We’re getting closer to the next election cycle, and if recent weeks – and the last election – are any indication of the tone of coming debates and “civil discourse,” then we had better prepare ourselves for more of the same over-the-top, vitriolic, disgusting and vile (and paid marketing) propaganda which is all really just an attempt by losers to rig the game in their favor, to distract enough Americans from the real issues, and do it primarily by getting them angry and afraid of something.
They’re taking our guns. They’re taking our jobs. They’re killing small business. They’re not Americans. Marriage is between one man and one woman. They don’t support our troops. They are an abomination against God. They’re socialist liberal communist fascist nazi muslims plotting to take over America… etc.
Take an introspective moment right here, right now: Did you happen to notice how the above phrases caused you to have an immediate and strong emotional response (in agreement or opposition), and you just as quickly shifted most of your mental processes towards arguments in support of, or rejection against each of them?
Meanwhile, and this really is the very point of this entire post; What exactly does any of this have to do with actual working plans to create actual American jobs and growth in existing and new industries, or in promoting the general welfare of as many Americans as possible during this most difficult of times we face, in the early stages of what could be the worst global economic decline and recession in modern times?
The answer? Nothing. Absolutely nothing at all.
Anyone who has taken a speech class (like, from some elitist university where they teach all sorts of liberal socialist – and possibly demonic – ideas to impressionable youth who would otherwise surely want to become Republicans), or anyone with a marketing background would immediately recognize the tricks being employed (primarily by) Republican and Tea Party politicians seeking power today.
You can win almost any question, debate or popularity contest (like an election) by simply saying as little as possible about your own weakness, while attacking in the most ridiculous ways those views (and strengths) of your opponent, with enough frequency and volume so that most everyone forgets what was the original point in the first place.
Oh, and it helps to have a paid network of news outlets, writers, bloggers and comment posters all working furiously to create as much perceived activity in your favor, railing against every event, news, editorial, scientific and legal article written every single day by any outlet you don’t already own.
Also, you want to be sure to accuse your enemy of what you’re actually doing, first. It’s one of the most effective ways to distract attention from your true objectives. Case in point: politicians accused Obama of death panels back in 2009, before actually implementing them themselves.
In other words, if you don’t have a good answer or plan, all you have to do is call your opponent some sort of derogatory or incendiary name that makes people angry or afraid of him, and/or make a convincing claim as to the worst possible (negative) outcome of the opponent’s plan, even if your claim contradicts all known facts, science, precedence, history, etc. That second part is really easy, because most people won’t follow-up and actually check your facts, if you’ve done the first part well enough.
And as noted above, it really does help when you have the means to create the perception of popular support for your views, even if you have to pay money for every single comment in your favor. Why? Because the fact is, most people don’t lead – they follow – and they follow whatever is popular, because it’s safer and easier. Countless social and psychological studies confirm this again and again.
So let’s get back to the headline: The “2nd Amendment Remedy.”
In November 2008, Barack Obama was elected president, while Republicans also lost all their power in the House and Senate. Immediately, Republican politicians, governors and media notables all started chanting the incessant lies about Obama’s birth certificate, the legality of his presidency, his likely plans for a socialist, fascist, communist, Muslim takeover of America – oh, and also about how he lies. Governors threatened secession because the president dared to propose a way to fix our broken healthcare (we’re the only modernized country in the world without national or federally controlled healthcare), or because Obama planned to spend money to get people working and spur national growth (which all other modernized countries in the world do, because it works). The rhetoric became so ridiculous (but effective), that at one point, normally rational and intelligent people actually began to believe that Obama planned to kill your grandmother through the use of government mandated death panels. Death panels.
In March 2010, Sarah Palin could be found regularly using gun and shooting references in her speeches and other communications, trying to inflame her base to actually believe that anyone who didn’t agree with her view of the world is really an enemy. In June of 2010, Sharron Angle repeatedly talked about using the 2nd Amendment to overthrow our “tyrannical” (her words) U.S. government.
All of this fear mongering somehow managed to work. In November 2010, Republicans won back some state, House and Senate seats.
But what’s really amazing to me, is how much the rhetoric about secession and guns dramatically stopped, the day after the 2010 elections. Apparently, before that night, a lying fake Muslim impostor president bent on world domination and killing grandma, could do whatever he wanted and we were all powerless to stop it.
But those 66 new Republican (and Tea Party) politicians (out of 535 representatives and senators) seemed to make all the difference, overnight. Now the country was strong enough to defend America and the world from complete enslavement and Armageddon brought on by the anti-Christ Obama – oh, and we saved grandma all at the same time. Yay for us! Errrr…
That reminds me: It’s been nearly three years since the bottom fell out from under us. Has anyone seen any jobs, economic growth, business credit, or healthcare-related plan from the Republican politicians? I didn’t think so.
They’ve already done everything they needed to. Why do they need to actually propose anything real? They made people afraid that Obamacare would literally compel doctors to kill your grandma. LITERALLY.
And a majority of Americans in 66 House and Senate districts (drawn through a politically motivated and self-serving process begun many years beforehand) voted with their irrational fears about things which could never, ever possibly happen, and which have nothing to do with creating jobs or growth for a country reeling from an economic meltdown – a meltdown allowed to happen by the very people saying the president wants to kill your grandma.
I still have faith in humanity, even after reading that last sentence and thinking about it for a few moments… I still have faith, but I also understand the power of emotion.
Emotion is powerful enough to cause people struggling to get jobs, to vote for those who caused the job losses in the first place.
Emotion is powerful enough to cause people in the middle of a recession caused by Republican-led deregulation of banks, to support Republican politicians who say that any regulation of banks is bad. Yes, some Democrats thought more poor people should be able to afford a new home. Please. Stop. Suggesting that loan products could be more affordable has nothing to do with banks writing mortgages with their eyes closed. Republican politicians were just fine letting the market regulate itself the entire time. Unfortunately, in spite of all our belief in American business, most of us wouldn’t trust an unregulated corporation any further than we could throw one. For years, Republican politicians seemed to have little interest in anything other than taking credit for all the new housing starts (which increased through the Bush presidency at record rates, until 2008).
Emotion is powerful enough to cause small business owners who are struggling to get credit from their banks just to stay in business, to actually vote for a party that says banks should regulate themselves. Just FYI: For the past two years, if banks had been left to their own preferences, there would be no lending at all. Rick Perry recently said that fiscal policy seeking to free up the credit lines is akin to treason. He said this in response apparently to the several proposals by Obama, along with the president’s creation of a consumer credit protection agency (which Republicans have yet to allow him to staff), along with complaints on pretty much all the fiscal policy to come from our top finance person, Ben Bernanke.
Emotion is powerful enough to cause people struggling with health issues and costs, incredible debt burden and even bankruptcy, to actually believe that national healthcare is an attempt by Democrats to kill your grandma.
Yes, emotion is powerful… but even emotion must give way to truth, after the truth becomes so obvious that not even great marketing can gloss over it. Unfortunately, this takes time. Many years in most cases. We Americans are more empirical, and need physical proof of anything before we’ll accept it. We’ll need to go through several more years of Republican and Tea Party policies and/or obstructionism just so we can see just how bad it can get, again, before enough Americans will decide they can’t vote for them. But then, give it a few years after that, and they’ll find a way to weasel themselves back into power again. People do also have short memories, after all.
But I hope we remember, while all this is happening, that anyone who talks about the opposition as being an enemy to America, clearly doesn’t understand that different ideas and different election outcomes are the best and brightest shining example of what America truly is.
And so…? What about the 2nd Amendment?
The 2nd Amendment was established by our forefathers as a means to ensure that Americans could protect themselves from a despotic ruler like King George III, who used force and the general ignorance of the population to convince them that he, and he alone had been duly chosen and ordained by God to lead the world’s greatest empire. King George had no interest in serving any public needs, nor in promoting the general welfare. He used the people as pawns in his own global games, and raw materials to build his ambitions, and as labor for his endevours. He didn’t let the people speak, or assemble, or possess any weapons, or to control their own representatives government.
Go read a copy of the American Constitution and Bill of Rights, and keep the above in mind. Knowing more about life in the 1600 and 1700’s, and about King George III, really does help explain exactly what caused us to write all those words in that fancy handwriting so long ago.
So, when a Tea Party or Republican candidate for any political office suggests using the 2nd Amendment, just because they got fewer votes in the last election, or cannot get 100% of what they want in some proposed legislation – just remember: We’re NOT talking about the emotional issue of gun rights. We’re NOT talking about Democrats wanting to take away your guns. We’re NOT talking about a dictator or despot who rules over everyone, in a country that has no elected representation or executive whatsoever.
We’re talking about one political party threatening to kill anyone who doesn’t agree with them. We’re talking about one political party threatening to kill the majority of freely and duly elected officials (and presumably then, voters too). We’re talking about the Tea Party and now Republican politicians trying to convince Americans that democracy isn’t American – and that fascism is.
What we’re talking about is treason. Let’s begin to treat it as such, rather than allow such dialog to continue to corrupt and endanger America, freedom and the democratic process.
Some of us Americans disagree about tax rates, and what should be left to the private sector or government to manage on our behalf, through our representation in Washington D.C., the states, counties, cities and local wards in which we all live. Disagreement is part of the democratic process. You only have 100% agreement in fascist dictatorships.
So, the next time you hear any Tea Party person or Republican politician say they can’t do anything without a full and complete majority, or they mention 2nd Amendment remedies against the big bad government (and anyone who doesn’t agree with them), just remember – Americans voted for this government, and we’re expecting you to serve our collective interests to the best of your ability. That is American. That is democracy and freedom – even if we don’t like the outcome in every single case.
If Tea Party and Republican types want to “remedy” free elections, voting, representative democracy and any checks-and-balances, they’ll need to do it to more than half the population. That’s what they are threatening (even if they never actually intend to carry through on it).
Just don’t let your emotions cloud that simple fact, America.