Every time we think we have learned all the tricks politicians can use to magically “fix” problems with more government, we fall for another trick, or the same trick wearing a disguise.
If you pay good money to gain admission to a magic show, you purposely pay for illusions; you insist on being amazed by apparent suspension of the laws of nature; you yearn for certain universal truths to be suspended. But then, you leave the tent, make your way home, and find that physics and gravity persist. Listen to the pitch:
“Well step right up folks, a little closer there, sir, make room for the lovely lady behind you. The show is about to begin. You will be amazed at the wonders you will witness just inside this door. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, inside this tent, and this tent only, can you see the future manifest right before your eyes.”
“Are you mad about your lower-paying jobs, over-the-top costs of education, or the hard-to-notice economic recovery? Are increasingly unaffordable health insurance premiums getting you down, while your out-of-pocket medical costs are skyrocketing? Then this is the show for you. Relax, come on in; see and enjoy the amazing magical solutions to these and many other problems; witness and wonder at the incredible, the one, the only Mystical Mogov Mandate.”
“And how much will it cost to witness these miracles? A hundred dollars? A thousand dollars? No, tonight, because you have taken your valuable time to be here, this event is 100% free. That’s right, not even one penny will leave your pocket. In fact, many of our patrons report that they actually leave our tent and are shocked to find more money in their pockets, just for accepting our ticket.”
“This year we have completely revamped every amazing feat of magic. You will be astounded at how different the same act can look if you just believe it will work this time.”
“I know some of you may have attended our shows in years past. But that was so long ago, it does not matter. After all, we need to live in the here and now, and not dwell on ancient memories.”
“Oh, and to ensure your safety, we do ask you to please leave your guns at the door. After the show, it will be clear that you don’t need them anyway.”
I get uncomfortable when politicians insist we need to “hold the course” that has not worked, while they fix the problems caused by the “course” we held.
It is clearer and clearer to me why Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have risen to smite the “Pharisees” of both political sects: Americans are exhausted by a river of blatant lies.
We are fed up with smiles that promise relief, but portend more pain. We cheered and voted for “you can keep your doctor” now we are sobbing at no choice of doctors, higher premium and out of pocket costs, and insurance companies denying treatment for much needed treatments.
We are livid at fairy tales that we can borrow a king’s ransom to redeem our children from poverty through college; then we find them still living in our basement, working part-time, no future jobs. We are incensed at proclamations of higher employment when our diets grow meager, and our prospects grow dimmer.
The old guard’s patrician grasp for power may well be their undoing. Their elite pretense of empathy may lead the plebeians to throw off the chains of their indentures. The power mongers’ smugness, avarice, and sense of entitlement can breach the comity of our unique American social contract. America’s promises to promote equity of opportunity, and its commitment to liberty have been a bold experiment. Our failure to honor these promises could show the rest of the world that there is no foundation of truth beneath our declaration of “unalienable rights” and “pursuit of happiness.”