When politics becomes showmanship and brand loyalty it is taken over by celebrities and self-centered interests. The left and the right become indistinguishable as far as the misery in the streets is concerned. And the remaining people of ever more diminishing privilege and number get the ‘leaders’ they clamor for who work harder and harder at dismantling the very scaffold democracy is built upon.
The vision of the citizen is just as important as the vision of the leaders they elect. If the ‘guy in the street’ can’t recognize an empty, shallow and self serving person who is campaigning for leadership what hope is there that the best leaders will be chosen? If the ‘guy in the street’ simply wants a change only because he is tired of political correctness and ineffectiveness in the government and has become so cynical and disengaged with the issues that he will accept any loud noise and flatulence, what wisdom will be demonstrated in the election by the people? When the citizenry have become emotional and intellectual children what kind of leaders will come forward to capture their fickle hearts and befuddled minds? Or if the ‘guy in the street’ prefers a ‘fresh sensitive face with nice hair’ she will vote for any sweet looking guy that says the right things. We now vote our TV preferences.
An ancient book of great wisdom points out; “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18) We see this happening before our very eyes. Here in Canada, the people just wanted a change – any change – and we voted for good looks and slogans. Shawn Katz writes;
We live in a media age where images increasingly pass for reality, where the gloss of marketing manipulation is so thick as to mask entirely what lies beneath. When the standards that reign in the pharmacy aisle are allowed to infiltrate our democratic decision-making, we embrace a dramatic decline in our level of scrutiny that endangers us all.
All parties employ specialists in the art of image-making, and all engage in the politics of spectacle to differing degrees. But in this campaign, it is without a doubt the Liberals who have been the most hyper-savvy — and most cynical — in exploiting many voters’ lack of discernment between a made-for-TV campaign and the lack of substance it can hide. . . .
Despite the boyish charm and buoyant energy of their new leader, the Liberals are still the party of the establishment and corporate elite, which they will surely take no time reminding us of the moment they return to power.
What about our friends to the south? How’s their ‘eye sight’? Jen Gerson observes:
No candidate has flapped more wildly than Trump, who has kept himself securely at the front of the pack with a series of increasingly bizarre, outrageous and sometimes frightening statements. From the joys of torture to his jokes about women and ethnic groups, he has established new lows in almost every field of presidential ambition.
He has been aided to no small degree by blanket coverage by an enthralled media, which can’t quite believe what they are seeing. Calculating that exposure would be Trump’s downfall, pundits, reporters and commentators across old media and new have provided non-stop attention, only to discover that a surprising number of viewers liked what they saw. . . .
As the possibility of a Trump triumph has grown, so has the alarm. Open parallels are now being made between Trump and 20th-century demagogues who left ruin in their wake. The open intolerance and xenophobia of his campaign have been compared to the rise of Nazi Germany. His intemperate outbursts are now so frequent there’s hardly time to consider the implications anymore. Trump is not just defeating his fellow Republican candidates, he’s drowning them out.
When people cast off all restraint of reason and simply vote for their emotional and infantile wish-list tragic results can happen through the democratic process. Democracy doesn’t ensure effective and wise government if the people choose their leaders by magical thinking.
It doesn’t matter which end of the political spectrum people vote for when celebrity and showmanship are the deciding criteria. Extremism is extreme no matter what end of the political spectrum it exists at. An essayist writing for Sovereign Life points out;
Fascism is a totalitarian system, where big government and big business are in collusion to lord it over ordinary citizens. Private property is allowed “on paper”, but because owners are not free to use or dispose of their property as they wish, the term loses all its meaning. Under a fascist system of government, the individual’s interest is subservient to the national interest.
Communism is also a totalitarian system, where all property belongs to the state. Government and business are the same thing – as the state owns the means of production. Under a communist system of government, the individual’s interest is likewise subservient to the national interest. Both political systems result in effective dictatorship. Both reduce their citizens to the status of serfs – under a ruling class.
There is nothing so extreme as the sound of a hollow drum beating to an audience that dances to its beat with no one wondering where they will be when the party is over.
“Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint.” (Proverbs 29:18)
God help us all.