One of our local RINO's has decided to whine about the growing failure of the populace to acknowledge all the great and wonderful travesties our government has thrust upon us. He wrote an apologist piece in the DFL Party-run StarTribune that bemoans a general sense of governmental ineptitude, arrogance and incompetence felt by the citizenry. Since I have once again been suspended from commenting at the StarTribune website, this time because I dared to quote the Tenth Amendment, I'll share with you my thoughts on his nonsense.
Bell begins his essay citing the New York Times poll that found only 19% of American believe their government institutions will do the right thing. He categorizes this as, "At its core, cynicism is the belief that nothing is what it seems, that motivations are always suspect, that agendas are always hidden. Cynicism in our country has become a form of both cheap intelligence and pseudo-sophistication." Bell has fallen down that same rabbit hole the rest of the political class has done. Rather than admit the politicians are not behaving as they should, he immediately assumes the worst of the viewer. It must be the public that is crazy and stupid, not the political operatives. He then demeans this distrust as 'pseudo-sophistication' characterizing the rest of us as too hick to understand their good intentions and brave faces.
Bell believes the left is simply promising too much and delivering too little. "One example is how the government never "spends" money; it now "invests" in programs with a supposed return that rarely seems to materialize." In other words, it isn't the programs themselves that are wrong or misguided, it is the mere perception that leads us to believe these are 'investments' when we should understand they are transfer payments from the productive class to the nonachievers. The left isn't criticized for its actual policies by Bell. Instead, he criticizing their ham-handed tactics. It isn't really the left's fault these programs don't work, it is their inability to properly contextualize them that makes us angry.
He goes after the right which criticized Obama health care takeover. "We recently saw this in the health care debate. Democrats were cast as wanting to provide insurance to 30 million Americans simply to "hook more people on government." Bell considers this to be a 'narrative' that will cause the issue to be debated ad infinitum. That disturbs him, the debate I mean. He isn't concerned whether or not it was good policy, rather, he is troubled by the issue nagging and infuriating the public in the future. In Bell's world, if a political fight is won, well, that's it. We must simply take it as a fait accompli and we must not concern ourselves. Bad policy can be adjusted by 'wiser heads' and the stupid public mustn't be involved in their governance.
Whose to blame in this situation? Well, Bell believes the press is the problem. "Like schoolyard instigators who want to see a good fight, the media relentlessly call into question the motives and goodwill of all sides of an issue, while bemoaning the lack of civility and bipartisanship." This is perhaps Bell's most ridiculous assertion. He sees the press as being a kind of megaphone for the political class. Their criticism and airing of issues riles up the masses, and that ain't good. The press should highlight the good things government does. They shouldn't dwell on the negative. The press is what is 'whee-wheeing' up the people, not the actual bad policy, programs, and sky-high spending and debt. If the press just reported all the delightful things government does, well, then we'd all be happy little campers joyfully revelling in our glorious government and leaving the details to people like him.
Bell's answer to all this negativity is to rein in the press and the public's access to information. "We also need to build civic institutions and media outlets that foster honest debate and explore the weakness but not the motives of opposing points of view." Remember, collectivists love to use certain catchwords and phrases to 'build' things and 'foster honest debate' and 'weakness' of things but certainly not the 'motives' behind them. If a policy is downright dangerous, we must point out its 'flaws', not the fact it is stupid. We must have a 'fair' debate, no doubt with Bell as the arbitor of what is 'fair'. We must 'work together' even if one side is abjectly immoral and pandering to the populace.
Bell simply doesn't understand, nor does he want to, what is going on in this nation. We are not furious with our political system because of perceived slights or dishonest dialogue. We are angry because our current crop of political leaders are a bunch of elite, arrogant, denigrating bullies who believe they are better than their constituents. They are not responsive to our beliefs and our ideas. This political class continues to marginalize and demean us. What we have come to understand is these people are not our leaders, they want to be our masters. It is this shared experience that drives our cynicism, not a misunderstanding.