Inspection- Misdirecting the Masses

by Ken Carman

  Lately Senator Sanders has been slammed with scandals, like his “glaring neglect” of veteran concerns during the 2014 VA scandal. Or his corrupt misuse of campaign funds InspectionAnd we have the never ending saga of Sanders’ cabbage doll fetish where he bankrupted Vermont treasury saving these long past their prime toys from being tossed in the fireplaces, flushed down toilets and crucified for having no souls.
  These, among the never ending list of…
 OK, I have to stop typing crap now, because I’m overwhelmed by an odd mix of mirth and what seems to be my all too common, never ending, feeling of being annoyed at how we carry on public discourse these days.
 Getting older can mean you grow skeptical of claims, even when it may be a pol you’re not fond of, to be polite. Like I was beyond annoyed by all the people in Jimmy Kimmel’s street interview who claimed to believe and have heard specifics about fictional E-mails Hillary wrote. Then there’s Trump claims: like that all too frequently posted fictional quote where it’s claimed Donald said it’s easy play Republicans for fools.
  Some things simply don’t pass the sniff test, even if they might be serve our own opinions.
  You’ve also lived long enough to observe reoccurring patterns and trends that are disturbing, like “the scandal scam.”
 The scandal scam is what one might call the past 30 years trend of creating phony, hyperbolic, over wrought “issues” to keep us from serious, in-depth, discussions of important ones. The scandal scam helps us to stop discussing the candidate’s different plans, visions, for our country’s future. The scandal scam makes the John McCain’s “illegitimate” black baby lie more important than truth, that “Hillary’s about to be indicted” seem inevitable, while abandoning discussing what we want for policies as a nation, where we need to go.
 There can be little doubt the intense focus on unproven scandals can’t help but affect outcomes. It skews investigations. And it is one of the main reasons we end up voting for “the lesser of two evils.”
 Instead of vision and plans of candidates being important topics; because the media loves scandal like a John “loves” women hanging out on street corners, we are all being dragged by our groins into paying attention to their fav substitutions, like…
         1. “What did he/she know. When did he/she know it?”
          2.”If only she/he would release absolutely everything!”
          3.”If only she/he would apologize.”
  These questions, these claims, are specifically designed to never really be answered completely, never proven or disproved. It’s assumed that there’s always something hidden, unreleased and some evil, calculated, motive behind it all. More fuel for the perpetual scandal-powered motion machine. And because of constant scandal mongering we keep picking between two perceived evils. A two party system with so much power in the hands of two parties not only makes votes outside that system worse than useless, it skews the vote in favor of the greater evil.
 Remember: where there’s smoke sometimes there are a lot of grinning partisans with smoke machines. Here are four guidelines that may help you discern smoke machines pumping out haze from actual fire, or what’s more smoke than fire…
         A. Who does the accusation serve the most?
         B. Why would the target of the accusations intentionally do something that would cause more damage than good?
         C. Who has the most to gain, even if it’s just to divide people?
         D. Questionable investigations usually mean you don’t get just an investigation, especially if the results don’t serve the purposes of partisans. You get an investigation of the investigation, sometimes an investigation or the investigation, of the investigation, of the…
  Obviously there are real scandals. Perhaps the biggest crime here is that sometimes real scandal gets washed away by all the garbage.
 What else is obvious? Well it’s obvious that our incredible system of mass communication combined with the abandonment of objective reporting is the perfect hot house environment for continual scandal mongering.
 So our national dialogue isn’t what any candidate might do for the nation, where we need to head as a nation. Instead we continue to jump from scandal after scandal: Bill Clinton’s conversation on a plane, to Trump’s use of an anti-Semitic star, to…
 Is it any accident that the two candidates are also the two most likely to feed the scandal machine? Is it any accident that other candidates received far less attention?
 Even though candidates who offer substance might fill stadiums again and again with supporters, they don’t have much of a chance these days. And if Donald Trump has done anything people on both sides might accept as good it’s been to reveal just how bad, how ambulance chasing lawyer-like, our media has become.
 Great magicians excel at the art of misdirection. Our media, pundits and pols attempt misdirection: offering us bright objects embedded with BS. Politics has become the art of distraction gone bad.
 This reminds me of a Marshall McLuhan quote. Maybe sometimes “the medium” really “is the message.” We can focus our thoughts, our attention on what’s on the TV, or the TV itself. So maybe, instead of what they want to put their spotlight on: the scandals, demand the spotlight focus in on the scandal making machine that so dominates politics.
 If that ever becomes reality expect the most self serving roaches to scatter. Just be aware: they’ll return just as soon as the lights go out.

                                               -30-
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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