The Social Media Courtroom (AKA) And There Was Much Rejoicing!

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As I begin to write this I already see the problem inherent in the subject. I am about to use a form of social media to bash social media for being to quick to bash things. Should my glaring hypocrisy overwhelm me and attempt to cause me harm worry not, I have EMS on speed dial.

We have before us the greatest voice ever given to any population of human beings since civilization’s dawn. As recent as the 1980’s society had grown to a point where proper communication was less than efficient. if we dinosaurs recall correctly cell phones were not in everyone’s pocket. Chat messages, e-mail, and the wonders of social media were not in existence. 24 hour news was just a glimmer in Rupert Murdoch’s evil little eye. Somehow we trudged along, and society worked, just at a slower pace.

In the early 1990’s we humans spawned the internet, and as at the birth of television before it, there was much rejoicing. Unfortunately, “…in the frozen lands of Nador, we were forced to eat Robin’s minstrels, and there was much rejoicing.”[1] But soon the story of the cannibalizing of Robin’s minstrels leaked to social media. A grainy, out of focus video was see on YouTube which went viral and was quickly picked up by Reddit. A comment storm ensued which found its way to the national media outlets where cries of outrage and horror were heard from the nation as a whole, nay, the entire planet. In unison they cried for Robin’s head as, though having no previous record of cannibalization, he was the leader of this ragtag group of vagabonds and someone’s head must roll.

Thus dawned the cautionary tales of people and their run in with the all consuming nature of the internet and social media. The tales of those that first roused the beast and then were subsequently consumed by it. We have watched, and often applauded, as the beast has been set loose upon unsuspecting members of society, upon media darlings, celebrities, and politicians. We have seen them consumed never to be heard from again. And as a society, there has been much rejoicing. But how much of this is too much?

Right now I see no end in sight. I recall when Imus, a radio personality of which I was barely aware, made racial slurs against a women’s collegiate basketball team and it’s members. Before the advent of the internet only his listeners would have heard his comments. They liked him so they probably would have taken that as business as usual. No one would have much noticed, or cared. But in today’s world he was outed online. he was placed in front of the dreaded podium of shame, which is essentially the stocks of the day, and forced to apologize. He was forced to apologize to the young women he had offended but, in reality, he was being forced to apologize to us all.

You may have never heard of Imus. You may not give a flying something or other that he exists. You may not have known what he said or why. But you wanted that apology. We wanted that apology. Atone for your existence Mr. Imus, your time is at hand. Then slither off to think long and hard about what you have done.

The podium of shame is out there now. I would like to say it is empty today but as I type I have the television on and, though on mute, I see images of women speaking cut with pictures of Bill Cosby. It is his turn at the podium. It could well be argued his term is well deserved and you would find no opposing view in me. But because Bill Cosby is deemed as deserving does not mean all of the people that share that stage are.

In a true courtroom there are levels of guilt, levels of egregiousness. For example, there are murder one, murder two, manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and I am sure other levels of, yeah the person is dead but did you really mean to make them that way, guilt we can attach along with punishment we dole out. On social media there seems one crime, you pissed us off, followed by one penalty, out of my sight, out of my awareness.

If fair was a concept we all felt applied to the world then this would certainly not be a good application of it. This, coupled with the number of social media sentences handed down, on a nearly daily basis, is testament to a situation clearly out of control. The fact that I can write this without putting examples in is, in and of itself, testimony to the sheer quantity of cases because I know all of you are listing them in your head as you read.

Just post something offensive on facebook and wait. People you call friend will vilify you and, I admit, I am among them. Post on facebook on a comment out there that is from a larger source, or from someone you do not know, and the trolls, as we now call them, come out. They arrive in herds to assure you that they have, not only a vastly different opinion, but one which is most assuredly more correct than your own.

It seems, while the internet has definitely improved communication by giving people a voice, it may have proven why the world was, at the very least, a nicer place before we knew what that voice had to say. Social Media has proven that when humans are not required to confront others directly, and instead can voice their opinion from the seemingly anonymous protection of their dwelling, they get pretty brave. They also get darn mouthy, as they also like to get people fired, and ostracized, for things as egregious as disagreeing with them.

I am certain there was a time around the invention of television when it was heralded as a potential wondrous new age for communication and education. Then it made shows like “The Bachelor” and “Survivor” and “Three’s Company.” I am equally certain the internet was seen at its inception as very much the same. A wonderful new tool to share useful information, to communicate with one another globally and instantaneously. Now we have the courtroom. Now we have social media. Now we have countless opinions meant solely to belittle, judge, ostracize, and bully other humans. These opinions do not seek to be educated, nor do they seek to look for the positive in a situation in any way. rather they seek to destroy, ridicule, and spew forth their drivel with no thought and no empathy. They seek this and then they do much rejoicing. But, this time in the frozen lands of Nador the beast, aroused by the clamor of typing, turned upon and devoured the trolls themselves. And while there was not much rejoicing because, after consuming the entire herd of trolls there were limited numbers of humans left to rejoice. I assure you that those remaining rejoiced enough for us all. So it is written, so it shall be done.

 

[1]    Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

 

Does the War on Christians Actually Exist?

war panel(2)

In today’s vapid environment it seems certain entities feel a need to declare they are under attack. The evidence these entities cite to prove their claims often careens wildly between fact and fiction.  On the list of the  self proclaimed besieged are unarmed black men, the police, women, the 99%, the 1%, but, none more so than Christians. To listen to certain factions within media and government is to hear a constant stream of supposed slights and downright assaults on what they deem their religious freedom, their religious identity. And as the talking heads, political entities, and various Christian leaders cry foul at every turn the followers do just that, they follow.

The reality here is that, as of this writing, and ABC poll found that “[e]ighty-three percent of Americans identify themselves as Christians. Most of the rest, 13 percent, have no religion. That leaves just 4 percent as adherents of all non-Christian religions combined — Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and a smattering of individual mentions.”[1] And, while others may dispute the exact figures here, suffice it to say, we all agree that the vast majority of Americans identify as Christian so I will refrain from dragging out a whole series of polls proving thus. This means that the majority held position of Christians, in a society based on Democracy in part, feels they are under attack from a much smaller group identifying as Non-Christian, and further divided into even smaller factions of very disparate beliefs and those lacking belief entirely. Which, on its face, seems a little absurd don’t you think?

As in any good war it is always good to get the potential army of defenders readied for the coming conflict. Often this is done by inciting the faithful with mass quantities of misinformation as reality will serve no one at this point. This war is no different in this respect. To this end the leaders of the faithful cry, “the United States of America was founded entirely on Christianity!” Which leads one to wonder why George Washington would write,

“If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.”
~Founding Father George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789[2]

Or, the far more succinct statement by John Adams,

“The Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”
~1797 Treaty of Tripoli signed by Founding Father John Adams[2] 

which sums it all up nicely. And if we cannot be expected to accept the words of the founding fathers themselves regarding their own intent, as they were there, then who is to be the voice of clarity. 

The original Constitution itself mentions religion only once in Article 6, essentially saying no religious test shall ever be required to hold office in the United States. The second reference comes in an amendment, and therefore not original content. But, it is the the 1st amendment to the Constitution basically saying the Government shall not interfere with the religion(s), or lack there of, of the people. Nor shall it establish a religion. And there you have it.

So ask why, if religion is so important to the founding fathers and the dawn of this nation, is it mentioned only two times in the Constitution? And why, if it is so important, are both those references written to prevent religious persecution and establish a free space for the existence of religion separate and away from government? Simply put, if the government is founded on religion why take any time establishing religion as protected from government?

WarOnChristmas-Comic

Another piece of misinformation that those that assure us the war exists love to espouse is the War on Christmas. This is a subset of the War on Christians but still an interesting second front. Oft cited as truth here in various forms is that Christians are prevented from saying Merry Christmas during this time of the year. I have asked Christians I know that have asserted this in some form if indeed, anyone, anywhere, at any time, has expressly forbidden them from saying this holiday greeting to anyone. They either do not reply, or say no and then they attempt to add a BUT. The BUT is that others have said that this is happening. those others know this is happening because still others have told them this is happening. You should, at this point, see where this is going.

The Believers are also informed that a part of this war on them and their beliefs is the removal of God from school, and from the halls of Government. Also it is included in the desire of some in this nation that wish to see the term “Under God” removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, and “In God We Trust” from our money. The believers are told to cry foul, and to recognize this for the repression of their faith that it is. They are left to assume these things are supposed to be this way as they have been from the beginning.

The faithful are not told that these things are not as they seem. “In God We Trust” and “Under God” were added to their particular mediums in 1957. Before this they were not there. They were added in direct response to the Godless Russian menace in the cold war. And as far as God in School and the halls of Government, the first amendment handles that, as Government shall make no laws establishing any religion. To have a public school or a courthouse pick a particular religious belief above all others violates the fist amendment. Requiring that they not promote a particular God or religion is not a war against Christians or on Christianity, it is following the Constitution. And in truth it is actually a protection of Christianity as it is a protection of all faiths because it expressly forbids any faith from being drowned out. It holds all faiths equal in the eyes of the government and should also in the eyes of the people.

One of the newest fronts in this seemingly endless affront to Christianity has been marriage equality. This is something that has gone into effect which, too the best of my knowledge, unless you are actually a homosexual, has zero impact on your life. To be clear, that impact on your straight life, even your married straight life, is absolutely zero.  No one has mandated you change sexual identity. No one has demanded you attend gay weddings or funerals or any function you do not want to attend. No one has demanded you like any of this, or approve of it, nor are you required to explain to your pets and farm animals that gay marriage is good and right. It effects you not at all. And yet, this is one of the more rabid skirmishes of the war.

DavisHandWe cannot discuss this part without a nod to Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who has seen fit to become noteworthy by denying marriage licenses to LGBT peoples on the grounds of her faith. The Politicians, talking heads, and various religious leaders have seen fit to label her a martyr and a beacon in the dark as they assert that she is being persecuted for her stand against the Godless throng assaulting her beliefs. The reality is, she is a clerk, elected by the people, that took an oath to do her job. She then said she will not do her job. Most people get fired at this point. She is elected so that isn’t an option. Because of this steps were taken to force her to either do her job or step out of the way and let others do it for her. This is not religious persecution, this is a workplace dispute.

If Bob was hired by me as a crane operator because there was stuff that I needed raised from a lower level to a higher one, and, upon entering the crane to raise the stuff that needs raising to a place it needs to be raised up to Bob refused, I would inquire. I would ask Bob, “whatever seems to be the difficulty Bob? it seems to me that I have hired you to raise stuff and you are not doing the stuff raising. I require an explanation.” To wit Bob replies, “I am sorry but my beliefs are such that violating the law of gravity is offensive to me and I feel, if this stuff was meant to be raised, it already would have been raised by divine means and thus I cannot intervene in good faith.” It is at this point where I, shaking my head, say “but Bob, when I hired you as a crane operator it was under the understanding that crane operating requires lifting stuff.” Bob might respond, “I know.” I would then add, “Bob I am going to need to replace you as you cannot seem to do what we are paying you to do and appease your strongly held belief.” Bob acquiesces, stepping down from the crane and sadly leaving to find work more suitable to his situation.

Bob does this after our discussion because Bob is a reasonable human being. Bob understands that if he cannot perform the tasks of the job he has been hired to do then it is not fair to anyone that he continue to occupy the position. Instead Bob knows he should find a position which works for him and let someone else take over as lifter of stuff. Bob doesn’t get any organizations involved. Bob does not cry Gravitational persecution. Bob does not do this because I invented him. I did not invent Kim. She and her legion are not reasonable and have attempted to turn a simple case of an employee not wanting to do her job into Jesus’s crucifixion as it better suites the larger narrative which is religious oppression, which is a War on Christians.

I wish it were as easy as explaining rationally why the misinformation supplied by those fueling this imaginary war has led to misconceptions about how things really are. I wish then that the followers would look and say “wow, it is clear to me now that we have been led astray and now that I see how far this has been blown out of proportion to reality I will adjust myself, my beliefs, and my actions, accordingly.” It would be so very nice if something like this could happen. After all, fragments of four percent of the nations belief systems; fragments that do not even communicate with one another, do not join with thirteen percent of non-believers. They do not join with one another at all. They do not even mingle. And they certainly do not start a war on eighty three percent of the population. The eighty three percent that holds almost all public office, and high ranking military leadership. The eighty three percent that holds almost all the CEO positions of powerful corporations and make up the the law enforcement agencies serving this nation. The eighty three percent that run the country from top to bottom.

So please, let us STOP THE WAR before it does something like actually exist.

 

Sources

[1] http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=90356&page=1

[2] http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/07/04/35-founding-father-quotes-conservative-christians-will-hate/

Photos

http://www.tradyouth.org/2013/12/the-war-on-christmas-and-other-tales-of-victimhood/

http://www.pcs.org/blog/item/war-what-is-it-good-for/

Disclaimer: In the sources I list some, or all, are links to websites. I assert that the information I took from these websites, whether I took a whole piece, or bits from different spots on the page, were as I represent them in this article. As websites are subject to change, and I have no control over that change either in time or content, I cannot be responsible if the source looks different in whole, or in part, when checked at a later date.

Fairness Doctrine (Part Deux)

Fox-MSNBC-620x239In the previous post I discussed the purpose of the Fairness Doctrine and how its revocation in 1987 has, in the opinion of many, led to the creation of agenda driven “News” giants like Fox News and MSNBC. Under the fairness Doctrine these entities would have been required to give a fair and balanced view of the days newsworthy events. Without the Doctrine they are constrained by very little, if anything at all. The advent of these diametrically opposed entities has in turn, at least in part, fueled an ideological feud within this nation. A feud that stretches from dinner tables and casual discussions, to the internet and social media, and finally reached the three branches of government at both state and federal levels. The two sides are deeply entrenched in views distorted by the pretend “News” entities as they strive to shape public and government opinion and policy.

While the Fairness Doctrine was based on the 1949 FCC (Federal Communications Commission) report regarding fair and balanced information, it was only used on a case by case basis until 1967 when certain provisions were adopted into FCC regulation. This remained in effect until 1987 when the FCC removed the Doctrine in a 4-0 vote. This was done as the Doctrine was seen to inhibit journalists in electronic media (TV and Radio) in ways they felt the print media of the time never had to suffer. So it would seem the Doctrine was removed in good conscience and in hopes that the media would then strive to improve their level of reporting without unnecessary constraints. I know there are those out there that would disagree with me but I do not think the media has lived up to their end of this arraignment.

Twice in 2005 Democratic representatives introduced legislation to reinstate all or part of the Fairness Doctrine, neither time did they even make it to a vote. In 2007, 2008, and 2009 Democratic voices in congress voiced support for the Doctrine but no attempt was made at legislation as the opposition was to great.

fox-vs-msnbc1

The opposition is from the Republican side of the aisle as it is seen as a liberal assault on the right wing voices of people like Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity. “Limbaugh has promised he’s “not going down without a fight” and calls the Fairness Doctrine just “the tip of the iceberg” of an attempt by the federal government to expand its power. Newt Gingrich called the Fairness Doctrine “Affirmative Action for liberals” and Hannity called it “an assault on the First Amendment.”[1] So it seems, at the very least, the far right wing of the political parties sees the power they possess to manipulate and misinform the population without these constraints in place as something they hold dear.

While I may never be one to find much use in the thoughts of Mr. Hannity I would have trouble disagreeing with that particular point of view. The first amendment is all about freedom of speech and this compels Americans to support others right to say things, even when those are things you would vehemently oppose, but, the first amendment does not say that I have to let you call it “News.”

The word News is defined as “newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or important events” which, strictly speaking, seems to mean information passed to someone they did not previously know. You may then tell me all unicorns are purple, which, I will admit, I did not know. By strict definition your purple unicorn information is news. However, words change meaning as time passes and they are used in daily conversation. Earlier in this article I mentioned “electronic media” for instance, and placed TV and Radio in parentheses after. I did this to note that, when the term was used in the time period in question, “electronic media” meant TV and Radio. But the note also points out that, in time, the term has come to mean computers, and cell phones and tablets and watches, and pagers and well, a whole lot of different things. Simply put, words evolve as time passes, as society changes, and as views differ. While the word News once meant the mere passing of information, in time it has come to be associated with entities that pass information to us about world and local events that we expect to factual to the extent that it can be made so.

I believe, as a whole, the common misconception in this nation is that News entities tell the truth. Most people think they must, by law, pass factual as possible information. That is why people trust these sources of information. But in a case which began in the mid 90’s Fox News, in short, was sued by a Husband and Wife “Investigative Team” they had hired to do a four part series on Monsanto. The couple turned in the piece and Fox added information from Monsanto to it that the couple knew to be false. The couple refused to continue with the piece and were fired by Fox. They sued and won a settlement. On feb 14th, 2003 Fox appealed the decision and won. “During their appeal, FOX asserted that there are no written rules against distorting news in the media. They argued that, under the First Amendment, broadcasters have the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on public airwaves. Fox attorneys did not dispute Akre’s claim that they pressured her to broadcast a false story, they simply maintained that it was their right to do so.”[2] Basically Fox argued that they were allowed to lie and distort information they gave to people and that this was legal and acceptable practice, and the court agreed.

I make no attempt here to single Fox out as i believe other “News” entities do similar, if not the exact, same thing. I merely wish to note that “News” no longer implies in any way that there is truth being told. When you see a Brian Williams suspended from his job as an anchor for falsifying news and then see in the same time period a Bill O’Reilly not suspended for the exact same accusation know, it is not a legal situation. No larger journalistic entity intervened. These choices are made by the respective “News” entities themselves in an effort to either show they care about journalistic ethics or they do not.

Should this be left up to the entities or should there be a larger policing body? if there is a larger body, who gets to be on it? Who gets to be the final arbiter of truth? We all want it to be the entities themselves. We want that heated board room conversation where the villainous producer is trying to push horribly distorted truths on the public only to be stopped cold by the ethical reporter as they fight for the truth and win. We may want it, but it clearly does not exist.

This is a situation where the desire for what is right butts up against the freedoms we cherish. Try as we might we will not be able to convince these entities to distribute the truth as anything other than the agenda they so cling to. This leaves us with little recourse over the material produced but, it still leaves us with the ability to alter the manner in which it is sold to the public. We can make them cease to present this information as absolute fact. Edible products are forced, by law, to tell me what is in them so that I may make an educated decision about what I choose to consume. This should be the same for these opinion generators. Make them admit that the following information may be altered for the purposes of misleading you into believing the twisted world view we have embraced. because, whatever that world view is, it is most certainly not true “News.”

 

Sources:

[1] http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1880786,00.html   

[2] http://www.projectcensored.org/11-the-media-can-legally-lie/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairness_Doctrine

Disclaimer: In the sources I list some, or all, are links to websites. I assert that the information I took from these websites, whether I took a whole piece, or bits from different spots on the page, were as I represent them in this article. As websites are subject to change, and I have no control over that change either in time or content, I cannot be responsible if the source looks different in whole, or in part, when checked at a later date.

Thank you:
Kevin Hartranft  

Become a Republican Front Runner, for Dummies.

web-Republican-SplitWe have quite a crop of candidates this time do we not folks. So many so that the debates are split into adult and kiddie table sections. in fact we have so many candidates the polls, limited by the 100% thing because of how numbers work, have many of them running at 0%, which really means less than 1%, but regardless it is still damned low. So how, just how, in the early stages of the race, have the front runners become so?  

Because you know I’m all about that base
‘Bout that base, no treble
I’m all about that base
‘Bout that base, no treble

You got to cater to that base somehow, would be the easy answer. But how does one do that when one is running for the GOP nomination? Judging by the three most successful candidates as of 10/05/15 one would could easily draw the conclusion that there are two ways, but both arrive at the same destination.

0First you could take the route of Donald trump. He seems to understand that the base is not located at political fundraisers for 5000 dollars a plate. Trump recognizes the base is on social media. It is there in force. It posts its opinions en masse making clear what positions one should then say into the nearest microphone. Tell them what they want to hear and they will come.

The next route is Carly Fiorina’s. Her route to the top is entirely accidental but reaches the same people. She seems to truly believe the things she says and they just happen to overlap with what the base posts regularly online. I do not think there was intent on her part, she is just fortunate enough to believe a bunch of things about herself and issues in the world at large that are not really true. And the base here is nothing if not bored with facts. The base, in fact, considers facts to be politically correct swill that is expelled from the bodies of disagreeable life forms sent by Satan, or Obama, or both.

Dr. Ben Carson is the final member of the current front runners, but not in the least the least. His rise to the top seems to be a combination of Trump’s catering to the base on purpose mixed with Carly’s accidental espousing of flawed beliefs. The main difference with Carly’s approach here seems to be that once the good Dr. realized his unusual statements about Muslims, and The Constitution, and Global Warming, and Evolution were resonating. Once the good Dr. who’s life was based in science; medical science. Who saved lives, and separated conjoined twins with his knowledge of medical science. The same good Dr. that espoused religious values and freedom of religious beliefs in relation to Christians and cake baking. Once he noticed his anti-science rhetoric and anti-Muslim fervor were gaining him attention and popularity, he ran with it. The polls rewarded him.

So what is it the base approves of? I would say, if we go by right wing memes and blogs and comments on posts that they believe in fear. After all, the base has been fed a steady diet of this fear for quite some time.  This is standard operating procedures for political entities as postulated by H.L. Mencken.

“…the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”

So what we need to become a world class GOP front runner are a bushel of imaginary yet frightening pseudo facts. A dash of reality to make it believable. At least one scientist to explain that the remaining hundreds of thousands of scientists are incorrect. Some fairy dust kind of eye of newt like sparkly bits, a microphone, and a few hundred million dollars wrung from the sweaty corpses of your constituents.

mix the ingredients together, spin the information around till you are dizzy enough to vomit. Then you approach the microphone and let ‘er rip. This is known in political parlance as projectile conversation. It is both messy and odoriferous but necessary if one is to vault ahead in the polls.

Keep calm, remember, immigrants steal jobs, illegal immigrants are turned into instant millionaires by the gubberment. Obama is evil and you must disagree with the very breath he exhales, as well as any other autonomic function he has. Global Warming, Evolution, The Big Bang theory, and now, Water on Mars are likely Satanic principles brought to you by Lucifer’s minions as they dance about on the grave of our lord and savior, Ronald Reagan. Gay Marriage, while having no direct effect on you or your life, will destroy the fabric of marriage before God, under God, as it has stood since before recorded time, since before religion, since before organized religion, since before like … God. And Muslims are the epitome of all evil as, unlike Christians, some of them commit crimes. And never forget, you love your bible, your Christian faith, and your savior, Ronald Reagan.

Amen. And yes, I accept the nomination.

 

 

Become a Democratic Front Runner 101

Hillary-Clinton-Joe-Biden-and-Bernie-SandersBecoming a Democratic Front Runner could be seen as a bit trickier than becoming the GOP counterpart. The Democratic base is not as easily pinned down as they have a multitude of causes to choose from. There is no blueprint of what particular cause might be at the forefront of any potential voters mind at any given time. There are however, some givens.

Democrats often flock to inequity within the system. That said inequity is real, or imagined, carries little weight in the long run. That said inequity can be stated on a bumper sticker or t-shirt is a positive. If it can also be solved by some elaborate, and heretofore unimagined, utopian societal adjustment is nothing but a positive. This is currently, as of 10/05/15, demonstrated best by the fact that one of the Democratic Front Runners has not even declared that he is running for president at all. The supporters are actually supporting a mythical “what if my favorite person not running would just come and run” platform and if that isn’t utopian thinking then we need to redefine the word.

Primary member of the Big Three currently in play in polls for the Democrats is Hilary Clinton. Her mythical platform, without directly saying it, is that, because my last name is Clinton you all know the economy will be booming just like it was for Billy. Which many in the nation know as Bill Clinton, her former husband and President of the United States. But she knows as, that guy I have an arraignment with making us a power couple in politics. the one I keep around because he is pretty good at convincing people to vote for him and his ideas. She embraces her unicorns and is now willing to fly her rainbow bumper sticker to endear her to her constituency.

Bernie Sanders is her chief rival, and gaining in the polls. Bernie’s appeal comes from his utopian outlook that democratic socialism with catch on in America. That you could fly a flag of socialism and sell this to the average American is especially delusional. If the denial of things such as Climate Change by those on the other side of the aisle can be seen as an avoidance of reality then the notion that Big Money Billionaires will release their grasp on the American political system as well as their own money is just a field of multi-colored unicorns flitting about to a Grateful Dead soundtrack of Truckin’, paired with Buffalo Springfield’s There’s Something Happening Here, because Bernie, “what is is aint exactly clear…” Bernie’s followers though are the college aged among us. the true believers that society can be made fair and the playing field made even. That the needs of the many can be addressed by the simple adjustment of the glaring wrongs in society. This is the dream Bernie sells.

Joe Biden of course, isn’t really selling anything at all. He just exists, and is gaining in polls as the candidate to be named later mostly by those that have a shitty taste in their mouths because of the other choices proffered. I know nothing of Joe or his platforms which means he is probably just another Hilary with a few tweaks. A party mouth that knows, in his heart, he is the right man to save our nation from the swine. His appeal is likely just that of existing and not being the other two.

So to become a Democratic Front Runner we need, a full face cord of inequity in the system. Add in copious amounts “this is how things should be.” We will need levels, many, many levels to adjust the playing field accurately. Very large and accurate scales to balance properly the redistribution of wealth, opinion, and law. We shall need a dash of “nothing is wrong with you, you are not different, you are special.” Add in conformity in our non-conforming style as we all need to speak, dress, and behave as one in our own snowflake like unique way. Blinders are helpful as we shall need to promote a “do not look behind the curtain” policy as you would not like, nor do you have any need to see, what is behind the curtain, just move along, save the whales is in aisle two. We shall also need our own utopian vision to strive for and sell to each and every identically unique snowflake registered as a Democrat.

To sell this to your constituency sounds dangerous. To offer “…tangerine trees, and marmalade skies…” to a human is to risk that one day they will wake up. One day they will see the skies are tangerine in color because of pollution and the marmalade trees are just what trees look like when they die. But when you are selling this ideal, this utopian microcosm where all are one, and one are all, to the “…girl with kaleidoscope eyes…” you remain relatively safe as long as she doesn’t succumb to some half assed intervention before the general election is over. So it is all good, unicorns, t-shirts, and bumper stickers for all. Let’s stop the Vietnam war.

So fire up the commune, pop on some Doors, and crack open Aldous Huxley’s “The Doors Of Perception” because “This is the end … my only friend, the end.”