“WHEN POWER IS UP FOR GRABS, LIBERTY IS OFTEN THE FIRST CASUALTY.”
As I reflect upon what tomorrow’s Election Day might mean, I am becoming more and more disillusioned about the State of the Voter in this country. Let me say this, up front, whichever party wins, very little of substance is going to change. The K Street lobbyists are already MAKING PLANS FOR A GOP CONGRESS and experience with 2010 should show us that the GOP has a big hat (or tent), but very few cattle (or acts). And while the same is true of a Democrat Congress, the simple fact is that this is the government we Voters apparently want and desire.
We the People aren’t doing our job, but here’s the thing, neither Party wants us to do it. An engaged, interested and involved voter is a danger to the political elite. Lower voter turnout is exactly what the Power Politicians want. That’s why they spend so much time and money on “Voter Registration” schemes. It’s easier to fool person once than it is to developed a “Voter relationship,” and to have to explain to a voter why they should support a politician who failed to deliver on anything except purging the public treasury… again. Combine that with the 20% or so of Americans who are consistent voters but can be counted on to support their particular party no matter what (this would be the category Conservatives and African-Americans fall into) and you have a perfect storm for the death of an actual system of elections as the Framers wanted, replaced by a political oligarchy controlled by money interests.
Whether those interests are Charles Munger or a Public sector Union is not relevant. Their money changes elections because Voters are stupid enough to listen to them.
Voters respond to negative attacks. Why? Intellectually you know that every negative attack ad is nothing more than spin. It takes some single instance, usually out of context and presents it in the worst possible light. Then they tell you that they will “be different.” Two great local examples are Michael Eggman’s “I’m going to change Congress” ad and Jack Mobley’s implication that he wouldn’t take the Assembly’s per diem. Both are complete bovine crap. But both play in Peoria because people are tired of the abuse of the trappings of power by Politicians. Trust me on this and carve it in stone – if either of these two win (and they will not), they will (a) not change Congress and (b) will accept the benefit.
The bigger question is why can’t we see through the ads and ask ourselves what the real truth is? What advantage does the Valley gain with either (not-a) “Local Farmer” in office? Other than abortion – which isn’t going to change – what is the functional difference between the two? For “Law and Order” Republicans, what des it say to you that despite Munger’s thousands being poured into Mobley, Law Enforcement leadership (non-union) is solidly behind Adam Gray? Does it occur to you to ask “Why?”
All this to say that I am very disillusioned about this particular election. As my compatriot in this business, Rush (and others) says, there is nothing in this slate to vote FOR, only against. There is no vision for tomorrow, no shining City on a Hill, no oceans to recede, no frontiers to conquer.
Just liberty to lose.
By the by, I came across that magnificent quote above in a book (of course). But not a history book; not a book full of Founding Fathers quotes or even a philosophical work about the status of liberty. In Baltimore last week, waiting to board the CENTRAL VALLEY HONOR FLIGHT home, I was picking up some T-Shirts for my daughters when I noticed a new book by my favorite author on the shelf. He writes lots of books, with several different series going on, I follow only one of them, mostly because I just don’t have time. But a new one of the one I follow was out, so I bought it.
On the plane I immersed my very uncomfortable wedged-into-a-window-seat-aboard-the-hated-MD-80-aircraft flying self into the pages of another Dirk Pitt adventure, and eventually found myself on a beach near Havana, Cuba with my all-time favorite literary character. One of the highest highlights of my career in radio was getting to interview Clive Cussler on the 40th anniversary of the first published Dirk Pitt novel. And now, on a plane high over America, the character who is the reason I wear the watch I wear today, found himself battling the forces of oppression and evil yet again.
And in a moment of reflection on the plot at hand, Dirk Pitt said that quote you read at the top of this article.
I kept going back to it, reading it over and over again, even underlining it in red ink. Then I circled it and folded the page at the top to make sure that I could always find it.
And now I share it with you to pass on what I have received as of first importance. We are in a fight against ALL political power.
It’s a fight we’d better start fighting with our hearts and our minds, not just by voting for whoever has the most money.