I’ve spent the past couple of days in reflection, primarily brought on by my mother’s death. Of course it comes to all of us but that is really an empty set of comfort words when you deal with death of anyone close. As it is, so it will be.
As much as this doesn’t appear to segue into the topic at hand, the introspection did bring thoughts on how we make decisions came to mind. Lately I’ve read and listened to the arguments about how awful some of the rascals are in the Republican caucus. Not all of them are considered that because many of the more established politicos have been around long enough to know how government works.
The stuff they didn’t teach you in civics class but you should know.
Career politicians may have not started out thinking or running on the idea of staying multiple terms in Washington. In fact most of them usually follow this well-tried track. First they run as an outsider, a reformer wanting to take back government for the people. Everyone that listens and believes their home spun, hard luck story will think, at last we’re sending someone to Washington that understands us. Off to Washington goes candidate X.
Now before they arrived, they already had some support from powerful people with money but now that they’re in office, the attention becomes more focused in both directions. The powerful influence peddlers back home now know they have a winner and the winner now knows how to win with their help. The link between the groups and the candidate grow stronger. After the candidate moves through the shiny new button phase of their indoctrination and intros to who’s who, the real interesting thing usually happens to this reformer. They become part of a select club with privileges and power they never really had before. Suddenly what they say matters but only if it aligns with the status quo and the status quo know it’s to keep your job.
There are 3 main ways to keep your job and any politician worthy of support and re-election learns these tactics quickly.
1 – always find out what your strongest supporters want and especially those that will aid your campaign financially in the next election cycle.
2 – gather your data on what’s trending in the polls. The trick is to look like your leading the charge of what the electorate want. You can usually gain broad support if you get behind legislation that brings money into your district. Therefore, financial backing works two ways. First, you need it to get into office. Next you then leverage your position with the voters and key supporters through making promises and spending tax payer money on those promises.
3 – learn from the old hands who have been in Washington awhile. Act as if you’re a Maverick when it suits your re-election purpose but always remember the voter doesn’t have as long of a memory of what you voted on or supported as those who wield the most power in Washington. Your more senior colleagues won’t forget if you don’t support their projects that keep their constituency happy. They will only support you if you support them. Furthermore they know enough of the powerful leaders in the media who will only support those that push the agenda for more concentrated power.
What can we gain by understanding history?
By now you should be seeing a trend and understand when politicians promise to boost employment, improve the economy, proclaim a new day is coming or dangle the carrot of a new program because they care so much about improving the lives of the people. This later public offering has really taken hold in both dominant political parties. The more you promise, the better you look. It doesn’t matter if the idea is impractical in the long-term. The real justification is if it sounds good and it’s claimed to be fair.
They promise of something for everyone and let’s take more from the evil rich because they shouldn’t be hoarding all that for themselves. “It just isn’t fair and we’re here in Washington to make sure these injustices are ended.” It’s a new whine in old bottles.” We’ve heard it all before. Here’s a recent example in a city where millions live. The mayor-elect is Bill DeBlasio. He’s really no different from our Congress, but it’s a sterling example of the rhetoric used. It’s nothing more than the same tried and tested ‘oatmeal’ we’ve heard before. The only difference now for many locations, including our national government, the socialized reformers are getting their way with new laws to restrict and increased taxes. Meanwhile the gullible continue to buy it.
Bill DeBlasio says “he will remake New York’s social fabric, stoked the hopes of discouraged liberals and vowed that a city defined by its luxuries would once again be a comfortable home for those with money struggles and the poor.” Translation, he will continue to find more people he can add to government dependency. If they’re poor they will receive programs tailored to facilitate their desires and any business that wishes to prosper within the confines of the city will need to be supportive of the new regime if they don’t want problems. This works in most large cities, like New York or Chicago. It worked for a long period in Detroit until the major supportive cash cows, (automotive industry), for government programs and handouts either left town or were significantly down sized in the world market.
For places like Detroit Michigan, San Bernardino California and many other smaller municipalities across this country, the end of the line has come. They continued to make promises which kept them in power for as long as they could. They used their political competitors as excuses for their policy failings and the electorate swallowed their porridge, until it was too late. Now the deniers, defenders and justifiers for their political party of choice, will “support their team”, in spite of the evidence. As long as there are enough people blindly re-electing them, the Career politicians will continue to influence peddle and make promises. Unfortunately, cities don’t have the ability to write checks they can’t repay. Eventually, the notes (bonds) come due and they can’t print more money and sell their promises through investments ad-infinitum.
Career politicians in Washington know the game is rigged in their favor. National sovereignty, pride, patriotism, fear, dependency and the ability to sell future debt long past their time in office propels the promise and sells the sizzle. Meanwhile, at some point, unless the trends are reversed, the nation will become more impoverished, more restrictive and resemble nations in crisis found throughout the globe. Every new crisis will bring forth a new all-encompassing, tax burden with even more restrictive regulations and additional penalties.
Once in a while a few independent thinkers and ordinary people who desire freedom, prosperity, and a set of values come out of the woodwork. These are the greatest threat to the status quo. The Career politicians, no matter their party affiliation, recognize the threat and will seemingly turn on their own, aided by those supposedly from the opposition. The media will portray them as out of touch, not in the main stream, reactionary, unfeeling, out to protect the rich & harm the poor. They will be called racist, bigoted, homophobic, promote false narrative or any slanderous wording to halt the threat they present to the status quo and the power statists. There will be those whose allegiance to a party or political philosophy will join in and decry these wayward outspoken people who dare take a stand. They will turn on anyone they find opposing their team while there national heroes continue to enjoy perks, power and bestow favors.
It’s Always Been About Maintaining Power & Control
Unfortunately throughout history these type of tactics are effective. Unlike some of the happy ending books, movies or assortment of fairy tales we may have heard, the good guys & gals don’t always prevail. In a book recently written by the polarizing political and social commentator, Bill O’Reilly, ‘Killing Jesus’, discusses at length exactly how that worked under ancient Roman government control. Those who choose to avoid reading the book because they think it’s about Christianity, might be the real audience that should read it. It isn’t a tale of religious guidance or quaint pontificating, rather it’s just history. The authors write a book showing how the people in power of that time conspired, even with people they didn’t like or necessarily respect, to bring down a man who had emerged as a possible threat to their status and control. They paid no attention to this man until his sudden emergence as a public speaker and provocateur. Once his ideas and his actions started to attract the masses and publicly condemn their abuses of the public traditions, ritual & treasury, they had to find a way to either entrap him or make a mockery of him. As it turns out they did more than that, they found a clever way to make him a criminal in the eyes of the public and killed him as they would any other that threatened their authority.
If there’s anything we should truly take away from history, it isn’t all the fine dates, times and places detail. You can get lost not seeing the forest for all the trees by focusing on the minutia. The real take-aways ought to be the power and influences of the time. What were the prevailing thoughts and actions leading up to change? What were the broader philosophies which were later enacted once they had control? Words often don’t match actions, that’s why they’re referred to as lies because the words were and are often used as deception or the fog of details and jargon in order to bring the population into alignment with their real goals.
That’s why you don’t see the fall of an empire, the rise of imperial and military power, emergence of a powerful Kingdom or the total control of a dictatorship in a 1 to 3 act play. It takes time to evolve and if the ‘masters’ can collect and concentrate enough power in their usable lifetime, they will do it even if it’s only to serve their ego. Seldom do the truly despotic get the chance to run their end game. Timing is everything, but if they can destabilize or set the population into a spiraling crisis, the opportunities abound to allow them to move their agenda forward. Just as almost no one is entirely good, there are few that are horribly bad. Just as it were for the ancient government of Israel or the Roman Empire to fail, we should be able to step back and watch the steps over generations which suddenly emerge into catastrophe on a national scale. Gradual erosion of the social fabric, sometimes unwittingly spurred on by the cheering population can mean their downfall in the long run. There are some that see these changes for what they are as a real threat, not necessarily to themselves but to their country or their descendents. They will stand up and if they are capable with enough people backing them, they might tip the scales in favor of bettering their country or the people within it. We can look back and perhaps agree on a few people and maybe question the choice of others. History usually bears this out, but for most of us, aren’t around long enough to find out what happens.
I’ve often been on the wrong side of popularity. No one really wants that as a choice but if you are looking out for more than just yourself, it’s usually what happens as a result. The challenges which lay before us now include, no longer a right to disagree or to exercise a formerly accepted right to privacy, defend yourself, raise a family under your own influence, right to a swift trial and assumption of innocence, right to express or say what is true, travel in safety without hindrance or harassment or worse, incarceration. Compromise on these broadly mentioned topics become impossible because the demands for adherence have become so severe. As the restrictions become more severe or the debts more insurmountable, vast differences emerge. Therefore, I can identify with, even though I haven’t financially supported groups or individuals which have stood apart from the prevailing winds. I applaud their willingness to a right previously and fully understood in our country, not be a tax and wage slave, speak up, stand up to the eroding rights and morals of our country. If we fail to understand how we’re often just bit players in a powerful play about control and authority, we’ve failed in historical understanding.
News headlines on how the U.S. has been turned on its ear.
- Maryland Man Shoots Home Intruder: Charged With Murder
- Families of two masked armed robbers outraged that armed citizen killed their boys. Want “justice”.
- President Obama lied twenty-four times about Americans being able to keep their health plans under Obamacare. (deniers claim he misspoke or was misunderstood)
- Former NSA Codebreaker: I Tried To Tell People About Government Spying (he said no one would listen)
- PA Mother Shoots, Kills Armed Robber Who Was Attacking Her Son
- ‘Unions May Get Health Law Tax Relief’ (supporters do receive benefits)
- Nation’s poor at 49.7M, higher than official rate (statistics for this probably as accurate as unemployment)
- New Mexico man says he was anally probed 8 times after routine traffic stop (he also received the bill for it later)
- Texas state troopers caught on camera probing women’s privates aren’t isolated incidents (and we thought Genghis Khan was a barbarian?)
- Release of the 2014 Philip C. Jessup Competition Compromis (acedicilsa.com)
- Political Trivia: Bill De Blasio (dekerivers.wordpress.com)
- Democrat De Blasio Wins NYC Mayor’s Race in Landslide Over Lhota – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Texas state troopers caught on camera probing women’s privates
- Why Camden, N.J., is Still Failing Despite State Intervention
- Minimum Wage Madness
- An Old ‘New’ Program
- Autocratic Tradition and Chinese Politics
- 95 year old WWII veteran killed after being tased and shot by police
- Detroit isn’t alone. The U.S. cities that have gone bankrupt, in one map
- The Rise and Fall of New York