Posted by: JDM..... | October 13, 2016

Donald, Hillary, and the Tooth Fairy…

starring in: The Pathologies of Politics….


Ah, the ubiquitous “experts”. That’s more of a political designation these days than a measure of qualification. I watched the “Invasion of the Wall-hangers” for over fifty years before retiring. Used to be if you could do something skillfully, you were an expert. Today, in keeping with our veneer culture, if you have the right wall-hanger, you are an expert by default. I used to teach a process to graduate students doing clinicals who might eventually sign off on my work because they would have higher degrees than me. But, back to statistics…..the first thing my Statistics professor told the class was “figures don’t lie but liars can figure”. Depends on how the variables are selected, etcetera. In other words, the conflict isn’t as much over the validity of the numbers as it is about who is lying…Surprise, surprise! This time around, lying isn’t a relevant consideration….The people are supposed to select an alleged “leader” based or his or her performance in some national locker room contest of towel snapping, mother cuts, and other low rent grab-ass interactions in partnership with the media, which is Bobbing for Ratings.

I haven’t heard an ISSUE discussed in six months.

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Somehow, we Americans learn at a young age to differentiate the Land of Lala wherein dwell the Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, etcetera, from the Land of Real Life. Magic becomes an amusement rather than an environment. We learn that we have to navigate around life’s little lawn cookies instead of expecting some elf to pop out of the ether to smooth our path like the guy with the broom at a curling match.

…Except when it comes to politics and matters of government. Passion and fervor, of course, are absolutely normal. Anyone who doesn’t get fired up about something once in a while either belongs on some serious medications or is on too many already. It becomes problematic, however, when political fervor starts to take on elements of religious fanaticism or maybe even regresses to a resurrection of the Tooth Fairy, on steroids of course, wherein people believe if they leave their intelligence under the pillow, Captain Perfect will save the day. Anybody considering an opposing Tooth Fairy is automatically deemed a Communist, racist, misogynist, or some other pejorative characterization that is socially degrading but not illegal, yet is politically incorrect at the moment.

Here’s the thing…..politicians from the bottom rung up are not all that different from the rest of us. But, just like tall people tend to do better at basketball, certain personality profiles contribute to a person’s success as a politician or public figure. Many start off because they are drawn to being helpful to others and go from there. Some continue on that mission for a lifetime, while others move on up to the Eastside. At some point, a limited number of people in public service metamorphose into Career Politicians. Success in this unique strata, oddly enough, is greatly enhanced by certain personality traits which, in other neighborhoods of the society, may be considered “antisocial” or even sociopathic. Let’s face it, if the average Joe picked up the phone and ordered fifty thousand people to march off into a hail of bullets, or made a decision that would have a negative impact on a million jobs in order to beef up a more favored sector of the economy for a few thousand other jobs there, he’d end up in a rubber room or a rubber bag.

The point is, Presidential politics is largely theater. The public consumes a manufactured review of what’s going on, while Santa’s elves hammer away in the background producing pap to keep everybody well behaved and awestruck while Mom & Popo (metaphorically speaking) kick back with a few stiff drinks and go sit in a couple of bathtubs in the middle of a field. Shhhhh.

The sad part is, while I suspect a majority of the voters understand to some degree that what we see ain’t necessarily the real McCoy, most obediently cheer their particular chosen team on with a blood lust.

In 2016 we will rub the magic lamp for the 45th time, blaming everything from negative-A to negative-Z on selected Genies from among the previous two or three administrations. Once His Nibs’ potential for bestowing gifts upon sycophants nears the “EMPTY” mark, the person in the Big Chair begins taking on more of a “Fair Game” aura.

I look at the whole 2016 shenanigan like some kind of an overly enthusiastic Fraternity Bash gone rogue, and I know from whence I speak in that department from back in the day when, as Social Chairman of one of those entities, I would hire the bands and tell the local distributor to keep the kegs coming till we yelled Kyhpskjl,hnsao. or something like that.

Obviously, this election year presents some remarkable differences from previous ones, at least among the more recent contests. How it will all play out is yet to be seen. Hopefully, some of the hackneyed and timeworn stage scenery will be tossed out, but we need to keep in mind that our view of what’s really occurring will be entirely dependent upon our willingness to personally rip back the curtains, tear down the fake backdrops and get eyeball to eyeball with our heretofore unsupervised Narcissists and Sociopaths whom we’ve entrusted with the Keys to the Country. I don’t know about you, but I’m more than a little curious how a man or a woman can walk through the doors as a relatively Average Joe or Jane and emerge a few short years later borne in a gilded litter, set for life with fantasy pensions and privileges.

Granted, most are well off going in, but it tends to go uphill from there, regardless of the circumstances of the country as a whole.

Now, I happen to believe there are real benefits for the country in putting narcissistic sociopaths in the top positions of leadership, but it is incumbent on us to pay attention, to supervise them without trying to micromanage them, and for us to be willing to turn the fire hoses on them once in a while if need be. And, there will be.

 

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