A conservative friend who I’ve always enjoyed debating politics with recently told me how sick and tired he is of being seen and described as just another in a flock of simple-minded, predictably obedient sheep by so many political reporters and analysts in the news media.
And so, for the first time in a while, we had nothing to argue about. No question that there’s a wolf-pack of pundits whose “analysis” implies that most conservatives, along with Tea Party followers and sympathizers, are little more than pawns who can be moved across political chess boards in whatever direction is commanded by behind the scenes power players controlling their every move.
In all fairness, these not-so-enterprising, not-so-intrepid newshounds and commentators do have that last part about the power players right, although they hardly ever talk about it. That’s the part about how a select group of super-rich & conservative corporate titans and their cohorts has been funding and fueling a carefully planned anti-Obama, anti-government attack campaign for years.
Their plan was to aggressively use the Internet, Talk Radio, Fox News and a collection of newly created front groups to organize fearful, frustrated Americans into a new movement. The strategy was to exploit people’s religious beliefs, patriotism, socioeconomic insecurities, and in some cases, their prejudices.
And the plan has worked pretty well, so far.
Millions of people whose economic security and freedom has been trampled on by anti-Obama corporate titans have still fallen victim to their propaganda machine. When frustrated enough for long enough, even the smartest and best among us can become susceptible to whatever feels like it eases and vents those pent-up frustrations.
But it doesn’t happen to everybody, and if it does, it doesn’t necessarily last. Take my friend. A longtime self-described “Reagan Republican”, he describes getting caught up for a while in the “Us vs. Them” stuff that the GOP has pushed since President Obama’s election. Then he had his first child. Not wanting his son growing up in a country ripped apart by divisiveness and negativity, he rebelled, and has now re-registered as an Independent.
He thinks more and more conservatives like him are going to start rebelling at the intentional blurring of the lines between religion and politics, and at being told what to think and what to do by people like Beck, Palin and Limbaugh.
And he’s sick and tired of being told otherwise by every other election “expert” on TV.