On Geopolitical Issues, the 2006 Elections, Shifting Voting Demographics, Etc.
(Dialogue With Mark Bonocore
--Part I of IV)Mark's words will be in black font in this four part dialogual sequence with any citing of statements of mine prior to this material being in blue font and previous citations of Mark's words will be in fire coloured font. Any sources I use will be in darkblue font any exceptions to the pattern just outlined will be explicitly noted. And while admittedly I wax and wain a bit on the whole Hillary election thing, in general my views are what was expressed when Mark and I conducted this dialogue on a discussion list last year.
Mark (and company):
I have moved this discussion to a different thread because it was simply getting difficult for me to follow after a while. For the sake of easier reading, I have divided this response into four parts and (along with the previous threads) may blog it if time or circumstances permit it. But without further ado... On 10/22/05, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX wrote: In a message dated 10/20/2005 5:08:44 PM Pacific Standard Time, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX writes:
I am aware of what they are trying to do Mark. It is just that they have not adapted yet to the alternative media formats. Their sort only dominates when they can handcuff disputations and set it up so that it is several libs against one token conservative. But in the alternative media (which is the future of media), they not only cannot do this but they are at the mercy of people being able to select what they want and do not want to listen to or watch. True. But, you don't think Hillary's going to let Sean Hannidy or Fox News moderate her debates, do you? :-)
She will have to engage the alternative media to some extent Mark...this is not 1992 where it could be avoided (or even 1996 when it was still an upstart). The alternative media has been the deciding factor in the past three elections (2000, 2002, and 2004) and Hillary is smart enough to know that they cannot be avoided completely if she wants to move beyond her base of supporters. As a result, newspaper circulation has declined significantly, the major news programs are losing ratings, and FoxNews is beating CNN, MSNBC, and CBS combined!!!Again, all true ... But most people who can vote don't watch the news. Many get their politics from John Stewart's Daily Show on Comedy Central! How scary is that?
My sister just ordered a "John Stewart in '08" sweatshirt Mark...I am not unaware of this. However, most [with my sister's outlook] know that The Today Show
is a fake news program. On the radio, it is not even close..are you aware that Air-America is on the verge of collapse because they cannot turn a profit??? No one is listening to them except the "bush-is-hitler" crowd and they are a very small minority at best. In cyperspace, the libs are also losing the war of persuasion. All they have is scaremongering propaganda and prevarication and guess what: those cards are not playing well anymore. Yes. But, might I suggest that you are an intellectual with intellectual tunnel vision here.
I have been called a lot worse than that before so go ahead ;-)Again, the vast majority of Americans (who have the same right to vote as informed and sensible people) don't follow politics or the news. It is this "mob" that the dems will try to appeal to.
And a good percentage of those people do not even vote to begin with...a key factor you are not taking into account. By contrast, people who view things as we do generally speaking are a growing number and we do vote. They just need a good reason ( e.g. a dip in the economy; some disaster in Iraq, etc.) to do it. This is why Bush is commonly blamed for everything bad that happens, and that mentality trickles down to the common man, who is willing to believe it. Katrina = Bush's fauly; the riot in Cleveland = Bush's fault; Sadam's trial is postponed = Bush's fault. :-) The technique is to establish a psychological "manta" of sorts for the idiots in our society. And we have no shortage of idiots.
But need I remind you that this tactic failed in 2000, it failed in 2002, and it failed in 2004??? As long as the Democrats do not give people a reason to
vote for them, human nature is not to change course; ergo apathy in this case plays into our favour. And do the people who can vote really care anything about this??? I refer to the soccer moms and the other disciples of Oprah. :-) It's not about ability, it's about popularity. Scary!
[Snipping heap big historical documentation on my part pace
Mark's earlier comments]That is an excellent historical analysis, Shawn; but I think you're missing two elements --the two elements that the modern Democrats rely on: 1) the power of the media, which is a far more useful tool than it was in the days of Roosevelt; and I'm not talking about news programs and the like, but the ability of the entertainment industry ( e.g. TV, music, movies, etc.), which has a air of "royality" about it for most Americans, to indoctrinate people on a cultural level and weaken the resolve of their nominally Christian/conservative convictions (there was nothing like this in the days of Roosevelt or JFK ...I refer to a united liberal control of the entertainment industry),
The same media who has pulled out all the stops the past six years and failed to carry the day in a single election??? Mark, I think what you are not recognizing is that this approach has run its course aka what Arianism did by the late 300's. Will it still be a factor in the next election and into the future??? Sure the same way the Arians were after 381 or so. The MSM's heyday was 1964-1994...starting with the Johnson political smear of Goldwater and ending with the Republicans sweeping into the Congress. Since that time, they have been losing ground on all fronts and have been throwing more and more public temper tantrums. And the past six years, things have solidified and we are seeing a paradigmatic tilt in the direction of the MSM having significantly less influence and diminishing by the year. and 2) the growing stupidity on the part of average Americans.
Actually, I think the stupidity factor also peaked sometime in the 1990's. That is not to say that there is a shortage of stupidity out there today...God knows there is not...but I am not so sure anymore that this is a growing
factor anymore. If some TV news show did a man-on-the-street interview in c. 1960, the man-on-the-street would be reasonably well informed ( e.g. knowing who the Vice President was, etc.); the interviewer would get intellegent answers to their questions, and the person would respond in full sentences. If one does a man-on-the-street interview today, unless it's someone like yourself (a rarity), they will get blabbering nonsense and a lot of blank states and embarrassed laughter. This is the fruit of a liberal-run NEA and intentionally declining standards in our school systems. In short, people have been "dumbed-up"; and "dumbed up" people are easily led ...to vote Democrat. :-)
I would have agreed with your analysis ten years ago Mark. However, the structures were different then...the MSM had a monopoly on public discourse and there were no substantial alternative voices. Again, voter turnout in 2000 and 2004 was high (particularly 2004) and we know what happened in those elections. 2002 was not high but midterms generally are not anyway. 2006 will be a midterm election and low voter turnout favours incumbants as a rule. You still seem to be seeing things through the lens of a monopolistic MSM apparatus I am afraid... The one and only thing that seriously threatens Hillary's bid (not that Bush has made the same mistakes as his dad and allowed the media the demonize him with no response or counter-move) is the war and the threat of terror. There is also the economy. If it remains strong through 2008, she will not win. PERIOD. Could be. But Carval et al are very clever.
True. But they have a lot more against them now than they did in the 1990's Mark. It is not the same playing field anymore and if Carvel does not realize this (and I am not so sure he does actually...based on what I have seen of him on the talking heads programs the past couple of years), he will not be as effective as he was in the past. If the person the Republicans pick can be demonized, it will be relatively easiy to position Hillary as the one who will "preserve our present prosperty."
That is why you are not likely to see a front runner prior to the 2006 elections... making it seem as if the Rep is an outsider who will want to take it away from us.
Again, this is from the old playbook which has failed to work the past three elections (read: since the coming-of-age of the alternative media). If Gingich runs, I am confident that they will do something like this.
Gingrich would be a good choice to act as a distractor...he cannot win the nomination but for people like the Dems to spend their time and money demonizing him to allow someone else (i.e. a mirror opposite of Gingrich) to be the nominee: in baseball they call this a "changeup." Hillary = a Senator whose been "keeping America strong" ....as if she was part of the Bush administration, etc. :-)
Um Mark, put the peyote down...NOW!!! ;-) ;-) ;-) It's hilarious, but look at what people will believe these days!
You are approaching this without recognizing the change in political dynamics the past eight years...almost like Mondale in 1984 with all due respect ;-)
I should note that lest this be misunderstood that I actually do appreciate you playing "Mr. Thunderstorm" here since I am sure there are many who hold your view in at least a macro sense. My response here is one of cautious optimism based on historical precedent -both the previous hundred years of presidential history as well as the last three elections in the age of the increasingly discredited MSM. But, the liberals are working on this too. Have you seen that new show on one of the networks starring Gena Davis, called "Commander in Chief." It's about America's first woman President, and notice the title. :-) She becomes President during the war on terror, etc. No accident. True. However, Geena Davis is a babe and Hillary is not. I know a lot of people who think otherwise. :-) ..sick people, to be sure; but Hillary is considered very "easy on the eyes" in some circles.
Maybe at a blind person's convention...though frankly Hillary could get a grimace out of Ronnie Milsap
. Women also tend to see her this way --i.e., her new "warm and motherly" (vs. "cold and dykey") make-over via her Senatorial run. :-)
In New York sure but winning in NY does not translate into winning nationally. You may not know this being from Philly and all but we folks out west here (with our "stagecoaches", "shootumups at noon", and "tumbleweeds") as a rule despise
you eastern folks as uppity elists bums, etc. (Present company excluded of course.) We are aware that back east there is a general view that everyone west of the Hudson River (and south of Mason-Dixon) are a bunch of "inbred Jeds." Hillary has sought to identify herself as an eastern establishment type and that does not play well out here anymore. If you do not believe me, ask Howard Dean, John Edwards, John Kerry, Paul Tsongas, and Michael Dukakis.
The only times an eastern establishment type mentality has succeeded is when packaged in "good 'ol boy attire." That explains Clinton, Carter, and LBJ. I remind you that Humphrey failed in 1968, McGovern in 1972, and Mondale in 1984. They were all northern liberals -in Humphrey's case a more honourable northern liberal but the same stigma nonetheless.
Hillary would have been wiser to have run as a Senator from Arkansas (or some other southern state) to set herself up presidentially but she would not have had a prayer in Arkansas. That is why she went with New York where being liberal gives you a thirty point head start in the polls if not more.
Again, Mark, truth be told: we "rednecks" despise
the eastern establishment and its self-anointed "ivory tower intellectuals." That may not be evident from out there in Philly, etc. but trust me: it is true. And if you doubt me, look at the presidential maps in 2000 and 2004 and check out all that red. (Though in truth, we should be blue since the Democrats are the true marxists and thus are properly coloured red.)
Even in Washington state, the last governors race needed to be stolen from us
by the corrupt King County machine...which in this election coming up there are actually lifetime Dems supporting one of the GOP candidates because of a recognized need to break the back of the city machine. There is even talk about partitioning off King County after the city limits into another county...that is how pissed off many KC residents are with the way their county is monopolized by the Seattle machine (and has been for decades now).
My point is Mark, we are seeing a seismatic shift taking place with a political realigning which started in 1980 and has been moving ever since (with very few signs of stopping). This political realigning is to our advantage
; ergo I am cautiously optimistic most of the time. I'm taking that line directly from a Saturday Night Live sketch. My hope of course is that she ages badly over the next two years. :-) Yet, there's always plastic surgery, I suppose.
She is not to be underestimated certainly. However, you overestimate her. This is an attempt (not a very successful one, I'll grant you) by the media machine to get America ready and comfortable with Hillary by casting, not a dykey shrew, but a "Mary Tyler Moore" type actress in the role of the President --the hope being that it will help people to embrace the "icon" that Hillary will personally fill. But Hillary does not have the physical looks of Geena Davis or 1960's-1980's Mary Tyler Moore. See my previous comments. Sorry, I think I didn't make my point clear enough. The reason I mentioned Mary Tyler Moore was because she is an icon of "the girl next door" in American mythology. Geena Davis has this same quality, which is why they cast her as the President, rather than Glenn Close or Meryl Streep, etc.
Close would have been a good actress to try and clone Hillary for a TV show...except Close is easier on the eyes.Now, granted, Hillary is no girl next store. But, the mentality in casting Geena Davis is to get Americans comfortable with a female war-time President who is archetypally female. For, if a "girly-girl" can be president during a war, then so can Hillary. Admittedly, it's a pretty lame attempt to win over the psych of the country. But, they're trying. ...and it could have worked. :-)
Wouldas and couldas do not escape from the fact that it has not been working. So far, the show's ratings have been terrible. :-) But, give the liberals a chance. That's just one tactic of many for trying to influence the American electorate. You ain't seen nothing yet. :-)
Actually, we saw a lot in the 1990's with the BS over so-called "budget cuts", we say a bunch of BS in the 2000 presidential campaign, we saw even more BS in the 2004 campaign as well. There is nothing new in any of it nor will there be in what they will try for 2006 or 2008. I agree Mark but perhaps you should consider what the bad ratings for that show signify in part. I have heard through the grapevine that it is not a bad show. They certainly have good actors ( i.e. Geena Davis, Donald Sutherland). So the show is not failing because it is a bad show but instead for another reason. Well, I think the show is failing because of the "law of diminishing demands" ---a little facet of business that the entertainment industry never seems to learn. The target audience for the show is already occupied with "The West Wing." So, I think that's the real problem. For example, if you put on a show about a red-haired kid with his "cool" Italian buddy growing up in the 1950's while "Happy Days" was already on the air, it would not do well because "Happy Days" owns the market. The producers of "Commander in Chief" basically concluded that their show will be successful because it's "The West Wing meets Gilmore Girls" (or however they pitched it). :-) In other words, they overestimated the popularity of "The West Wing" with audiences (assuming that folks "couldn't get enough" of West Wing), and perhaps their blind spot was their desire to use the popularity of West Wing (which was created during liberal Hollywood's euphoria over Clinton) as a piece of propoganda to promote Hillary. The interesting thing, of course, will be to watch whether or not the network actually pulls the show. :-)
Your analysis is good but it points out the weakness in our adversaries. As for whether the show will or will not be pulled, here is my prediction: not before the 2008 primaries. Hollywood has a history of permitting failing financial enterprises to continue because they support their ideologies. ...i.e., every anti-Christian movie ever made ( e.g. The Last Temptation of Christ) looses money, yet Hollywood continues to make them. Why? :-) I thought it was "show business"? Not.
Precisely. But, these only work with thinking people. What about the millions upon millions of morons out there, all of whom have the same vote as you or me? I am one who favours making voters not of equal weight.
Amen! :-) White, educated, male, landowners. :-) ...Okay, at least educated landowners. Hee hee.
I favour everyone who is of age being able to vote. However, votes should be weighted by various factors. We need to recognize that the current voting criteria has been outstripped and adjust it accordingly. And I have serious problems with women voting too.
And people wonder why Mark is a bachelor ;-) ;-)They consistently prove (as a demographic) that they don't know what they're doing ---that they do not make reasonable, but emotional, choices ( e.g. "Oh, he's so handsome, so I'm voting for him.").
But now you are engaging in your own kind of activism Mark. It is the heighth of inconsistency to rail against self-serving activism from the so-called "left" and then do it yourself. This is a major reason why the Miers nomination is in trouble...people like me who do not want to see activism on any
side. It is no accident that Black men were given the vote in this country before women were. An all-male (head of the household) electorate produces unity in families, which in turn are the building-blocks of society. Giving women the vote has pitted wives against husbands and done much to undermine the structure of the family. No one is willing to address this right now, but history will see it very clearly.
We shall see... I have not worked out a system for it yet but it would start with a civics test. Those who cannot pass it either lose half a vote or those who pass it gain a half a vote. Actually, I think one has to be careful there, given who will design the test. :-) If it's some state bureaucracy, you can bet that liberals will have their hand in it to tilt things "leftie" and disqualify those who think differently than they do. I think the better test would be being a "mench" (the Yiddish word) in the local society. If you are a known doctor, or other professional, who has attained a certain ("patrician") standard in our fluid society (in which a poor person can advance himself through opportunity in education and the economy), then your vote counts more than that of an unemployed crack addict. I think this is justice.
That is part of it yes. However, then there is the issue of anyone using the federal government for their own self-interests. The role of the federal government is supposed to be a small one for many reasons. Claude Frederic Bastiat noted them as succinctly as anyone when he explained
that the role of law is justice plain and simple. And using the federal leviathan to rob one class of people to enrich another is no more just than if you were to rob your neighbour to enrich yourself. Another way to deal with it would be to base it on income tax returns. If they must tax our income, then it should benefit out right to vote. So, if you're "flipping more of the bill," you should get more say in how the government spends your money.
See my previous comments. Then there is private property ownership. Since those who own property should have a greater stake in controlling the federal leviathan, a half a vote more for property owners. Then there is marriage...it is a stable bedrock of society and contributes to both just public order as well as society's common good. For that reason, half of a vote more for married people than unmarried people. Good ideas.By this scale, a married property owning person who can pass a civics test would have three times the voting influence over someone who does not own property, is not married, and cannot pass a basic civics test. Oh and btw, those who get divorced are stripped of the half a vote they gained when they were married. :-) Very nice. They should also be taxed more (the woman as well as the man), since they are damaging society. It's too easy to get out of a marriage today. The personal "pursuit of happiness" does not give people the right to mess up society for everyone else. (Shawn M circa 10/19/05) This is where I have sought to address things through the matrix of Bastiat's three fundamental rights of man Mark. My contribution to that classical theory is to bring out in greater explicitness the implied "common good" aspect in Bastiat's work and add to the equation the principle of "public order" as defined by [Dignitatis Humanae]. The long and short of it is this: I have sought to codify an explicit template for addressing ALL societal issues that is completely consistent and not at all arbitrary. And in doing that, inexorably one must seek the needs of the many over the wants of the few. (Mr. Spock was right in essence.) These people are not influenced by intellectual argument, but by the content of media entertainment and their "feelings." The liberals know this; we haven't learned to do it yet ...nor do we seem driven too. It's all about the packaging, my friend. The media can sell people feces if it's packaged correctly and has a catchy jingle. :-) I know Mark. However, there is a growing percentage of people who have learned the way the media distorts things...have you read Bernie Goldberg's best seller Bias by chance??? I have not. But, I would submit that that "growing percentage" is among educated, thinking people (who are also commonly led by the media), not among the majority of Americans.
But again, most Americans who are uneducated do not vote. And all the media attempts to get them to do so have as a rule not been successful. It is one of the few benefits we get from the general apathy actually...Look at at how Arius converted 80% of the Empire --not with sound theological argument, but with catchy hymns ( e.g. "There was a time when He was not."). It's this easily-led moron factor that Hillary and the Clintons will use against us. If Kerry had tapped into it successfully in 04, he'd be the President right now. The Clintons are far more skilled at it. You overestimate the jingle factor. Do I? :-) And how many Catholics blindly follow both the jingles (and so the advertised "morality") of the singer who calls herself "Madonna"? ...or plung in your more modern example. What you have to appreciate is that Bill and Hillary are not political figures. They're "movie stars." ...ergo, they are "media royalty."
See what I noted previously about the media and their actual influence on these matters. Might I suggest that as a man of the media you are overestimating things a bit in the current milieu???Futhermore, neither John Kerry nor Hillary Clinton has the kind of "pied piper" charm that Bill Clinton did. Bill wasn't running with Kerry. :-) ...nor was the media machine really behind Kerry. ...nor could it be, since Kerry didn't have any "media magic" ---that's what pretty-boy Edwards was for, and they didn't use him properly. It is true that he was a master manipulator but he was also naturally charismatic and personable. Kerry was not and Hillary is not. And this is a more important factor than the "packaging"Shawn, did you ever hear anyone describe how Fred Astair made Ginger Rodgers "look good" when they danced?? :-) Astair was the real dancer; she just followed his lead. Bill and Hillary have the same media dynamic. If he gets up there and looks at her with "love" in his eyes, etc., it will "read" for people. This is the act. :-) It's a stupid one, and we see it (because we know better); but most Americans do not.
I disagree with you Mark for one good reason: Bill Clinton has a trackrecord of not
having good coattails to hang on. You appear to not take this factor into consideration at all and it is a significant one. You give Carvel too much credit. Dick Morris was the brainchild behind the Clintons and their election/governing "triangulation" strategy. [Y]es, Morris kept in in power; but Carvel got him elected.
In a three party election where the third party seriously took from the incumbant. That was FAR more significant than anything Carvel did... He is on our side now Mark
Is he? :-) I'm not so sure about Morris. The man is the devil, even if he's really on our side.
Sometimes you have to play the hands you are dealt in politics Mark...and does not like Hillary at all.Is that real? I don't know.
From all appearances yes. Morris appears to have liked Bill personally but not Hillary. Furthermore, Morris appears to have had a paradigm shift after 9/11 much as ex-marxist Christopher Hitchens did. At the very least, Morris will cancel out Carvel if the Republicans listen to him. Well, that's the thing; the Republicans don't listen to him. Maybe that's a wise decision; I don't know. Also, Morris' "Hillary vs. Condie" idea seems really wacky to me. Condie could probably win; but it almost seems like Morris is trying to set the Republicans up.
Condi would be best as VP on the ticket. And hopefully Mary Matalin can successfully run blocker against Carvel on the homefront...she is married to him last time I checked. Thus proving the the world is weirder than one can possibly imagine. :-) Actually, my friend Mike and I have a theory about that. Matalin never moves her face, and Carvel is overly-animated to the point of cartoon-like elasticity . We think that Matalin was attracted to him on some deep, genetic level, in the hope that her offspring will be normal, by cancelling each other's genes out. Hee hee.
Perhaps...a strange theory but no stranger than some I have heard ;-) I personally think that democracy is fundamentally flawed and alien to Christian civilization (the very thing that we and our Evangelical friends really want); and as long as our present Constitution is in place, the liberals will eventually win the game due to their realistic take on human nature. We have discussed this before. I remind you again my friend that this is a respresentative Republic and differs significantly from a democracy in many key respects. Semantics. Call it what you like. The point is that people in this nation decide their own political destiny, and thus determine the culture. That is a mistake. A mob cannot be trusted to discern and determine truth. This is what a king is for. This is what the Divine right of kings preached; and its doctrine was very Catholic.
Actually, you are wrong about this
Mark. However, you are right about the mob part of it which is why this nation was constructed as it was. More on this to follow... To be Continued...
Labels: B. Goldwater, Culture War, Dialogues, Fundamental Rights, H. R. Clinton, MSM/Media, Pol/Elect/Sociopol/Geopol, Pres. Bush, Pres. Carter, Pres. Clinton, Pres. FDR, Pres. LBJ, Stolen Elections, War/WOT/Etc.