Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Has Romney Converted Conservatives into Liberals?

"Who Is That Masked Man?"
In a recent post Dredd Blog used the description "The Shape Shifter" to describe the positional morphs that Candidate Romney has gone through.

He is at once a "severe conservative" and a "kinder, gentler liberal" in one election cycle.

His political deceivers ("staff" and "political strategists") call this "reinventing the candidate" which we all know is another way of saying "flip flop", but never mind, what does reality have to do anymore with political discourse.

Anymore, it is a game of deceit.

What today's post covers is the reaction of "staunch conservatives", the Republican party today, to the "reinventing" of the candidate they selected in their primaries who was then a "severe conservative", but who, in the First Presidential Debate, showed up the first time with liberal positions.

In a script about a discussion between V.P. Biden and President Obama, a writer at Daily Kos had an interesting take on this matter, concluding that what we are seeing is the morph of the political party that is still supporting "The Shape Shifter" through all of these conflicting statements he makes:
I frowned again in confusion. "But then, Obama, where is the mystery?"

"The mystery, my good Biden, is in the reaction of conservative Republicans." He gave the page in his hand a shake. "You see, despite all the claims about the importance of their positions, conservatives were willing to renounce their beliefs in a trice when it appeared they might gain advantage." With a quick flip of his wrist, Obama sent the folded page spinning across the room where It landed quite neatly in a bin. "It's not Romney that revealed himself as having no positions worth noting -- that much we knew already.  It's the Republican Party that went missing on that stage."
(Mystery of the Stranger on the Stage, emphasis added). It is as if all their beliefs are mythology of a type that is easily morphed like clouds on a windy day.

What is interesting to me is that this is becoming a national characteristic, which evinces a willingness to detach from reality, but another writer at Huffington Post pointed out that it is not a good phenomenon:
Myths in politics, however, play a much different role. "Widely held but false idea" is one dictionary definition of myth in common usage. For reasons that are still unclear, myths abound in recent American political history. Perhaps the most glaring and consequential was the myth that Iraq under Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

There are other cases in point. Barack Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya and therefore not an American citizen. These are myths, yet they are widely believed in certain circles. Poor people are poor by choice. A classic myth. A rising tide lifts all boats. Much more true when we were an industrial society and manufacturing products created jobs. Much less true when the economic tide is one of finance and money manipulation which lifts the gilded yachts but not the rowboats of the rest of us. Jobs are not created when crackpot financial schemes make hedge fund managers rich. Thus, a myth.
Myths in politics are dangerous. In an important speech at Yale University during the Cold War, John Kennedy said:
"For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived, and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."
He was speaking of the myths on both sides that perpetuated a Cold War in a dangerous way.
(Danger of Myths). We can at once see this if we contrast "invade Iran" with "don't invade Iran", or "bomb bomb bomb Iran" with "do not bomb Iran", because the two concepts are inapposite and contradictory to one another.

We have experienced this over the past years with the "WMD in Iraq" and "bringing democracy to the Middle East" myths perpetuated by the 1% warmongers which they used to plunder the U.S. Treasury again:
"We are divided, in America, into two classes: The Tories on one side, a class of citizens who were raised to believe that the whole of this country was created for their sole benefit, and on the other side, the other 99 per cent of us, the soldier class, the class from which all of you soldiers came. That class hasn’t any privileges except to die when the Tories tell them. Every war that we have ever had was gotten, up by that class. They do all the beating of the drums. Away the rest of us go. When we leave, you know what happens. We march down the street with all the Sears-Roebuck soldiers standing on the sidewalk, all the dollar-a-year men with spurs, all the patriots who call themselves patriots, square-legged women in uniforms making Liberty Loan speeches. They promise you. You go down the street and they ring all the church bells. Promise you the sun, the moon, the stars and the earth,–anything to save them. Off you go. Then the looting commences while you are doing the fighting. This last war made over 6,000 millionaires. Today those fellows won’t help pay the bill."
(The Universal Smedley, emphasis added). That was a speech given in 1933 by an American, one General Smedley Butler, expressing the ideology of Ayn Rand, Romney, and Paul Ryan ("the Tories") in contrast to the American Tradition of the 99% (General Butler evidently coined "the 99%" which is popular now).

Regular readers know that Dredd Blog has offered many hypotheses as to where this proclivity to swim in mythology comes from, one being that it is a result of generations of government and privatized propaganda (see e.g. the series going from Etiology of Social Dementia through Etiology of Social Dementia - 7, and The Ways of Bernays).

Another Dredd Blog series relevant to the issue goes from The Homeland: Big Brother Plutocracy through The Homeland: Big Brother Plutocracy - 7.

The bottom line is that injecting mythology where it ought not be can have catastrophic results, so let's reject the myths.


  1. Both the Democratic and the Republican parties have flip flopped on ideology in the past.

    The Republicans once advocated what is generally advocated by the Democrats today: Link

  2. The myths persist because even college graduates in the US may never encounter Smedley Butler. The only 'culture' most americans encounter is commercialism. They see the huckster, takers, cheaters getting all the MONEY, which they themselves desperatlely need, but they only watch TV, hence, they have no facts to counter the overwhelming conclusion they must draw, which is 'hey, that guy must be doing something right, because he's making all the money'. So they deeply have internalized the idea that the rich are better than they themselves are. If Romney wins, that will be the reason.