Saturday, October 11, 2008

Why we don't keep wolverines as pets...

This is lifted from comments over on Hullabaloo, where they were discussing Karl Rove and a couple articles about him. (Spite Politics, October 11, 2008)

The discussion is asking, why is it that Rove's tactics aren't decried by the American people. One or two writers think that it's because many Americans have embraced the principle of win-at-any-cost, and so they don't see Rove's behaviour as anything unusual.

I had a different take:
I have wondered for years how to hold these amoral *****'s to account. Because normally, people do it with shared recognition and condemnation of wrongdoing, and the wrongdoer either is ashamed, or has to stop doing whatever it is, because his misdoings have been revealed.

Rove, however, is no more subject to shame than an image in a mirror or an actor on the TV screen. No matter how angry people are at the actor, he won't, can't, respond to their dirty looks.

How many years does it take for the average person to learn not to scold TV actors? Roughly 0.00757, I would guess. People who don't stop scolding TV actors, who address paintings as though they were going to answer back, have mental problems usually,

So the widespread right-wing ability to disregard all shaming has taught most people to stop trying. It has formed a kind of armor. Left-wingers, still subject to shame, are perversely both held to a higher standard and more successfully scolded, giving the appearance of weakness.

We scold our dog for misbehaviour, but not a wolverine. The wolverine is far stronger, true, but that may be why we prefer dogs. That we haven't realized we have wolverines in office is our next step forward.

One final point -- our governmental wolverines ignore dirty looks, but are keenly aware of real threats to their position. These people and institutions are preemptively targeted long before they are in a position to muzzle the wolverines. One example is the US Justice Department. In Canada, the elections agency, the nuclear energy agency and freedom of information (hah!) were some of the targets.

As for the Little Guy -- well, Mr. Smith would never make it to Washington. His reputation would be smeared in the tabloids and on Fox before he latched his front door.

I am hoping that Mr. Obama will, almost at once, put all the watchdogs back in action and fund them to the hilt and set protections around them and quietly, soberly dig the wolverines out of their dens.


Pastor Brewer said...

Great information I agree Traverus

spocko said...

Nice. I like the 'scolding tv actors' metaphors.

When your scolding has no teeth and they don't read anything you write it has no impact.

It seems like an obvious insight now, but I finally figured out that talk radio people don't care what we have to say and arguing with them, even if you can prove that you are right and they are wrong, isn't an effective strategy. In fact, they want to piss you off. Many of them don't care what their management has to say either as long as they are making money. Management WANTS them to piss off some listeners.

The only thing that might cause some to modify their behavior is if it becomes financially unrewarding, and even them some of them will keep it up to show "the courage of their convictions". I do note that they don't swear on the radio because a 350,000 fine. That modifies their behavior pretty effectively.