Beyond the Cusp

April 15, 2019

Not Bibi Again!

 

This has been the whine heard from almost everyone from the center and leftwards as well as from a fair number on the right. What is interesting is the further you get from the center, right or left, the louder the complaints become. The one nice thing about these people and their complaining is that at least we know they did not vote for Likud guaranteeing more Bibi. Of course, from the media we are about to be fed a steady stream of whining over Bibi returning as Prime Minister mixed with a dash of hope that the Attorney General will find something which sticks to Bibi long enough to charge him and then it might be bye, bye Bibi. For those in the United States, things are not much different than in Israel as the left hangs on the hope that they can use the legal system to get something on Bibi, in your case, Trump, and then be rid of them forever. Those of us with at least one foot firmly on the grounds of reality, we realize that these attempts to incriminate Trump or Bibi with some legal misdeeds is nothing more than a witch hunt which will come up empty, but that will not stop those determined to be rid of them from continuing to try again and again. But the reality of Bibi goes so much deeper.

 

We are regularly bombarded with praises heaped upon Bibi lauding him as the consummate political maneuverer and a master of the game. We are not quite so kind. If you want to get a line on why Bibi has been so successful and will soon become the longest serving Prime Minister in Israeli history, ask those whom he has all but destroyed. Currently at the top of that is Naftali Bennett whose New Right Party just missed clearing threshold. Naftali Bennett left the Likud Party taking Ayelet Shaked with him and went to Jewish Home where Bennett believed he had found his horse to ride straight to the Prime Minister’s House. Both Bennett and Shaked had worked directly for Bibi in his offices. Needless to say, Bibi took their leaving a bit personally. Two elections after Bennett and Shaked had moved to Jewish Home, a sort of miracle was in the making and Bennett actually was polling as almost even with Bibi and Likud with Jewish Home Party, formerly just a minor Religious-Zionist Party not terribly right of center. It was looking really close, until Bibi promised to treat Bennett and Shaked really nicely. What was the problem was that a center-left party was polling ahead of Likud and Jewish Home but well behind their combined totals. Bibi demanded that Bennett fall on his sword such that Bibi would defeat this upstart from the left threatening that if Bennett refused that there may very well be a left-wing government. Bennett made the fateful speech claiming not to be ready to be Prime Minister quite yet. The next morning, presto-chango, Likud was polling comfortably in the lead and Jewish Home was polling in single digits well below the day before. Bennett and Shaked got their Ministerial position, and Shaked as Justice Minister performed near miracles and will be missed from that position as her work was far from completed.

 

This was the first revenge Bibi took out on Bennett, and possibly Shaked as well, as when the next election cycle came around, Jewish Home was struggling to reach double digits, and this would not serve Bennett reaching Prime Minister. In private with only a select group of faithful who were to follow Bennett, Neftali planned to leave Jewish Home and form a new party. He would have been wished well had he done this differently, but his plan was also to rid himself from any competition from his former party. For reasons untold, every attempt to have the Central Committee meet, something important as a new Central Committee had been elected (I was somehow amongst the chosen for my town) and new leadership needed to be selected. This was not to be as it would have left some semblance of organization when Bennett and Shaked split as soon as elections were announced. The New Right, as Bennett’s party was named, shot up into double digits in the polls while Jewish Home, after losing its top two candidates, having no new leader, having a central committee now decimated as people streamed off with Bennett, all power structures pretty much destroyed with some key positions which remained held by people left behind to make sure the chaos destroyed Jewish Home (though this will be denied to the end of time), Jewish Home polled at best around ‘one.’ I personally begged two of those leaving to remain and warned they would regret leaving, but off went even friends.

 

 

Slowly, with the election growing closer, a committee of self-appointed leaders claimed they would reconstitute the party by fiat. The remains of the Central Committee protested and threatened to use their powers under the Party Constitution and this caused a surprised group who expected only slavish thanks to step back and listen. A system was worked out that nobody would be assigned any leadership without Central Committee approval, and slowly the Party was rebuilt only getting finalized with but a few days left to place a Knesset list for the elections. Jewish Home submitted their list with Rafi Peretz as their new leader, and what an improvement he will be if we can keep him long enough. Polls came and polls went and for quite a while Bennett appeared to have made a wise choice but inevitably the New Right started slipping, Jewish Home gained and with the election done Jewish Home, a party destroyed just mere months ago came in with five mandates and Bennet with his New Right failed to reach threshold and will not be in the government.

 

Moshe Feiglin, founder of the Zehut Party, is another person whose history crossed paths with Bibi Netanyahu. Feiglin made a critical mistake, as have others before him, as he began to become popular both in the Liked and in the public eye. His popularity grew for quite a while until it began to appear as should this continue; he would be able to challenge Bibi. That was his breaking of the cardinal rule, Bibi is king and it is good to be the king. Suddenly, through things and rules which are still very hazy, the next election found Feiglin buried to a position in the mid-to-high thirties, well beyond any hope of being in the Knesset. Well, that began the slide of Feiglin in Likud and he soon realized that Bibi had buried him just as he has anyone who showed even a glimmer of being a threat to the Bibi. People need to understand something about Bibi, he does not compete with people for the top spot, he eviscerates those who approach his level of popularity at the crucial point where they would become a threat soon but before the point where they become difficult to stop. Feiglin probably came the closest but Bibi learned from his predecessor and mentor, Ariel Sharon.

 

Ariel Sharon once ruled the roost in Likud. There was this younger, more energetic upstart who was climbing towards being able to challenge Sharon for the top spot. Sharon decided to give this upstart a challenge, a challenge which had proven the death of all who previously had this position foist upon them. Bibi was made finance secretary, once upon a time a dead end Ministership which ate up Ministers and spat them out finished politically. Well, perhaps Sharon should have checked Bibi’s resume where he would have noted that MBA along with degrees in economics. Bibi took on that challenge and all but rebuilt the economic picture in Israel and Israel is still running along with all those changes paying off with dividends. The old Socialist clogging of the economic spigot have been cleared and a Capitalist system put in its place which rewards entrepreneurs, investors and those who take the risks and does not overly penalize corporations for becoming bigger and controlling certain sectors as in Israel that is simply a challenge put down for others to unseat the giant. That is part of why we are the start-up nation. Ariel Sharon eventually fell to the demands of an American President, George W. Bush, and committed the Gaza disengagement. This Gaza Disengagement is what General Gantz (please do not confuse him with General Peretz who leads Jewish Home) of the Blue White coalition with Yair Lapid, claimed he had learned valuable lessons and believed it could be wisely used elsewhere to lead to peace, namely in the Shomron. He had a plan to simply give Mahmoud Abbas most of the Shomron and tell him this would make peace between us. This would have worked just as well as it did in Gaza and that is the peace, we would have received with one difference, instead of Sderot being the target in easy range, it would have been Tel Aviv within range. Anyway, Bibi rose after Sharon was felled by a stroke and has ruled Likud ever since felling one challenger after another almost as if it were nothing.

 

The picture for the future is simple and may result in costing Israel dearly. For as long as the Likud Party remains entrenched as the preeminent party on the right, Bibi will remain Prime Minister. General Gantz probably posed as hard a challenge as anybody has since Lapid threatened and Bibi had Bennett self-destruct so he could beat Lapid. This sacrifice of Bennett was not sufficient. A couple of days before the vote this past election, Bibi announced in a very public setting, that he intends to extend civil law to all, every last one regardless of size, the Jewish settlements in the Shomron. He made the announcement repeatedly in interviews, in a photo op with the leaders of most of the Shomron communities and pretty much everywhere else including probably at breakfast to prepare for the words of the day. This was the entire pitch which Bennett was running upon and Bibi’s announcement simply cut his legs from beneath him. Bennett had siphoned off a fair amount of support extensively from the Likud, he had already taken the top two slots and another of the Jewish Home top ten along with half of the financing received by parties for the campaign while leaving the entire debt he had run up behind hampering Jewish Home, and with this one announcement Bibi had retrieved those votes right back to Likud as now there was no difference between Bibi position on the Shomron and Bennett and Bibi was more likely to be Prime Minister and Bennett was cooked. This was Bibi’s burying of Bennett and getting his revenge for Bennett taking Shaked and deserting Likud for Jewish Home. Bibi also recognized that Bennett wants to be Prime Minister and will stop at nothing to get there. Well, Bibi is Prime Minister and will stop at next to nothing to remain there, and in politics the person on top has all the advantages.

 

Bibi remains Prime Minister because he recognizes any and everyone who has that desire, that gleam in their eye, that spring in their step that says I’m on my way up, and Bibi knows how to bury them politically so deep that they no longer know which way is up. There have been those rare few who such tactics would have proven ineffective as they were already too established for premature political burial. Reuven Rivlin is one perfect example. He had ridden high in the Likud list for a fair while. Burying him would be difficult and would cost Bibi too much to even try. So, how to put him aside where he can cool down until he is no longer a threat. There is a position in the Israeli government where one basically makes speeches and represents Israel at funerals and other state functions which the Prime Minister may not choose to attend though both can be at the same event from time to time. This position is called President. Currently, Reuven Rivlin is serving as President of Israel. He is about to perform the one very political role the President is assigned, deciding which party leader to choose to attempt to form a coalition and become Prime Minister. We hear you, here comes his opportunity to get even. Absolutely not. Reuven Rivlin had two competing dreams, Prime Minister and President. This was the perfect opportunity for Bibi to cut down on the competition and also give a person he calls friend (not a position we would envy) the chance to live his dream. But not every challenger would go away as easily.

 

There are a couple of such individuals off in the wings who, should they decide to give it their all, could step into a position leading one of the existing Religious-Zionist Parties and challenge Bibi. They are probably aware that such a move would be a one-off and if their challenge falls short, then that is it for them politically. Another was Danny Danon. The main claim against him was that his English was not perfect. Not perfect is being generous, but in Israel he only needs to speak Hebrew and if he were ever Prime Minister, he could have Bibi be his translator, that would be sweet to see. As Danny Danon rose slowly through the Likud ranks and in the settlement communities as a potential champion, they need as many as can be found, his political star appeared about ready to burst to light as a star does upon reaching that critical point. This was the point where Bibi suggested he become the United Nations Ambassador from Israel. Well, that prize was just too shiny to turn down, and Danny Danon was not seen as one whose desire in life was to be Prime Minister or to become the Bibi slayer; his dream was, is and will remain to serve Israel in whatever capacity to which he is called and to fight for Israel and her people, all of her people, in whatever way is needed. So, the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations is Danny Danon. Who will be the next victim from taking the Bibi challenge? Well, none of us for a simple reason, our Hebrew is not anywhere near good enough and will never likely pass such a challenge. On the other hand, one of us has experience as a candidate with no real chance making the ballot as a third-party candidate for the United States House of Representatives. No, we will simply continue with making commentary and if called upon to serve, then we would probably serve with a proviso that we were given a trusted translator. As far as the next to step forward to take on the Bibi, there probably will not be such as Bibi has intimated that this will be his final time around, his victory lap, so to speak.

 

Still, he may be facing a new challenge from President Reuven Rivlin if the rumors are true that his first tender will be to Bibi Netanyahu as well as Gantz and Lapid of the Blue White Party, which was a very close second place vote getter being edged out thirty-six to thirty-five, and proposing that they bury their differences and join together to make a National Unity coalition in order to find a path to peace. The words “path to peace” have become a loaded phrase which Israelis equate with losing land and gaining terrorism. The last great “path to peace” was the Gaza disengagement, and we all have come to realize how well that turned out, Gaza became terror central. Should President Rivlin call to meet with both Likud and the Blue White leaders, then many Israelis will become very nervous. Such a meeting implies that the soon to be announced President Trump Deal of the Century is a known plan by Bibi, Rivlin and who knows who else, and this plan will result with another Palestinian Arab entity potentially with borders which could pose an even greater threat than Gaza has proven to pose. Such a government would only be brought into existence in order to form a government which could survive any resulting caving to allow for the Deal of the Century to come into fruition. This would not necessarily be the case with any other coalition as the potential for the Likud Party to split threatening any weaker coalition would be a definitive possibility.

 

This is what happened when Ariel Sharon committed to the Gaza Disengagement when he then formed a new party (Kadima) with the remnants from Likud and a number of representatives pealed off from Labor and other smaller parties allowing Sharon to remain as Prime Minister and the rest, as they say, is history. Another such disengagement, exactly what Gantz originally stated was his intention should he become Prime Minister early on, is something the majority of Israelis are dead set against, including us. Israel’s saving grace might just be the absolute refusal by Gantz and Lapid before the election to forming such a government as they really desired to replace Bibi outright. With things now settled and being the lesser party, this may no longer be such a terrible idea for them to adopt. It is remarkable how malleable formerly stated absolutes come when the alternative is sitting in the opposition, the same opposition they claimed they were ready to ride to the next election when they just know they will win outright. The other part which makes this all the more possible is the once stated admiration Bibi held for Ariel Sharon whom Bibi claimed at that time was his mentor. This looms larger now that such things are presenting themselves, even if they are but rumors as rumors sometimes have a bad habit of becoming part of reality. The most likely path forward will be for President Rivlin to collect from each party leader the person they would choose to support as Prime Minister, Bibi or Gantz. As things sit currently, Gantz would receive at most fifty-five while Bibi is expected to receive sixty with Avigdor Lieberman waiting to have Bibi agree to his demands before making him Prime Minister. So, how do things sit now? The government will be even more shaky than the former government. Last time, when Lieberman pulled from the coalition, that left Bibi with a ruling coalition of sixty-one, the minimum for a sitting government. This time Lieberman sits between Bibi and a mere sixty which would probably result in the calling for new elections soon thereafter. Somewhere, Bibi lost one critical ministerial mandate and has an even weaker position. The editorials which claimed that we may have a new election within the year are looking to have a decent chance of being correct. Things are back to being as shaky as, as.. as.. as a Fiddler on the Roof.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 11, 2019

Finally, the Israeli Elections are Done

 

Well, that is except for the yelling and finagling required to form a coalition. Here is where Israeli elections become confusing for most foreigners and also many Israelis. First, it will likely take until Friday before all the votes including from oversees diplomats, soldiers posted away from polling stations and a small select group who are not required to actually vote in person. Israel does not have early voting, mail in ballots for any but a select group as mentioned above and that about covers the voting. The next step is to take the votes for the parties which cleared the threshold of around 3.25% and figure what percentage of the one-hundred-twenty seats in the Knesset each one received. Then the heads of each party or block select who they would prefer to be the Prime Minister and send this to the President of Israel. He then tabulates which of the top vote getters will be first to attempt and cobble together a coalition. As the President is the only person technically who will view these choices, he could pick whomever he preferred and nobody might be the wiser. From the vote breakdown, it appears that the coalition will be a right of center coalition under Likud and Bibi Netanyahu, again. Yes, again. The estimates are he may end up with the exact same coalition as last time and as of this time, the main difference might be that Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked and their New Right Party may not clear threshold. Their split from the Jewish Home (our party) may be seen as a huge miscalculation or they may be credited with forcing Likud to move slightly further right and promise many of the same changes on which they had campaigned.

 

The way a coalition is put together in Israel also leaves something to be desired. There are far more parties in the Israeli soup than anywhere else than we know. This leads to the next Prime Minister having to meet demands from each party. All too often, two parties will demand the same Ministership such as defense or finance leading to real headaches, for the coalition builder, not us, we get to cover all the in-fighting. Other parties are easier to deal with as their main expectation is monetary support for their schools or their neighborhoods or their specific defining character of their party. The sticking point often comes down to who is permitted and in how many numbers or percentages are permitted to be deferred from Military service. Please do not request that we follow down this path any further, thanks. Eventually, a coalition will be hammered out or maybe the President will be forced to either allow another election high vote party leader to make a go of it or he can call for new elections. There is a time limit on how long each individual is permitted to put a coalition together and this limit is often the deciding factor on whether parties forgive their main demands and settle for half a loaf instead of two loaves, one under each arm. All of this fun and excitement will likely take a few weeks before all is said and done, and as usual, more will be said than done.

 

There will be a second result from the election which Americans will fully understand, the Israeli media will need to explain how so many of their polls and predictions could be so wrong. This will extend also to the American media which also called the Israeli results quite incorrectly. In both cases, this can be credited to a combination of political bias and wishful speculations rather than honest evaluations. That is fine as the Israeli media fell very much in line with their American counterparts in calling the United States Presidential elections wrong for the 2016 election cycle. In many cases, we all wish the media would do more reporting and less pontificating and editorializing. News is to be reported with as little bias and massaging as possible, something we all could benefit from. Us, we do not claim to be reporters, we state clearly that we are editorialists and thus have a flavor to what we write. Some have thanked us for being as straightforward as we do try, but where we fall on most issues is obvious and we seldom vary from our positions. At the least, we try and also provide alternate views and are quite liberal in accepting comments including critical commentary.

 

What probably was the most interesting prediction about this election was that the government would collapse in approximately six months and Israel would be driven into yet another election cycle. It has been quite a while since an elected Israeli government completed their four-year term before new elections were called due to the coalition collapsing or the main party deciding that elections were advantageous at a particular point. As elections are not held immediately after the fall of a coalition, going to elections is always a bit of a risk. There can be a whole sea change in the mood of the people from unpredicted events and other influences. It really is you call elections and you takes your chances. This was evident in the election results this time as when elections were called, within a week it appeared that Bibi would win easily, the New Right Party formed by Bennett and Shaked after leaving Jewish Home looked to be strong and polling comfortably over ten mandates while the Jewish Home appeared in complete free-fall and total disarray barely clearing but a mere one percent. With the initial numbers in, Jewish Home and the small bundle of parties brought together appears to be at five seats plus one they will receive from Likud as promised in the deal-making agreements and the New Right is on the cusp of not even making threshold, actually, without strong support from the votes left to be tallied, they very well may be beyond the cusp in the wrong direction and failing to make it into the Knesset. Some are blaming Bibi for their potential failure as he made a number of announced policies which were directed at the New Right taking their positions which may have brought a fair number of votes back to Likud which they initially stood to lose to the New Right.

 

Bibi Stands and Promises Judea and Samaria Local-Council Leaders

Bibi Stands and Promises Judea and Samaria Local-Council Leaders

 

This brings us to the final and longest lasting stage of Israeli elections, blame placing. There will be no lack of finger-pointing, accusations, recriminations, subversive theories, rapprochements, excuse-making, blame-laying and all-around claims laying all the blame on anyone but those who felt cheated by actions of others. There is no love lost in politics and Israel is no different. The saving grace in Israel is within a month of the new coalition taking power, there will be an entirely new set of reasons to blame them for not delivering on what they promised. Then start the in-fighting and eventually it gets to the point that nobody wants to take the heat and everyone runs from the kitchen resulting in, you guessed it, new elections. Of course, the largest amount of excuse making will come from those who are not included in the coalition and the loudest screaming will come from those who expected to do well and ended up not even making it into the government either in the coalition or in the opposition. You will note we did not say loyal opposition as politics in Israel has become almost as contentious as it has in America and as such those not in the coalition show no love lost on those they blame including or especially Bibi Netanyahu. We will all be told how he used devious maneuvers, outright lies, exclusionary rhetoric and just about every possible accusation of evil doings which anyone can imagine, and Israelis are imaginable if nothing else. So, if your party is included in the coalition, then you have to remain slightly reserved for a while and if your party is in the opposition then whale-away at whoever you believe is most responsible for you not getting your way, after all, they deserve everything you can throw at them, don’t they. In the meantime, we will wait and see how the coalition shakes out, what our party (Jewish Home) receives as an enticement and whether it parallels that we most desire. As for us here, we are waiting to see if Bibi will keep his most contentious promise which he stood before Judea and Samaria local-council leaders promising that immediately after the new coalition is seated, he would move to extend Israeli civil law to all their communities ending the horrors they have faced under military law and the vulnerability that placed them in before the courts, specifically the Supreme Court (see above picture). This is definitely one promise which would be political suicide for him to backtrack as doing so would make him vulnerable to parties to his right leaving the coalition. But some who are always suspicious have claimed this is exactly the situation Bibi seeks such that he will be forced to seek new coalition members from the more left leaning parties or even form a unity coalition with Gantz and seek some form of peace with the Palestinian Authority along the lines which Gantz proposed early in the campaign. His plan included another disengagement while leaving IDF stationed in the areas of Judea and Samaria, something we covered in some depth here in our early run-up coverage of the elections. This includes what we foresaw as the deepest and most serious problems which could result. Anyway, Israeli elections are done and in the can except not quite yet as the song and dance stage is soon to be entered.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 14, 2015

When Polls Lie and Deceive What to Believe

 

In the last three major elections in the democrat and republican electing world the polls were as misleading as one could imagine. Not only did they get it wrong, it appeared that their polling was just as corrupted as their reporting. In this last election in the United States the polls predicted minor gains for the Republicans in Congress but with the Democrats probably retaining a slight majority in the United States Senate. The Republicans gained sufficient seats to rise to a dominating position in the Senate and further improved their position in the House of Representatives and as if that was not sufficient, the Republican Party also swept a number of State and local elections placing the party in a position of dominance unseen in decades. The liberal states of Massachusetts and Maryland elected Republican Governors despite their being the bluest of blue states.

 

In Israeli elections the polling and every indicator predicted that the Zionist Union, the marriage of the Labor Party with Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua Party, was going to sweep Prime Minister Netanyahu out of office. Further, it was predicted that with the aid of election specialists who had assisted in charting the course of the reelection of President Obama running a political operation called V2015 run by Obama election strategist Jeremy Bird and using the cryptic slogan of “Anyone but Bibi” was going to put in place an undefeatable election day tsunami sweeping the Zionist Union into power. Somehow Bibi Netanyahu won taking a commanding thirty seats beating the odds where the polling predicted the Zionist Union beating Netanyahu and the Likud twenty-six seats to a mere twenty-three seats. How could it have been polled so wrong such that the real results were Likud with Thirty and Zionist Union garnering twenty-four coming in a weak second. Again the polling was so wrong one could have thought they were blindsided by the actual results.

 

Finally there were the recent British elections where Ed Miliband and his Labour Party were supposed to sweep the Tories and David Cameron from office was also dead wrong with the conservative Tories and Cameron embarrassing the Labour Party so completely that Miliband resigned without bothering to wait for the broom to sweep him aside and replace him atop the Labour Party. This was simply the cherry atop the three layer cake with each layer sweeter than the previous as election results made lies out of the predictions by the pollsters. That begs the question as to how could they have gotten all three so completely wrong and should we believe anything we read about in polling.

 

There could be any number of reasons for the inaccuracy of polling from improper reading of the results leading to massaging the results in order to match the pollsters political preferences or that the media intentionally went with slanted polling data knowingly but fully believing that they had sufficient sway to bring about the results they desired simply by reporting the results they desired and willing them into existence. It is entirely possible that the methods utilized by the polling companies favored the liberal leftists over the right wing conservatives. One method of polling which had found produces such results is to utilize polling conducted by using land-line phone numbers during mainly daytime hours when the majority of the people who have jobs are working at those jobs and therefore are not home to take any polling calls, which is also why they use land-lines and not mobile, though even mobile polling would likely produce similar results just less skewed to the left. Then again, if people are anything like the folks I know then they only use their cell phones and only have a land-line because it came with the package they get their internet access or television cable and never give out that number thus never answer the land-lined knowing that the call is either a poll or telemarketer and either way undesired. But maybe the polling methodology was not to blame but the people themselves are the problem.

 

What if the people have been so beaten down by the seemingly endless efforts to force political correctness along with leftist propaganda down our throats using news reporting which is more electioneering or campaigning or simply editorial opinions wrapped up to appear like news coverage that the people react repeating the touch-words or positions constantly pushed upon them by a media which has completely turned to the left beyond any reason. People may have reached the point that they find it easier and less complicating for their lives to simply regurgitate the leftist mantras to avoid offending the sensibilities of anyone leftward-leaning within earshot who would immediately slowly turn in their direction and then questions by question slowly turn further until they are glaring directly at the malcontent who spoke words which are taken as offense and must be challenged until all descending conservative expression has been wiped from the public sphere. Where this may have silenced those conservatives who simply take the path of least resistance which in public discourse means not upsetting the leftist sloganeering policer of their immediate space, they cannot yet accompany everyone into the voting booth where everyone is free at last to vote their true mind and not be made to suffer the umbrage and wrath of the leftists in our midst. Perhaps that has so swept and crept its way into our lives that anytime other than within the safe confines of the voting booth we will simply become leftists for the duration while secretly voting our inner Churchill, Thatcher, Reagan, Jefferson, John Adams or Menachem Begin when the chips are to be cast, gathered and counted in order that our captains for the ship of state are selected.

 

Think about debates at work with associates or discussions with fellow congregants at our places of worship or wherever we toil, gather or socialize and my bet is there is at least one person in each of those settings whose stand is for Big Brother and makes sure any wrong-think is made sufficiently uncomfortable that fairly soon all but the lost causes simply speak the words our monitors desire to hear and keep our real thoughts happily dancing within our minds unmolested by the minders. There are also those few outliers who are true believers and speak their minds no matter who may add their names to a list of those to be watched, as many have made so many of such lists that one more will make little difference. These are the ones who can often give as good as they get. Only the few ever make friendship bonds with these people and if we should we often request they not reveal our true political kinship as we are amongst the quiet quiescence slumbering through life passing by semiconscious of the views expressed around us as there is nothing worth our fighting for as we still have the blessing of honest representation of our votes. Should we lose such honest accounting of the ballots then will we allow ourselves to be availed of out of our quiet accommodations and comforting silence and then hear us roar for when it comes to our votes we will not sleepwalk through such offense. There is much we can allow to pass as fact when we know it to be different, but the honest representation of our vote we draw the line and demand honest representation.

 

It is little wonder that those in the media can walk around claiming in all honestly that every person with whom they speak of such things all supported President Obama and thus it was an absolute impossibility that the President was reelected by so close a margin. These people are not delusional because they mean it when they claim that election results were completely skewed, opposed to the polling, and they are truly flabbergasted and personally destroyed that the Congress or Knesset or Parliament which was elected could have gone so wrong, as in their worlds their viewpoints are correct, good and the only honest result possible and the other side can only possibly win by deceit or trickery. We are all living more and more in small echo chambers where we hear little from the other side of political and social issues. Our bubbles are carefully chosen and seldom do we hear a disparaging word and our skies are not cloudy all day. Often we even go so far as to carefully choose from whence we receive our news so as to hear only those reports which inform us of how impossible it was that we lost an election or that the results were so much closer than they should have been. The most often heard reason for any loss in an election was simply that our side did not get the vote out and turnout favored the other side. There was a perfect such comment made after the recent midterm elections in the United States when President Obama actually had the nerve to claim, “To everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you. To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you too.” I likely could spend the rest of my life and never find somebody in high office who is so out of touch with reality that they would make such a statement. For your amusement, here is the comment straight from Obama’s mouth.

 

 

 

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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