Why Do Politicians Pander? Because It Works.

No War, Period: Hot, Cold, Preemptive... On Poverty, Drugs, Terror, Women...

How has the vision of our forebears—of men and women, black, white, and every other complexion, standing tall, shoulder to shoulder, in free and full access to equal opportunities and enjoying the blessings of equal rights in the sanctity of our persons and property—devolved to skirmishes among dependent subjects of the state over the crumbs of entitlement programs?

How has Martin Luther King’s dream of children not “judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” morphed into protests advocating dressing as hoodlums?

How has the steely determination of abolitionists-turned-women’s rights advocates such as Angelina Grimké, declaring that, having “given great offense on account of our womanhood, which seems to be as objectionable as our abolitionism:”

We are willing to bear the brunt of the storm, if we can only be the means of making a break in that wall of public opinion which lies right in the way of women’s rights, true dignity, honor and usefulness.

been replaced by women protesting for the “right” to have sex without personal consequence, cost, or responsibility, fully subsidized by their fellow citizens?

Are we now getting the politics we deserve—class, race, and gender warfare in which the merely well off are pitted against the wealthy; white-against-black violence is played up while the black-on-black bloodbath in cities like Oakland is ignored; and protection of freedom of conscience is demonized as anti-woman?

Why are all the political campaign sound-bites dominating the media trivializations and pandering?

Because it works.

From bread and circuses, to scapegoating the Jews as the source of all ills, to today’s headlines of “The Rich Are Different From You and Me—They Pay Fewer Taxes,” to Trayvon Martin as a “martyr,” to a supposed “War on Women”, divisiveness protects those in power and helps them garner more power.

Why aren’t we at the barricades fighting for the abolition of the USA PATRIOT Act (renewed and expanded under the current administration), the TSA, and National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) a/k/a the “Homeland Battlefield Bill;” executive orders such as that extending the Defense Production Act of 1950; the growth of the surveillance state and continuing encroachments against our privacy?

Where is a black leadership decrying the near-genocidal effects of the War on Poverty and the War on Drugs, and the fraudulent bureaucracy posing as public education?

Where are the voices protesting the real class divide today—with the “haves” now increasingly the insider “Ruling Class” versus the vast majority of us “have-nots” in the “Country Class”?

Are the free provision of birth control and Warren Buffet’s paying capital gains taxes at a rate lower than the income tax really the sources of our malaise? Or can we pull back the curtain to reveal government failure as the common denominator undermining our peace, prosperity, and security, band together to re-form civil societies in which voluntary association replaces violence, and free men and women from the crippling oppression of exploitative victimologies?

Mary L. G. Theroux is Senior Vice President of the Independent Institute. Having received her A.B. in economics from Stanford University, she is Managing Director of Lightning Ventures, L.P., a San Francisco Bay Area investment firm, former Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the Salvation Army of both San Francisco and Alameda County, and Vice President of the C.S. Lewis Society of California.
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Beacon Posts by Mary Theroux
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