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Friday, October 5, 2018

Cruel to be kind

Suppose for a moment that  you are a Democratic Senator or Congressman. ( and who knows? Maybe you are?) With the way things have been going with Trump, in order to win elections you really only have two avenues left to pursue: you can try to convince the independent middle and undecideds to vote for you, or you can encourage the people who already agree with you, but who don’t vote, to get up off their asses and do so. You’re not going to persuade the ardent Trump supporter to cast a vote in your direction, and the Democratic base who does vote is already more than energized. So that leaves the two options I just listed.

But how does one accomplish either of these goals? Sure, you can launch noble campaigns to register people and patriotically encourage everyone to get out there and vote, but that only works to a degree. Some folks are just too comfortable, too complacent, to take an active role. No, if this were up to me what I’d do is pay lip service to opposing things like the Kavanaugh confirmation and the rest of the conservative agenda, but I wouldn’t do much to stop it. I mean after all, anything the conservatives do won't really adversely affect me…...a middle class, heterosexual, married, white male, with a 401K and grown children. No one is going to deport me, or take away some entitlement. No, other than the planet going to hell, I’ll be fine. And besides…….I DO vote.

No, I think I’d let life go to shit for all the people who generally benefit from Democratic programs and let them suddenly be TRULY SCARED. Not merely angry, not outraged, not philosophically challenged…...but in downright fear that the life they have known is over…..or soon will be. In fact, I’d want these folks to think that the ONLY hope they have is to vote for me and my colleagues......again and again and again. 


In "V for Vendetta", Adam Sutler (John Hurt) doesn't just allow bad things to happen, he causes them, and then tells the frightened populace that he will fix it all if they elect him.

When I think of what has been going on, when I listen to the speeches from key Democratic leaders, particularly Barrack Obama’s latest couple of outings, I get the feeling that there is a real undercurrent of: “hey, you all seemed to have wanted this…...so I hope you are happy that you stayed home, or cast a protest vote, or whatever. You all have no one to blame but yourselves.”  And I think if it was me, I’d echo that sentiment. It's a hard, cruel 'punishment' of sorts and I would think a pretty effective one.



In "The Watchmen" (book & movie) the character, Ozymandius truly wants a world of peace....so he creates a situation of ultimate death and terror to get the feuding 
nations to unite against a common enemy.

I think the only way to overcome the seeming irrelevance of the Democratic Party, is not to "redefine themselves" or try to come up with some catchy platform that may or may not resonate with voters….or in this case non-voters. No, I think I’d sit back, let it all go to shit, and then say, “well if you really aren’t happy, I guess you need to vote for us next time…...AND EVERY TIME.” And I think that may very well be EXACTLY what they are already doing.


In the final episode of "I,Claudius", Derek Jacobi's Claudius is fully aware that the world around him is going to shit, despite his past efforts for the opposite. His solution shocks his supporters:
 'let it all happen'. His hope is that if everything falls apart, 
Rome will abandon emperors in favor of restoring a republic.

Now, I say all of this very theoretically. I am NOT a Democrat. And in nearly every election for quite a long time, I have voted Libertarian. But come November, I will likely change course and vote Democrat…...just to put a check on the nonsense currently being tolerated, or enabled, by a spineless, soulless Republican Party. But I won’t be happy about it, and I won’t feel like my vote mattered much. NJ is pretty darned “blue” no matter what I do or don’t do. But I am very interested to see what, despite any polls, ends up happening this November nationwide. I am genuinely curious to see who we choose to be as Americans. There is no fooling anyone now. No one can go into a booth unaware of what has been going on. Whatever lever or button is pushed, it is a willful decision based on a two year period of experience that will state pretty flatly who each voter....and America collectively....IS. And it will be enlightening to see what that personal and private revelation will be as America’s soul is laid bare.

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