Poetic Justice

Just what is poetic justice you ask?  This:

**UPDATE** (per Shadowfax’s request)

Yes, Birdman of Vermont won, but they each got 7 delegates! Yay math! Yay poetic justice!

In other news…..Bernie will soon be flying off to Rome! Did the Pope invite him? No! Will the Pope even be in town? No again! LOL!

The Sanders campaign and its followers have a remarkable talent of acquiring instant expertise on complicated subjects; Planned Parenthood, HIV/AIDS, feminism, the realhistory of the Civil Rights Movement and now on the politics of the Holy See.

Good work if you can get it, I suppose.

But it does help if you can shake yourself loose for a moment from the narcissistic delusion that everything in this world revolves around the Democratic primary in the United States, more specifically, around the concept that a Bernie Sanders win in it – or even in the State of New York – is humanity’s most breathtaking and highest goal.

Senator Sanders was not invited to Rome by the Pope. Just a hint: His Holiness will not be in Rome while Bernie Sanders is in Rome, on April 15th and 16th.What Sanders said is not true:

“This is an invitation from the Vatican, from a pope that I have enormous respect for in term of the level of consciousness that he’s raising on the need to have morality in our economy.”

The only question is…will he fly commercial, or will he go by a chartered Unicorn?

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Perhaps “Mystic Birdie” can take him!

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Be Careful What You Ask For, Bernie. Because Now You’ve Got It.

Bernie has complained constantly that the Press doesn’t give him enough attention.

Well now, he’s gotten his wish. We can start with this.

CfVfBLZVAAA7Rfh

Why that headline? This is why:

Daily News: There’s a case currently waiting to be ruled on in Connecticut. The victims of the Sandy Hook massacre are looking to have the right to sue for damages the manufacturers of the weapons. Do you think that that is something that should be expanded?

Sanders: Do I think the victims of a crime with a gun should be able to sue the manufacturer, is that your question?

Daily News: Correct.

Sanders: No, I don’t.

And of course, Bernie’s Frat Boys are now trolling Sandy Hook victims’ parents. That’s in keeping with their threats to and doxxing of Super Delegates. Yes that is right, a Bernie Supporter with the symbol for ‘Anarchist’ in his screen name published the names and addresses or Super Delegates so that their fear of endangerment would make them run and switch their support to an anarchist’s enabler. Haven’t seen anything that tasteless since the Republicans did it. Bernie’s followers: Their parents probably finally realize that they’ve raised Barn Animals. And when it comes to Super Delegates, Bernie’s Bros have definitely not taken courses on How To Win Friends and Influence People.

cliffnotes-truthMoving right along, Bernie had an interview with the New York Daily News Editorial Board recently.  Unfortunately, he didn’t read his Cliff Notes first.

CNN This morning called the interview “A Disaster”. I thought they were being kind.

Take a look at the transcript of this wincingly awful interview. You do not have to be a Rhodes Scholar to notice that this guy doesn’t know his ass from his elbow. You would think that a single-issue candidate would at least have a clue as to how he plans to “Break Up The Banks” beyond that two-minute stump speech he has played in an endless loop for months. But Nope.

As has been his pattern all of his life, FeltTheBernBernie Sanders is a malingerer who never gets past complaining about how life isn’t fair to an underachieving slug such as himself. Lucky for him he finally got a government job at age 40 so he could hang a portrait the Founder of the American Socialist Party, Eugene V. Debs in his office and not show up too often. But of course, having a portrait of Debs in his office for a couple of decades doesn’t mean Bernie is a Socialist any longer. No No No! Now he’s a “Democratic Socialist,” also known as an oxymoron.

Well, why don’t we take a look at some of Bernie’s interview Answers? Okay, we’ll do that, including some observations from Washington Post’s analysis of the most ignorantly shocking  clueless dumb-assed interview Evah.  As a testimony to how awful and simple Bernie’s brain really is, the WaPo parsing is entitled, “9 Things Bernie Sanders Should Have Known About But Didn’t In That Daily News Interview” .

Some fun excerpts:

The more I read the transcript, the more it became clear that the candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination doesn’t know much beyond his standard stump speech about breaking up the banks and how he had the good judgment to vote against the Iraq War in 2002.

Nine moments in the Sanders conversation left me agape. From his own plans for breaking up too-big-to-fail banks to how he would handle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to dealing with the Islamic State, the man giving homegirl Hillary Clinton a run for her money seemed surprisingly out of his depth. The bold in the text is mine for emphasis.

Surprisingly(?????) out of his depth. Nice that somebody noticed.

When asked exactly How he intended to “Break Up The Banks,” Bernie had this clueless shit to say:

Sanders: How you go about doing it is having legislation passed, or giving the authority to the secretary of treasury to determine, under Dodd-Frank, that these banks are a danger to the economy over the problem of too-big-to-fail.

Daily News: But do you think that the Fed, now, has that authority?

Sanders: Well, I don’t know if the Fed has it. But I think the administration can have it.

Daily News: How? How does a President turn to JPMorgan Chase, or have the Treasury turn to any of those banks and say, “Now you must do X, Y and Z?”

Sanders: Well, you do have authority under the Dodd-Frank legislation to do that, make that determination.

Daily News: You do, just by Federal Reserve fiat, you do?

Sanders: Yeah. Well, I believe you do.

Uppity Translation: You have that power only in your Communist-Loving world, Bernie.

At this point, the Editorial Board was probably intrigued to say the least and frightened for America at most, so they prodded on:

Daily News: Well, it does depend on how you do it, I believe. And, I’m a little bit confused because just a few minutes ago you said the U.S. President would have authority to order…

Sanders: No, I did not say we would order. I did not say that we would order. The President is not a dictator.

Daily News: Okay. You would then leave it to JPMorgan Chase or the others to figure out how to break it, themselves up. I’m not quite…

Sanders: You would determine is that, if a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist. And then you have the secretary of treasury and some people who know a lot about this, making that determination. If the determination is that Goldman Sachs or JPMorgan Chase is too big to fail, yes, they will be broken up.

Daily News: Okay. You saw, I guess, what happened with Metropolitan Life. There was an attempt to bring them under the financial regulatory scheme, and the court said no. And what does that presage for your program?

Sanders: It’s something I have not studied, honestly, the legal implications of that.

Uppity Translation: *I don’t know how to do this. don’t confuse me with facts just because our forefathers had the good sense to give us three branches of government in order to keep a nut like me from “Transforming” a Democratic Republic into a Communist country the way my hero Fidel Castro “Transformed Cuba”.

It gets worse, folks. For the best break down of this horrid man’s broke-down mind, I urge you to read the Washington Post’s analysis of just how clueless Bernie Sanders is, not only about his “signature issue,” but regarding pretty much every other critical issue our country is facing, including gun control and foreign affairs.

*Additional Note: As I am writing this, CNN has Hillary Clinton on-air, doing all she can do not to fall on the floor laughing at how clueless Bernie is. And Larry Sabato is declaring that Bernie is experiencing what he hasn’t experienced so far in his campaign. “It’s called Vetting”.

New York. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. Wink…….Wink.

Hillary made it there. Bernie ran from there to be with White People.

Being A Democrat

The following is an essay by Member William:

I was watching the Wisconsin campaign dinner in Milwaukee, where both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders spoke. After that came a speech by Senator Al Franken from neighboring Minnesota. He spoke very warmly about Hillary, whom he supports. He told about how in 2008, Hillary and her husband, the former President, took the time to come out to Minnesota a few weeks before what was obviously an incredibly closely contested election which Franken won by about 350 votes. He recounted how even after that, Hillary called him just before Election Day, asking if she could help at all, and so she came out again to aid him.

What he didn’t mention, but should have been obvious, is that this was shortly after Hillary had “lost” the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama, even though she had more popular votes, had won virtually all the important primaries; and had been denied the nomination because of all sorts of caucus chicanery, and because the DNC was so determined to have Obama win the nomination, that they voided two primaries (Florida and Michigan) for the sin of trying to move up their primaries a week or two, so as to be more relevant. Then later the DNC reinstated the primaries, except that they handed Obama a bunch of delegates from those states which he had not won, including delegates that Hillary had won. Such manipulation was both palpable and shocking. But somehow Hillary, with all that disappointment, and the knowledge that she should have been the nominee, was caring enough about Franken, and by implication, the Democratic Party, to do everything she could to help him win the Senate seat.

Franken also talked about how he had been a lifelong Democrat; though while his mother was also one, his father was a liberal Republican, which there indeed were some of back then. He said that his parents were very concerned about civil rights; and that when his father saw the the integration saga play out down South; and knew that some key Republicans voted against the Civil Rights Act, he said that no Jewish person could ever support that kind of thing, and so became a Democrat as well.

My parents were always Democrats, and always very interested in politics, both nationally and locally. When I was a young boy, they bought their first house in a nice, but very conservative suburb of California. They moved there because I had rather severe pollen allergies then, and they were told by my mother’s allergist that this was the best spot to alleviate that. And I stopped my incessant coughing about three months after we moved there. So that was the sacrifice which my parents made for me; not that it was not a nice town with mostly decent people, but because it was not an intellectual place, and it was very right-wing, John Birch Society conservative.

We were proud Democrats, and my parents worked at the grass roots level, having a lot of fun, and meeting some other nice people, but of course almost always losing with their downticket candidates. I didn’t even know why they bothered. My father always said that if one gives up, he leaves the field to the bad guys. And even after we had moved away, to the more liberal Westside; and my parents were not active politically any more, we still always watched the conventions, talked about politics and issues. When I finally moved out on my own, we would always talk on election nights; and when the Democrats had done badly (which unfortunately was often the case), my mother would console me by pointing out that we had kept the Congress; or if not, at least won some good races, perhaps in our state of California. So there was always something to look forward to for the next time. And that is what one needs to do. Although during the Reagan and Bushes years, it was very hard to be too optimistic about anything. And after Bush vs. Gore, literally and judicially; and the horrible hijacking of our political system by the Supreme Court, it would have been so easy to chuck it in, and concentrate on UCLA sports, or good novels. But we never did.

My parents died in 2007, within three months of each other. I know that they would have strongly supported Hillary. My mother was always suspicious of how Obama had risen so quickly, and who was behind it. And of course she would have been excited about the chance for the first woman President. But more than that, I think that both of them would have been very impressed by what a wonderful candidate Hillary was. I know that I was not sure whom to support at the beginning of the 2008 campaign; but when I saw Hillary debate, and listened to her brilliant comprehension of issues, I became greatly impressed, and then thought it was an obvious choice. Of course I miss my parents, and wish that we could be following this campaign closely, and discussing all the aspects. They would have liked my essays on Hillary’s behalf.

Being a Democrat meant something to my parents and to me. Now, I am well aware that the Democratic Party has many flaws. In fact, there were whole election cycles where I virtually despised the Party. In 1968, when Johnson had control of the party machinery , and so forced the nomination of Humphrey on everyone, including those millions of people who were against the Vietnam War. In 1972, when the party was virtually taken over by a corps of activists, radicals, and kooks, who turned the convention into a farce, and got the nomination for George McGovern, who was an honorable man but a very poor candidate. In 1976, when after McGovern’s defeat and the rout of the liberals, Jimmy Carter stepped into the vacuum and won the Presidency, and then didn’t govern like a Democrat. In 1980, when Carter used the party machinery to defeat Ted Kennedy, whom I strongly supported. And of course in 2008, which no one should ever forget. Even with all this, there is no question in my mind that of the two parties, the Democrats are far, far better than the Republicans. In fact, and sadly enough, as the Democrats possibly get worse, the Republicans get ten times worse, thus giving one no real choice but to support the Democratic side.

And we do have a two party system in this country. Maybe we should have more parties, but the European countries which do, do not seem to benefit much by that. England has basically become a two-party system as well. So while my parents and I would in the difficult times talk about the possibility of a third party (we sort of wanted a party of intellectual liberals like Eugene McCarthy!), we realized that this was not feasible. And since then the barriers to a new party have gotten greater, as both major parties have collaborated to fix the playing field in that way.

One thing my parents and I both knew was the importance of the Democrats winning downticket races. This is because we actually knew something about history and politics and governance. We knew that bills originate in the Congress, and that we do not have an empire or a monarchy, where a potentate can make laws with a wave of his hand or pen. We knew that it was important that Democrats control as many state legislatures as possible, because that is crucial for drawing up favorable Congressional districts. And we watched with great dismay as the hard right Republicans learned how to fix and game the system to an extent that Representative Gerry (of “gerrymandering” notoriety) would have never believed. And of course now we see that the Republicans almost have a stranglehold on the House of Representatives; while the overwhelmingly Red states of the South, Border, and Rocky Mountains give them a lock on many Senate seats, which they use to dominate if in the majority, or filibuster the government to a standstill, if in the minority.

So this brings us to this campaign, in which the Democratic Party has two candidates competing. One is Hillary Clinton, who has raised $30 million or so this year for downticket candidates; who has spent her career campaigning for Democrats running for state offices; who describes herself as a proud Democrat, and who wants to completely rebuild the party at the state and local levels, after the current president essentially let it atrophy. And then we have Bernie Sanders, who has never held office as a Democrat, only as an Independent; and who has identified himself as a Socialist. Sanders has never campaigned outside his state for any Democrat. He has never raised money for any Democrat. This year, he has not raised one cent for a Democrat. When asked about it, he said that “he would see,” but first had to concentrate on winning the nomination. Translation: “You’re on your own, Democratic candidates. You’re going to have to win your seats without any help from me, or the national party, if I head the ticket.” And of course that means that if Sanders were nominated, the Democrats would not pick up Congressional seats, and might even lose more of them, just in time for the 2020 census, which could very literally give the Republicans control of Congress for the next 40 years.

Now, apparently there are some Democrats who do not care about this, or do not understand it. Those are the ones supporting Bernie Sanders. As Sanders does not care one iota about the Democratic Party, which he has never been a part of, or ever supported, so they cavalierly dismiss all of this. They strangely see in Sanders a party of one, someone who apparently will overturn 240 years of American history, and become the first American king. This sounds ludicrous when I write it; but what other explanation can there be for this fervency for Sanders among the very young? They must think that Sanders could be nominated, and then elected; and would not have to deal with Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell, or any of the other Republicans who control the legislative branch. They must think that Sanders, a man who is notorious for never compromising on anything, even within the party he cacuses with, is going to get people on both sides of the aisle to do what he wants, maybe because his yelling and handwaving will intimidate them.

All the things which Sanders declaims about; all the things he says we must change, literally amount to nothing. He cannot and would not do any of it. If Sanders got the nomination, he would probably lose the election, because the Republicans, who have very obviously not said one thing against him, would unleash billions of dollars of ads outlining his Socialist history, his support of the Castro regime, and so much more. And even if he could somehow be elected, he couldn’t do anything. The one area where the President has some power of his own, foreign relations, he does not know anything about. In the domestic area, the ball always starts in the court of the House. What is Sanders going to do when Ryan and his cohorts send up bill after bill? Veto them all? What if the Republicans threaten to shut down the government, not raise the debt ceiling? He is going to yell at them? He doesn’t compromise, remember. And the Democrats don’t have much use for him, either. Not one single Democratic Senator supports his candidacy. Why is that? Because they don’t think he would make a good president ,and they don’t think he would help the Democratic Party one bit. His supporters don’t know and don’t care; they want their fantasy world, and they want it now.

I would almost feel sorry for all the Sanders supporters, but this election is far too important, and Hillary Clinton is such a great potential president (the highly respected Senator from Ohio, Sherrod Brown, said that she was the best potential president he had seen in his life, including Bill Clinton, and he said it directly to him, and that Bill laughed and apparently agreed), that I would never waste that energy. But these people have zero chance of having free college tuition. Zero. Could that ever happen? Oh, maybe in twenty years or so. But not for them. I would bet them $100,000 to their $1,000 that Sanders as president would never, ever get them free tuition. In fact, I don’t think he would get them one dollar less in tuition, because he lacks the power to do it. Again, kids, this is a republic, not an empire, monarchy, or dictatorship. Didn’t they teach that in school somewhere? The sad thing is that their willful ignorance about all this is leading them down this blind road of futility, except for the great fun they have at fixing caucuses, shouting at HIllary during her campaign appearances, and writing disgusting insults about her and the people who support her.

If these people actually win, the Democratic Party will be essentially destroyed. Sanders would be defeated if he ran again, and a right-wing Republican (are there any other kind now?) would take over. I know that they don’t care about the Democratic Party at all, nor does their candidate. But in our system, it is the only viable alternative to the Republican Party. Al Franken knows this very well. My parents always knew it, and I quickly learned it, and have seen it born out for decades. If our side loses, their side wins. If we elect an essential non-Democrat like Carter, we pay for it for 20 years or so. If we nominate a Socialist who has spent this campaign threatening to, or actually suing the Democratic Party, we will lose any credibility this party has built up from the era of Franklin D. Roosevelt and after.

I realize that nothing I say or write is likely to dissuade any of them from their headlong rush to disaster and disillusion. I only wish that some of them had actually taken the time to learn about how the United States government and political system works. Because there is not going to be any revolution; there is not going to be a magic person who changes everything, like in a comic book. There is just the reality of the two-party system; the truly evil Republican Party which controls both houses of Congress; and a Supreme Court which has not been liberally oriented for four decades. We’ve got the best presidential candidate I have ever seen; someone who wants to work her hardest to rebuild the Democratic party at all the state levels; and yet these people happily disdain her for Puff the Magic Dragon, who will blow everything down in a revolution, and hand out free goodies to everyone. And if they do screw it all up for the country and the planet, all that will be left is the desolation some of them might feel twenty years down the line; but mostly the smug “Not my fault, bro,” which they have taken on as a veritable modus vivendi. Ayn Rand and her acolytes Rand Paul and Paul Ryan would be proud of them. What all of them have in common with Bernie Sanders is that they are not Democrats.

RIP Patty Duke, Dead at 69

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Patty Duke, born Anna Marie Duke,  died In Idaho this morning from sepsis resulting from a ruptured intestine.

Patty Duke started her career as a young girl in William Gibson’s stage production of The Miracle Worker, in which Patty played a young deaf and blind Helen Keller, opposite Anne Bancroft (her teacher, Anne Sullivan).

Locked in a frightening, lonely world of silence and darkness since infancy, 7-year-old Helen Keller has never seen the sky, heard her mother’s voice or expressed her innermost feelings. Then Annie Sullivan, a 20-year-old teacher from Boston, arrives. Having just recently regained her own sight, the no-nonsense Annie reaches out to Helen through the power of touch the only tool they have in common and leads her bold pupil on a miraculous journey from fear and isolation to happiness and light.

The Miracle Worker was subsequently made into a movie, for which Patty received an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Here’s Patty in the famous Water scene from the movie.

And here’s young speechless Patty receiving her Oscar in 1962:

MV5BMTg1MDQ3MzQ3NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjc5NTQ4NA@@._V1_UX148_CR0,0,148,200_AL_As a teen, Patty became a Household Word in homes across the USA with The Patty Duke Show, in which she played an innovative ‘doppelganger’ role as identical teenage cousins who looked the same but were distinctly different.

All across America, millions of parents swore their daughters were just like Patty and wished they were more like Cathy.

The list of Patty Duke’s Filmography achievements as actor, writer and producer is so long I dare not post it here. You can see it here at her IMDB page. Make coffee first.

As if her notable work as an actor weren’t enough, Patty wasn’t done having an impact on the country. In her mind, she still had something very important to do:

From when she was a teenager, Patty suffered from undiagnosed Manic-Depressive Disorder. She was diagnosed at age 35 and promised herself that she would do all she could to make sure nobody suffered from this illness as she had. She spoke before Congress and appeared in as many places she could to promote knowledge of mental illness in general and of Manic-Depression in particular.  Through her candid and amazingly articulate style, Patty Duke managed to educate an entire country about the disorder known today as “Bipolar Disorder”

Here is Patty on 20-20 in 1989, discussing her illness and her rise from the “black hole”.

Part 1  (You can follow Part 2 at the end of this segment)

One would think that Patty would be done and just rest on her laurels after all of these achievements. But Nope. Patty as a Senior became the Spokesperson for Social Security. Baby Boomers all over America who visited their Social Security office were treated to a poster of an old friend smiling at them. Not to mention a boatload of PSAs.

Rest well Patty. You contributed much to many.

You rocked.

You still rock.

 

 

 

It’s Only Fun If You Don’t Care Who Wins

The Following is an essay by member William:

As we should all know by now, our media has relentlessly tried to convert everything in our society into a form of entertainment. Like so many other major entities, they have essentially sold their consciences for the lure of profits, which come in the form of high ratings. It is also probably true that the media, owned by trillion dollar corporations, has its own political agenda, which is frightening in itself. But let’s just now consider the insidious creep of life as entertainment, as the media tries to present it.

The media wants people to watch; or as they often inelegantly put it, “eyeballs on the screen,” or “rear ends in the seats.” And in an unsettling symbiotic process, the audiences become both dumbed down by the absolutely insipid and prepubescent programming they offer, and addicted to the jolts of adrenalin which the scary or horrible or exciting news stories provide. Meanwhile, the networks and the moviemakers are themselves addicted to the booming ratings and the audiences which they get from providing such fare. So each feeds the other, as in some science fiction nightmare.

I don’t watch too much TV; mostly just college sports, some PBS dramas or historically based stories on the cable stations; and then of course the election campaigns, at least the ones where I have a candidate to really support and care about, like this one.. If my side loses again this time, I won’t watch any more of them, so what do you think about that, networks? Of course, they think that they have millions of other viewers to watch it, and it’s all a numbers game to them. And by watching anything on TV, I of course am forced to see the promos for the various TV shows that proliferate like weeds. And virtually all of them seem to be either witless comedies, or extremely violent police dramas. Do you ever see a preview scene from one of those dramas which does not involve someone pointing a gun at another person, or shooting them; cars crashing into buildings, explosions? I personally find it unsettling and ultimately enervating. I have never minded a good action drama; I love noir movies, with ominous shadows all around. But having show after show purvey hairtrigger violence becomes both anxiety producing and numbing. And our increasing numbness to gun violence is a major story in itself. At least some of it is caused by this orgy of shootings which form about half of the 38 minutes or so which the hour dramas run.

And then of course we have the nightly news. I used to wach a half hour of local news, but that was years ago. Now I try to assiduously avoid those broadcasts, unless there is some weather I want to see about. But from the occasional five minutes which I turn on by mistake, or while trying to set the taping of a Hillary appearance on one of the late night shows, it is worse than I remember it. “If it bleeds, it leads,” is of course the way news has been described. So in five minutes, you will hear about murders, shootings, horrible events of all sorts. This will go on, and the anchors will look concerned and sad; until it is time for the weather and the sports, at which time they will immediately brighten up, and start making jokes. I have always found that so weird, as if they are programmed automatons.

I wonder if many of you have seen the movie “Nightcrawler.” It is actually good; a view of Los Angeles at night, deliberately shown in the most ominous way. It is about a very strange and disturbed but enterprising person who carves out a career as a “nightcrawler,” using a police phone to guide him to the most grisly crime scenes, where he tries to shoot as much footage as he can, to sell to the news channels, which absolutely crave it. He goes further than his peers, though, as he actually starts manipulating crime scenes, or even letting a crime in progress continue, just so he can get his footage. And the producer of the station he sells to, of course realizes some of that, but she doesn’t care, she wants the ratings, and her once promising career back.

And it’s not just the violent news as a perverse form of entertainment. Networks have made a lot of money with the proliferation of these “reality shows,” which are sometimes contests, like “Survivor,” or the various talent competitions; or sometimes soap opera shows, like the various “Housewives” sagas, or a variety of other series where “real people” are attracted, unattracted, yell at each other, sob, look depressed, become exuberant; talk to the camera about what they are feeling. This of course all fills the public’s need for voyeurism; being able to sit on their couches, and watch other people go through emotional turmoil, and often make idiots of themselves.

So it’s all entertainment for the networks, one way or another. And thus it is hardly surprising that politics, and particularly elections, become just another medium of entertainment in the media’s hands. Of course, politics often provides us with dramatic stories. But the networks have gotten to the point where they actually try to create the stories, enhance the drama, so that they can get the viewers to tune in. Most people do not have much interest in watching long debates about policies, even though it is those policies which affect daily lives. The networks avoid those, in favor of debates where there hopefully are verbal fireworks; and then a series of “dramatic election results!” where the viewer is invited in to the political equivalent of the reality show race or competition.

What really addicted the media to this, was the 2000 Bush vs. Gore campaign. For the networks, that was equivalent to a national championship basketball game which went eight overtimes. They could not believe their good luck. The election went on and on, even into December. Twists and turns of all sorts. If someone wanted to write a politically themed movie or TV series, they would have done this kind of thing. Life meets art, or the converse of that. The ratings soared. And ever since, they have wanted this kind of drama. In every national election cycle, they love to say, “This campaign has been full of surprises.” “This has been an extraordinary election year.” They say that, because they want it to be so. They have to try to make it so, because otherwise they would lose most of their viewers.

So of course the networks need a horse race. They need it to go as long as possible. If any candidate looks like a clear winner of the party nomination, they lose viewers. So they desperately try to keep the race going, to maximize the importance of the trailing candidate’s wins; to claim “momentum shifts,” as if we are watching a football game. This of course is what they are doing with the Clinton vs. Sanders campaign. If Hillary cruises to the nomination, that is bad for them. So they go to great lengths not to tell anyone that Sanders is winning caucuses where a few thousand people are voting. The caucus results count, of course, but they do not signify a major shift, or change in momentum. The more interesting analysis would be of the question as to whether caucuses are undemocratic, and allow a small band of zealous people to dominate elections. But that discussion would be boring for them, so they would prefer to say, “A stunning result! Sanders beats Clinton with 75 to 80 percent of the votes! Is this race changing dramatically?”

Through this, the media both hopes to keep the viewers glued to their seats, and perhaps to actually create the effect that they are promoting. That is the disconcerting part. If they keep saying that Sanders is surging, does this impel the voters to want to join in? Probably not, as most of the primary and caucus results have followed the obvious demographics of each state, and the clear fact that caucuses vastly favor Sanders, because his constituency of young people is much more likely to want to stand for three to four hours, jostle around, yell at the other particpants, and have a jolly college outing, than are the older Hillary voters who usually have jobs and children. But certainly the media will do everything it can to make this race closer, and thus toy with the outcome. It is, after all, just entertainment to them.

Now, on the Republican side, it is has been great feeding for the media. The Trump campaign has been something that they would have wanted to create. Come to think of it, they actually did that, by giving this former reality TV performer endless time in front of the cameras, and treating him exactly as they treat the leading performer on “Bachelorette” or “Dancing With the Stars.” Does anyone think that if it weren’t for the TV media, Donald Trump would be heading for the nomination, one step from the presidency? It should be more than obvious how absolutely ignorant and dangerous Trump is. But the media figures it is not their responsibility to care about that; they just want to hook the audience, so that they can sell the commercial time. If Trump gets elected, and starts a nuclear war, would they change their minds? Probably not; they would just cover the war all day.

So the media has terribly lost its way. Or better said, they have determined, along with far too many other major players in our country and the world, that “their way” is that which makes them the most money, and enhances the careers of their key employees. No one takes any responsibility for the effects of their actions, that is just left to rather predictable circumstances. Build a bunch of weapons, let them get into the hands of everyone, and then when the carnage starts, sit back and say, “Well, we are not responsible for any of this. In fact, we need immunity from being prosecuted for any of it.” In some awful Ayn Randish way, the idea is that everyone act only with his or her self interest and profits in mind, and things will somehow work out well; or if they don’t, well, don’t blame them.

But only when people are willing to take some responsiblity, and to give up some of their tawdry rewards in favor of trying to tell the truth, trying to elevate the discussion, could we possibly make some worthwhile progress. Otherwise, we are caught in a negative spiral, where the media makes the population dumber, and so addicted to receiving visual hyperjolts, that they cannot sit through literary dialogue or intelligent discussion; while the media itself needs ever increasing ratings, and has to search for or invent ways to get them. Watching the election cycle is then just another form of entertainment–but only if it doesn’t matter to someone as to who actually becomes President. Come to think of it, since the networks put on various ‘political dramas” which have actors playing presidents of various types, perhaps the populace will latch onto one of those, and lose their collective minds completely, thinking that one of those characters is the real president; anything to distract them from the frightening reality which the media has brought them to. Actually, that would be a rather good drama, wouldn’t it? Maybe the networks will think of it, but only in a profit-making sense, of course.

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