Instead of taking moderate positions somewhere in between the polar left and right wing positions, utilize tactics and policies that each side favors to achieve political balance.
Moderatism promotes compromise in the "if both sides are unhappy it must be a fair deal" sense.
Balanced compromise seeks to meet needs of both sides providing a "we can do both if we can agree what to sacrifice collectively.
This works because political arguments are rarely opposing views on a spectrum in conflict. They are values on different spectrum issues that come into conflict only when those spectrums overlap.
Ex: immigration is not about if people should be allowed to come into the country or not. It is fear of racial prejudice overlapping fear of a diluted tax base bleeding public assistance dollars out of the country to non-citizens. The issue is further complicated by drug and crime issues that also overlap. You can't solve these issues by picking a point on the immigration policy continuum. You clearify each indiviudal interest and address each issue as it is. Then you can incorporate those solutions into a comprehensive complimentary plan.
Extreme positions get you noticed in a mass media. But in a targeted permission marketing connection economy moderates can be reached.
The 2010 mid term elections are being tallied, and whatever the verdict, the campaign season told us plenty about how America feels about President Obama’s term in office thus far. In the state of Missouri every Republican campaign was the same. They ran against Obama. All they did was say their opponent voted with Obama once, and then proceeded to rail on the president. One time they even equated a republican with Obama in the primary becasue he owned a car dealership that had participated in "Cash for Clunkers." This is a brilliant move because the President already has his dirt aired in the national media daily. It’s much easier to air the same old criticism of the president rather than having to dig for dirt on your opponent who may have never so much as had their picture in the local paper untill this election .
Today, President Obama is the most polarizing figure in America, some how taking that mantle away from Lebron James which is quite a feat given the backlash from the “Lebron’s decision” Show. The mear mention of the name Obama and one is forced to pick sides. All this, less than 2 years removed from Obama’s own campaign promise to bridge the bi-partisan divide. The man preaching transpearancy and compromise in advocating for the enviroment and children, while laughing with ESPN anchors as he makes hisNCAA tourny picks and praising the power of basketball to unite people at the NBA All-Star game, suddenly is using back-ally deals and parlimantary procedural loopholes to ram spending bills through congress, while talking to Matt Lauer on the Today Show about “Whose Ass to kick!” and going on The Daily Show with John Stewart specificly not to be funny.
So what happened?
The following clip best illustrates exactly what happened to the Obama presidency. It's a metaphor. To be perfectly clear; Obama is represented by the guy on the left. Republicans are the guy on the right. The white guy that walks in represents the American electorate.
(WARNING: This Clip is from the rated R movie “the 40 year old Virgin” and as such is full of Bad Words!! Cover your ” 40 year old Virgin” ears.)
So there you have it. Obama became the guy Denzel Washington plays in every movie (however that is not Denzel in the Clip, sorry Shaniqa); the Good guy gone ghetto. The Republican’s collectively stonewalled Obama’s agenda. You can definatley picture Obama saying “lets move forward amicably” and then getting it thrown in his face. This is exactly what happened at the "Health Care Summit" And that was it. His inner "Shaft" came out, and he decided he was through reaching out to the ”party of no.” And it was on.
Unfortunately for the president the Rupublican’s had played him perfectly. They planned it going down this way. They wanted this. They baited him, and he took the bait. The first Black president of the United states has to accomplish something. He can’t afford to strike out, and he most certainly can not strike out looking. So he swang for the fences. He hit a double and tried to stretch it into a tripple. On Tuesday, the election just threw him out. He will have other at bats.
But remember baseball is not his game, basketball is.
And Basketball is played in the hood!
For the record this is not a commentary on Cable news Ratings, which are wildly fluctuating. This is just the ThinkTank Panel (of One) provising a plausible explaination for a witnessed phenomenon.
The ThinkTank Panel (Of One) loves Fox News, but not for the reasons one might expect. Not because Fox News accurately represents and advocates for the views of the entire ThinkTank Panel, (that would be impossible). It is also not because Fox News is truly “fair and Balanced” in its reporting, because it’s obvious they are not. In fact it is precisely because Fox News has an agenda and they unabashedly press it that agenda down the throat of their audience, all the while maintain that everything they do is “fair and Balanced” that the ThinkTank Panel (of One) enjoys Fox News. Because it’s entertaining. That and that alone constitute the reason “More Americans get their news from Fox News.” It really has nothing to do with what is reported or the political view advanced. Fox News is on TV. The whole point of being on TV is to attract viewers; ands Fox is the one TV news channel that has not forgotten this.
Keith Olberman is as vicious a liberal spokesman as any Fox News commentator is conservative. However Keith Olberman’s shtick is tiring at best and just plain uninteresting to all but the most closed minded liberal. Fox news is exciting and entertaining; while still maintain the pretense of a free press working for the masses. Fox News delivers all of its content with the sense of impassioned urgency that people respond to. It is addictive really. It can suck you in whether you love it or hate it. In that regard Fox News is very mush the Howard Stern of the News business. You watch just to see what happens next.
So while the ThinkTank Panel would caution against reading much into the implications for America’s political leanings by the massive rating lead Fox News holds, the panel believes those rating are very telling about what captivates America’s short attention span.
The ThinkTank Panel (Of One) theorizes three elements of the American TV audience’s psyche Fox News appeals to.
1.) Fear: This is the most obvious element. Every TV news cast leads into a commercial with tag lines touting, “Up next, information that could save your life,” or “The new Harry Potter Movie comes out Friday, why you should be concerned.” Every news station hooks its audience with the premise that each item of news is potentially life altering, and they do this by playing on the various fears of humanity. But no one undermines the perception of security at all levels than Fox news, because Fox News takes our highest and broadest form of security and protection, the US federal government , and makes it’s every move a matter of life or death, (or at least of substantial sums of money.)
2.) Energy: This is the brilliant part of Fox News. While it is busy pushing the fear agenda it does so with anchors and commentators best suited for conducting pep rallies and rock concerts. If it were visually appealing on screen Fox News would dispense with microphones and just give each talking head a megaphone from which to bellow. Fox News is like a 20/7 MTV Rock the Vote Special for boomers. The ThinkTank Panel (Of One) is mildly surprised that ESPN’s Chris Berman has not been vultured by Fox News to do election coverage. The entire line up of female on air talent at Fox News has the collective appearance of a high school cheer squad or a college sorority. The one exception to this is Greta Van Susteren, who happens to be the most reputable journalist on the Fox News payroll.
3.) Intellect: Finally Fox News does a tremendous job of appealing to a rather “high brow” audience. Or perhaps more accurately; Fox News succeeds in making its audience feel more “high brow” for having watched Fox News over another news source. There is a sense of elitism that is imparted to the viewer for merely having been a viewer. Viewers feel they are special and somehow smarter, than their non-Fox News watching peers, not because of the information received in watching, but because they chose to watch in the first place. Where other news stations say “thanks for watching” Fox News in essence says “congratulations you came to the right place.”
[On a side note, The ThinkTank Panel (Of One) would like to point out that the staunch conservative Fox News is using a page straight out of the very liberal Barak Obama presidential campaign when it appeals to a “high brow” sense of elitism. This represents a shift in recent American Politics as both the Clinton and Bush administrations had emphasized a “Hey I’m every man” theme in their successful presidential campaigns (think: baseball, booze, saxophones, and “not inhaling”).]
So what can the success of Fox News yield to us that is of any practical value?
Quite simply, Fox News proves true the old adage, “it’s not what you say but how you say it,” and further illustrates the notion that “perception is reality.” News is in fact a commodity, and the real value of that commodity is in how well you sell it. Yes these are all clichés. Yet Fox News has proven these clichés to be substantial. Remember you don’t have to buy what Fox is saying. The fact that you are watching means they already sold you.
My fellow "sort of later day saint" Glen Beck went off on "social justice." I only say his comments third hand on the Colbert Report and lil Stevie Col-BERTTT was too hilarious to try and top, so I'll just comment on this notion of social justice.
In Beck's view the danger in social justice is in the socail part.
Social, as in socialism, which means taking your hard earned money away!
(I should point out that the money taking in socialism always puts that money to a worthwhile cause, like medical care, and education, providing these free of charge for those whom the money was taken from and the rest of the citizens of that nation, although some do pay disproportionately more than others, which is a relevant to note as you will see late, Ergo, I digress.)
Most red blooded Americans if asked would say they feel more comfortable with the notion of justice than with the notion of socialism. After all justice is up on the list with good and right.
But it's the justice that should be feared in social justice.
For 2 reasons
Reason #1: Justice in unattainable.
Because justice can be applied 2 opposing ways depending on what is most advantageous to the party screaming injustice at the time. Justice can mean equality as in everyone gets the same amount, or justice can mean fair as in everyone gets according to their needs.
If someone is deemed to need more of something than others, rest assured the others will feel slighted and cry out for justice. If all are given equally, you can bet someone will claim to be special and demand justice be given them.
Obviously you can't have it both ways. But justice is an abstract concept utilized since a the beginning of time try and to do just that, never succeeding. If it were possible we would have lived in a just world by now, at least for a little while. But it's never happened and it never will because justice is at best unattainable and more likely straight impossible. To pursue it ultimately will lead to ruin.
Reason #2: Justice is really code for revenge.
It is. This is pretty much self evident. I don't even have to explain this, but I'll try just to make this post longer.
Old Mosaic law defined justice and "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth". When we go to court and it's sentencing time, we always root for a severe penalty. You know it;s just a pursuit of vengeance because we apply whichever meaning of justice, fair or equal, yields a harsher punishment.
I'm more concerned about people hell bent on revenge running around punishing those they feel slighted by, than people taking my money so I can go to school and the doctor for free.
By the way socialism does what justice can not. It has it;s cake and eats it's it too. As far as equality and fairness go, socialism accomplishes both at the same time.
While it is fair in it's disproportionate taking of the money, more from the rich than from the poor, it provides the benefits equally, meaning everyone gets the best they have to offer.
Ok, so maybe only in theory.
But in a perfect and just world....
Is healthcare a public obligation or private enterprise? I guess it depends on your perspective.
You could see the advances in medicine and technology as equipping the state with the means to protect and sustain the lives of its citizens not only from external danger like terrorist attacks but from internal dangers such as disease as well, and feel it is the government’s obligation to provide this protection, and any failure to provide such protection when that protection is possible is then seen as moral abandonment. Ultimately it is an ethical question for those in power and their responsibility to their subjects,..Ahem… constituents.
Or you could see healthcare as a personal obligation if not merely a preference of the quality and duration of one’s own life, weighing the personal co$ts and benefits of treating the illness verses the relative inconsistencies and limitations of the disease. Ultimately it is a personal choice. Freedom. Personal responsibilities for ones’ own self alone.
Which is better?
I don’t know.
But what I do know for sure is Health Insurance (and all insurance in entirety) is a private enterprise, and most certainly not a public obligation.
Which makes this notion of forcing people to buy healthcare insurance or pay the penalty (literally), kind of backwards, given that it is the centerpiece of the the plan championed by the people claiming healthcare is a public obligation.
Going one step further….
Is healthcare a right?
And if it isn’t, should it be? Ethically, it would seem hard to argue that it shouldn’t be, given the resources we know to exist.