Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"...The Only Thing We Have To Fear...Is Those Who Fill Us With Fear Itself...."

At this writing, the next (2nd) Republican "debate" is twelve, or so, hours away.

And the election itself is one year and thirteen days away.

Determining who will win and become the next President of the United States is, likewise, one year and thirteen days away.

Determining who will lose?

Already a done deal.

More on that momentito.

What follows is a "pre-game" two cents from a political reporter at  listing "things to watch for" in tonight's gathering of the contenders. This excerpt focuses specifically on the precedent making case of Trump V. Carson.

From his perch at the top of the Republican field, Trump had largely declined to go after Ben Carson, training his fire instead on other more seasoned politicians like Bush, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. Referring to Carson as a "good" person who he admires personally, Trump has even fueled speculation the retired neurosurgeon could be on his vice presidential short list.
But those days of playing nice are over.
An abrupt shift in tone came after a series of consecutive polls showed Carson had overtaken Trump in Iowa, relegating the businessman to second place. Then, on Tuesday, Trump even lost his first place spot in a national poll, trailing Carson 26% to 22%, according to Tuesday's CBS/New York Times poll.
If the last week offers any indication, Trump is expected to throw multiple punches at Carson on the debate stage. The attacks could get personal. The real estate mogul appeared to suggest over the weekend that Carson's religious affiliation — he's a Seventh-day Adventist — was extreme.
But it will take a whole lot more to get Carson firing back. Known for his reserved and calm demeanor, the candidate has repeatedly said he has no interest in becoming an attack dog.

"Ben has said he's going to stay who he is and he wouldn't want to get elected being somebody else," said Ryan Rhodes, Carson's Iowa state director. "He does not need to tear someone else down to build himself up."

One recurring theme/thought that repeats itself ad nauseum on my weekly radio show (SEP Nighttime---Sunday nights at 7P Eastern on Delaware 105.9FM News/Talk) is the POV that the considerable block of voters pontifically known as "the American people" who have lined up behind the Donald aren't necessarily so much attracted to the deal maker as they are to the deal that the maker wants to make.

Put in big, block letters...people are energized, even mesmerized, by the message.

The messenger is expendable.

And the message, more than at any other time in contemporary times, is as clear as clear can be.
Certainly as crystal as it was when it became a mantra for a few years following it's reading by Oscar winning actor Peter Finch in the seventies film "Network".

"We're mad as hell...and we're not gonna take it anymore..."

"We", of course, in the 2015/2016 spin of it being defined as the considerable block of voters pontifically known as "the American people."

And a case could easily be made that this accounts for all of the "who's on top (first)?" plot twists in the G.O.P. episodes of the ratings busting dramedy known as "Election 2016"
  • Trump's original, almost inexplicable rise to the top of the pile.
  • His even more inexplicable failure to, at least, to date, flame out as a "serious" candidate.
  • Carson's tortoise-esque journey from soft spoken, intellectual, albeit borderline eccentric, physician to soft spoken, intellectual, albeit borderline eccentric number two contender nipping ever so inexplicably at the heels of the hare (or the Hair, as the case may be)
  • Carson's almost "too unbelievable to be salable as a script" arrival as the numero uno on some poll's contender list
 It doesn't require a political science degree, or even a rudimentary understanding of basic eighth grade civics, for that matter, to understand the primary emotion flowing front and center in this particular election cycle.

Frustration. With a splash of anger and/or a little dollop of disgust.

And who better, or more savvy, at tapping into that frustration than a guy who has made it his lifetime ambition to recognize, and capitalize, on opportunities when and where they present themselves.

Tapping into the frustrations of a nation ready to do some serious up-heaving.

The perfect storm of a time to practice "the art of the deal" if ever there was one.

Meanwhile, Carson, in his soft spoken, intellectual, albeit borderline eccentric, physician way is the Trump for those who prefer their Trumps less blunt, less coarse, less "Crazy Eddie Says EVERYTHING MUST GO!"

Upheaval with a pinky finger extended from the cup of kool aid.

Just one very key thing missing from all of this raucous rousing of the rabble.

Even just a few precious drops of inspiration.

Replaced, this time around, with a disaster flick sized tsunami of inciting.

Thin, almost invisible, line between "throw the bums out" and "storm the village and lynch the monster."

And pouring fuel on the fires of frustration may be the way to lead the pack in the rush to be the next tenant at 1600 Pennsylvania.

But a fire is really hard to contain once it becomes wild.

And appealing to the fear in us only brings out the worst in us.

Ultimately making it a very real possibility that while the winners of this race to "revolution" may, as yet, remain "to be determined".

The losers are as obvious as the smoke spewing forth from the flames.

That would be us.

"the American people".

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"We're Not Only Not In Kansas Anymore...We Haven't Even Been To Iowa, Yet..."

Democratic debate day after.

Can't swing a dead cat and not hit an "expert".

Actually, these days, thanks to PETA and the SPCA and the ACLU and E-I-E-I-O, you can't even swing a dead cat.

This writer claims no expertise.

I do, though, have a little experience with this kind of thing.

So, allow me to sum up the status of the presidential campaign, current as of the writing of this piece, some twelve hours after the end of Dem Debate I.

Those who believed their candidate is the answer to every prayer they can pray still believes their candidate is the answer to every prayer they can pray.

Those who believe that all the other candidates are anti-Christs and/or Muslims still believe that all the other candidates are anti-Christs and/or Muslims.

Those who haven't yet made up their mind were mostly likely watching "N.C.I.S." last night and waiting until, say, March of next year when the herd has thinned sufficiently to see the "actual" candidates as opposed to the Osmonds meet the Von Trapps crowd of contenders currently taking part in the process and sucking the oxygen and air time out of the room.

As far as "expert" analysis, insight, cogent perspective and/or prescient pundit-ing as to where the American electorate stands at this point, I ignore CNN, FOX, MSNBC, any and all "commentators" associated with same, any and all online sages, any and all print media waxers politic and simply, for the time being, refer to the one political observer I have found, through the years, to have the most consistently, almost unfailingly, accurate take on mindset of the American voter at any given time in the American electoral process...

Ray Bolger.