Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 02/08/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: Organize or Fail
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]

(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – "American Idiot Remix" – by Green Day and David Matthews 2)

Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.

For those of you who are new to the world of Brutally Honest… and if you’re reading the transcripts from my blog site, you’re probably one of them… you may be confused as to my political affiliation. So let me go ahead and set the record straight.

I am a LIBERTARIAN. A libertarian is someone who believes in FREEDOM of the individual. I am not a conservative, although I once thought myself as being one because I erroneously believed that conservatives were serious about less government. I am not a liberal, although there are several liberal stances that I do support.

And of course that may confuse those of you who have been brought up in a zero-sum, black-or-white, liberal-or-conservative mentality. Liberal and conservative talk show hosts have brought up this myth that there are only two sides in politics… their side and the wrong side. Someone like yours truly simply blows their mind because I’m not supposed to exist in their little, tidy, zero-sum world.

Okay, so here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter to me which political party is in charge right now, because BOTH the Democrats and the Republicans have easily and readily abused the power they are given. What matters to me is how screwed the United States is. We’re supposed to be the shining beacon of freedom for the world, and yet we have no idea what freedom really means or how easily it is being taken away by those in the government. You don’t fight for freedom over there by destroying it over here. That’s a lesson from the old Joe McCarthy days. You remember Joe, don’t you? He was also screaming "we are at war", only back then it was against hypothetical communist agents lurking in your neighborhood.

Now since the Republicans are calling the shots in the federal government, and since they have abandoned all pretense of supporting less government and more individual freedom, they need to be kept in check.

And this is where we have a problem, because the Democrats just don’t have what it takes to do it. In fact, a good friend of mine recently sent me a rant from a liberal blogger named Cenk Uygur talking about the lessons of the Supreme Court confirmation of Justice Samuel Alito, which I think is worth going over. I don’t have time to repeat what he said word for word so I’m just going to highlight the key points here…

First the Republicans successfully managed to "frame" the issue. They crafted the spin on the Alito nomination long before the confirmation hearings even came up. In fact these guys had five years to prepare for this confirmation, so I would have been surprised if they weren’t ready for it when the time came. What did the Democrats do in those two months to counter the spin? Nothing. They didn’t paint a contrary perception. They just said "well, we’ll just wait for the nomination hearing." And of course that’s where they really blew it.

Now if the media was as absolutely LIBERAL as the cons and neo-cons continue to complain about, then the media would have provided that needed contrary perception. Instead, the air-fluffed members of the alphabet soup media spent the month of December fixated about New Orleans and Bill O’Reilly’s fraudulent "War on Christmas". In fact, the conservatives even USED O’Reilly’s con-job as a tool for the Alito nomination. I’m serious! I even heard the commercials for it! The cons and neo-cons were talking about how Sam Alito will somehow "save Christmas"!

Now if there’s only one voice being heard over and over again, both the media and the great unwashed will presume that whatever is being told from that lone voice is fact. If conservatives announce that the Earth is flat and the moon is made of green cheese, and nobody calls them on it or proves it to be otherwise, then the media will report these things as "shocking new exclusives"… and the public will eventually buy it because there’s nothing out there to tell them otherwise.

Once the "framing" is set in stone and people begin to buy it, then the polls come out, and in recent years these polls will almost always support the Republican effort, no matter what it is. Now folks, I’ve always said that you need to take polls with a grain of salt because the questions and how they are asked and who asks them can be easily manipulated to give you the answers that you want, and this is precisely why this happens! If those poll numbers don’t give the GOP the answers that they want, then those numbers are immediately discounted and not reported. But if – or when – they do give the GOP what they’re looking for, the GOP then shoves those numbers in our faces and declares the whole thing a done deal. They get in your face and they "There! See? The people have spoken!"

Now this is where good organization comes in. Even IF you can’t get a timely response, and even IF you can’t come up with your own poll numbers to counter theirs, you still need to mount a heavy resistance to prove that you still stand up for what you believe in, and here Mr. Uyger correctly points out that the Dems didn’t do that with the Alito confirmation. And that pissed off their own voter base, which became yet another tool for the Republicans to crow about, saying that the Democrats were even more "out of touch" with their own voters and with the American voters in general. They wait until the Dems cave – and a few of them did – and they use THAT as yet another nail in the coffin.

NOW it’s a done deal. The Republicans win, the Dems lose, the people are pissed, the conservative talking heads crow about their "glorious victory" and the liberal talking heads are bashing their heads into walls trying to figure out how the hell this happened.

Come on guys, it should be pretty obvious to you by now… you got out-played!

And let’s get brutally honest here… the tactics used by the Republicans should sound pretty familiar, because this is PRECISLY the same game plan used by moralists to spread their dysfunctional tyranny throughout the United States! The whole thing comes right out of their playbook! It’s not just "divide and conquer", it’s "segregate, separate, and subjugate."

Every moralist crusade is purposely and deliberately scripted and coordinated. It’s planned and prepared for well in advance. There’s nothing impromptu about a moralist crusade. Everything about it from the stories you see in the media to the kinds of polls used are all detailed and vetted and vented before anyone outside of that group even HEARS of the crusade.

That’s what the Republicans did, boys and girls. They treated the Democrats like they would a strip club or a massage parlor. They crafted their Supreme Court pick like they would moralistic legislation and they played it for all that it was worth, knowing full well that the Dems would procrastinate and over-think themselves right to failure.

That sort of puts a new spin on the process, doesn’t it? I mean who would have thought that the Republicans would use the same moralist tactics to shut down the opposition as they would in shutting down anything they found to be objectionable?

But it was really only a matter of time before they did that. After all, Republicans – like any other politician – find any form of opposition to their ideas to be just as offensive as an exposed breast or a four-letter word. And they will use any tactic that works to get what they want.

(Computer – new mix of sounds)
(Fade Music In – "Who Am I?" from "The Animatrix")

The Democrats have some hard work ahead of them if they want to even think about putting any sort of brakes on the ongoing Republican power-grabs. I’m not just talking about for this November’s mid-term elections… but also for before and after those elections. They need to get their act together, they need to actually come up with that "better way" that they continue to talk about, and they need to prove that they ARE an actual alternative to the Republicans. More importantly, they need to respond to the Republicans immediately in kind… poll for poll, argument for argument, prefabricated news story for prefabricated news story. If they don’t do that, then they let the Republicans frame the issue their way, and make no mistake, the Democrats WILL lose when that happens. They’ve done it before and they’ll do it again.

And while the libertarian in me would like to relish in the downfall of either one of these major political parties, I don’t like having it happen at the expense of destroying everything that this country supposedly represents. The kind of freedoms that we enjoy in this country are getting whittled down, and by the time some of us wake the hell up and realize it, it will be way too late to do anything about it.


Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production, all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and I’ll speak with you soon!

(Fade out)

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