The wise leader demeans democracy by trivializing the election process. His instrument of trivialization is a Mainstream Media that dedicates itself to microscopic coverage of every petty detail of a campaign except the issues that matter. Issue avoidance is the key to creating a level of bored apathy in the polity that yields low voter turnout.
This trivialization process kicked into high gear over the weekend when Obama made the following statement at a San Francisco fund raiser:
You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.
And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
In that remark, Obama committed political suicide: He told the truth, and nothing creates a firestorm like a politician telling the truth. In his statement, Obama displayed a clarity of vision that has no place in American politics.
HillBill jumped right on him, charging that Obama’s comments were “not reflective of the values and beliefs of Americans.”
HillBill understands that politics have nothing to do with reality. The values HillBill praises are those spun from the Approved Political Myth (APM), which states that such a thing as small town values actually exist in small towns long ago left empty shells of their former shelves.
This APM draws on the Approved Political Values (APV) featured in the Andy Hardy films produced in the 1930s and 1940s. The films were set in the bucolic town of Carvel where the children were all scrubbed and well behaved, Judge Hardy dispensed his fatherly wisdom and life rolled on as if neither Depression nor war existed. The citizens of this small town reflected the small town values of piety, patriotism, generosity and tolerance. Nobody lynched Blacks in Carvel.
Obama’s gaff was in referring to the reality of America’s small towns that are now gutted and boarded up, victims of globalization and Wal-Mart, places where the kids are on meth and the only wisdom Judge Hardy dispenses in embedded in a spray of angry spittle.
Obama's sin was uttering the word, "bitter." America's underclass is pissed off, but it in an anger that alienated and isolates. They believe their situation is unique. For a political candidate to acknowlege their anger might cause the scales to fall from their eyes and see that theirs is a shared anger. This could well give rise to a destabilizing solidarity.
HillBill knows better than to touch reality. She will stick to her fairytale vision of villages raising children. She has no choice, since it was her clone, BillHill who set small-town decay in motion when he weaseled NAFTA around Congress by making it an agreement instead of a Treaty, which would have required Senate ratification.
For any politician the truth is a cement boot that will plunge him to the bottom of the political swamp where he will never be seen again. Politics is all about fairytales and flag lapel pins because the media says it is.