Most politicians and many in the media truly believe we are stupid. We are the masses. We are those meant to receive a pat on the head, an empty promise and a warm feeling — that leaves us empty. Trust me, I was in this business, and while those in it now think I am not on to them, I am. I know when I get the run-around or that pat on the head. So let me just take some stories in the news as we end the year and apply this concept to them.
Let’s start with the story of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s stomach virus that led to massive dehydration that led to a fall at home and a failure to go to the hospital with a serious concussion. Now I have made it clear in the past that I consider former President Clinton a roaring conservative as compared to President Obama, and I am not accusing Secretary Clinton of lying. But the fact that hearings were to be held on the entire Benghazi debacle, the State Department was already set to be given blame by a White House appointed panel, and suddenly Hillary Clinton simply could not testify — give me a break. Do they think we are stupid? Yes, they do.
On the subject of tragic shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, I’m not a big on guns personally, and when I hear of these types of senseless murders, particularly of innocent young children, I am prone to ask questions about the sale of certain weapons and ammunition.
But as soon as I start seeing the Drudge Report carrying immediate talk of efforts toward gun control and later see a television news bulletin with President Obama naming Joe Biden to head up a special something or another to deal with gun control, then I realize that once again emotions of the moment are being manipulated by politicians. And whatever shift in my views over gun rights that might naturally have occurred end as I hear television news “reporters” arguing with those opposed to changes in the law or pontificating while “reporting” the news. Do they think we are stupid? Yes, they do.
And that, of course, leads us to the continuing “stalled” negotiations over the “fiscal cliff.” My, my, it is almost Christmas, the Senate is going home, and the big bad speaker and President Obama are seemingly stalled in a lockdown over spending cuts and who qualifies to be a millionaire.
Hah, what a laugh. Make no mistake, a last-minute bill will be agreed to before the end of the year. Special treatment will be extended to the defense industry to avoid the dreadful cuts that would have occurred under the automatic sequestration that otherwise would have kicked in on Jan. 1. Unemployment benefits will be extended, and taxes for those earning over, say, $400,000 — or perhaps a bit more or less — will go up. Sounds OK, right? Again they think we are stupid.
In the process, the Republican’s long-fought battle, which raised many a penny in campaign contributions to fight the so-called “death tax,” will be thrown right out the window. In the end, whether by January or more likely next year, deductions and credits that have served to stimulate the economy will be curtailed or eliminated. Who will suffer in the long term? The answer is the integrity and word of the GOP, and conservatives and plenty who have fought for their cause only to see another last-minute deal that will never ever really reduce the deficit.
Oh, and by the way, the world was set to end on Dec. 21, as well. Oh, that got plenty of media attention. And you know why? That’s right, they think we are stupid. And if I’ve written another version of this in years past, blame it on stupidity!
Matt Towery heads the polling and political information firm InsiderAdvantage.