RANGER AGAINST WAR: Drifting Right <

Monday, August 10, 2015

Drifting Right

  The transition from democracy to tyranny
is most easily brought about by a popular leader
who knows how to exploit the class antagonism
between the rich and the poor
within the democratic state,
and who succeeds in building up a bodyguard
of a private army of his own.
The people who have hailed him first
as the champion of freedom are soon enslaved 

After such knowledge, what forgiveness?
--Gerontion, T. S. Eliot

The way you wear your hat
The way you sip your tea
The memory of all that
No no they can't take that away from me
--They Can't Take That Away from Me,

Ira Gershwin

Rifles have either a left or a right rifling, and oddly, most are right twist. This may be a linguistic legacy from Latin which affiliates "evil" with being leftward turning. (As an aside, this is why children especially in parochial schools used to be trained not to be a "lefty".)

This affinity for twist can be seen throughout quantum world, as well. Subatomic particles each have a signature spin. In a most curious analogy to modern man from contemporary physics witness the Majorana fermion, a particle so conflicted that it spins both right and left, ultimately self-destructing. They are their own antiparticles. Madness, no?

But unlike those ruminants among us who are Left-leaning, the Right seems to suffer no qualms about the rightness of its mission, even in the face of its abject and patent absurdity vis-a-vis modernity. We in Florida suffer a surfeit of absurdity in the Presidential candidates which our state fronts.

Florida, the land of underwater mermaids, Marco Rubio and Elian Gonzales, the land which brought the "Latino" out of Hispanic. JEB!, nee "Bush", follows Rubio's lead. [Learning Spanish was the best thing this profligate young Bush scion ever did.] Florida delivers as it ever does on bringing the nation full-on oddities in the name of JEB! and Rubio.

Per the failure of today's Right-thinking: Elections are about the future, yet the field of Republican candidates is staunchly reactionary. Why is that? Because the people of the Republican Party feel themselves to be hard-done-by, and their media stations of choice pummel them with that idea daily.

What are they angry at? What do you got?

They are whipped into a lather by the likes of FOX news and Rush Limbaugh, and the one emotion they have is aggression. Aggression against anyone who does not look or think like they do. They feel this way because they take the prosperous post-Cold War years to be the set-point of how the United States ought to be. But it is not.

They feel that Someone Else is taking the jobs that are rightly theirs, and their ire is directed at any number of indigenous threats to their imagined lost glory. We heard in a store recently a stout woman proclaim, with feeling, "Damn if they'll take my Confederate flag from me."

Echoes of Charlton Heston's "cold, dead hands" speech at a past Republican convention, a pathetic cri-de-cour from a woman not operating at the upper echelons of her nation, yet fully subservient to them, all the while thinking herself to be a player in her world.

She and her cohort know only "No -- you can' take that from me." It is the plaintive cry of the five-year-old who doesn't want to share his toys, yet does not notice that the other kids have niftier toys, anyway.

Lady-- your tattered flag is the least of your beloved nation's concerns.

The mentality is so Hatfield and McCoy. We do it well, and the politicos set us up for it every time.

The problem is, the U.S. no longer controls 50% of the world's manufacturing, and the country is beginning to resemble the America of the turn of the 20th century. We can no longer be the World's Policeman. We never should have been, and that power mindset is a folly which is leading our country to deficit madness.

Both Bush and Rubio exhibit a Cold War mindset of anti-Communism that keeps us pathetically entrenched in an idea which has long passed on. The Domino Theory is dead.

Yet the Cubans in Florida are devoutly anti-Commmunist, and their thinking is front and center in American Right thought. What's on the nightly news? Watch Mother Russia make its power grab in the Crimea and the Georgia province of South Ossetia. But please don't look at China over there, our Most Excellent Favored Trading partner.

The Cold War is dead -- or it should be -- so why doesn't someone pass the word to Rubio, et. al.?

--Jim and Lisa

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Blogger Ael said...

There is no dilemma. You are simply observing the effects of modern political technology.

Margaret Thatcher conclusively demonstrated that a politician could decisively win without appealing to the entire electorate. In fact, using marketing segmentation technology, a politician could make targeted appeals to specific segmented population groups that would allow them to gain power. They could then tell all the other voting segments to go pound sand.

Appealing to these segments typically meant supporting a variety of "hot button" issues which would cement the support of one or more segments. Combine these appeals with a drive to reduce overall voter turnout (largely though negative advertising - the pound sand part) and the route to power was clear.

Furthermore, aside from the hot buttons, a politician pursuing this approach is rarely tied down on other policy issues. This is good because employing this technology requires large sums of money, and gaining this money is best obtained via large donors (who will exchange their money for specific policies benefiting those donors. These policies rarely collide with hot button issues and can be easily obfuscated. (otherwise choose different segments).

Note that the final set of supported policies will have no coherency. It literally will be a mishmash of hot buttons and large donor goodies. In fact, coherency is a problem, because things change, segment demographics vary over time, donors die, etc. A smart politician may need to pick up a new segment or donor at the drop of a dime. If they have a reputation for coherency, it may make it difficult for them to pick up a segment which was previously in the "pound sand" category.

Therefore, the observed absurdity of politics is not a bug, but rather a core feature of a modern representative democracy.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 12:28:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Today in my local dough nut shop we were discussing medicaid and Florida.
A local resident said-"i'd rather have Scott than Obama" and i replied,"you are mixing apples and oranges" and she replied,"Obama is taking away our freedoms!"
I replied that Bush started the secret NSA garbage, and then asked exactly what freedoms has Obama denied to us , the citizenry?
Well that's the question that didn't get answered.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 9:50:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Ael said...

Silly ranger, expecting the words involved in political utterances to have meaning.
They have exactly the same semantic content as "Brighter!" and "Whiter!" have in laundry commercials - zero.

Rather, political slogans like "Obama is taking away our freedoms" perform the role of segmenting the audience. Are you in the person's "group" or not? If you observe a political "discussion" and compare it to song birds in a field, you will notice dramatic similarities. All participants have similar (but slightly different) cries which are broadcast at the top of their lungs. The cries themselves mark territory, but have no intrinsic meaning.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 11:49:00 AM GMT-5  

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