Copyright © 2011 by Wayne Stegall
Pour water on a landscape and it will find the most convenient route to the lowest possible end. What a metaphor of political reality! Pour politicians onto the public stage and the political landscape will determine their destiny. They are completely unable to move toward their goals unless a smooth road lined with gold is paved to them. The conflict between the interests of their benefactors and the voting public makes a road on an honest landscape a very thorny one, one that has to be reshaped for political expediency. Bugs Bunny showed us the way however. When he played golf, he was not content to depend on his skill to win the prize. Instead, he ran before the ball, reshaping the landscape as it rolled along. And I did not realize that he was a consummate politician, clever fellow!
This is why everyone with a less than honest political agenda, is trying to bend reality before your eyes. This is because this landscape is entirely a matter of perception. The benefactors seem to them immovable objects on this landscape, but voters, who historically have been too preoccupied with their own lives to dig up the truth, seem to be the prime objects of this type of manipulation. Ideas, news, facts, and voices that shape an honest landscape are enemies to the smooth ways required here, and those that help bend perception to create them are cultivated and rewarded.
For this reason, political parties have numerous people employed just to calculate how to shape a virtual landscape paved toward their goals. Do you remember all of the devious smiles of Democratic strategists leading to the Democratic coup of 2006.1 They knew that they had deviously plowed the landscape of public opinion in their favor and were confident of its outcome. (Even though this is a non-partisan issue, I believe liberalism requires more landscaping than conservatism for a very basic reason: conservatism is simply more logically and morally defensible on most of issues than liberalism.)
Anyone telling the public the raw truth then becomes a target, at the very least, of ridicule and derision. The necessary legal principle of fair comment becomes the virtual bulldozer enabling the most radical reshaping of this virtual landscape2 while attempting to raze contrary voices in the process. Do you remember Representative Hastert? On the mere mention that Soros was funding a coup by Democratic operatives, the landscape was shifted under his feet and he was out of contention by what appeared on the surface to be just ordinary politics.1
Even those who want to operate honestly cannot ignore this truth. Consider the propaganda smear against the Tea Party. By attempting to go directly (and honestly) to their goals to carry out what they were elected to do in the face of Democratic and liberal media landscaping, they suffered unjust public reproach.
Sometimes they may misread the landscape. It seems that those who pushed through health care reform had blinders on. Or else they thought themselves already freefalling over a cliff in the landscape with nothing left to lose. Who knows?
The worst thing about a system that can only follow the path of least resistance is that difficulties build without being resolved until they become an intractable crisis. In spiritual matters, these ways gravitate to destruction and hell.
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Prov 14:12)
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. (Matt 7:13)
In American politics, these ways have created policies and deficit spending that have brought us to an economic ruin. This in spite of repeated warning by voices over decades of time that could see the disaster coming. More dangers may lurk if we don't turn back.
A representative democracy favoring the interests of ordinary citizens is best served by paving an honest political landscape. You should demand no less.
2See article Red Meat.
April 9, 2011 Created.
April 28, 2011 Added a missing preposition and rearranged a wordy sentence for clarity.