"What the hell is wrong with you people?"

Chris@2Babes muses over the national obsession with Roe v. Wade, and finally asks:
Does anyone care how Chief Justice Roberts and the future Justice Miers will decide anything else? How about how they will decide the cases pending that have to do with the Patriot Act? How about the case I'm sure will be brought due to the Able Danger mess? Does anyone care about anything else?

Again, what the hell is wrong with you people?
Two words: Mob rule.

Find the most emotional and provocative issues you can come up with, and keep beating people over the head with them.

Reeps have abortion, Dems have "they want to take away your right to choose!"

Dems have gun violence, Reeps have "they want to take away your right to defend yourself!"

Why? Because it's easy. Actual government is complex, arcane, and boring. In our age of mass communications and short attention spans, everything gets simplified down to the shortest and catchiest sound byte. Nothing that takes more than thirty seconds to explain is useful politically -- so we get "they want to raise your taxes," "they're raping little boys at Gitmo," "there is no trust fund," "George Bush doesn't care about black people," and the like.

Politicians know that as we hear these things over and over again, they become a part of us, induce a reflexive response, trigger an unconscious reaction, the same way that the sights and sounds of your hometown do. And so, both sides rush to train as many people as they can to respond to their triggers. Ignore the complexity, just understand there's a problem and give us the authority to enact the "solution." We'll make it better. Just trust us.

And like dogs to the bell, we respond, and come slavering to the ballot box, or bark at each other like mad, regurgitating snippets of gibberish at each other like drunk fans at a football game, chanting at the top of our lungs to drown out the other side.

Boiled down to a sound-byte: We're brainwashed.

Voluntarily, though. After all, it's quicker and easier (and certainly more fun) than actually staying informed about the issues -- who's got the time or energy for that, anyway? An angry mob isn't interested in reasoned discussion -- an angry mob wants a fight.

And the media, the wonderful, responsive, advertising-driven media, gladly plays along with our consensual hallucination that things are as simple and clear-cut as we'd like them to be. As a matter of fact, they have to do so -- they must give us what we've learned to want, in order to remain competitive. If somebody tries to confuse us with the facts, we'll just change the channel. Better to be docile repeaters of simplistic tripe, feeding the millions who stare blankly at the glowboxes, absorbing everything and contemplating nothing.

We're happy, the advertisers are happy, the politicians are happy, everybody's happy!

And once this circumstance has become entrenched -- once we've learned to accept it as the norm -- then the hucksters emerge, and begin to manipulate us. They push the buttons to which we've been conditioned to respond, and distract us while they make off with our money, our society . . . our country.

The consequence: Nobody wants to hear about the Commerce Clause, or talk about due process and legal boundaries, or get into the intricacies of eminent domain. It's dull, and therefore pointless, and eating into Must See TV besides. Only the hot-button issues matter, because that's all anybody talks about, because that's all we want to hear about, because that's all that matters.

This is one big reason why I have hope for conservatism even as I revile the Reeps: Big government does have a lot to do with this state of affairs. We're on autopilot, expecting others to look after us. It's a problem for the police, or the Governor, or Congress to deal with. It's not our problem. We just live here.

It's faith in government that brought us here, and it will take skepticism of government to get us out of it. And I have to hand it to these fellas in power right now: they're contributing a great deal to that fund.

They're demonstrating that any system that can uplift us can also keep us down. Any system that can look out for us can also spy on us. Any system that can effectively protect us can also protect itself from us.

And it will, if we're not paying attention. Which, for the most part, we're not.

Everything I know about the dangers of big government I learned from George W. Bush. Not that no one before him could have provided such an education -- I simply wasn't paying attention then.


Adullamite said...

Goodness gracious!
An american who sees through the nonsense that fills your lives.
If only folks here could see it too!

Bread & circus's, that is what it is. People are too lazy to think. It costs too much to act, takes too much time.
It was ever thus!
Nothing will change human nature but Jesus, and look how hard he finds that with us!

Good article, well said.
I hope someone listens!

catastrophile said...

Hey, my first comment. And it's international!

There are quite a few who see through the nonsense -- they just don't get a chance to be heard in the majors. Check out Lew Rockwell's newsletter for a heartening dose of libertarian sense. It's brought me a long way in understanding the nature of our system.