Thursday, December 26, 2019

Choosing The Wrong Devil Figures

     Good morning, Gentle Reader. I hope your Christmas Day was as merry and blessed as ours here at the Fortress. To start the day, we had crisply fried bacon with Challah-and-Eggnog French toast, a combination to give any food ascetic a terminal sugar rush. We concluded it with Beth’s Galactically Famous Sauerbraten and Latkes with her homemade applesauce, washed down with Willamette Valley Vineyards’ extraordinary “Whole Cluster” Pinot Noir. (You won’t believe it could be this good until you’ve tried it yourself. And yes, they ship. That’s Willamette Valley Vineyards, 8800 Enchanted Way SE, Turner OR 97392, or call 1-800 344-9463, or go to their Website to order some. What’s that? Yes, we’re part owners. Why do you ask?) In between we streamed a fantastic rendition of Handel’s Messiah by the Sydney Philharmonia and its 600-member chorus while relaxing with our dogs and cats. So suffice it to say that we’re in a very good mood, though we’re still digesting.

     However, I still got up at 4:00 AM this morning, damn it all. (I intend to leave a large endowment to a foundation dedicated to researching the problem of Morning Dog Nose. Nothing known to science is more effective at rousing a sleeping Curmudgeon. So far, I have discovered no countermeasure, but research will continue. It must.) And of course, the very first thing one does on St. Stephen’s Day in this age of the Internet check the news. Whereupon I found this article at the Federalist about the colossal failure of the Democrats’ impeachment shenanigans to win popular support:

     In the midst of declining popular support, is it any surprise that this nakedly political grandstanding failed to win over a single elected Republican, including those highly critical of Trump, while a few Democrats broke ranks and voted against impeachment because they couldn’t bring themselves to vote for impeachment on such a flimsy basis?

     Unfortunately, even this political disaster won’t actually be the end of the Democrats’ impeachment crusade. Trump’s free-market policies have fostered a booming labor market benefitting a broad cross-section of Americans. Trump’s success is an existential challenge to the leftist mantra that that more and more government is the most effective way to improve peoples’ lives. Coming on the heels of the Obama era’s government expansion, Democrats find Trump’s success particularly galling.

     Yes, they’re in a panic. (They’re accompanied by a slew of “NeverTrump” pseudo-conservatives whom Trump’s successes have reduced to sniveling to one another over their Dos Equis.) But their failures haven’t persuaded them of anything, nor will they. Their goals are evil, but worse (from their perspective), they copied their tactics from an unsuccessful totalitarianism that’s already been relegated to the ash-heap of history.

     One of the keys to effective power-mongering is choosing the right devil figures. It’s easy enough to claim credit for anything that goes right; finding the right targets on whom to blame whatever goes wrong is critical. Moreover, for your choice to be successful, they must cooperate with you to some extent. This is the Democrats’ problem in a nutshell.

     Think about it! If your goal is power, and if you have a program by which you hope to secure it, you’ll need to win the willing compliance of the majority of the public. Whatever you can cast as a success will be an asset in that effort. However, every power-accumulating program of any sort will generate failures as well – and it is vital that your propagandists lay the onus for such failures on forces outside the regime. Thus, you need a devil figure – more usually, a set of them – onto whom to shovel the odium.

     The right devil figures must possess certain qualifications:

  • They must form an identifiable group;
  • They must be susceptible to caricature;
  • They must have a weak position in the media;
  • They must be aware of all the above, such that adverse propaganda can intimidate them into surrendering or accommodating.

     Hitler’s choice of “the Jews” was brilliantly successful. Pre-war Germany’s Jews fulfilled all four of the qualifications above. They were essentially unable to counter the demonization the Nazis laid upon them. Given the spinelessness of the other major powers of Europe, it is possible that the Nazis could have held on to power for a very long time, had Hitler only refrained from going to war.

     The Soviet Communists refrained from using the USSR’s Jews in the same fashion, though the reason is unclear to me. Instead they focused on a supposed external enemy: “capitalist imperialism.” That was a mistake, though its wrongness wasn’t immediately apparent. News of the liberation of former European colonies and the mushrooming improvements in the lives of ordinary people in the world beyond the Iron Curtain consistently undermined the Soviets’ strategy for quelling resistance. After the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan to the presidency ended the Democrats’ appeasement of the Soviet regime, the copier alone was sufficient to bring the rotted edifice of Soviet Communism crashing to earth.

     The Democrats of our time have made a similarly bad choice of enemy: a man who means what he says about working to improve the lives of working-class Americans. Perhaps they made that choice in the belief that the electorate had been foolish to trust him – that he is as complete a hypocrite as any of them. If so, they were wrong and the electorate was right.

     The central political fact of the three years immediately behind us is this: President Trump’s policies are delivering the results he promised. Even the border wall construction program, though impeded by Congress’s refusal to fund it, is having a salutary effect. Thus, the Democrats cannot blame President Trump for anything that will “stick.”

     Moreover, it is beyond concealment that the core of the Trump program is not the expansion of federal power over Americans’ lives and occupations, but rather the reverse. Reduced taxation, reduced regulation, the dismantling of ObamaCare, the slow reduction of the power of the alphabet agencies, the de-emphasis of military intervention, the renegotiation of international agreements, and other elements of his agenda are plainly retractions of earlier administrations’ accumulations of power. People know it, and are correlating it with the improvements in the economy and in America’s foreign relations. That’s a quarrel through the heart of the Democrats’ agenda, which Barack Obama expressed openly in his 2009 inaugural address when he proclaimed that “only government can get us out of this.”

     So the Democrats have resorted to the impeachment crusade. But they’re getting nowhere with it, as one might hope in the case of an assault founded entirely on deceit, misrepresentation, and slander. Considering that the major media are entirely enlisted in the Democrats’ cause, that’s somewhat surprising. It speaks of an underlying skepticism in Americans’ attitude toward the media, which has manifested at exactly the right time. We’ve chosen to believe what we can see for ourselves, rather than the media’s tendentious interpretations.

     Doing it harder hasn’t aided them. That damn devil figure still refuses to cooperate! But there’s still a year to go before the 2020 elections. They’ll keep up the impeachment bludgeon in the hope that it will gain some traction before then, perhaps from a Trump mistake or overreaction. It’s a dismal prospect. Still, no one is actually required to read the news...except for those of us ejected from a warm bed at 4:00 AM by a cold wet nose, that is.


HoundOfDoom said...

Glad to read you had a merry Christmas. And please accept my thanks for continuing to produce an intelligent blog for yet another year.

daniel_day said...

What the Hound said.

Andy Texan said...

The descent into crazy propaganda has blown their cover. What smart propagandist would chose white Christian men and white people in general as their devil figure?