How The Political World Works

How the Political World Works 8/6/16 elburropete@gmail.com

Democrats and Progressives may not know how the world outside of politics works, but they sure know how the world inside of politics works: EMOTIONS TRUMP FACTS.  They know this instinctively. I think it’s in their genes.

For example, at a meeting of the local Democrats a few months back, they were discussing issues to use in the coming elections and one of their really big hitters piped up and said, “We’ve got to get emotional!!” She knew what she was talking about.

On issue after issue, state, local and national, emotions win elections.  Pundits blame Romney’s loss in the last presidential election because voters perceived he “didn’t care.”  That was actually an issue in the election. Think about that.

An occasional Republican gets it. Jack Kemp used to say that voters don’t care what you know until they know you care.  That’s sad because how do politicians show they “care?” By spending other peoples’ money, usually  on programs that do more harm than good. Sometimes the “caring” is in the form of laws that force other people, usually businesses, to spend money on such things as minimum wages, day care centers, sick leave, health insurance, maternity leave, wheelchair ramps, and so on.

I call this the compassion con, the “I feel your pain” con, and it really gets my knickers knotted when politicians are praised for their “generosity” when no such thing was involved.  What brought this to mind was an ad I saw on the Internet by some company in the business of refinancing mortgages. The headline said that “Obama generously” gave homeowners a one-time chance to refinance.  A lot of people, including Obama, probably think he was in fact “generous.”

Maybe the number one emotional hot-button of politics that doesn’t involve money is the identity con.  Why vote for Hillary? Because she’s a woman.  Why vote for Barrack Obama? Because he’s black.  The Democrats have mastered identity politics, and they have managed to fool their Republican colleagues into supporting immigration laws that over the years have resulted in a virtual stuffing of the ballot box for Democrats.

They knew what they were doing.  It is doubtful the nation can survive if racial identity becomes more important than national identity.  Anybody who criticizes La Raza, Black Lives Matter, CAIR, whatever, is a racist, troglodyte, xenophobe, a.k.a. a Republican. Maybe the Republicans can figure out how to divide and conquer before the nation is torn apart by identity politics, but I doubt it.

The emotional hot-button that brings it all together is the victim con.   “Oh, you poor (black, Hispanic, woman, single mom, unemployed college grad/factory worker/etc., LGBT, Muslim, welfare recipient, and so on ), your problems ARE NOT YOUR FAULT. Vote for me and I’ll punish your tormentors, be they corporations, banks, Christians, Jews, racists (if they‘re white), employers, cops, imports and whatever/whomever is the devil du jour.”

It’s very discouraging. As Winston Churchill once said, the biggest argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.  On the other hand, the biggest argument against a dictatorship is after your five-minute conversation with that man on-the-street, ask yourself, would you like to be ruled by THAT SOB?

Unfortunately, if that SOB is a skilled demagogue able to hit enough hot buttons,  he, or she, will rule you.  It’s democracy’s fatal flaw.

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