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Welcome to the parallel universe of politics

December 21, 2015

Just when you thought the election year rhetoric couldn’t get any stranger, along comes the December 19 Democratic talking points show, er, debate to prove that assumption wrong.

Listening to the candidate and her two “opponents” somehow left one with the same initial reaction as some had to the video of the Yale students signing a petition to repeal the First Amendment.

In that instance, the first inclination was to see it as a put-up job.

Maybe it was a class assignment to parody real opinion or editorial video journalism. Maybe it was a deliberate move to see if the conservative talk shows could be fooled into thinking it was real, or to prove the influence of social media on the news. After all, it was filmed by a man with a reputation as a political satirist, a former manager of a state Democratic candidate’s campaign who says he was influenced by Michael Moore. It had to be a fake, right?

Then, as the video went viral and some of the Yale student body began speaking out against it, you realized that these might actually be real students at one of America’s most prestigious universities, with one of the supposedly best law schools in the world, actually supporting the repeal of the right to free speech. One interviewee reportedly even went so far as to look up the First Amendment, and still signed the petition to repeal it.

What world are those students living in, you ask? Maybe they are from another world or parallel universe?

That same feeling of stunned incredulity hung over the stage at the Saturday debate, where the theory of a parallel universe was confirmed, in spades.

Unlike a video, when you are watching a live debate, whatever is said is unedited and in real time. Scripted maybe, but still a valid moment in time, which is why anyone watches them at all.

If you follow media coverage of famous people, especially politicians, you know that most of what you hear and see is edited to some extent to reflect the bias of the outlet airing it.

For instance, Donald Trump did not say we should ban all Muslims from America forever. He said we need to stop letting them in temporarily until we can find a way to vet them more thoroughly.

To listen in real time to the Democratic Party frontrunner, all we need to do is to ban Donald Trump, guns, the police, the justice system and fossil fuels to magically transform ISIS/ISIL into a peaceful Muslim community.

Maybe the former Secretary of State is living in a galaxy far away. We can only hope it doesn’t become this planet.

The Washington Post and other fact-checking wonks should have a field day assigning Pinnochios to the debate replays, particularly as regards all of the candidate’s claims that the rich should be a lot less rich, while accepting millions and millions of dollars from their peers, the so-called privileged class.

Also unproven to date is Ms. Clinton’s claim that ISIS videos use Trump as a recruiting tool. It’s almost as though she was holding up a cue card.

The free-for-all atmosphere of the GOP debates have produced some legitimate moments for people to criticize one or more of the candidates, but none of them seem to be advocating turning the U.S. into the United Socialist States of America.

Like him or hate him, the one thing Donald Trump has done effectively is to convince his base that when he says in effect that he wants to lead America, not rule it, he truly means it and they believe he can do it.

It is unfortunate for the political class, right and left, that most of us are living in a real world.

This is the world where people have to go out every day and try to survive, not just a terrorist attack but the war of attrition waged against independently thinking citizens who want to think, act and feel like the Americans who went before us.

If that means that we have gender non-specific concerns over economic survival, safety and the future of our country, so be it, the President’s opinion notwithstanding.

Any serious GOP  or right-leaning independent voter has long since picked out the half-dozen or so people that can actually run an effective campaign against the Democrats.

Hopefully one or two will now turn their attention to defeating the ideology represented in this last Democratic debate, personified by the candidates participating, and replicating among people who would repeal the First Amendment.

Real people don’t live in the political parallel universe. We have only this one, and defining its eventual spot in this planet’s galaxy of nations needs to include believing in our ability to perpetuate it.

From → op-ed

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