Tag Archive | "politics"

The Politics of Pandering

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According to Webster’s dictionary, the word “pander” is defined thusly:


1.)  a:  A go-between in love intrigues;  b: A pimp

2.)  One that caters to or exploits the weakness of others


The definition of the word “pander” is eerily akin to the unofficial definition of “politician.”  Strange isn’t it?


Well, it’s been said that politics makes strange bedfellows.  Indeed it does.  Metaphorically and literally, players hop beds and trade votes to suit the conditions that benefit them.   Take a gander at some of the prominent politicians who have switched from the Republican Party to that of Democrat.  In the real world, these politicos would be called “whores” because like streetwalkers, they will sell that which they should value, to the highest bidder.   A prostitute does not respect her body.  A politician does not respect the trust placed in him by the constituents who voted him into office to represent their needs and concerns.


To further screw the constituents by making them think they’re actually in their corner, many elected leaders align themselves with different categories within their parties. Allegedly, these labels are meant to distinguish one politician from another.  The term “Conservative” is synonymous with old-school cowboys who like to engage in games of “Mine is bigger than yours and it’s more deadly” and “God (translation: I) say(s) you have to and so, you will!”  “Liberal” usually refers to those, cough-cough, oh so kind-hearted souls willing to dole out taxpayers’ hard-earned money to those who haven’t earned it, including illegal immigrants, via all manner of social service programs that seem to breed like rabbits.  And “Moderate” denotes those who lack the intestinal fortitude to take a genuine stand.  Instead of leaning hard to the Right or the Left, they sit on the proverbial fence, tottering and awaiting a great big inevitable fall, like Humpty Dumpty.


The motto of the United States of America is “United we stand and divided we fall.”   Yet, the whole game of politics is based upon division, as in “divide and conquer” … the taxpayers, that is!  Every time a politician or political party panders to a special interest group, it’s for the sole purpose of feathering his or their own nest.  The more special interests groups that back a politician or a party, the more votes are cast for that particular politician or party.  And votes sway elections.  All a politician has to do is promise to make good what he’s told those special interest groups, and he’s in like Flynn.  He earns an hugely inflated salary, enjoys untold perks, and has all his benefits paid for the nephews and nieces of Uncle Sam:  me, you, and every other decent, honest taxpayer.


It is time for us to realize that we are a nation of Americans.  Whether we have been born here, or whether we immigrated here, we are all bound, as “one nation under God” to empower each other and move our nation forward.  This means that we all work together toward common goals (i.e., lower taxes, better representation in government, more plentiful jobs, manufacturing returned to the U.S.; you get the gist).  This does not mean that we hide behind our cultural/ethnic, sexual, or religious differences to demand certain favors and then appoint blood-sucking politicians all too eager to make those favors realities.  When the Allies liberated Paris, France from the Axis powers during World War II, the French hailed us as Americans, period.  Not as Italian-Americans, Chinese-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Polish-Americans, Gay Americans, Straight Americans, yadda, yadda, yadda.


What God brought forth upon this land was intended to serve as a blueprint for other nations worldwide.  This nation of immigrants was to stand as a beacon of hope, illustrating that regardless of superficial differences, we were meant to co-exist in peace and harmony and enjoy the gifts from God’s bounty.

Scott Brown: A Change for Massachusetts

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Senator Scott Brown

A year after Barack Obama’s inauguration brought “change to America,” an unexpected change has occurred in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Republican Scott Brown, a heretofore obscure State Senator and real estate attorney, won election to the United States Senate by defeating Democrat Martha Coakley in the Special Election to fill the remaining three years of deceased Senator Ted Kennedy’s term of office.  In arguably the country’s most liberal state and in a startling turnabout from polls showing him trailing by 20% as recently as two weeks ago, Brown defeated Coakley by 5 percentage points just one year after Barack Obama carried the state by 26% over his Republican rival, Senator John McCain.

 

The stunning results have severely dampened the mood of Democrats in Washington and thrown a monkey wrench into the Obama Administration’s plans for healthcare reform.  When seated, Brown will become the 41st Republican in the U.S. Senate; thereby, robbing the Democrats of their filibuster-proof majority.  Perhaps more significantly, Brown’s election and margin of victory in a state in which Democrats outnumber Republicans by 3 to 1 calls into question the public’s support for the Administration’s agenda for change, most notably in the healthcare arena.

 

With elections for the entire House of Representatives and 36 of the 100 Senate seats looming in November, Brown’s victory, following GOP gubernatorial wins in New Jersey and Virginia, provides mounting evidence of the American public’s unease with the nature and pace of change as it currently exists.  As our 44th President is learning, talking about change is easy; securing agreement and implementing change is difficult in the extreme.

 

As individuals, we struggle as we contend with change versus the status quo.  The idea of fresh ideas and approaches is very appealing yet also frightening, taking us out of our comfort zones.  Is it surprising that, when faced with momentous changes, the public collectively responds as do individuals?

 

In my humble opinion, Scott Brown’s surprising victory is an indication of the public’s ambivalence over the Democrats’ agenda for change and one-party rule.  Overwhelmed by the scope and rapidity of change, the voters of Massachusetts have taken a small step toward restoring balance to our legislative process and perspective.  This coming November, I believe that voters across the country will likely continue this trend.

 

Yet, one should be careful not to read too much into Brown’s victory or the prospective Republican electoral surge this fall.  The public holds neither Republicans nor Democrats in particularly high esteem.  And, the American people are smarter than politicians and their minions give them credit.

 

We understand that, as a nation, we face perplexing problems:  an economic downturn spawning persistent and worrisome unemployment levels, rapidly accelerating healthcare costs and deficiencies in health insurance coverage, climate change regardless of root cause, the growing threat of terrorism on American soil, and a deepening cynicism and distrust of government.  And, we realize that change is necessary if we are to resolve these and a host of other issues.  Yet, we are dissatisfied with the solutions offered and appalled by the rancor of current political discourse and the crass indifference of the Washington elite toward the citizens whom they represent.

 

Under these conditions, the victory of a relative political unknown over a well-oiled party machine should have come as no surprise.  And so, congratulations Scott Brown.  But, when you get to Washington, keep in mind the horse upon which you rode into town and resolve yourself to find and promote common ground with those of every political persuasion in crafting uniquely American solutions to our most pressing problems.  If you do, then that would be a change in which we all can believe. 

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