LESSONS LEARNED #69: “Democrats bank on the youth vote because they’ve lost the wise vote.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 9th, 2011

When America Changed

The youth movement during the Vietnam War destroyed LBJ.  And lost the Vietnam War.  The college protests.  The explosion in drug use.  Free love.  Race riots.  American terrorists bombing government buildings.  Timothy Leary.  Rock stars promoting drug use.  Dying from drug use.  And leading the youth movement in their anti-war, anti-establishment protests.  This youth was everything their parents weren’t.  It changed America forever.  And not for the better.

The problem with the youth is that they’re young.  They are inexperienced.  And don’t know much.  But when they learn a few things, look out, they then think they now know everything.  Thanks to some manipulative college professors who fed these kids’ intellectual vanity.  Told them that they could make a difference.  And then these kids set out to change the world.  Often with violent protest.  Mob violence.  Which was new in America.  The youth protested the Vietnam War because they were drafting the youth to fight it.  Or just because protesting was fun.  But their protests only extended the war.  For the Tet Offensive almost ended the war in 1968.  The Americans hammered the NVA and the Viet Cong.  Everywhere.  And yet Walter Cronkite took to television and said the war was lost.  Further inflaming the anti-war youth movement.  Riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention.  Protests at Kent State that ended in the shooting of 4 students by national guardsmen.  Sparking violent protests on college campuses everywhere.  Our enemies in Vietnam saw this and couldn’t believe what they were seeing.  And they learned something.  They didn’t need to win the war.  They just needed not to lose the war.  So they adopted a Fabian strategy.  And sacrificed their people until the Americans grew weary of killing them.  Which they did.  Some 7 years later.

These college students grew up and became teachers.  College professors.  And have been trying to change the world ever since.  By teaching their students to be like them.  Feeding these kids’ intellectual vanity.  Making them feel important.  That they, too, can change the world.  If they do as they did.

Tell the Youth what kind of Underwear you Wear and they’ll Vote for You

Walter Cronkite eventually admitted his liberal bias.  He was probably the first that went from reporting news to influencing events.  At least, the first that mattered.  For he was the most trusted man in America.  The transformation of the mainstream media soon followed.  Gone were the days of Brinkley and Huntley.  The days of passive news coverage was over.  And the point of no return was the Watergate scandal.  Never before did the media destroy a presidential administration.  Like they did with the Republican Richard Nixon.  The media bias was set.  And became a part of liberal politics.

It was a perfect match.  The youth movement.  And the media.  Together they would advance policy and influence elections.  The media would control the message.  And advance the liberal bias of public education.  Instilled by those radicals of the Sixties.  And you can see it really come together in the 1992 presidential campaign.  Where Bill Clinton ran against the incumbent George H.W. Bush (Read my lips; no new taxes).  Who had record approval ratings a couple of years earlier with the Gulf War victory.  He was so unbeatable that no ‘first string’ Democrat candidates entered the race.  Then a few things happened.  He made a deal with the House to raise taxes in exchange for future spending cuts.  The boob.  Democrats never follow through on spending-cut promises.  And Ross Perot.

Now, according to the exit polling, Ross Perot took an equal amount of votes from each candidate.    Maybe he did.  Maybe his third-party candidacy didn’t help Clinton by taking votes away from Bush.  But he did do something else.  There was a reason Clinton wasn’t a ‘first string’ candidate.  He was flawed.  There was some dirt in his past.  Some scandal.  But no one heard about.  Because the little guy with the big ears who talked funny and had all those charts and graphs just fascinated everyone.  It took the attention away from Clinton’s past.  With a kind assist from the media.  Who with their liberal bias helped their liberal candidate.  And then Clinton went on MTV and told the kids what kind of underwear he wore.  And played the saxophone on the Arsenio Hall Show.  He was a hit with the kids.  The 18-24 demographic made up 11% of the votes.  And that 11% split 46%-33% in favor of Clinton with 21% going to Perot.  Did the youth vote push Clinton over Bush?  They definitely helped.  But more important is the lesson learned.  There are a lot of youth voters.  Historically it hasn’t been easy getting them to the polls.  Because they’re kids who don’t think about politics or elections.  They’re thinking about having fun.  But if you can get them to the polls, and if you can get them to vote for you, they can make a difference.  And Clinton showed how to do it.

Organizing the Youth Vote to Compensate for a Lack of Qualifications

In 2008, the Democrats ran the most unqualified candidate for president they ever ran.  Barack Hussein Obama.  A man that never had a real job.  Or any executive experience.  He had no foreign policy credentials.  The only thing on his resume was a partial term as a U.S. senator.  And a stint as a state senator.  Oh, and he was a community organizer.  Young, inexperienced and wholly unqualified, he was the man to beat.  It should have been an easy task.  But the Republicans let the media pick their candidate.  During the primaries the media gave John McCain glowing coverage.  Said he was what the Republican Party needed.  Someone who can reach across the aisle.  And govern as a moderate.  Of course, they were just blowing smoke.  Because the last thing they wanted was a conservative running against Obama.  Because they were sure that in a campaign between two moderates, they could get their moderate elected.

What Obama lacked in experience and qualifications he made up in organizing a campaign.  He was an excellent candidate.  And ran an excellent campaign.  He tapped into that youth vote.  Who were fed up.  Never in all of their 18-24 years were they as upset as they were during the 2008 campaign.  The economy.  Affordable housing.  Jobs.  Health care.  The Iraq War.  Things that didn’t touch their lives at all while they were ensconced in their cozy college utopias, living off the generosity of mommy and daddy.  But Obama heard them.  And told them that he heard them.  Finally, someone who cared.  And someone who wasn’t George W. Bush.

The youth would be his foot soldiers.  Coming from Chicago, that’s something you need.  He called for volunteers.  And got volunteers.  Some 4 million.  And being the kids they were they knew how to use the Internet.  They knew how to surf.  How to design websites.  How to ask for donations.  And boy did they.  They left the old man (McCain) in the dust.  The Obama campaign was awash in cash.  Even after beating a very well connected Hillary Clinton in the primary.  It may have been her turn.  But Obama never got that memo.  Besides she was old.  And had baggage (i.e., Bill Clinton).  Obama was young.  And new.  He was everything and a bag of Skittles.  First time voters turned out in droves.  And voted for him 68% of the time.  In a year with a record turnout of youth voters.

Young and Dumb wins Elections

It’s difficult to teach an old dog new tricks.  So it’s important to teach the young what you want them to know.  For once they’re thinking ‘correctly’ it’ll be hard to change their mind.  Oh, sure, it’ll happen.  As they grow up and mature.  But you’ll get a few elections out of them before that happens.  And, if you’re lucky, maybe they’ll become a teacher.  Or a public sector worker.  Or a journalist.  But the sad reality is that a lot of these people will get jobs in the private sector.  Raise families.  And eventually become conservative. 

That’s why in every election there is a ‘get out the vote’ campaign.  To get as many fist time voters as possible.  Kids who are politically unaware.  Who know nothing about history or economics.  Blank slates.  Just waiting to be initiated.  Indoctrinated.  To become good Democrat voters.  Because America is a center-right country.  And the majority of people work in the private sector.  Are politically aware.  They know history and economics.  And vote conservative.  Which is why the Democrats don’t want to campaign against a conservative candidate.  And will use the media to get as many John McCains as possible as their Republican candidate.  Because history has proven that a John McCain and a large youth vote will get a Democrat candidate elected.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mass Murder and a Fallen Democrat Provide an Opportunity to Reenact the Fairness Doctrine

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 10th, 2011

The Left wants a Fairness Doctrine to Stifle Political Dissent

And here it is.  The big one.  What the Left really wants.  The ability to censor the opposing viewpoint so they can easily advance their agenda without political dissent.  You know what it is.  It’s called the Fairness Doctrine.  To stifle that vitriol we call free speech.  Our First Amendment right.  Which some are saying caused the Arizona Shooting rampage (see Clyburn: Words can be danger by Yvonne Wenger posted 1/10/2011 on The Post and Courier).

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in Congress, said Sunday the deadly shooting in Arizona should get the country thinking about what’s acceptable to say publicly and when people should keep their mouths shut.

Clyburn said he thinks vitriol in public discourse led to a 22-year-old suspect opening fire Saturday at an event Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords held for her constituents in Tucson, Ariz. Six people were killed and 14 others were injured, including Giffords.

Clyburn thinks wrong.  From what we’re learning, it sounds like the shooter wasn’t even aware of reality let alone the public discourse.  Of course, you wouldn’t know this if you rush to some kind of judgment.  Or are just using the tragedy to advance a stalled agenda.

The shooting is cause for the country to rethink parameters on free speech, Clyburn said from his office, just blocks from the South Carolina Statehouse. He wants standards put in place to guarantee balanced media coverage with a reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, in addition to calling on elected officials and media pundits to use ‘better judgment.’

The Fairness Doctrine.  Statutory censorship.  You see, back then there were only three networks and PBS.  And the Fairness Doctrine was to keep them fair and balanced.  If they aired a story favoring one viewpoint, they then had to give time for the opposing viewpoint.  Or face a fine.  Sounds fair, doesn’t it?  But it’s just a fancy way to enact state censorship.

Here’s how.  Who’s to determine what programming meets the balancing requirement of the Fairness Doctrine?  The FCC.  Which is part of the executive branch of the government.  So the president had the power to determine what was appropriate speech.  And what wasn’t.  That’s a lot of power.  And JFK and LBJ put that power to good uses.  They used it to harass their political enemies.  Made it so costly to air a point of view opposing theirs that stations would refuse to air them.  It really stifled political dissent.  And made it a lot easier to pass the Great Society legislation.

Ah, yes, those were the good old days.  When you didn’t have all that messiness we call free speech.  The 1960s and 1970s were Big Government decades.  Times were good for the liberal left.  That is until Ronald Reagan came along to spoil everything.  For it was Reagan who repealed the Fairness Doctrine.  And ever since the Left has wanted it back.

The Left wants a Fairness Doctrine to Hush Rush

The party really ended in the 1980s.  Not only did they lose their beloved doctrine, but there was a new kid on the block.  Talk radio.  It was bad enough not to have ‘fairness’ as they saw fairness, but now there was more than three networks and PBS.  There was content all over the place that they couldn’t control.  And it really pissed them off.  Especially a guy by the name of Rush Limbaugh.  He was such a thorn in Bill Clinton’s side that some called the Fairness Doctrine the ‘Hush Rush’ bill. 

You have to remember how Bill Clinton won the election.  He won with one of the lowest percentages of the popular vote.  Ross Perot was a third-party candidate that drained votes away from both candidates.  But, more importantly, he turned the election into a media circus.  Everyone was following what wacky thing he would say or do next that few paid attention to Clinton’s less than spotless past.  And people were spitting mad about George H.W. Bush‘s broken pledge not to raise taxes.  You take these two things away and Bush the elder would have been a two-term president.  So Clinton wasn’t very popular with the people to begin with. 

During the Nineties, some 20 million people a week were tuning in to listen to Rush.  Why was he so popular?  For the simple reason that he held the same views as some 20 million people in the country.  And these people were tired of the media bias.  For them Rush was a breath of fresh air.  His radio show was the only place this huge mass of people could go and not hear the Democrat spin on everything.  And this was a real threat to the Left.  They blamed him for their failure to nationalize health care.  And the Left blamed Rush for Whitewater, Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, the blue dress, etc.  Hillary Clinton called the Lewinsky affair a vast right-wing conspiracy.  And if it wasn’t for Rush and talk radio, those things would have remained hidden. So you can see why they hated him.

The Shooting of a Democrat Allows the Left to Attack Conservatives

It was bad for Bill Clinton.  But President Obama has it even worse.  The FOX News channel has blown away the cable competition.  The Internet has come of age.  There’s more content out there than ever before.  And the old guard (the three networks, PBS and the liberal newspapers) are losing more and more of their influence.  In other words, they need the Fairness Doctrine like never before.  Because there is way too much free speech for their liking.  It’s just not a good time if you’re trying to be devious.

So when a mass murder comes along and a Democrat is shot in the head, they pounce.  Representative Clyburn uses this tragedy to advance the Fairness Doctrine.  Even though he knew little at the time.  But that didn’t stop him.  They have no evidence, but the Left has blamed the Tea Party, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, FOX News, and anyone else who has ever held a contrary viewpoint.

So, what, then, motivated this killer in Arizona? 

Who is Jared Loughner

Well, let’s hear what a close friend of the shooter, Jared Loughner, says.  Bryce Tierney knew him since high school.  Even went to college with him.  And from what he says, Loughner doesn’t sound like he was influenced by anyone on the right (see Exclusive: Loughner Friend Explains Alleged Gunman’s Grudge Against Giffords by Nick Baumann posted 1/10/2011 on Mother Jones).

Tierney tells Mother Jones in an exclusive interview that Loughner held a years-long grudge against Giffords and had repeatedly derided her as a “fake.” Loughner’s animus toward Giffords intensified after he attended one of her campaign events and she did not, in his view, sufficiently answer a question he had posed, Tierney says. He also describes Loughner as being obsessed with “lucid dreaming”—that is, the idea that conscious dreams are an alternative reality that a person can inhabit and control—and says Loughner became “more interested in this world than our reality.” Tierney adds, “I saw his dream journal once. That’s the golden piece of evidence. You want to know what goes on in Jared Loughner’s mind, there’s a dream journal that will tell you everything…”

But the thing I remember most is just that question. I don’t remember him stalking her or anything.” Tierney notes that Loughner did not display any specific political or ideological bent: “It wasn’t like he was in a certain party or went to rallies…It’s not like he’d go on political rants.”  But Loughner did, according to Tierney, believe that government is “fucking us over.” He never heard Loughner vent about the perils of “currency,” as Loughner did on one YouTube video he created… 

Once, Tierney recalls, Loughner told him, “I’m pretty sure I’ve come to the conclusion that words mean nothing.” Loughner would also tell Tierney and his friends that life “means nothing…”

Tierney believes that Loughner was very interested in pushing people’s buttons—and that may have been why he listed Hitler’s Mein Kampf as one of his favorite books on his YouTube page. (Loughner’s mom is Jewish, according to Tierney.) Loughner sometimes approached strangers and would say “weird” things, Tierney recalls. “He would do it because he thought people were below him and he knew they wouldn’t know what he was talking about.”

In college, Loughner became increasingly intrigued with “lucid dreaming,” and he grew convinced that he could control his dreams, according to Tierney. In a series of rambling videos posted to his YouTube page, dreams are a frequent topic. In a video posted on December 15, Loughner writes, “My favorite activity is conscience dreaming: the greatest inspiration for my political business information. Some of you don’t dream—sadly.” In another video, he writes, “The population of dreamers in the United States of America is less than 5%!” Later in the same video he says,  “I’m a sleepwalker—who turns off the alarm clock.”

Loughner believed that dreams could be a sort of alternative, Matrix-style reality, and “that when you realize you’re dreaming, you can do anything, you can create anything,” Tierney says. Loughner started his “dream journal” in an attempt to take more control of his dreams, his friend notes, and he kept this journal for over a year…

After Loughner apparently gave up drugs and booze, “his theories got worse,” Tierney says. “After he quit, he was just off the wall.” And Loughner started to drift away from his group of friends about a year ago. By early 2010, dreaming had become Loughner’s “waking life, his reality,” Tierney says. “He sort of drifted off, didn’t really care about hanging out with friends. He’d be sleeping a lot.” Loughner’s alternate reality was attractive, Tierney says. “He figured out he could fly.” Loughner, according to Tierney, told his friends, “I’m so into it because I can create things and fly. I’m everything I’m not in this world.”

But in this world, Loughner seemed ticked off by what he believed to be a pervasive authoritarianism. “The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar,” he wrote in one YouTube video. In another, Loughner complains that when he tried to join the military, he was handed a “mini-Bible.” That upset him: “I didn’t write a belief on my Army application and the recruiter wrote on the application: None,” he wrote on YouTube. In messages on MySpace last month, Loughner declared, “I’ll see you on National T.v.! This is foreshadow.” He also noted on the website, “I don’t feel good: I’m ready to kill a police officer! I can say it…”

Since hearing of the rampage, Tierney has been trying to figure out why Loughner did what he allegedly did. “More chaos, maybe,” he says. “I think the reason he did it was mainly to just promote chaos. He wanted the media to freak out about this whole thing. He wanted exactly what’s happening. He wants all of that.” Tierney thinks that Loughner’s mindset was like the Joker in the most recent Batman movie: “He fucks things up to fuck shit up, there’s no rhyme or reason, he wants to watch the world burn. He probably wanted to take everyone out of their monotonous lives: ‘Another Saturday, going to go get groceries’—to take people out of these norms that he thought society had trapped us in.”

It wasn’t Vitriol, it was Insanity

Well, he doesn’t sound like a Tea Party guy.  Or a fan of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman or FOX News.  He doesn’t sound like a religious guy.  He may have been anti-Semitic.  He felt superior to those around him.  He liked to dream and spend a lot of time in his imagination.  He may have liked the movie The Matrix.  Maybe even thought he was in a ‘Matrix‘ fantasyland.  He did drugs and drank at one time.  When he went sober, though, he seemed to go deeper into his imagination.  He was pretty certain that the government was controlling people with an insidious form of grammar.  And he wasn’t a fan of authority figures and thought killing a cop would cheer him up.

I don’t know, maybe it’s me, but I wouldn’t call this guy a conservative.  And I don’t think there was any vitriol egging him on.  I doubt any vitriol could compete with what was going on in his imagination.  This guy had serious mental issues.  He was unstable.  And dangerous.  And the only reason why he shot Representative Giffords is because she had the misfortune of being his representative.

So Representative Clyburn, and the far left, are wrong.  No one on the right is responsible for this tragedy in Arizona.  The shooter was just a nutcase.  Little solace for the victims’ families.  But it does say that we don’t need a Fairness Doctrine.  For it would NOT have altered what happened in Tucson, Arizona, this past Saturday.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

LESSONS LEARNED #38: “Repeating a lie doesn’t make it true.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 4th, 2010

Liars Lie

Lying works.  Political spin.  Poetic license.  Fibbing.  Slander.  Libel.  Call it what you’d like.  Politicians lie.  Because it works.  Especially when you can’t win in the arena of ideas.  If they can’t win the philosophical debate what do our politicians do?  Attack the messenger, not the message.  If the history doesn’t validate their policies what do they do?  Revise history.  It never changes.  The only thing that does is the people hearing the lies.

Presidents may dream, but the House of Representatives controls the purse.  That’s why there are numerous battles between Capitol Hill and the White House.  Between Speakers of the House and presidents.  Some of the big partisan battles in recent times?  Tip O’Neil and Ronald Reagan.  Tom Foley and George H.W. Bush.  Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton.  Nancy Pelosi and George W. Bush.  When different political parties hold the White House and the Hill, the partisanship escalates.  And the lies get more brazen.  Especially on the political fringe.

Some lies bordered on the ridiculous.  Like Ronald Reagan created AIDS to kill homosexuals.  That George H. W. Bush flew to Iran on an SR-71 to meet secretly with the Iranians during the 1980 presidential campaign.  Why?  To negotiate with the Iranians to keep the American hostages until after the election.  That George W. Bush blew up the Twin Towers to start a war that would let him invade Iraq.  No doubt there was some political damage from these lies.  But the lasting damage from these ridiculous lies pale in comparison to the Big Lies that the Left perpetuates to this day.

Trickle-Down Economics

Ronald Reagan was president from 1981 until 1989.  When he entered office, the economy was in the toilet.  Double digit inflation.  Double digit interest rates.  Unemployment at 7.1%.  Reagan wanted to cut taxes and spending.  The Democrat controlled Congress wanted to increase federal spending to ‘stimulate’ the economy (ala Keynesian economics).  The Congress fought him.  But Reagan used the bully pulpit and appealed directly to the American people.  They liked his message which brought pressure down on Congress.  They gave a little.  Reagan got his tax cuts.  The top marginal rate went from 70% down to 28% by the time he left office.  The result?  The economy boomed.  They call it the Decade of Greed.  Because we were very materialistic and greedy.  And people lived well.

Yes, but at what cost?  That’s what the Left always says to refute Reaganomics.  What they deride as trickle-down economics.  They point to military spending.  They point to Reagan’s deficit spending.  And the growing federal debt.  The Left says this is what Reagan’s tax cuts have given us.  Growth and prosperity at the expense of future generations.  Which is perhaps the greatest lie of the 20th century.  But because the Left has repeated it so often, a lot of people accept it as fact.  Even though the numbers refute this grand lie.

When Reagan entered office, federal tax receipts were $517 billion.  When he left office in 1989, federal tax receipts were $991 billion.  This is an increase of 91.7%.  Or, to look at in another way, tax receipts in 1989 were 1.9 times the amount they were in 1980.  That’s almost double.  So, despite the great lie of the 20th century, Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts did NOT cause deficits or increase the debt.  Cuts in the tax rates brought MORE money into the federal treasury.  Excessive federal spending caused the deficits.  Federal spending increased from $590.9 billion in 1980 to $1,143.7 billion in 1989.  That’s a 93.6% increase.  Spending, too, almost doubled.  In other words, spending increased 1.9% more than tax receipts by the end of Reagan’s second term.  Washington was awash in money.  They just spent it faster than it came in.

Blame the excessive spending on Cold War defense spending or domestic spending.  The point is moot.  Because it doesn’t change the fundamental truth that Reagan’s tax cuts INCREASED federal tax receipts.  Or the lesson learned that tax cuts stimulate the economy.  Anyone saying otherwise is lying and trying to revise history.

Wither on the Vine

The Reagan decade ended prosperously.  Reaganomics were a success.  Which was a threat to those with a vested interest in Big Government.  But people liked Reagan.  And only agreed to vote for George H.W. Bush when he made the infamous ‘read my lips – no new taxes’ campaign pledge.  But Bush was no Reagan.  He wasn’t as conservative.  Or as charismatic.  He couldn’t sell conservative America (center-right) his less than conservative policies (center-left).  The Left, seeing he was no Reagan, maneuvered him into a position favorable to them on the deficit.  The Republicans wanted to cut spending.  The Democrats, of course, wanted to raise taxes.  And with the Democrats in control of the House, he caved.  He raised taxes.  And when he did, he became a one-term president.  The American people were so angry when he reneged on his ‘read my lips – no new taxes’ pledge, the third party candidate in the 1992 presidential campaign, Ross Perot, got 18.9% of the popular vote.  No third party candidate did better.  Exit polling shows he drew equally from both Bush and Clinton, though only 20% of his voters were liberal.  The rest were conservatives and moderates.  Perot brought a carnival atmosphere to the campaign.  Charts and props made for good TV.  This spectacle, though, drew critical attention away from Clinton’s past.  Parts of which moderates would have found objectionable.

Clinton ran as a centrist.  He lied.  As liberals are wont to do during a campaign in a center-right country.  Once in office, he swung to the left.  The American people were angry.  As people are wont to be when lied to.  At the 1994 midterm elections, the people spoke.  And gave both houses of Congress to the Republicans.  Newt Gingrich became the Speaker of the House.  He co-authored the Contract with America which was a Republican pledge to return America to a conservative path.  It appealed to the American people.  It’s what swept the Republicans into power.  And it scared the Left.  So they attacked it.  Called it the Contract on America.  And they attacked Newt Gingrich.  With a vengeance.

In 1995, Gingrich discussed an alternative to Medicare.  Number crunchers projected Medicare (and Social Security) to go into the red a decade or two out.  Medicare (and Social Security) is a big federal expenditure and a political third rail.  The Left uses the elderly as political pawns whenever they can.  Because that’s what Big Government does.  Get people dependent on Big Government and then scare the hell out of them by saying the Right wants to take their benefits away.  Gingrich was discussing high-deductible health insurance plans and tax free Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs).  The MSAs included an annual federal subsidy for seniors.  The plan would be appealing to seniors, Gingrich thought, because they could get better health care coverage with a private plan.  The MSAs and the federal subsidies would make it affordable.  Better care without paying more.  Who wouldn’t want that?  Once people made this choice voluntarily, they would move out of Medicare into a private plan.  Those comments in 1995 included this:

What do you think the Health Care Financing Administration is? It’s a centralized command bureaucracy. . . . Now, we don’t get rid of it in round one because we don’t think that that’s politically smart and we don’t think that that’s the right way to go through a transition. But we believe it’s going to wither on the vine because we think people are voluntarily going to leave it — voluntarily.

Wither on a vine?  Talk about a hanging softball.  There was no way the Democrats weren’t going to whack that one out of the park.  It quickly became ‘Medicare benefits’ and NOT the inefficient ‘centralized command bureaucracy’ that was going to wither on the vine.  The Left ran with it.  Another grand lie.  Repeated it at nauseam.  And scared the seniors.  Gingrich’s days were numbered.  And Clinton had a new enemy to demonize.  Which came in handy when no one wanted his policies.

The Lies that Keep on Giving

Big Government depends on getting as many people dependent on government as possible.  Medicare (and Social Security) is one program that does this very well.  And when Gingrich dared to threaten it, they destroyed him.  With a grand lie.  Like the grand lie that tax cuts stimulate deficits, not the economy.  Perpetuating these lies enables unsustainable government spending.  Threatens the future of all Americans.  And the longer it takes for the truth to come out, the deeper the hole we dig ourselves into.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

LESSONS LEARNED #23: “Those who seek a third party cede the election to the opposition.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 22nd, 2010

SLAVERY WAS ALWAYS a complicated issue.  Many of the Founding Fathers saw the contradiction with the ideals embodied in the Declaration of Independence.  And there were the economic costs.  George Washington wanted to transition to paid laborers as the generations of slaves he inherited were consuming an ever growing share of his harvest.  (You only pay paid-laborers; you didn’t have to house and feed them and their families.)  He had whole families that included babies and the elderly long past their working prime.  People would buy slaves in their working prime but wouldn’t take their parents and grandparents, too.  He didn’t want to break up the families.  And he couldn’t free them.  Someone had to take care of those who could no longer work.  So he would.  Even after death.  He freed his slaves in his will and directed his heirs to train and help them so they could integrate into the workforce.  (Not every slave-owner, though, was as caring as Washington).

So Washington, John Adams and some of the other Founding Fathers saw slavery as an institution that would eventually wither and die.  They saw it as immoral.  As well as an inefficient economic system.   It would just have to die out one day.  So they tabled the discussion to get the southern states to join the union.  But they did put an end date on the slave trade.  Twenty years should be enough time they thought.  And in those 20 years, the South would figure out what to do with the slaves they had.  Because no one in the north could figure that one out.  Who would compensate the slave owners for their emancipated ‘property’?  And there were no biracial societies at that time.  No one could imagine that a formerly enslaved majority will become peaceful neighbors with their former minority masters.  Especially in the South.

But the cotton gin changed all of that.  The one thing that slave labor was good for was big single-crop plantations.  And there was none better than King Cotton.  Separating the seed from the cotton was the one bottleneck in the cotton industry.  Ely Whitney changed that in 1791.  Cotton production exploded.  As did slavery.  The southern economy changed.  As did the political debate.  The southern economy was a cotton economy.  And cotton needed slaves.  The South, therefore, needed slavery.

CARVED OUT OF the new Louisiana Territory were territories that would organize into states and request admittance into the union.  But would they be free or slave?  The first test was resolved with the Missouri Compromise (1820).  Henry Clay (the Great Compromiser) kept the peace.  Saved the union.  For awhile.  The compromise forbade slavery north of Missouri’s southern border (approximately the 36th parallel) in the Louisiana Territory (except in Missouri, of course).  Martin Van Buren saw this as a temporary fix at best.  Any further discussion on the slavery issue could lead to secession.  Or war.  So he created the modern Democratic Party with but one goal.  To get power and to keep power.  With power he could control what they debated.  And, once he had power, they wouldn’t debate slavery again.

During the 1844 presidential campaign, the annexation of the Republic of Texas was an issue.  The secretary of state, Daniel Webster, opposed it.  It would expand slavery and likely give the Senate two new democratic senators.  Which was what John C. Calhoun wanted.  He succeeded Webster as secretary of state.  The new northern Whigs were antislavery.  The southern Whigs were pro-cotton.  The Whig presidential candidate in 1844 was Henry Clay (the Great Compromiser).  He wasn’t for it or against it.  Neither was Martin Van Buren, the Democrat frontrunner.  They wished to compromise and avoid this hot issue all together.

Well, Clay wasn’t ‘anti’ enough for the antislavery Whigs.  So they left and formed the Liberty Party and nominated James. G. Birney as their candidate.  Meanwhile, the Democrats weren’t all that happy with Van Buren.  Enter James Knox Polk.  He didn’t vacillate.  He pledged to annex Texas.  And the Oregon territory.  The Democrats nominated him and said goodbye to Van Buren.

The Whig and Liberty parties shared the northern antislavery votes, no doubt costing Clay the election.  A fait accompli, President Tyler signed off on the annexation of Texas before Polk took the oath of office.

BUT ALL WAS not well.  Those sectional differences continued to simmer just below the boiling point.  The Fugitive Slave Law now made the ‘southern’ problem a northern one, too.  Federal law now required that they help return this southern ‘property’.  It got ugly.  And costly.  Harriet Ward Beecher’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin only inflamed the abolitionist fires in the North.  And then Stephen Douglas saw a proposed transcontinental railroad that could take him to the Whitehouse. 

The railroad would go through the unorganized Nebraskan territory (the northern part of the Louisiana Purchase).   As Washington discussed organizing this territory, the South noted that all of this territory was above 36th parallel.  Thus, any state organized would be, by the terms of the Missouri Compromise, free.  With no state below the 36th parallel added, the balance of power would tip to the North.  The South objected.  Douglas assuaged them.  With the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.  Which replaced the Missouri Compromise (the 36th parallel) with popular sovereignty.  And Kansas bled.

The idea of popular sovereignty said that the people of the new organized state would determine if they were free or slave.  So the free and slave people raced to populate the territory.  It was a mini civil war.  A precursor of what was to come.  It split up the Whig and Democratic parties.  Southern Whigs and Northern Democrats quit their parties.  The Whig Party would wither and die.  The new Republican Party would rise from the Whig’s ashes.  They would address the cause, not the symptoms.  And at the heart of all the sectional divides was the issue of slavery itself.  It had to be addressed.  As Abraham Lincoln would say in 1858, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

ZACHARY TAYLOR CHOSE Whig Millard Fillmore as his vice president to appeal to northern Whigs.  When Taylor died some 2 years into his first term, Fillmore became president.  His support of the Compromise of 1850 (admit California as a free state, settle Texas border, grant territorial status to New Mexico, end the slave trade in the District of Columbia and beef up the Fugitive Slave Law) alienated him from the Whig base.

In the 1856 presidential contest, the Republicans nominated John C. Frémont.  The Democrats nominated James Buchanan.  And Millard Fillmore (compromiser and one time Whig) ran on the American Party ticket.  There was talk of secession should Frémont win.  It was a 3-way race.  Buchanan battled with the ‘compromiser’ in the South.  And with the ‘abolitionist’ in the North.  The race was close.  Buchanan won with only 45% of the vote.  But Frémont lost by only 2 states.  He had won all but 5 of the free states.  Had Fillmore not run, it is unlikely that these free states would have voted for the slavery candidate.  So Fillmore no doubt denied Frémont the election.

AMERICA’S ORIGINAL TRUST buster, Teddy Roosevelt (TR), said he wouldn’t run for reelection.  And he didn’t.  He picked Howard Taft as his ‘successor’.  TR was a progressive frontier man.  He had that smile.  This made him a popular and formidable candidate.  Taft just wasn’t as much of a TR as TR was.  So some asked TR to run again.  Against his own, hand-picked ‘successor’.  Which he did.

Taft won the Republican Nomination, though.  Undeterred (and having a really big ego), TR formed a third party, the Progressive Party.  He moved to the left of Taft.  So far left that it made Woodward Wilson, the Democrat candidate, look moderate. 

The 1912 presidential election turned into a 3-man race.  Between 3 progressives.  Taft ‘busted’ more trusts than did TR.  But he just wasn’t TR.  Woodward Wilson was probably the most progressive and idealist of the three.  But in the mix, he looked like the sensible candidate.  Roosevelt beat Taft.  But Wilson beat Roosevelt.  Wilson won with only 45% of the vote.  And gave us the income tax and the Federal Reserve System.  Big Government had come.

IN THE 1992 presidential campaign, George Herbert Walker Bush (read my lips, no new taxes) ran in a 3-way race between Democrat Bill Clinton and Ross Perot.  Perot bashed both parties for their high deficits.  He was a populist candidate against the status quo.  He went on TV with charts and graphs.  He called Reaganomics ‘voodoo’ economics.  While Bush fought these attacks on his 12 years in the executive office (8 as vice president and on 4 as president), Clinton got by with relative ease on his one big weakness.  Character. 

Exit polling showed that Perot took voters from both candidates.  More people voted that year.  But the increase was roughly equal to the Perot vote (who took 19%).  If anyone energized the election that year, it wasn’t Clinton.  He won with only 43% of the vote.  The majority of Americans did not vote for Clinton.  Had the focus not been on Reaganomics and the deficit (where Perot took it), Clinton’s character flaws would have been a bigger issue.  And if it came down to character, Bush probably would have won.  Despite his broken ‘read my lips’ pledge.

HISTORY HAS SHOWN that third party candidates don’t typically win elections.  In fact, when a party splinters into two, it usually benefits the common opposition.  That thing that is so important to bring a third party into existence is often its own demise.  It splits a larger voting bloc into two smaller voting blocs.  Guaranteeing the opposition’s victory. 

Politics can be idealistic.  But not at the expense of pragmatism.  When voting for a candidate that cannot in all probability win, it is a wasted vote.  If you’re making a ‘statement’ with your vote by voting for a third party candidate, that statement is but one thing.  You want to lose.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,