Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Establishment: The New Scarlet Letter

     Yesterday, nasally voiced hockey-mom, former governor of Alaska, and former vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, engaged in one of most irrelevant and inconsequential acts of political theater that exists in American politics, i.e. the endorsement. I say irrelevant because I am not sure there has ever been any empirical studies done that support the notion that an endorsement actually changes any political race in favor of the one being endorsed. Usually it is an exercise of the endorser trying to benefit from who they see as being likely to win the race. Evidentary of the former statement is the fact that there are few examples of high profile individuals endorsing candidates that are a long shot.
     Even in Mrs. Palin's bid to live in the vice president's mansion with her family (I can just see Sarah passing Todd food at the dinner table using pool cues ala The Beverly Hillbillys), she and her running mate John McCain were endorsed by independent Democrat Joe Liberman. I am not sure how many of those who voted for Senator Liberman actually threw their support behind McCain/Palin just because Joe said to. That is the problem with endorsements, anyone who respects the endorser enough to follow their advice were probably already going to support the endorsee.
     But I digress. The thing I wanted to talk about today is not so much the Palin endorsement of Donald Trump, but the language of the Alinsky conservatives used in her speech. Mrs. Palin used the term "establishment" several times, as has become the habit of those, who in the model of Saul Alinsky, aim to marginalize those they see as their political adversaries. I have to hand it to the Alinsky conservatives like Mark Levin, et al, who have used the tactics of the Left to convince their glassy-eyed followers that establishment is a bad word, and then apply that label to anyone they may disagree with on one issue or another.
     The application of the term "establishment" has been one of the most overused political ploys in recent years. And here is the funny (and very sad) thing: It is applied against members of the users' own political Party. In some people's twisted view, politics has become the only profession in the world where less experience is preferrable (actually in many persons' view no experience is preferrable). In the view of the politically radicalized, being established in a field of endeavor is a bad thing. And being a complete neophite with no track record or resume in that field is now the ideal.
     The term "establishment" has become the political version of the Scarlet Letter,a badge of shame applied by the hubris to anyone they want to destroy politically. I am not saying that there are not members of the established politicians in Washington that have done wrong by the American people, or even that they should not be voted out of office. But to label everyone in the established power structure as a traitor or treasonous, or as a Rino, is the height of ignorance in which only someone who is committed to generalizations as a political ethos can engage.

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