Presidential polytricks: Abandon All Principle, Ye Who Enter Here.
January 10, 2012 § 1 Comment
I LOVE HOW cavalierly the pundits pontificate that candidates should be more two-faced. It’s repeated almost like some sort of moral imperative, that a candidate should “campaign to the left or right in the primaries, but run center in the general election.” Throw out that red meat to the base, then morph into a “sensible” centrist.
Yeah, that’s right. Betray the faith of your supporters. Be fundamentally dishonest, shirking any display of conviction about anything other than getting in office. No principle allowed, beyond that of getting and increasing power. That’s exactly whats wrong with American polytricks, yet it’s upheld as clever, savvy strategy — indeed, two-facedness is praised as a political virtue.
The gatekeepers and guard dogs of discourse assigned to the “left” lecture their charges: “We have to jettison our convictions and rally around Clinton/Gore/Kerry/Obama even though they’re crony corporatist fakes; or else we’ll be stuck with George HW Bush/Dole/George W. Bush/Romney.”
Republican gatekeepers deliver the same lecture to the sheeple on the “right”: “We must drop all principle and rally behind (HW Bush/Dole/George W. Bush/Romney) even if he’s a big-government phony — otherwise we’re going to end up with Clinton/Gore/Kerry/Obama.”
Therefore, interchangeable drones change places in office with little substantive change in policy.
Of course, this is all very deliberate. In the words of the late Carroll Quigley — mentor to Bill Clinton and other establishment figures, who boasted of his access to the “private papers” of the “secret network” that runs the Western world :
The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can ‘throw the rascals out’ at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy.
—(Tragedy and Hope)