The Republican National Committee provided another piece of evidence this week that winning is more important to the major parties than anything else. Their lust for power outweighs any impulse they might have to tell people what they really need to know.
Republicans are supposedly the ones who understand that government can’t create jobs, yet the RNC is pandering this week to jobless Americans almost as badly as Democrats might under similar circumstances. It’s all about winning, not about explaining principles or sound policy.
With Barack Obama on his campaign swing through Virginia and North Carolina — which we’re told is not campaigning — Republicans responded with a television ad. If they had wanted an honest ad that reflected the principles they say they believe in, the ad would have attacked Obama for trying to spend money to allegedly create jobs and it would have pointed out the government’s real task is to get out of the way and let the market do the work.
Instead, the GOP’s TV spot is pandering to people who are worried about jobs — by implying that it’s a president’s job to “do something” about creating jobs. It closes by ominously asking, “What about your job?” It’s an ad that’s designed to play to people’s fears and to their emotional reasons for disliking a politician. The cheap shots about fundraising are ironic at best, since every modern president spends time doing the same thing, no matter the party. (There’s a PDF “press corps briefing book” to go along with the ad.)
I’m not just attacking Republicans, though. I’m attacking a system that lets each major party self-righteously attack the other for things it also does. I’m attacking ignorant voters who respond to emotional appeals which contract what a party has previously claimed to be about. (If you don’t believe both parties violate their alleged principles, take a look again at another article I linked to this morning, about Democrats in Virginia using gay-baiting with a gay Republican candidate.)
If Republicans believe their rhetoric about governments not creating jobs, they need to say so clearly every time they talk about jobs. If Democrats believe their rhetoric about stopping wars and not using vile personal assaults to get people elected, they need to follow through on what they say. But the truth is that they’re both interested in one value that’s much higher than these principles they allegedly hold.
Both parties worship at the altar of political power. Nothing is more important to them. It’s all about power and control. They will say anything or do anything that they believe will give them power. It’s time to give up on this system. It’s not going to bring the change you hope it will bring, now or ever. We need a new strategy.