When the sun shines
They slip into the shade
And sip their lemonade
When the sun shines
When the sun shines
~John Lennon, lyrics from the 1966 single “Rain” on the “B” side of “Paperback Writer”
The Beatles’ metaphor speaks to the mindset of sheeple, sunshine enthusiasts, their shallow opinions tossed to and fro by every wag of the talking heads.
It was on display in and around Rick Perry’s astounding “Oops” moment back in November 2011, dropping him – on absolutely no basis of substance – from first place in September to (finally) last in January. All on the strength of media image, alone.
These images appear solid…
–Mitt Romney was widely accorded with overcoming Bachmann’s lead in August and Perry’s lead in September and Cain’s lead in October and Gingrich’s lead in November and the public’s knowledge of RomneyCare overall, to appear unstoppable in the 2012 race by January.
… but they are not.
The Media drive Image and God laughs at them.
The Power of the Image reappeared again, later in January, in South Carolina.
Timed to coincide with the South Carolina debate, and in a blatant attempt to finally sew up the nomination for Mitt, ABC news and the Washington Post “simulcast” an interview – at the 11th hour on the day of the debate – with Marianne Gingrich (the second of Newt’s three wives) where she amended her previous and historic complaints about her former husband to a new one, seemingly created to scuttle his candidacy: “He wanted an open marriage.” Driven by the same transparent, Pro-Romney motive, CNN and moderator John King opened the South Carolina debate that night focusing on those allegations…
In the first 48 seconds of the debate, before any other candidate had an opportunity to speak, Newt Gingrich effectively won the South Carolina Primary by stomping on the media’s tactics. Many in the audience gave him a standing ovation. Newt’s initial verbal volley (calling the media “despicable”) was followed by four more each received with increasing crowd response until, when he concluded, “… and I’m tired of the elite media protecting Obama by attacking Republicans,” it appeared “they would come and take him by force, to make him a king,” and CNN threw in the towel. Saturday, January 21st, Newt Gingrich cashed in the chips he had won at the Thursday debate, winning the South Carolina primary going away.
None of this, of course had anything to do with his suitability to be President, but with the absolute power, over the sunshine crowd, of IMAGE… and of the susceptibility of image to both the unseen and unforeseen. The uncontrollable advance of providential happenstance.
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh:
the LORD shall have them in derision.
I once told a candidate I worked for that I thought he could probably win votes by giving voters a good brownie recipe or sharing a clever poem about the weather.
It is obviously true. Anything might win the vote of the clueless. And vast crowds of voters, vote, convinced they have a moral obligation to vote, but not cognizant of the moral responsibility that voting confers on them as the enablers of rulers. And those sheeple trust, in the absence of knowledge, to the Images in their mind of the Names[only] “Republican” and “Democrat,” continually and repeatedly, voting for candidates with whom they share no substantive agreement, in principle, on anything. Evil men. Greater or lesser evil.
And it also appears that the Establishment strategy we predicted here began to hold sway in South Carolina. Principle had been successfully abandoned while the sheep bleated after the perfect Image to save them from the heathen Obama, the Image to which they expected all Republicans must, after Tampa, bow down.
But the central pillars of a political party are NOT its image but its ideals. Once the ideals are damaged beyond structural integrity, the building may stand, but in a weakened state, perhaps to be repaired or rebuilt, perhaps to collapse. The time is long past when we could go to a national convention to simply re-load. The edifice is no longer trustworthy but frequently treacherous. We run candidates with whom we disagree on most issues and stone the prophets:
- Buchanan is Banished;
- Keyes, Cast away;
- Tancredo, Toast.
Romney is Royalty.
The life source of a political party is its well of ideals. Like refugees, who crossing an unknown desert, have left behind their water, the Republican Party presses on without spiritual sustenance to the lure of sounding brass and tinkling cymbal…farther and farther. Led like lemmings to the piped tunes of Image casters, to Dick Morris and Karl Rove’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
And so it happens that in the moment they worship an image to bring them victory, the moral choices of the chosen masses foreshadow ultimate defeat. We have given up the hope of turning back the American march to Socialism in exchange for simply slowing it down a bit.
We have languished for years now, awaiting triage, in the back room of some psychic hospital, remembering what it was like when we could run and dance… slowly learning to regret letting Dr. Rove sell us that heart replacement; replacing our principles with blind loyalty to Republican leadership.
Waiting. . .
Waiting. . .
(Continued in Part Four: Post Reagan Stress Disorder (PRSD) and the Pitfall of Pride)