New Thinking Part 1. These days, politics is one emotional appeal after another. The media refers to politicians like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders as ‘populists’ but in fact they are demagogues; Using emotional appeals and often stimulating people’s long held prejudices and biases to gain support for their campaigns. In 2016 we’re going to see the ‘new rules’ of politics come into play with a vengeance. Most of the action will take place on the so called ‘small screen’ which means your television and especially your smart phones, social media, news websites where viewers watch a video, or part of a video and move on. A strange and symbiotic relationship between media, polling and politics have turned American politics into a freak show. Outrageous characters and weekly ripples in story lines mean more eyeballs. Media moguls and the candidates are laughing all the way to the bank, to the Capitol and the White House. Meanwhile increasingly angry voters become frustrated, losing faith in the outcome of elections, voting and the government itself. Moreover, the worst invective is often heard at meetings where the same politicians and charlatans troop through and tell people what they want to hear. It’s time for a reboot of American Political Thinking. It doesn’t start with politicians or personalities. It starts with individuals, communities, and values. It means researching and thinking about the concerns of your community, developing ideas about issues, talking about those issues, and creating effective political organization around those ideas, not the rhetoric of some pol who will forget about you and your concerns the minute he is elected. A new America is being created. A new way of thinking is being created, whether you want it or not. If we don’t change the way we think about politics, taking it back to the blocks and rebuilding it, we’re doomed to being controlled by personalities — demagogues — more interested in power than the people. I’m starting a new series of podcasts, which will bear the ‘New Thinking’ title. I’ll do them when the spirit moves me, or I encounter a person or situation I think will help build a new way to think, talk and DO politics in this country, because what we have right now, isn’t cutting it. Sponsored by Baklund R&D, Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate.
Vaccination Politics. As predicted by The Bob Davis Podcasts, whether to vaccinate or not has become a big political issue in the United States. Senator Rand Paul and potential candidate for the Republican nomination for President in 2016 got into a spat about whether people should be required to vaccinate their children against Measles and Rubella. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, another potential candidate for the Republican nomination for President stepped on a political land mine when he suggested people ought to have a choice whether to vaccinate their children. Ben Carson, yet another presumptive presidential candidate split hairs in his ‘statement’, and you can be sure several others on all sides of the political spectrum will issue ‘statements’ in the next few days on the subject, as an outbreak of Measles in California captures the media’s attention. Berkeley, California wants a 21 day quarantine for all kids who’s parents refuse to vaccinate (the kids are ecstatic … no school for most of the month! Please don’t vaccinate me mom!) and nothing seems to horrify the left in this country more these days than a refusal to vaccinate. Is it possible people have about had it with government interventions? Federal and State Government intrusions into the personal lives of Americans is starting to become almost comic. They want to make you vaccinate your child so he or she can be healthy enough to what? Eat school lunches that wouldn’t have been fit for the Soviet Gulag? That’s healthy, huh! The perfumed princes and princesses walking through the marble hallways of our Federal Government cathedrals in Washington D.C. and the State Capitols might just be out of step with Americans who have a lot of questions about the long term effects of vaccines. You can call them stupid and try to bamboozle them into certain kinds of behavior, and you can even require certain kinds of behavior, but at some point they’re going to push back. One thing people seem to know, ‘Scientists’ are wrong a lot of the time. Doctors and hospitals will kill you if you’re not careful, and there’s nothing wrong with asking questions and taking control of your own health care, or the health care of your children. If the scolds would leave people alone once in a while, they might just make the right decision. What is it about liberty that so frightens the statist? Plus, stories about the General Manager of the Bob Davis Podcasts, getting the flu, Mexican Coke, Coffee (the cure for all that is wrong), and more in a longer podcast. (Editor’s Note: People keep saying things to me like, ‘My run on the treadmill in the morning takes exactly 45 minutes. I would like a 45 minute Podcast’. Ok. Here it is.). And an appearance from MPR Bob at the close. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and Depotstar.
Torture. Budget. Washington struggles with the release of a damning Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, and democrats appear to be willing to shut the government down over language in the budget bill concerning Dodd/Frank. These issues show how the contours of ‘partisanship’ and the causes of ‘gridlock’ will change after the new congress is sworn in, in January 2015. The Senate Intelligence Committee investigation and report was conducted and written wholly by democrats, offers no suggestions on what to do about what it called torture in the future, or for curtailing the CIA when it runs amok, and none of the accused parties were interviewed for have had the chance to defend themselves. As former Democrat Senator and Senate Intelligence Committee member Bob Kerry suggests, this does not bode well for the objectivity of the report or win any friends at the CIA. Even President Obama has been put in a difficult situation, since current CIA Director Brennan is furious that the report paints a one sided picture of what happened at the agency after 9/11. Maybe it is a good thing this information is released now, maybe not. One thing is for sure, neither party has come up with a foreign policy that addresses asymmetric warfare going forward. Libertarian, Interventionist, Neoconservative, Neoliberal, or whatever you want to call them, these policies aren’t going to be effective in future conflicts where it is likely potential state enemies of the US will use asymmetric methods because they strike at our weaknesses. On the budget front, Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren threatens to block passage of the budget bill because of changes it makes in Dodd/Frank regarding how derivatives are regulated. Which party is ‘obstructionist’ now? What will the minority party do after Republicans take over the majority in Congress? Expect a return to ideas like increasing gas taxes and ‘rebuilding’ America’s ‘crumbling infrastructure’, and to the idea that – since we can’t prove ‘inequality’ hurts the economy – we now have to deal with the ’empathy gap’. This is the idea that the working poor are just unfortunate and that we have to have laws to make the economic system ‘fair’, since hard work and brains have nothing to do with success. The founding documents talk about being created equal and having unalienable rights to life and liberty … not a ‘fair’ economic system. What you do with your liberty is your choice, rich or poor. The good news? All of these stories will be swept from television screens because of the storm-of-the-century in California. Finally, out of nowhere a movement we can all get behind, or in front of. “Free The Nipple”. Sponsored by Baklund R&D.