People vote against, not for, and making you “against” things is big business. Politicians, bloggers, cable news celebrities, talk radio egotists, all fit together to create a huge machine whose specific purpose is to make you unhappy, angry, and dissatisfied. It’s a business model that is as successful as it is backward.
Almost too silly to give a damn about, frankly. Why do we? Do you particularly enjoy being unhappy, angry, and dissatisfied? These are our neighbors, not sword-wielding Visigoths scaling our walls to carry off our daughters, burn our crops, and impale us on large, pointy sticks. Why do we want see them that way, and why would anyone who loves America want us to?
Because anger is motivation, and passionate motivation en masse is money for people situated to make bank on it. Americans more and more just want government to function quietly so they can enjoy their lives, and this is bad for people who want support for their agenda. The agenda in question normally being, well, getting paid to have an agenda. Not lukewarm support either, they want foaming at the mouth, world-is-going-to-end-tomorrow support, and more importantly lots of cash flowing in from the concerned.
So, Obama can’t just be wrong. Bush’s ideologies can’t have been just unfortunate. They each have to be dangerous. Obama has to be an Islamist/Communist/Radical/Black-power Supporter of Everything Horrifying to Whitebread America. Bush had to be a War Monger Feasting on Cluster-Bombed Orphans seared Medium-Rare by Coal-Stoked Global Warming. They’re coming for you, and they won’t be happy until your world looks a like Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”. You should blog on it. Now.
This is the way of things in the Middle East. Oh beloved downtrodden, don’t look at the Arab behind the curtain, keep your mind focused on the evil Zionists and the Great Satan who are really the ones to blame your whole region being stuck in the middle ages. Arafat died with millions and a house in Paris, all the while begging donations for his starving, angry Palestine. Hamas and Hezbollah fight as hard as they can to keep those same people starving and angry still.
They at least have the good sense to direct the ire of the ignorant toward another country. Ask the man on the street in Gaza who the problem is and he’s not going to point at anyone nearby. Your politicians and cable pundits don’t want you starving, but they certainly want you angry and afraid that you might eventually be, and not because of foreign powers, but because of the guy across the street with the opposing party’s sign in his yard. We stand bitterly, self-destructively divided because as a two party system we have to focus our angst inward at each other. Sadly, enemies and competitors around the world sit back happily and let us write their propaganda for them.
For cable “news”, motivation converts to cash even more directly. They want you to tune in every single night so you won’t miss the newest threat, or to re-arm yourself for tomorrow’s water cooler debate. Better yet, go straight and blog on them, hard. Your ire is their advertising. Odds are your bobblehead of choice picked their politics like Disney picks their prospective poptarts. Is blonde and bubbly good this year? Who do you think is angrier, the unwashed D’s or R’s? Let’s go with R’s and we’ll sell time to Gold Bond Powder and ED drugs.
I used to be angry, but I noticed after a while that anger was the point, the actual winning and losing was unimportant. The profit is in the struggle, the eternal, mind-numbing struggle. Your fear and stress and loathing will be televised, and perpetual. If you waver, if you start feeling better, they’ll find something new to scare and anger you.
I didn’t get enlightened, I got tired. No one I debated ever changed their minds. I see the same people from years ago, making the same arguments with different politicians’ names, like an eternal form-letter writing business. Blogging is the most futile of anger machines, because the effort gets you what, comments? Pageviews? At least the real anger machine gets a paycheck.
It’s just not my thing anymore. I want to be motivated by what is real, not word-of-mouth supposition of what might befall us if a misrepresented ideal becomes, eventually, reality. Is Obama a Muslim secretly funding ground zero mosques? Frankly, I don’t care. I want my mail on time and the potholes fixed and my daughter’s school to have textbooks. For that I am looking at the guy behind the curtain, usually the one proposing impotent resolutions about ground zero mosques.
I, odd as it may seem, don’t want to be unhappy, angry, and dissatisfied any more than I already am. More than anything I never want to think of anyone else as “them” anymore. I am getting too old to value rhetoric more than people. To me, that is the seed of true defeat, like Lincoln said, and shame on people who profit from devising our division.