Friday, July 1, 2016

The politics of cynicism

In the breathtaking aftermath of the UK Brexit decision, we learn that the proponents of the departure of the UK from the EU, principally Nigel Farage of the odious UKIP party, and the gadfly Tory Boris Johnson, really didn't expect to win.

They have no plans.

They are backtracking on what they promised (more money for the National Health!  No immigrants!)

The whole campaign was a cynical exercise in lies and mis-statements, intended to inflame the right wing of the party and gain them power.  They didn't expect to actually have to DO anything, like drag the UK out of the EU (and potentially shatter the UK).  Indeed, Johnson as a journalist has a long record of telling lies.  (Does that remind you of anyone?)

The media treated pronouncements on both side as equally sober, because the UK media like the US  is not about journalism, but about false equivalence that makes a horse race.  (Rupert Murdoch has much to answer for).

And now that the referendum has passed, the truth is revealed (though it was known all the time).  And Boris Johnson's plans to be PM are over.

Similarly, the far right in this country has cynically manipulated the electorate to believe that Obama is a crazed commie liberal Muslim and we are going to hell in a handbasket because of environmentalists and homosexuals.  They have merrily blown up any concept of sober governance and compromise purely for power and leverage.

So much for the best of the country and the governed.  It's all a game, scoring points.

The Conservative Establishment in the UK tried to call the right wing's bluff by calling for a Brexit referendum, and now they are careening into economic unknown.   The Prime Minister has resigned and who knows what is next.

The Republican Establishment in the US thought the could control their right wing, but lo and behold, DJ Trump is now their candidate, on an explicitly racist platform.  Now, as they move into the general election, the Elites are trying to figure out how they can manage this disaster.  And the mediatainment industry loves it.

In neither case is anyone actually interested in the well-being of the country.

The peasants are revolting and the big cats are still trying to make it to their advantage. It is sobering and not a little frightening.

1 comment:

John Julian said...

And, sadly, practical democracy does not provide any assured protection against an insane referendum or a crackpot candidate for presidency. Remember, most of the tyrants and dictators of the last two hundred years were ELECTED by popular vote.