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What Happened

Posted by George Freund on September 2, 2019 at 9:05 AM


This book fell off my shelf and got to the top of the pile. It was written by a Bush era press secretary Scott McClellan. As our matriarch Joyce Riley always said, it's by design. It is.

The author references another book The Permanent Campaign and its Future by Ornstein and Mann from American Enterprise Inst. and Brookings respectively. The permanent campaign is "a nonstop process seeking to manipulate sources of public approval to engage in the act of governing itself."

In this new system, governing is primarily focused, in Heclo's phrase, "on manipulating sources of public approval," using such tools as the news media, political blogs, popular web sites, paid advertising, talk radio, local organizations, and propaganda disseminated by interest groups to shape narratives to one's advantage. In the age of the permanent campaign, governing becomes an offshoot of campaigning rather than the other way around. Bills at times are written as much to create talking points for boosting one's own party and embarrassing the opposition as they are to improve the operations of government or to promote justice. Presidential initiatives from health care programs to foreign invasions are regularly devised, named, timed, and launched with one eye (or both eyes) on the electoral calendar. Budgets are drawn up not solely with the pressing needs of the public at the forefront but rather to reward loyalists, punish enemies, and win votes in contested districts and states when November rolls around.

Richard Nixon made good use of the concept employing the IRS to go after enemies and employing dirty tricks.

It is followed by the perpetual scandal culture as outlined in Bob Woodward's book Shadow.

Lanny Davis outlines the rise of the New Left and the New Right in the early 60's in his book Scandal.

The result was that, by the end of the 1960's and the 1972 presidential election, both parties were in danger of domination by ideological purists who had personalized their political differences into hatred and vitriol. A dangerous new symmetry had set into the American political culture. For both the New Left and New Right, it was not enough to defeat the political opposition and criticize their policies. It was necessary to destroy the opposition and describe their policies as evil.

I would look at this as the classic Roman tactic of divide and conquer for it matters not who wins one side or the other will destroy the nation under subjugation. It even garnered a name borking for the assault on Judge Bork in his day.

The founding fathers were not in favor of political parties and would be horrified at mob rule. The irony is they preferred learned elders appointed by the states and the electoral collage. It is ironic the global state preferred by many would be a world run by appointed elders while tearing apart the republic where the founders appreciated a similar non partisan approach. So we ask can any system survive as a moral absolute or must it denigrate into its more basic state mob rule? Ergo the system of checks and balances without a standing army or a monopoly on the use of force holding the precepts of we the people sacred as the best alternative to the absolutism of the Left or Right and the destructive mob rule that results. Not only is that what happened, it is happening before our eyes each and every day. Our only hope is to acknowledge the fact and call out the process so that we cease being its victims and return to being masters of our destiny in a free republic.

Categories: New World Order