Dear Purefoy,
What I meant about the symbolism thing is simply this: one of our
states has as its motto the words Esse
quam videri
–“to be rather than to seem.” It
is just the opposite. The father of one
of our best understood the difference when he groomed his offspring to see that
what is important is not what you are, but what people think you are. I concede that this makes life a bit more
complicated–I mean the living of two lives so to speak–but the payoff is huge
for us and the money–votes I mean–is virtually immediate. Moreover, even that complication of a double
life can be negotiated, as one of our own explained when his private actions
gave him public trouble. He persuaded
most everyone that infidelity to one need not mean infidelity to another, and
better, it need not matter to any, except those to whom it does.
Of course we have some substance, for we are materialists through and
through, and nothing could be more substantive than matter. Just ask anyone on the street what is real,
and without hesitation they will latch onto something made out of matter. This is an immediate connect with the voter,
who is worried about food on the table, a shirt on his back, and a roof over
his head. But more about this later.
We believe among other things that politics is ultimate, and that
everything is political. This means that
we politicize everything, and in terms of getting votes, this works to our
advantage. It gives the voter the view
that there is nothing that cannot be addressed by political action; he
therefore becomes politically active because of it. If there is a tsunami there is a political
reason for it; if a bridge collapses there is a political reason for it; if
there is a drip at the Arctic there is a political reason for it. If anything out of the ordinary occurs, or
for that matter anything ordinary–indeed whatever occurs–there is a political
origin somewhere. You see even nature
and the workings of nature are not without use for us. We are the ultimate anthropomorphizers, and
yet we fault our opponent with having that villainous religious idea of
“subduing nature.” Our own politicians
quit subduing our fragile Mother decades ago; now we are subduing our human
political opponents.
Politics is words; I mean it is about the right words, but having
recognized this, one cannot take the notion so far as to parse the meaning of
the word to fantastic length, for example, as one of our own did some years
ago, though with a familiar and common verb.
That sort of thing–I mean stretching beyond the limit–is too much even
for the mindless public we have these days, even if it is ever so small a word,
so there are limits to most anything.
This is why we always want to advertise and present ourselves as
moderates, and never as extremists–that label we save for introducing and
designating our opponents to their unlikely voters. But up to that very distant fence of sounding
extreme, one can do just about anything in politics and not just get by with
it, but be counted profound or a hero for it.
To the tawdry public we come across as having the ability to think
outside the box as they call it, and we are held in awe for it. Meanwhile, we put our admirers under and
inside our political cage from which there is negligible chance of escape,
though our voters think we have liberated them.
They are too blind to see we have maneuvered them for our purposes. They, after all, are for us; we tell them,
however, we are for them. Words, the
right words, I say.