The danger of Political Pandering

Meanwhile, the world whirls its way, with political destructiveness in what could be mistaken for a super bowl like contest with the climate to claim the title of most out of control. The reactivity of some regimes in the middle east is a physical manifestation of the kind of emotional verbalizations of our own process.
There the regimes pander to their own sense of self righteousness; here we watch politicians pander to what the media calls their base. The double meaning of the word “base” seems to elude the punditocracy.

To pander, from an on-line dictionary: The verb meaning “to indulge, to minister to base passions” is first recorded c.1600. The ironic significance of the origin of the word “pander” seems absolutely lost and out of the realm of consideration for all the “news” purveyors who regularly comment knowingly on the need for politicians to speak to and for their political base.
But more important understandings get lost as well. As the media uses the drama of the conflict between the Democratic and Republican bases to sell its daily wares to an audience raised on entertainment, what happens in the reality of our political process is that the idea of representative government gets abandoned.
“He or she is my congressman, my representative in the federal government even though I didn’t vote for him” becomes,” He’s not my representative because I didn’t vote for him.” Now then, how far is it from that position, to “the majority in the Congress does not reflect my views, therefore I don’t have to obey their laws.” Not far enough. Disrespect for the those who make the laws automatically leads to disrespect for the laws.
As always in these kinds of “makes no sense” situations we have to ask ourselves, “who would profit from this process?” Certainly not those who are charged with enforcing the law. Stretched thin, and understaffed as they are from the street level to the regulatory level, the enforcers prefer an environment where, as our Founding Fathers intended, no one, but the Law is King.
No, the ones who profit from an environment that withers the law are those who prefer to live their lives according to their own laws unhampered by police or regulators. The main difference between the thug on the corner and the corporate pirate or the Wall Street manipulator is where they do their business.
The irony that lives in the bones of what pretends to be a populist movement is the way they cherry pick the words of the writers of our constitution, and that their movement is financed by those enormously wealthy individuals who have the most to gain personally from the disembowling of our legal system.

One comment

  1. martha zinger · · Reply

    Here’s a surprise…I agree with you! thugs & pirates, indeed…..and what about all the alarming talk of “good guys” & “bad guys” What would Kohlberg say of our moral development? Maybe that Cole, Henry & Dominic should rule the world?
    (BTW, I am typing on our new MAC)

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