Friday, October 21, 2016

Politico Rant: Politics Is Not Civil - It's a Bloodsport

With about two weeks until the American general election I wanted to air out some of my brain and remove some of the cobwebs, spiders and snakes that may have been accumulating since June 2015 when this cycle got underway. Between the diehard fans of Donald J. Trump hailing him as the next best thing to a Messiah and those supporting Hillary Clinton who have pretty much admitted their lack of enthusiasm over her, particularly after the revelations of how she literally stole the primary from Senator Bernie Sanders I figured it may be time to put some reason back in the discussion, as difficult of a task that may appear to be. A reasoned approach is doable even in these erratic times (when haven’t the times been erratic?).

I first want to address the most recent distraction that the mainstream media, including Fox News, has tied their wagon to. On the night of the final debate moderator Chris Wallace (who overall did a fine job - certainly better than the previous two debate moderators) asked one question that according to the press was quite telling. We all know the question - I paraphrase: “Mr.Trump will you accept the election results on November 8th?” That is a good question, however, it was only addressed to Donald Trump and not Hillary Clinton yet Wallace allowed Clinton to respond to Trump’s answer without actually answering the question herself. On Friday, when pressed by one of his own colleagues over at Fox why he asked Trump that question the response from Wallace was, again paraphrasing: “Because of all his talk over the last few weeks how the election is rigged.” Alright I understand. However, any reasoned person would have already knew what Trump’s answer would be, that is if Mr. Trump is a reasoned person. His answer? “I’ll let you know … I’ll keep you in suspense.” That may not have been a politician’s way of answering the question but it was a reasoned one? Why? Because only a fool or someone like a slick politician would have answered yes to that obviously baited question. He could have done what Vice President Al Gore did in 2000 when that question was posed to him and said “Yes, I will agree with the vote count on election day,” and then on November 9th file a lawsuit that ended up in the Supreme Court which dragged out the election results for an additional 36 days after election day. Also, in light of all the recent revelations from WikiLeaks, the FBI 302 reports and the undercover videos showing the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee actively engaging in voter fraud and election rigging, only a downright idiot and fool would have answered that question in the affirmative. Mr. Trump is not a seasoned politician. He is forthright, to the point, blunt at times but he always tells you want he really thinks and doesn’t filter it through the crooked mire of political speak. That job he leaves to professional politicians like Hillary Clinton. One thing Trump is not ….. is a fool.

Now let’s move on to the next new line you are and will likely be hearing about from the media pundits and spin doctors, and that is this little thing called “down balloting.” Basically what this entails are all the Congresspersons and Senators running for reelection. In the old days the leader of a party (the presidential nominee of that party) really pushes hard to ensure their fellow party members are reelected and help out with appearances on behalf of that candidate or sends out their surrogates to help while both the RNC and DNC shell out millions of dollars to those candidate’s campaign. That is still taking place during this election, but neither of the two top tier candidates are doing a lot of shilling for the down ballot folk this time around and leaving that job mostly to staffers and surrogates. Since the press is making out like neither candidate is liked much many of these down ballot candidates are concerned about their reelection chances and that includes both Republican and Democratic incumbents.

I’m not going to get into all the salacious news about Trump or the criminality of Clinton and those in her camp because in order to make a rant on those topics requires a degree of throwing rationality out the window. I will leave that for another time ….. or not at all. What I do want to address as an answer to the above scenarios and why nothing that is said or done this time around by either side seems to have any actual lasting effect.

The press, aka Mainstream Media (MSM) which includes mainly the television or cable news outlets and those still involved in the written word such as print or the corporately owned digital printed journalist; and the columnists, editorialists and opinion bloggers are now operating in a new medium that most of them (aside from the online internet folk) are totally unfamiliar with. They are still working from the old political model that no longer works and one that they are still quite baffled by. No real, everyday person actually reads the New York Times, The Washington Post, The LA Times, etc. Very few hurry in front of the TV with their dinner trays and watch the evening nightly news on ABC, NBC, CBS or PBS any longer like we did when I was younger. Gone are the days of Walter Cronkite, Huntley Brinkley Report, etc. The MSM is still living in the dark ages of news and editorial distribution. As a result of this and the fact that most of the MSM has been locked for decades inside the same Beltway Bubble as those who have made politics a lifetime job instead of a service to their constituents. The media, like the politicians, because they are so out of touch with the real world that surrounds their impermeable glass house, have been caught off guard and have been revealed for the collusive players they are. Thanks mainly to things like Facebook, Twitter and other social media avenues the average citizen have had their eyes slowly wedged open to the reality of the political world that surrounds them; one in which isn’t anything like they have been led to think it was.

We have been taught that politics, while down and dirty still retains of modicum of civility. Thanks to social media and the blunt truthfulness from an unlikely presidential candidate like Donald Trump citizens now have a first-look peak behind the royal curtain and have gotten a glimpse of what the politicians, their operatives and the MSM have always known and understood — Politics, regardless of the public facade, is a bloodsport and not for the civil-minded.

People, over the last 18 months, and particularly these last several weeks with all the thousands of WikiLeaks revelations and undercover video from Project Veritas the facade has been brought crashing down. Of course, each person who has this “come-to-Jesus” moment react in several ways. Some become so discouraged of the facts behind the revelations that they simply bow out of the whole process altogether returning by denial to their previous state of keeping their heads buried in the sand like a good little ostrich. Others simply accept the reality and fall into their ideological sheepfold on either side and march lock-step to the party line, being good little spin doctors for their candidate of choice.

Another group tries to find the best in each candidate who lays out a plan and policies that fit best into their emotional mold of how they view the world.

Finally, there is the group that, with reason, logic, a knowledge of the past and a hope for the future recognize that both Hillary Rodham Clinton and Donald J. Trump are flawed human beings doing what they do for whatever the reason they do them which always includes the accumulation of political power to achieve their stated and sometime privately held goals for the nation and its people. This group will weigh the claims of both, thoroughly vet each candidates positions on those issues that will have the greatest impact on their lives and the direction of the nation; issues such as immigration, border security, national security, military preparedness, economy, jobs, jobs, jobs, bringing down the national debt while also rebuilding the declining infrastructure. They will logically, unemotionally and reasonably decide, based upon the candidates words, policies, actions and past accomplishments, failures and behaviors which candidate will best serve them, the nation and the Constitution of the United States of America.

What has changed is not the people or the political gamesmanship. What has changed, thanks almost entirely to the internet and social media, is how the people get their information about the game and their ability to affect the outcome of the game through massive online communication and sharing of data. The people are no longer dependent on the status quo and are saying as a result that for the most part they are sick and tired of that status quo created by the politicians and propagandized by the MSM.

There is a new sheriff in town and all the old bad players are scrambling to come to terms with this new political reality. In the future the candidate who know best how to manipulate this new media will dominate in the polls. This election is the first real test of just that paradigm shift. Get onboard or be run over by it left torn, shambled and bleeding on the tracks.

[NOTE: With ICAN soon to take charge of the global internet this whole model may be in for another earth shaking game change].

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