Judas Goat Politics
Judas goat: a trained goat used in general animal herding. In stockyards, a Judas goat will lead sheep to slaughter, while its own life is spared.
A couple months ago I asked the question Why does Trump hate his supporters?
I asked that because the Republican tax reform plan and health care plan seemed specifically designed to inflict pain on the people who voted for Trump.
Then a few weeks ago I noticed that Trump had flip-flopped on his opposition to free trade agreements, one of the few things that his supporters cared deeply about.
It does seem unusually cruel to target your own supporters for the most pain.
It's the opposite of how democracy is supposed to work.
OK. It's Trump. A certifiable con-man and liar. So what do you expect, right?
Then I got thinking: Is this really so unusual?
It occurred to me some time ago that we live in the era of the Big Lie.
Humanitarian wars. Capitalism having something to do with freedom. Debt being a good thing. Greed being a good thing. Alternative facts.
I think we should add one item to this list: Lesser Evilism.
Many Republicans voted for Trump because they considered him the lesser evil to Hillary.
They were clearly wrong, but refuse to acknowledge it.
Many Democrats voted for Hillary because they considered her the lesser evil to Trump.
A strong case can be made that they were also wrong.
For instance, the Democrats are even further to the right than Republicans on foreign policy. The Democrats have for 40 years been the leaders at pushing deregulation of big business.
Wait a second! One of the parties has to be the lesser evil, if for no other reason than because one of the parties has to be a greater evil. Right?
I think we've misread the objective of the game.
What if the purpose of the political parties is to deliver up their constituents to be fleeced and exploited, just like a Judas Goat?
Or to put it another way, what if the greater enemy of Democratic voters is the Democratic Party? And the greater enemy of Republican voters is the Republican Party.
Thus switching party allegiance does the voter no good in the slightest because no matter who they vote for they'll be voting for the greater evil.
What got me thinking about this is how partisan Democrats reserve all their venom, not for Democrats that vote Republican, but for independent leftists that don't vote Democrat.
Partisan Democrats always start with the baseless assumption that they are entitled to your vote. They don't have to earn it because your vote is their privilege, even when you aren't a registered Democrat.
This illogical thinking doesn't apply to the vastly larger group of liberals and minorities who vote Republican, or don't vote. Only to third party voters.
As Hillary Clinton says, people who vote third party are, "the crazy third-party people.”
I used to think that Democrats couldn't do math - a vote for a Republican causes twice the damage to a Democrat that a vote for a third party candidate does. So they should focus their venom on the Democratic turncoats instead.
Then it occurred to me that beating the Republican candidate isn't as important as leading their flock of sheep to the slaughterhouse. Winning the election is just gravy.
Instead of thinking about our "democracy" in the terms of an actual functioning democracy, think of it in terms of a business.
For instance, Google provides services to their customers (search, email, etc.), pays for it through ads, and then sells that customer information to a higher bidder for the profit.
Now apply that same reasoning to our "democracy". The progressive institutions, such as labor unions and environmentalist groups provide services to their members by giving them a forum to harmlessly agitate without endangering the status quo. Then the leadership of those progressive institutions sell out their members to the applicable political party - the Democrats - for a profit, without consulting the membership.
When the people in the liberal spectrum gets antsy, the Democratic establishment astroturfs a "movement" for it's customers, just like a good business would.
Republicans do the exact same thing, but with a different flair tailored to reflect the specific needs of their customers.
After being sufficiently pandered to, mollified, agitated, or whatever their customers have demanded at the time, the public is them delivered to their corporate masters to be sheered.
When you think about it, this is actually how things should work for a public that thinks of itself as consumers rather than citizens.
Don't get me wrong. Americans aren't stupid. Even political partisans, the most foolish of people, aren't stupid.
No, the crime of the vast majority of Americans is that they are lazy. Too lazy to do the research. Too lazy to figure things out for themselves. Too lazy to question what they hear. Too lazy to think.
Yet they never seem to lack for energy when it comes to judging, hating and denouncing those independent thinkers that don't fall into pre-packaged, clearly labelled categories. You know, like third-party voters.