Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

Politicize Everything!

Posted by Adam Graham on May 27, 2007

The following is a commentary from the Truth and Hope Report ( Weekend update by Democratic Political Dave Screwtape.

There’s been a great deal of controversy over John Edwards urging people to use Memorial Day commemorations to oppose the War in Iraq. The allegation is that he’s politicizing Memorial Day.

Well, I say good for him and yes, he may be politicizing Memorial Day, but so what? Republicans and Democrats across the land already hold picnics on Memorial Day. Doesn’t that mean the day is already politicized?

For those who complain about the politicization of things, I would like to welcome you to the 21st Century. Everything is political. Those who speak of the political season are reporters who have to regularly take Metamucil. The political season is a thing of the past. Politics never ends, it only takes an occasional day off. It used to be the whole Holiday Season marked a break from politics, but given the fact that this has become the season for lawsuits against small towns for either celebrating or not celebrating Christmas, you can forget a “season” of peace on Earth.

You have two days off, as I see it: Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even those can become political as happened at my Aunt Bernice’s Thanksgiving a couple years ago when my Republican Cousin Drago decided to argue against my brilliant political points. My Aunt Bernice must have taken his side as I’ve spent the last two Holiday Seasons with fellow political consultants and we invariably spend a lot of time talking about politics. Thus, for some of us, there is no break.

Campaigns run 2-4 years, depending on the office. The Presidential election of 2008 really began sometime after Thanksgiving, 2004 with potential candidates scheduling visits to Iowa to address a little assembly here or there, to “test the waters.” Senate Candidates for 2008 are already out laying the groundwork of their campaigns. We have reached a point in our history where when one election ends, raising money and hiring consultants for the next campaign begins soon afterwards.

Service in the US House is little more than a constant two year campaign to raise more money for the next campaign. Even without campaigns, political debates, rallies, and issues are constantly in people’s faces. In addition, Congress, City Councils, and Legislatures are passing bills of great importance all year along, with elections occurring five to six times a year in some places.

The result is that there is no non-political season. There is only a demand to watch and follow along. There are those who hang on every word and become the prototypical political junkie. There are those who ignore everything and turn off politics, and never vote. Then there are the majority of Americans who are half paying attention for about two weeks before the general election.

These sort are great, because they can only stomach a vote every two to four years. These people leave the election of primary candidates, city councilman, and school boards to those who pay full attention. Because liberals generally care more about schools and insuring proper progressive community values, we elect the people who choose school curriculum, define the cultural values of cities, and raise taxes to pay for schools.

As for the rest of the ill-informed public, leave that to the political consultants. After having complicated politics to the greatest possible degree so that the average person cannot understand everything that’s going on, political consultants can then simplify complex races and issues down to bumper sticker slogans and eight-second sound bytes. Some will ask for the advice of an informed person before voting. Most are far too proud to admit that while they live in the greatest democracy on Earth, they really have no clue what their government is doing, only a sneaking suspicion that it’s not good,.

What we must be wary of this Memorial Day is not the attempts of John Edwards to gain political points, but rather those small government advocates. Those who urge making government smaller, understandable, and easily comprehensible are dangerous. If government becomes more understandable, more people will pay attention. If more people pay attention, who knows what will happen? It could mean less work for political consultants at the very least, and that’s a concept I must oppose.

The Screwtape Report is written by Adam Graham. The Screwtape Report is written from a Democratic perspective by a conservative in order to reveal Democratic strategy and thinking.


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