Many years ago a good friend shared with me his thoughts regarding television. He said it would be the downfall of our culture. At the time, I thought his opinion dire and extreme. But after observing this pre-election cycle and, most recently, the final Republican primary debate last night, I think he was ahead of his time and spot on.
Television, followed by the explosion of the internet and related technologies, has been vehicles for the death of our culture and the dumbing down of our citizens. I use the word “citizen” loosely.
Citizen is defined as “a native or naturalized member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection.”(emphasis added). It is, in fact, allegiance to government that we have abdicated and I think it has a lot to do with a slow, but systematic, intention to enslave our minds and imbue us with feelings of hopelessness and disempowerment.
It’s really seductive to be told what you think without actually having to actually do the heavy lifting to educate yourself in how to think. Television and the internet, particularly social media, have been highly effective tools for manipulating and conditioning our minds as to what is desirable, and even necessary, to live satisfying and successful lives. The irony, of course, is that the things and lifestyle we have been conditioned to believe are necessary and valuable are, in fact, superfluous, vacuous and unfulfilling at best… and stress inducing at worst.
So, in a culture addicted to media-driven group think and feelings of powerlessness, the natural end product is a media-bred personality exhibiting a penchant for the unbridled use of power for the sole purpose of winning.
Enter Donald Trump. He is entertaining, media savvy, brash, electric, oblivious to the facts, scripted in his own disarming way, ignorant of history and the Constitution, and, all about power and winning at any cost. He is not a leader. He is a bully. He is the consummate candidate for a dumbed-down, enslaved culture.
While I was taken with Marco Rubio’s fierce offensive against Trump last night during the Republican primary debate, I was even more taken with the less fierce, but more powerful presentation by Ted Cruz. Rubio had the one liners and sharp retorts to Trump’s habitual name calling and personal attacks (against anyone who dares challenge him); but Cruz had the facts and the law on his side with each and every exchange he had with Trump.
I don’t know about you but in November 2016, if I had to choose a Larry David (think Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm) scripted star to appear in a new sitcom I’d want the delivery and wit of Marco Rubio or the sheer brashness and laughable behavior of Donald Trump. But in November 2016, I’ll be choosing a President of the United Sates and that requires a very different set of criteria.
I want a President who keeps his calm, curbs his sarcasm, knows the Constitution, has a set of inviolable principles, thinks rationally, decides comprehensively, and through his behavior communicates that he respects both the populace and the office he serves.
And so I am back to what my friend said many years ago about television. We have before us a choice by which we seal our fate as 1) either the remnant of the Constitutional Republic that was the cornerstone of our founding or 2) the latest entry into the graveyard of history where rests countless attempts to rule humankind through either Socialism (Hilary Clinton) or dictatorship (Donald Trump).
I firmly believe that Donald Trump is the natural and dangerous end product of a century of deliberate enslavement. I also firmly believe that Ted Cruz is the thinking person’s candidate. The illusion of power or individual freedom? Abdicate thought or think for yourself?
Vote Super Tuesday and again November 2016. Vote consciously. Vote as if your future depends upon it…because it does.