Saturday, April 16, 2016

On the Dark Arts of Political Pandering

You know, I don't have a problem when people change their minds about things. When they realize that they were wrong and maybe there's a better way. In fact, I think that's a sign of a nimble mind, one which is open and can let in new bits of information, can ponder, can contemplate, can see things from a totally new perspective. It's because of that kind of thinking that they can come to better places. I think that's good. I don't think that makes someone inconsistent, necessarily. I don't think that means they are unsubstantial. It's a testament to the ability to evolve. And who doesn't love that? Do we want to remain in the dark ages?
What I do find troublesome is when it seems that their change in thinking is disingenuous. When they switched their line of thinking to only be in line with what seems more expedient to their own ends. When it panders. When it is full of pretty words to sway another's opinion. When it is to gain an increase in their esteem, but it's acquired through a veil of lies. Lies, because that new thinking does not represent their true convictions. When it is just so much bullshit.
We're seeing a lot of that in this campaign, aren't we? On many sides.
I think this is how Hillary operates.
I am not a complete naif. I know politics is a rough and tumble sport. Things get said in ways to convince, and that may sometimes mean candidates push the edges. That might mean they heavily shade the truth, but hopefully it's still there, to gain traction in an argument. They carefully (or don't: TRUMP!!) choose their words to the greatest effect. There's a theatricality about it all, and must be to catch the eyes of an increasingly distracted electorate.
However, in this time of great metaphorical starvation, when people's lives are difficult and we're all facing such dire problems, there needs to be a lot of bread with those circuses. It can't just be so much gussied up pretty looks with nothing true under the surface. How can there be any trust there, if that's the case? How can we measure the possible behavior of the future, if there's no there there right now? It's transient. It's wispy. It's a circus side show with carnival barkers calling out full of bluster. It's not real.
Which brings us back to Hillary. She is pandering hard. Bernie is gaining momentum and people are hearing his words, which are pretty, I will give him that, but they're backed up by years of consistency. He is not saying anything new now, nothing that he hasn't said all along, but now people are listening, and listening in ever greater numbers. He is speaking to real needs in people's lives in real ways. He is substantial. Hillary is jumping on.
Her beginning to parrot Bernie's language and highlighting his lifelong issues, is nothing short of cynical political posturing. She's posing, all gussied up to catch our eyes.
I don't think it's working well, and I think people are seeing through it. Thank God for the internet and the long memory of the digital repository. It's all there for the taking. It's all there for us to see.

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