Friday, October 31, 2008

Political Wackos

The November issue of Politics Magazine has an article entitled "Wackos On the Ballot."

It looks like I missed the cut this year.

Kevin Barrett, the Libertarian Party Candidate for the 3rd Congressional District in Wisconsin made the cut. Barrett is a former college professor who has gotten a great deal of media coverage for his belief that 9-11 was an "inside job," or more specifically, "a false-flag operation."

The writer of the article says, "I had a lengthy conversation with Barrett, and what’s striking is that he’s clearly intelligent and has devoted a lot of time to pursuing his paranoia." Which means the writer cannot refute Barrett's claims, but doesn't want to agree with Barrett and be written off as a "wacko" like he's writing off Barrett.

"Ignorance is bliss" -- and a paycheck.

One can all too easily imagine a report being sent back to Parliament in 1776: "I had a lengthy conversation with Thomas Jefferson, and what’s striking is that he’s clearly intelligent and has devoted a lot of time to pursuing his paranoia."

How's this for "wacko paranoia":

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Substitute the word "conspiracy" for the word "design."

But if a political candidate says, "George Bush and the neoconservatives have been plotting to create an absolute Despotism," he's written off as "paranoid."

I don't see how any rational, well-informed person can deny that George Bush (and his neoconservative regime) is a greater tyrant than George III was. The present tyranny is cushioned by mind-numbing technology -- labor-saving devices, push-button climate control, and most important, television. We confuse leisure/entertainment with freedom. We are pampered slaves.

Barrett's Position on the Issues is well-documented and generally libertarian, but the Libertarian Party denounces him:

Barrett’s real problem is that his views and statements—which, in fairness, have been misrepresented at times by the blogosphere (he’s not actually a Holocaust denier, for example)—have led him to be completely rejected by the national Libertarian Party. They want nothing to do with him.

In fact, when Libertarian officials learned I was looking into Barrett, they contacted me to emphasize the lengths to which they’d gone to distance themselves from him, describing him as “nuts” and as a “wacko.” Now, Barrett is entitled to his views, but when your own party officials describe you in such unflattering terms, it might be time for a party switch.

Or maybe the Libertarian Party needs to stop worrying about approval by tyrants and the mainstream media and parties, and start changing public understanding.

Barrett seems to engage in a few "wacko" campaign stunts, like "taping [for YouTube] visits to the district office of his opponent, Rep. Ron Kind, wearing a “V for Vendetta” mask and requesting that Kind accept a debate challenge." That's not my style, but it's hard to see why this stunt is any more "wacko" than dressing up like an Indian and dumping tons of tea into the Boston Harbor.

The mainstream media can make Thomas Jefferson look like a "wacko" -- and has, really. All the Founding Fathers were high-energy wackos, "paranoid" about the British, alarmists and extremists who were offensive to the lukewarm Tories. In one or two paragraphs, any mainstream media reporter can make John Hancock and Samuel Adams looks like "wackos." To rehabiliate these men would require a fair amount of reading -- say, the Declaration of Independence -- and having sufficient background and intelligence to understand the document. So the mainstream image prevails in public consciousness.

Most Americans are victims of educational malpractice, having graduated from government schools where it is illegal to teach students that the Declaration of Independence is really true. It takes intellectual effort to understand liberty, and this is why today's political advertising consists of 30-second bursts of hypnosis for illiterate slaves.

The job of the mainstream media is to confirm the delusions in the minds of Americans that they are free, and that their education was accurate and sufficient, and that they need not engage in any (more) critical thinking. (As if they ever did.)

Politics Magazine discharges this duty admirably.

"So the question is ... do you believe what you can see with your own eyes, or do believe ... what you are told?"

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