Huckster-Populism-Demagogy

7 01 2008
Huckster-Populism-Demagogy
By William Robert Barber

A few of the presidential contenders, seemingly, the heretofore more successful contenders have established as part of their, ‘elect me’ persuasion, a menu of populist entrees. These entrees have been defined and espoused as measures designed to protect and benefit the average person; the common man. The supposition is of course that the average American needs such protection and require some ‘action’ because this particular segment of American’s are not benefiting.

Naturally, these politicians, these provocateurs, in order for their message to appear reasonable and rational, must presume and enthusiastically endorse any and all negatives. For example, the economy must be heading for a recession, the war in Iraq is not winnable, or the health care system is impaired, the rich are not paying their fair share of taxes, corporations are susceptible to or are more or less inherently corrupt, unions are generally underrepresented in the competition within the marketplace, big businesses are exporting jobs to the detriment of American workers, the middle class has paid too much, and free trade is detrimentally counter to the interest of the American people.

Of course I could go on, and further, noting more examples of negative rhetoric; but, I think my point has been made. The list of populist talking points does require some imagination mixed with a little hyperbole; of course imagination and hyperbole are almost an intrinsic of any politician bearing the populist message. The populist agenda requires demagogy, as well as, constant negative regurgitation in order for the message to successfully populate into the media and then eventually into the voting booth.

These negatives on just about anything and everything seem to fly contrary to the preponderance of everyday evidence. The economy is an interesting target of these populists’ contenders. Yet despite the increasingly higher and higher cost of gasoline, traffic in major cities have not abated, the road from Los Angeles to Las Vegas is backed for miles on a Friday night (those coming) and on Sunday afternoon for those leaving, last year Americans spent 41 billion on their pets, gaming revenues across the United States are up or holding steady, and almost a day does not go by without some publication charging that Americans are over weight. In the interest of brevity, I will not continue with measuring the negative with I consider the obvious contrary.

Nevertheless, the emperors of Rome purchased the apathy of its citizens with bread, beer, and games; the populist wish to purchase votes with promising a another newer scheme for a final fair redistribution of tax revenue. The first cause of action will be to tax the rich and business because this segment can bear the financial burden and after all they are a minority so the majority will not be negatively affected. Never mind that these are the creators of capital who pay a larger share of all paid in tax revenue, that these are the risk takers, the very innovators that stimulate economic growth via capital investment; no way, suggest the anti-business proponents of a populous agenda.

I am, quite perplexed as to the populist’s amazing disregard of sensibility, these populist are armed with a number of vague ambiguous concepts, a novelistic approach to writing their story of persuasion and self serving illusionary generalities; it is as if they all graduated from the Don Quixote School of Economic Theory.

Business is the pragmatic no nonsense energy of what makes America great; the rules and regulations that govern and control the operating management of business is the ethos that defines the platform of support for the American way of life. The American style of business has delivered a multi trillion dollar economy, an employment rate of 95%, and a tax revenue base that maintains a protective shield in the form of the most effectively lethal military that the world has ever seen.

To be anti-business is to be anti-American. How’s that for a populous ideal?

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