Saturday, October 15, 2016

Daniel Horowitz on how "Republicans VS Democrats is as real as Pro-Wrestling". How the fake fight is debasing American Politics.

Daniel Horowitz laments to his audience how Conservatives have forsaken their ideals, engaging in rhetorical fights that have the appearance of conviction whilst not actually standing up for traditional principles.

CONSERVATIVE CONSCIENCE | Republicans VS Democrats is as real as Professional Wrestling
DANIEL HOROWITZ: (1m 27s) What we have going on nowadays is a phony conservative party, a phony Presidential nominee, a phony conservative media... where you basically have a false flag operation where everyone's yelling and fighting. There's a lot of acrimony but when you peel back what's going on they're fighting over nothing...
That's today's topic -- Republicans VS Democrats is as real as Professional Wrestling. WWE!
You see the bodyslams and the chairs, knocking the guy's heads in. This and that, all the noise but its fake, there's nothing going on. That's exactly what today's political discourse is. Today's political reality is. And I want to go through the news of the day, what's really important for Conservatives to focus on and through that we'll come to the conclusion that the Republican Party on the Presidential level, the Congressional level and at the Conservative Media level engage in a fake fight with the Left when it really matters and how it debases who we are and moves the contours of the political debate inexorably to the left and also into the gutter...
We are everything the left is, minus some change. Minus some pennies... this is not just on fiscal policy. This is on who we are as people. This is on morality, this is on culture. This is who we are. This phony, binary fight where everyone gets wrapped up in -- "Oh man, everything's going to hinge on what happens". Its all fake. Its all fake wrestling... lots of fireworks in that debate. How many policy statements were really in contention? How much did they really disagree on?
Lots of insults traded. But over what? Because you're the Red Team and I'm the Blue Team so we have to fight...
The phoniness accentuated this Presidential Election as both parties promote deeply flawed and unfavourable nominees. Policy wise both candidates are more centrist than their base would prefer whilst conversely representing the most partisan figurehead imaginable for their opposition. A tricky balancing act for any would-be supporters.

The gravitational force this election has undoubtedly been Donald Trump, a unique political animal. A celebrity businessman with wrestling bona fides. He has leveraged his sturdy following and "Crash TV" appeal to commandeer the GOP and the media. Arguably the entire political process. Writer Virginia Heffernann offers her take on how a seasoned statesman like Hillary has had to bend to this pehnomenon albeit a political novice
TRUMPCAST | The Boys on the Bus
VIRGINA HEFFERNAN: (5m 23s) In this great book from years ago called the 'Epistemology of the Closet' by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick... There's this wonderful moment where she talks about bilingualism and the dominant position of someone who only speaks one language, even one dialect the way Trump does. This coarse dialect that he has.

She cites [US President] Reagan and [French President] Mitterand. Mitterand was super-worldly and spoke French and English. Reagan only spoke English and so they always negotiated in English, so Mitterand's always in his second language. And Trump always gets to talk like this and everybody else -- because most women are familiar with this idiom. Hillary Clinton is certainly familiar with this idiom but has had to completely abandon her way of talking and her way of comporting herself to have a conversation on this level
JACOB WEISBERG: Right, he defines the terms of the debate
Jacob Weisberg expands on the point in a later episode, citing how Trump's competitors resorted to mimicry as his brash presentation proved a winning formula for the primary
TRUMPCAST Extra: The "Grabfest Post Debate Special" Edition
JACOB WEISBERG: (14m 46s) There's the Marco Rubio example, I mean he's [Trump] trying to drag you down to his level. If you respond to him at his level, although it could be satisfying in the moment and everybody kind of wants it. Its almost definitely a mistake because at that point people are saying "Oh, the problem is both candidates -- its this campaign, the campaign is disgusting." and to refrain from being disgusting and respond to someone who's treating you vilely is really hard and takes a lot of discipline
Jacob and Daniel have divergent political interests but raise similar concerns about the lowering standards of American Politics
DANIEL HOROWITZ: (20m 18s) Imagine if all of Talk Radio, if all the internet sites, if all the concerns people are focused on would focus on what's important. Would lead a movement that's important. Would lead a movement that we can be proud of. Instead this is what we've become. Its all this, this is WWE. Its all an entertainment now. Its all entertainment business. Complete nonsense, this whole thing is immoral. But this is how you shift the contours of the debate permanently... If we don't fundamentally change the movement, if we don't fundamentally change the game we've already lost anyway...

We've become desensitized because again the Left is so evil and immoral but the more immoral they get we can always point to the fact we're one or two steps less immoral than them so you can create a fake fight over that. "You're this and I'm that. Well you did this". Meanwhile the more immoral and evil they get, the more immoral and evil we get. Cuz we keep getting schlepped over with them. So by engaging in that fight you're almost validating and consummating that degree, its like that ratchet theory we talk about. You hone in, you lock it in. You can only keep moving forward but not backwards. You already lost it.
Sadly the spectacle and team sports aspects of American Politics are big drawcards for casual watchers. Trump has capitalised on his name recognition and showmanship to deliver an engaging product, electrifying his populist base and enthralling everyone else. Whilst the debasing of political discourse has depressed donor funding, the "Trump effect" has increased public engagement and become a boon for News Networks. In Combat Sports anything goes when you're selling a fight, competitors are forgiven for throwing missiles and brawling at Press Conferences because promoters know all publicity is good and whets the audiences' appetite.

Trump has been a perfect ratings vehicle, his thirst for attention driving his popularity, the "fight" between Trump and the Media mutually beneficial. Tapping into the Reality TV zeitgeist, if a Presidency doesn't pan out the "Trump Show " could spin-off into a Media Empire. Wyatt Cenac once said on the 'Daily Show' -- "You think politicians wanna win their arguments when all they really wanna do is keep having them. They know arguments are interesting, they energize voters, they keep the money flowing in.".

Some have played "chicken" with Trump because he represents a foil for the GOP. As people like Jacob Weisberg and Daniel Horowitz have asserted, we might be allowing the "Trump Show" to take down American Politics altogether.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The 2016 Vice Presidential Debate Wallpaper: Tim Kaine VS Mike Pence

NXT Arrival: Mike Pence VS Tim Kaine
Keepin' it 1600 | Ep. 38: VP Debate React and State of the Race

JON FAVREAU: (16m 50s) It was jarring to see normal candidates talking right?
TOMMY VIETOR: In full sentences about issues
FAVREAU: The same way that watching the Clinton debates in the Primaries against Bernie were sort of boring and a totally different feeling than that involving Trump. This had that feeling again. Normal Politics was suddenly back. We were talking about issues. It was almost depressing because as entertaining as the other thing is, its horrible.
VIETOR: What it makes you realise is that there is hope for us after Trump. We can get past Trump. Politics is still really f*cked up but we can go back to debates like that. Except there is a lot of lying, lying with impunity is still a problem
The only Vice Presidential debate took place Tuesday, sandwiched between the First and Second Presidential showdowns. Most political watchers see the VP debates as only marginally consequential especially in contrast to the outsized personalities involved at the top of the ticket, the Main Event. Being that both Hillary and Donald are the oldest nominees to contest for the Presidency some lip service was paid. The VP debate offered a seemingly singular opportunity for the public to be introduced to Mike Pence and Tim Kaine head to head with under 40 days left before voting.
The general consensus among pundits was that Mike Pence won, largely on presentation. He was measured in his tone, sidestepping many of the charges Tim Kaine laid at his feet. Kaine whilst being more substantive was mostly dismissed due to his constant interruptions of Pence and the moderator, a mishandling of the permitted "discussion" format. Mike Pence' credentials as a former Radio Talker often cited for his deftness on the stage.

Inforwars: Live feed of the VP Debate
LA Times: Scoring the Vice Presidential Debate
Several outlets employed the Combat sports analogy, de rigeur this election season and moving forward I suspect. Infowars used a boxing graphic to accompany their live election feed. The LA Times went with a Greco-Roman wrestling motif, complete with Judges' scorecards.