My advice to all and sundry: READ THIS BOOK BEFORE YOU VOTE! Then think carefully, review the options and consequences of your selection because it will influence the state of America for decades to come. If one party hijacks the system to the detriment of the other, there will no longer be a viable two-party system or a workable democracy. Too many people are unaware of what goes on behind the scenes, and sadly, they seem disinterested because it may not affect them directly, in the present moment, or they don’t understand the consequences of the slippery slope developing. This well known and well respected Wall Street Journal reporter lifts the curtain and exposes the back-handed tactics most of us are never privy to, and therefore we do not realize what is determining the direction of our country or the mood of the people who are disaffected..
Strassel examines the First Amendment to the Constitution with regard to freedom of speech, she looks at the way politicians use manipulative tactics to alter only the way corporations can donate money, but then they ignore the way unions do, the way they use the IRS as a personal arm to explore, illegally, the records of 501(c)(3) companies, seeks to curb free speech by trying to pass a law to force the disclosure of donors to certain groups so they can be attacked for political purposes, and uses other subtle and secret methods which are really frightening to contemplate in the long run.
Strassel covers the tactics used by some politicians to manipulate the participants in many conservative organizations by 1-falsely accusing them of interfering in politics, 2-demanding their records, present and past, that they have no right to demand, 3-creating divisiveness and a general atmosphere of fear because of the governments support of their tactics and the governments inordinate ability to punish, gag and keep those falsely accused hanging for months and even years on end, 4-spreading false innuendos with abandon about anyone who opposes them in order to humiliate them and their families and associates, and 5- by stalling any actual action to adjudicate the issues which ultimately unfairly gives these progressive operatives the upper hand.
The aim of those involved in this behavior seems to be to abort our democracy in an explicit effort to gain the advantage, even when they know their cause and their effort walks the thin line between acceptable and unacceptable, immoral and moral, truth and lie, constitutional and unconstitutional. Some of the people who do this are well known, for example Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer. They drag out the phony implied issues in order to create disinterest and distract everyone from the real issues. By planting false narratives they create false scandals, by using defamatory terms over and over, they define issues and people improperly. The lemmings simply follow in their footsteps lockstep, and their victims are left to swing in the wind and suffer the costs and consequences of their undignified, unethical and sometimes illegal betrayals of our constitution, which has previously made us the greatest and most successful country in the world. The power is always with the party in power, if that party changes, do those same people want to suffer the slings and arrows of their own doing.
The system is so hijacked that people, innocent people and businesses, small and large, are afraid to speak out, afraid to be targeted by a party that has lost their moral compass in favor of winning at all costs, even when they know they are lying, cheating, behaving illegally, even unconstitutionally, and in some cases criminally, by remaining unified in their poor and shameful conduct, supporting each other regardless of the message they hear. Sadly, many in our government, schools (teachers and students alike) and courts are just as biased and self-motivated with self-interest. They refuse to think honestly about their actions and refuse to try and learn anything new about issues that might jeopardize the candidate their party runs (or their particular project), even when that candidate is unprepared, unfit, inexperienced and often has a criminal record and his proposals are unjust. But don’t take my word for it. Before you try to contradict the messenger, as so many tend to do with shouts and calls for boycotts, with name calling and civil protests, read the information widely available for yourself, and then decide. If you still choose to perpetuate the scandals that have been largely created, sometimes out of thin air, if you still will not speak out for justice because at the moment you are on the receiving end and are profiting from it, then you will be responsible for what you sow. Sadly, those you hurt will also be damaged by what you reap in the process.
One candidate may say things inartfully, but one has already done things inartfully. If the presentation of the message is more important than the message, then our electorate has been kidnapped by this new world of technology with its sound bites and 24 hour news coverage. If oppositional opinion or preference is silenced by a corrupt administration, which will then continue to rule for years to come, in one form or another, and we all don’t hold ourselves to a higher standard exposing those tactics, our lower standards will not only defeat worthy candidates, but will defeat what we know as America.
This book exposes the sometimes underhanded methods used by those who represent us. It exposes the practice of using sinister methods to intimidate, and therefore stop opposition. Laws have been enacted and individuals have been targeted with unfounded threats and law suits in an effort to prevent any effective opposition, and all this is being done in plain sight with those who are doing it very aware that their lawsuits are trivial and their behavior is unworthy. Simply put, they realize that a lie told often enough is often believed and they have raised the act of lying to an art form. The law allows those with the power to blackmail their victims, and then the law actually forbids their victims from going public by threatening them with incarceration and character assassination. These tactics have been successful, and so they continue. Our educators no longer seem to want to stimulate intellectual discussion in the classroom, but rather they present one-sided views on most subjects and issues, often taking unprecedented political positions. Those with the bully pulpit have the administration firmly in their corner, an administration willing to defy the constitution to further its agenda. Therefore, it is fairly easy for them to tip the scales in their favor and possibly steal elections which, after reading the book, will definitely seem rigged to most readers. The dilemma is that they are not rigged in the traditionally understood meaning of being rigged, and so the spin often blinds our citizens to the truth. Does anyone consider what will happen if the power ever changes hands?
Our citizens are influenced by the constant attention paid to subjects that arouse emotion rather than intellectual and meaningful thought, and the use of famous athletes and entertainment giants who may know less than the voters and who do not share their interests but feather their own nests by supporting candidates who then shower them with favors and positive attention. They listen only to the sound bites of those who speak with a gift of gab and possibly are more charismatic, those who may say do as I say and not as I do, They are not encouraged to do their own research, and they often prefer to support their own personal agenda over the needs of their country, and therefore they continue to vote without thought about a future for themselves or America. They are simply seeking immediate gratification for their own needs and often that is simply a hand-out rather than a hand-up. The “me” generation has reappeared in a hybrid form which is far more dangerous than it once was because it has no idea of what will happen next and does not care. The pot calls the kettle black and that pot is on fire, but no one has the courage to put it out.
Before you judge me or the author, read the book and judge for yourself. Learn both sides of the issues. Do not just go off into the sunset like so many Democrats and Progressives, Conservatives and Republicans do, singing lalalala…it may spell your country’s swan song.