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Wily winning: A manual of mutating political philosophy – December 22, 2008

By Joseph Randolph
web posted December 22, 2008

Dear M. 

Yes, you are mingling with the right crowd; "Rolling up your sleeves is getting on your knees" is precisely the sort of harmless religious ditty that easily works itself into our politics and in time forgets about and even spurns religion.  You are clearly moving in the correct religious circles if the congregation you speak of has such a religious posture.  As I have indicated to you many times, this country is soaked in religious piety, but we are slowly and effectively secularizing the "sacred."  The group you speak of, it sounds like, are already halfway there.  Remember, we are materialists, not spiritualists; therefore we are in the business of conversion, though not to religion.  Unless we can make religious piety work for us, we have no use for it.  If you have to court the spiritualists because you are having trouble from some of them, the first thing to do is to assess their numbers.  If they are negligible, they are too few voters to concern yourself with, and as long as their voices do not get too loud, they do not constitute an object of real concern.  If larger blocks of voters start to tag along, then you have something to be concerned about.  This almost never happens, because the country is sliding toward secularism, and the call to reverse it, to call for "revival" is anachronistic to most all our citizens.  One might as well call for the earth to be flattened. 

So, we still tote religion along with us, but we never let the wrong religion get too close to us.  In times of crisis more of our constituents will call for their god to get close to them and their shaking world, but when you show them government can do more for them than their god ever did, then they will forsake him for you.  One does not really have to tell them that, because you can show them. 

You ask about one of our fallen.  You have seen an exercise in stupidity in the past days of the grossest sort.  He is now saying that he cannot wait to tell his story.  I have news for him, it is already out, and the damage it has done is irreparable.  The man was deaf and callous beyond belief, and in his mind he had apparently created a world in which he thought, and apparently still thinks, he could and can do well nigh anything.  We can well nigh do almost anything, but not everything, and certainly not in the manner that this idiot was proceeding.  Furthermore, what he was prepared to do was all about him.  But aside from this, his fatal flaw was not that he got caught in his brazen and brash behavior, but for him to think that his low poll numbers did not matter for his political future.  He should have taken this as an absolute warning that his political career was in great jeopardy.  Now he does not have a political future because he was too reckless in ignoring that fact. Meanwhile the fool was planning for a future that he could never have with poll numbers as low as his.  We always need our votes, and thus we need our voters.  If your potential voters are not with you, then you are in trouble.  We have no chance of political office or power without the people who provide the votes for us.  How he thought he was going anywhere with his unpopularity is beyond me.  He apparently was moving to that next phase of our political aspirations, where voters and votes will not be needed.  That age is not yet, and may be a long time in coming.  Nevertheless, we never thought our chance with socialism would present itself this quickly, so we may have less time to wait than we thought for the next rung of our ladder. 

Given the local political climate in which this man lived, he may in fact on occasion have witnessed election results that bypassed voter choices and therefore thought he could have his office without his voters.  While this may have been farsighted to some degree, I can hardly think so in his case.  Nevertheless, we can factor all this out, to see how what he apparently tried to do is a portend of our future: though this fellow, by acting without thinking, will have no part of it. 

Since we are drawing so close to our beloved socialism these days, it is perhaps time to consider the next stage of our politically planning: socialism without votes.  This must be undertaken incrementally, and might start by annulling the current term limits on some of our political offices.  After that, it might take the form of arguing that because the poll numbers of an office holder are so astronomically high, it would be waste of money to run a needless election to confirm what the voters want when they have already confirmed it through polling.  You can of course see the huge potential of moving away from the ballot box.  The great thing about democracy is that the will of the people can bring about well nigh anything.  They can even annul democracy if they want to.

But back to our fallen member.  His second mistake, equally significant, was that to virtually all his voters, he made it appear that his concerns were about himself and not for the interests of his voters.  This mistake is fatal.  The voter only votes for someone prepared to give them something, not a politician who is overtly out for himself and practically advertising his political appetites for himself for all the world to see.  Our voters care nothing for our political aspirations or desires, but only their own desires. 

His third mistake, and a very, very, stupid one, was to mistake what he was doing in private as staying private.  As I warned you before the election, assume we are on camera or being taped in virtually all circumstances.  There is nothing quite as humiliating as having your own words played back to you when you intended for them to stay private.  Our private lives, as you have undoubtedly noticed, cannot stay private.  We know neither the day nor the hour in which we may be revealed. ESR

 Joseph Randolph is a writer and academic who lives in Wisconsin.

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