BY BOB BEARDEN
Suddenly, one election cycle and the Democratic Party is dead. Say what?
As I recall just two short years ago, at about this time of year, that same media now shoveling dirt over the Democratic Party was predicting the death knell of the Republican Party as we knew it.
The more I listen to the pundits and the talking heads and those people who pass for journalists these days, the more I am convinced of their desperate need for something to hang their hats and their creds on – they decry the death of all things long before there is ever any reason to do so.
The Democratic Party isn’t dead, on life support or even near death. No more so than the Republican Party was two years ago. Election cycles come and go, giants rise and fall, it is written upon the wind. Things change and the American electorate is as fickle as Mortimer Brewster ever was. Neither party is dead nor dying.
And the return of the Republican Party to power wasn’t a shellacking of the Democratic Party or for that matter a repudiation of President Obama’s policies nor his actions. It was another cycle of politics playing out has it has for over 200-plus years. Things change and the winds blow hot and cold in politics and the political winds are cyclical both in nature and in reality.
But you wouldn’t know that if you listened to the 24/7 talking heads on all the news programs. Drama queens and kings abound but not in the theater nor in the movies. All the trash talk and all of the fake drama no longer resides upon the boards trod by thespians but upon the stage of the media starved for reality. They grasp anything that remotely looks, acts or feels like gossip and blow it up in a proportion that not only grows by the minute, hour and day but feeds upon itself and the windblown egos and hair styles of the talking heads that populate the airwaves.
Media today seldom reports the news – they create the news. If a story of mayhew isn’t thrilling enough to pass muster on a 24/7 news cycle, then they beef it up with facts not yet in evidence and run it aground in speculation far from the reality as is humanly possible.
Today’s politics cannot exist without hype, and hype and hyperbole are the meat and fodder of today’s newshounds, and they create their own feeding frenzy whenever the news of the day lacks that needed boost of adrenaline.
If it bleeds it doth lead, and if it isn’t bleeding enough then sharpen your knives, dear journalists, and make it spurt out. After all, that is what the public feeds on and they love blood and guts more than even General Patton did.
No, the Democratic Party isn’t dead – it’s not even mortally wounded. It will simply wait while the newly charged Republican Party grabs power – and await their soon-to-be-trumpeted demise as we hit the next election cycle. All the while our 24/7 news programs will spill the beans on the new wave that is overtaking Washington and all of the new wave of people will punch their smartphones, iPads, iPhones and text their way along the highways of life, content and secure in the knowledge that the next coming thing will so enhance their lives that we will soon not need to even have a government of the people, by the people or for the people.
The media today can’t compete with texting while driving or at least it won’t until we kill off a few of those drivers who don’t have time to actually watch the road ahead of them because they are too busy trying to find out what the next coming thing is.
Politics doesn’t really change – it just gloms on to the new wave of technology and unleashes the dogs of war.
Wars and rumors of wars play well in the twilight world of texting and apps – and blood and gore trumps all other forms of entertainment. Politics and politicians sell fear and wars, and blood and guts are the jam with which they spread fear and with which a politician can and usually does win over their opponents.
Fear motivates the news and scaring the hell out of the electorate plays well in Peoria and all stops in between.
– Bob Bearden, a Central Oklahoma Labor Federation trustee, is a long-suffering Democrat and a frequent contributor to The Oklahoma Observer