What Just Happened? - Examining the 2012 Election ResultsJust when you thought we could all let out one collective sigh of relief that it is finally over the realization now is setting in that it really isn’t. Now, for the next few months comes the barrage of gloating, recriminations, and an endless stream of opinions as to what went wrong or right, and what it means for the country. In that spirit I thought I should try to get in my two cents before y’all turn off the TVs and radios, and cancel your newspaper subscriptions altogether…
I noticed a timely announcement in the news this morning, right next to the reports of the plunging stock market. Evidently Anheuser Busch is planning to release a stronger Budweiser beer. Could there be a timelier announcement, as half the country wants to celebrate and the other half to just get really drunk…?
Well as the pundits-sphere blathers on about what went wrong or right “this time.” I would like to examine the bigger picture of where the soul of the country is heading in general in what we want, or do not want from our government. I have a fascinating old book here on my shelf titled: Two Republics. This tome, by Alonso T. Jones was published in 1891. It juxtaposes the two greatest republics in history, being of course, Rome, and the United States. The basic premise of the book is that Rome was never destroyed from without by superior forces as is the common demise of most great empires but rather, Rome fell under its own weight of vice and the self-plundering of the nation’s wealth by its own people. The book then goes on to highlight the same self-destructive path of the United States and of mankind, who’s most stubborn trait seems to be their steadfast refusal to learn those lessons history wishes so much to bestow upon us. And of course man’s ignorance as always, can only be outmatched by his majestic arrogance as he congratulates himself on his superior understanding of the dynamics of all things formerly withheld from all of mankind before him, even as he plunges in lemming-esque glee, and victory cry, into the void.
It is fascinating to read the Federalist and Anti-Federalist arguments of the founders of the country as they argued how much freedom and power was safe to grant to the people of a country. Though all were thoroughly discouraged with the tyranny of the king they had just dispatched, many envisioned and worried of an even more insidious threat of over-empowering the people. The basic idea here is that the possible damage of a single idiot in charge of a country pales in comparison to the possible carnage of massive throngs of the self-governed, imbued with a potent and deadly mix of ignorance, arrogance, and general stupidity. It is a basic principle that power in hands of one, or of many is a two-edged sword: that such can be an incredible power for good and for evil, with the one commonality that both are generally viewed by those wielding such to be a great good, if not in retrospect at least while happening… In the end it was decided not so much to grant such power to the people, but rather to accede that such was a basic right of man, for good or for evil. And as was hoped, and as was feared, the experiment has resulted in great good and great evil, with a clear abundance of general stupidity in the mix.
Probably the greatest danger in empowering the people was best encapsulated in an old adage: “A democracy can only last until the people realize they can vote themselves monies from the treasury.”
That is the essential lesson of the Two Republics: that one was destroyed from within and the other is diligently attempting the same fate by the people, who realized that their votes held great power to plunder the treasury, and the wealth of their fellow man, by the fist of government as wielded by willing accomplices vying for their own power and prestige of governmental office. And of course it could hardly be better applied that “the more things change, the more they stay the same,” then to the self-interest of man.
So Rome is gone, and we are here, these thousands of years later. The question then is have we learned from history, and if not will we ever? Have we yet learned that killing and feasting on the golden-goose must, and will always end with no gold, and no goose?
So What happened?
The same thing that always happened: Demagoguery and bribery. This most recent and majestic Demagoguery festival was perhaps best summed up by the quip: “The other guy hates you and everything you love, wants to take all of your stuff, burn down your house, eat your children, and kill your cat.” Demagoguery is essentially the process of capitalizing on the fears of the ignorant and the stupid. The other side of the self-interest coin is good old-fashioned bribery: “Vote for me and I’ll give you the other guys stuff (for free).” This of course always comes lathered in copious amounts of rationalization of why taking from Peter to give to Paul is only fair. And of course little has been better said than: “If you take from Peter to pay Paul, you can count on the full support of Paul.
Have the masses ever been whipped into a terrified frenzy better than by the recent crop of political operatives of today? The mantra that we don’t learn from history just isn’t so. Political operatives have learned all-to-well history’s lessons on the efficient manipulation of man. The one consistent message is that man will always fall for the “I’m looking out for you” drivel no matter how many times it proves itself magnificently untrue. There simply is no more powerful force in man than self-interest. This is seen in both his desires and his fears. This election cycle, perhaps above all others showed this played out as masterfully as a concert violinist, or perhaps more accurately as the ominous music of the approaching shark of “Jaws” fame. There was it seems in this cycle, an abundance of fear-mongering for virtually any taste in recent months. For women, who are the most recognized asset to political parties of late there was birth-control, and abortion. For blacks there was “Whities thinly disguised racial hatred and contempt of Blacks, and general annoyance that they can no longer enslave or otherwise oppress non-whites.” Likewise for Mexicans: “Whites hate you and want to break up your family and drag you kicking and screaming out of the country that was rightfully yours anyway. And if they cannot oppress these or deport them they at least want to take away their stuff and make their lives as miserable as possible for the entertainment of the fat cats in their ivory towers feasting greedily on the spoils of the oppressed.” There is of course the “oppression of all science and science-minded folk by the religious zealots floundering to remain relevant, and their insistence on controlling who can love whom, their desire to control or oppress anyone not in lock-step with their dogma, oppress gays, re-victimize rape and incest victims, force women to reproduce, and then of course just allow those produced children to suffer, starve, and die.” Indeed it is difficult to find any group that conservative and republicans don’t either disdain or just hate and wish to at least suffer, if not die.
So on the other side of the: They want to take your stuff” coin is the left’s: “We will give you stuff.” There is little that the left has not promised to “give” us, and not for the price of our souls, but for the entirely reasonable cost of just our vote. Amongst the plunder are Pre-natal care, money to keep it... or to kill it, Birthing-care, Universal-health care, money for babies, infants, toddlers, children, adolescents, teens, adults and seniors. There’s money for food, housing, utilities, phones, school, college, retirement, and on and on. There truly is something for everyone from cradle-to-grave. So the bribery and the demagoguery go on and on; will not end while man is susceptible to it, and will always be alleged by the right and denied by the left.More importantly however than what the left has in their quiver is what the right does not. While demagoguery is readily available to all, bribery is just realistically unavailable to the right, and ineffective and not believable when the right tries to out-left the left. The plea that: “I will give you stuff, but not as much as the other guy” is neither principled or effective, and is inherently nonsensical. The right finds itself in the absurd postion of running against Santa as Santa-light. And those foolish enough to try to out-Santa the left just find themselves in an unwinnable bidding war. Anything the Republican promises to the voters the left just promises more. The Republican must stop somewhere short of where all pretense of fiscal sanity ends but the Democrat, unrestrained by such logic or simple good sense just declares: "Yes, you can have an all hot-dog, chocolate, and red-bull diet... if that's what makes you happy - and gets your vote...
The left has tragic stories and photos of starving children, slogans, simple concepts, and bumperstickers. The right has esoteric logic, and complex concepts, difficult to articulate, and often counter-intuitive. Not only do the right not want to plunder others on your behalf, but they want to stop the others from doing so as well. And the cherry on top is the Right wants to take away all of the stuff the left has "fought and sacrificed" for to secure for their fellow man...
And the left has tied the millstone of "The Party of No" firmly around the neck of the conservative to watch them flail and drown while they try to explain how less government "help," less teachers, less money for teachers, shools, college, firemen, and cops, roads, bridges... less money for hungry children, less retirement and healthcare, are all a good thing.
And perhaps the most insidious thing that so many desire is the self-riteousness of saving the world - with other peoples money. The press made much hay of Romney's unfortunate comment about 47% of the people wanting stuff that was not their own. This may be more true than not in at least an oblique way. Most on the left, quite aside even from their own self-interest and entitled attitude, also want to tap into the wealth of their countrymen, not because they have earned such, or any other principle really, except that the money is there, they want it, and democracy empowers them to take it for whatever whim or "charity" du jour they fancy.
A Potent Mix
When considering all the goodies that the left has to offer in trade for votes that are antithetical to the principles of the Conservatives it is a powerful incentive in itself. When adding in all of the other dynamics of the creation of an ever expanding entitled class it seems an increasingly overwhelming uphill slog to garner enough voter support for the Right to prevail in any election. When consdiering that we are steeped in left-wing indoctrination more thoroughly every year and at earlier and earlier stages in public schools, which have become little more than progressive re-education camps, led by an entrenched monolithic statist propagandist mob, protected and secured by an unassailable union wall; the students really have little hope of becoming anything but left-wing Mini-Me's before going on to Associate, Baccalaureate, Masters, and PhD degrees in collectivist sycophancy. Add to that a reliable sycophanic left-wing press, vast union money, and a vacuous adoring Hollywood, migrating masses of illegal aliens demanding their piece of the Amercan Pie, one is left to wonder just how long the Right can remain relevant at all.
So, as the right inherently understands the dynamic of scaring and bribing for votes they find themselves more and more between a rock and a hard place. They can not realistically frighten the voters into voting for them as the left promise to give them their every-hearts desire and whim: hardly a frigtening proposition. Likewise they cannot out-bribe the left, as they simply become a poor imitation of that which they decry. The left, in gleeful realization of this quandry, and feigned helpfulness increasingly respond to the Rights dilemma in suggestion that they become even more left-like to regain their relevancy. Such is a win-win for the left and a sure-fire recipe for the fate of every other nation granting the people the wealth of the nations treasury for the price of their vote.