Monday, September 5, 2011

Dashing Hope

"In interviews with more than two dozen people in New Hampshire and Iowa over the Labor Day weekend, voters said they sensed a new vulnerability to President Obama.
But while they expressed a strong sense of optimism in the prospect of winning the White House, they were looking for a candidate who could not only prevail in a general election, but be a forceful conservative leader for a tumultuous time."

The above is from the New York Times today, September 5, 2011 in an article that is about how Republican voters are looking for "a winner," that is, some one who get beat President Obama and who is, as they see it, "conservative."

Now for me, from my perspective, it is absolutely essential, according to those who control our politics, that these hopes be raised and then dashed. Why? Well, because the people must be reminded that politics is powerless to affect real change. It is especially important to teach the people this lesson in what the Times calls this "tumultuous time." Why would the powers that be want to teach this lesson? How does it serve their interests, which include of course maintaining their power and status? Well, because if the people get the idea, and get it from experience, that politics can change things, that political change can result in genuine reforms, then the days of the current power holders are numbered. If people get this idea in their heads, then they will expect our politicians to actually change things, to actually engage in genuine reform and, when they don't, they will be voted out of office. What better way to teach the people that such change is impossible, is "unrealistic," than by raising their hopes and then dashing them? Sort of like what happened in and after the presidential election of 2008. Obama ran on the promise of "change" and then bailed. Of course, he justified or explained his bailing by claiming that he did all he could do, all anyone could do, given "political reality" in these United States. But it should not go unnoticed that his bailing serves the interests of the "powers that be." And if you don't believe this is persuasive, just think the following name: Russ Feingold. Did you see or hear anyone in the Democratic Party elite bemoaning Feingold's defeat in his re-election bid for the Senate? I did not.

It is important to recognize that this lesson, appropriately taught, serves the interests of both parties and their controlling elites. Hence, don't be too surprised if and when the Republican Party elite does things, makes "mistakes," that hurt the chances of its nominee for president in 2012. As the saying goes, "Better the devil you know....." But, also, because these are perilous times, especially for the ruling elites who know that they have a potential popular insurrection on their hands, it is all the more important to remind the people that politics and politicians are essentially powerless to change things. 

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