There is a wide gap between Republican Politicians' goals and the interests of that segment of population to whom their message is meant to appeal. They appeal to the most ignorant, emotionally immature, egoistic, bigoted, morally narrow-minded, and religiously primitive people. Most of their constituencies are the economically lower class and lower middle class, a segment that consists of the majority of the population. This segment is easily whipped into a frenzy of indignation and anger and those kinds of emotions drive them to vote.
In contrast to their constituency, the Republican leaders ‘privately’ are amoral, irreligious, psychopathic, highly sophisticated with respect to strategy, and maniacally driven by lust for money and power. They have charismatic ‘public’ personalities and are experts at deception. All the while that they are appealing to the less well off financially, they are plotting for ways to exploit them.
This is a formula that has worked well for them since the beginning of the US and even before. Recall the famous American Indian saying, “White man speaks with forked tongue.” However, in the modern age, particularly since the "Great Communicator" Ronald Reagan, star power has become the first prerogative for candidates for high office. The Republican Party seeks out these types because, regardless of their intelligence or ability, they can win and they are easily influenced to do the bidding of the corporate leaders.
However, in this modern age of the dominance of mass media, Democrats have learned, as well, that elections are not won without highly articulate, charismatic, somewhat controversial candidates. When people say they vote for the person and not the party, they surely must mean the person’s charisma. Platforms and voting records are rarely mentioned by this group of voters.
Were it not for silly controversy, TV would get poor ratings from our dumbed down nation and therefore no money from corporate ads - a little tattle-tell, a little naughty titillation, a scandal or two, some raucous rabble rousing speeches, and you have a formula for success. Showcasing people whom people love to hate keep hate alive and ratings up. Skits and sound bites, such as these, rate even higher than rescuing a puppy in danger. How else do you get publicity on TV? These tactics polarize people but they also mobilize them. The more uneducated, ignorant, and immature a person is the more they can be mobilized to vote based solely on florid emotions.
Cool, objective, honest reasoning only grips the more reserved, intellectual types. Bluster always drowns out soft-spoken rationality. Shrewd, verbally dexterous debaters who skillfully spin and play fast and loose with truth typically win over the legendary ‘honest Abe’ types.
Either campaigning against Republican candidates who are psychopaths but who have appealing or emotion stirring public personalities requires Democrats to stoop to some extent to their level or else they lose. Like bad money driving out good, opprobriously bad character drives out good character.
This is the dilemma of democracy. It requires adversarial politics. In adversarial debates, the loudest and/or most devious tends to win arguments. Decent people walk away from boisterous, bellicose, blatantly deceitful contenders in arguments. In politics in a democracy, you either learn the end justifies the means and you must do whatever it takes to win or else you lose. Consequently, democracy entails an inevitable downward spiral ending in total loss of integrity.
Obama’s exception was due in large part to having a campaign based on widespread Bush-bashing. In the present campaign environment, Palin emulators will win far too many House seats due to the masses’ shortness of memory, ease of being lied to and duped, and the right-wingers’ penchant for rabble rousing.
Combine these features of democracy with the unscrupulous profiteering inherent in free enterprise and you have a recipe for political disaster on a global scale. And that, my rational friends, is how political campaigns are run and won in this American democracy.
Palin is merely the most ‘in your face’ representative of the Grand Old Prevaricators! The GOP has been rolling out Palin clones like cookie $dough$ in a kooky factory.
Edwin is a 76 year old, retired, psychotherapist/institution reformer. His greatest satisfaction came from reforming many juvenile correctional institutions, a maximum security prison, a West Texas mental hospital, and the huge Job Corps in San Marcos, Texas. All in all there were thirteen institutions that he successfully reformed. In the last year of his PhD program, Edwin was one of the two PhD graduate students to be awarded the annual University Research Institute grant. His dissertation committee said his was the longest, best, and most complex in the history of the department. Since retiring, Edwin spends his time writing. His site is: The Natural Systems Institute.