Cheap Seats Online 2015 Part B
By Rich Trzupek:
Growing up, my mother often invoked a version of the “starving kids in India” paradigm in an effort to get me to eat something I did not care to ingest. The basic message was that there were poor kids starving in Calcutta and, unless I ate the broccoli that my parents had so thoughtfully provided me, some kid in Calcutta would die of starvation, because I had somehow upset the world’s food distribution network, apparently.
It was a silly choice, but – to the adolescent mind – there wasn’t any wiggle room provided. It was this or that. Either one ate the broccoli or an innocent paid with her or his life. Framing the decision thus pretty much ensured the outcome for any non-sociopaths being asked to make the decision.
Politicians, of both parties, love to employ this strategy. Or, rather, the public relations professionals who control so much of the strategic direction decisions in both major parties are addicted to it. The basic message is: “either you do things my way, or this disaster will occur.” There is no third, fourth, fifth, etc. choices in their pretend worlds.
As noted above, both parties push ultra-simplistic PR messaging. But, I don’t think anyone has employed idiotic “either/or” messaging as effectively, and as dangerously, as the administration of one Barack Hussein Obama.
American never gets a third option in the Obama administration, much less a fourth of fifth. It’s either this or that way, one way or another. The theme song for the Obama administration should be Enya’s “Anywhere Is” (look it up people).
Consider, for example, Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. The choice? Either we take this deal, or we go to nuclear war with Iran. Not just war, mind you, but nuclear war.
The administration’s PR machine churned out a video featuring Jack Black and a bunch of other Hollywood types that a cultural hermit like me would not recognize, all patiently defining the only two options available and pointing out that one of them, the nuclear war choice, would probably – almost certainly – involve some discomfort. Because, you know, people couldn’t figure that out on their own.
One of the horrible consequences of nuclear war mentioned was melting Frisbees. Seriously. If the semi-liquefaction of plastic toys isn’t going to get Milleneals off their butts to support this deal, what is?
The truth is that there were and are a lot of other choices between this deal and nuclear war, the most attractive of which is: a different deal. There was absolutely no need to lift the sanctions that were having a real effect and that undermined the mullahs authority a little more each day they were in place.
If there is one thing the Cold War should have taught us, it’s that economics will eventually take down corrupt regimes, if we have the patience to let economic forces do their work, while we support a strong and vigilant defense at the same time. A succession of American Presidents from both parties, from Truman through Bush I stuck to that formula and the result was the collapse of the Soviet Union in nearly bloodless fashion.
Now you may point out that what has replaced the USSR isn’t much better than what had been there before, as far as Russia is concerned, and you would be correct. However, winning Cold War I did liberate millions of people in eastern and central Europe who now thrive under free, elected governments.
Keep the economic pressure on Iran long enough and eventually enough Iranians would have had enough. But, that kind of change takes time and when you’re a lame duck President desperately trying to define your legacy as a supposed peacemaker, time is not a luxury you can afford.
It’s the same thing with the immigration issue. Every time somebody points out that our southern border is more porous than a broken colander, the administration replies that the Republican Party is at fault because the GOP refuses to pass the immigration reform legislation the Dems have proposed.
Again, there are two choices: a) pass the legislation we want, or b) do nothing. There’s no chance of considering option c – enforcing the laws actually on the books – much less options d through z, which would be any of the myriad of alternate immigration reform approaches that have been proposed by members of both parties.
Nope, with President Barry your choices are always limited to two. It’s the Sesame Street approach to governance and the results speak for themselves.