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Demagogues and the Election

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The definition of demagogue is “a political leader in a democracy who appeals to the emotions, prejudices, and ignorance of the poorer and less-educated classes in order to gain power.” As I observe the presidential candidates, and perhaps more importantly, their pundits, I find this term to be highly applicable.

This November the choice between President Obama and Gov. Romney is as much a polar opposite as the marriage between Mary Matalin and James Carville, who incidentally were both on set with George Stephanopoulos this past Sunday morning. Along with Paul Krugman—who reminds me a lot of Richard Dreyfus—and two other guests, the demagoguery was as common as dirt on an equine track. But I’ll try to resist airing my opinion and instead attempt to direct my comments to the implications of a victory by either party. I did, however, thoroughly enjoy the presidential debate last Wednesday night.

I believe this race will not be decided on the issues but rather by the way the candidates are perceived. Unfortunately, I find issues are playing a lesser role in this election than in any of recent memory due to the demagogues’, well, demagoguery. 

If Obama is successful, and that seems to be a real possibility at the moment, he will have no reason to moderate and we will see his true colors, whatever they may be. Let’s begin with taxes. I am incredulous at the suggestion that the government needs more taxes. It’s like giving money to an irresponsible teen who continues to ask for more despite his parents’ stern warning that he is being, well, irresponsible. Is the government entitled to more of our hard-earned money? Have they been prudent with it thus far? I’ll let you ponder that. To fund a larger government, which is exactly what we’ll have, we will be asked to pay up. This will most certainly have a negative effect on the already weak economy. 

Yes, Obama certainly has a good chance of winning, especially with the unemployment rate dropping to 7.8% … forgive me whilst I laugh for a moment … okay, I’m back. I think Jack Welch’s Tweet got it right, but who’s going to hear about it? Who really believes the rate dropped that much when we only added 114,000 new jobs? Other than Paul Krugman, of course. 

If Romney wins, we should see a smaller government, lower taxes (then you’ll have more money to take that long-awaited vacation) and a definitively more business-friendly environment, which will certainly benefit the majority. But it’s been said that Republicans want to “roll back” regulation on Wall Street, push grandma over the cliff, and pollute our drinking water. And so on. More demagoguery? One can only hope voters engage in the ever decreasing pastime of thinking! Perhaps you’ve read the book, “1984?” It was only a novel … wasn’t it? 

Sorry for the editorial, but I had to get it off my chest. I feel much better now, thanks for reading! 


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