by leaders and citizens of other countries for the soap opera that our elections have become. Many foreign journalists have discussed how instead of focusing on issues our candidates and campaigns are debating cosmetics and farm animals. We have allowed our campaigns to become a cacophony of sound bite politics. The difference between the Republicans and the Democrats is that the Republicans have figured out that the majority of the electorate are not political junkies who research platforms and white papers of the issues. The Democrats still believe that the majority of voters actually follow the details of campaigns. The Republicans know that the majority of voters rely on sound bites and pundits. Because of this knowledge they craft their campaigns to capitalize on the short attention span of these voters. They develop false catch phrases and repeat them incessantly relying on the electorate’s laziness to pull it off. If you hear something enough it has to be true; remember if they say it on TV it has to be true. And they have every politician, pundit, and Party official repeating the lines over and over. This repetition of falsehoods is enough to “keep their heads ringing”.


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