2016 Presidential Campaign http://theagendagame.com/tags/2016-presidential-campaign en The Perennial Election Agenda: Myth Marketing http://theagendagame.com/perennial-election-agenda-myth-marketing <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--node--title.html.twig' --> The Perennial Election Agenda: Myth Marketing <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <span lang="" about="/user/34" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">mary</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span>Mon, 08/15/2016 - 16:40</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * links--node.html.twig x links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/navigation/links.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/navigation/links.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <p>The perennial election agenda is to sell you on a myth, a storyline that speaks to your hopes, fears, discontents, and longings about the future.  The human brain’s prototypical approach to making sense of its world is to seek – or create – patterns.  Thus we create stories, and we amplify the stories we like into myths.  We ‘explain’ the world to ourselves.</p> <p>Political parties and candidates are constantly marketing myths to you, and political conventions are just this process writ large.  They want you to jump on their bandwagon, of course, and this is in the main an emotional response.  For old time party operatives, this is just the icing on a cake they baked a long time ago.  For the rest of us, ‘in the beginning was the word.’  We want to know what they stand for.  We want to know if what they stand for jibes with what we want.  </p> <p>The party platform, vague as it may very well be and un-read as it so often is, serves to train a laser focus on what the party stands for, at least ideally.  Cynics would argue it’s just a milksop to what the party thinks you want, to what it considers the most sellable mantra of the moment.  Nevertheless, just creating the platform is an intensely political process of jockeying among competing interests as was particularly evidenced this year in the Democratic camp by the protracted negotiations between the Clinton/Sanders factions.  Clinton, of course, represents the more recent corporate, business friendly iteration of the Democratic Party, and Sanders the working class hero party of FDR.  </p> <p>The platform which emerged as well as Clinton’s recent morphing in a decidedly progressive, populist direction and Sanders’ persistently strong showing is a great shout-out to our present Zeitgeist.  It rejects as corporate-run-through-the-roses giveaways trade deals once regarded as universal societal goods.  This is the moment of the great corporate agenda backlash, a push-back engendered by the financial transgressions of the Great Recession and smoldering, occasionally into open flames as with the spontaneous combustion Occupy uprisings, ever since a decidedly ‘off with their heads’ mood has taken root.  The story we like right now is that somebody needs to pay for all our suffering.  Moreover, it’s our turn (not to pay).</p> <p>For Republicans, Trump is the very embodiment of this mood, even if in actuality he is the very essence of corporate excess and malfeasance.  Republicans have long struggled to integrate the interests of three very different coalitions: working class voters, the business community, and evangelical voters.  These are very disparate groups, and their party platforms have long cobbled together a mishmash of ideas designed to give each a little something.  Support fossil fuels and trade deals big time to keep business happy, look the other way on immigration for the same reason, placate the working class with massive military spending (and theoretically jobs), stand tall for abortion restrictions and traditional social norms to appease evangelicals.  Keep everyone in line with an orthodox Supreme Court antithetical to change.  Make every problem or need subservient to the overarching mantra of tax cuts and more tax cuts, ostensibly a gift to the working class but structurally often anything but.  Pay homage to work by demonizing – even in the word – ‘entitlements.’</p> <p>This year the tables holding pamphlets with these neat policy proscriptions have been figuratively opened by angry working class voters.  Hence also Trump’s appeal: whatever else he is, he’s a table turner over for sure.  And thus a convention loudly opposed to what his supposed party has long espoused, especially in regard to immigration and trade deals.  The convention itself was just one long protracted ‘cult of the hero, hence, the speaker roster heavy with familial accolades.  And in place of policy and articulation of policy, we have only a forum for venting emotion, especially negative emotions like anger and resentment.  We’re all here to ‘spout off.’  Rather than regarding opponents as legitimate arbiters of another point of view, they are demonized as the anti-Christ (even one of their own like Cruz) and ‘lynched’ via mob cat calls.</p> <p>This is a decided blacker and more myopic approach to myth marketing, but one that is not new to students of history and human nature.  The historic precedents, however, are overwhelmingly frightening.</p> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-blog-comments--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-blog-comments.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig x field--field-blog-comments.html.twig * field--comment.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--field-blog-comments.html.twig' --> <!-- end of comments--> <div id="respond"> <h5 class="upper">Leave a comment</h5> <div class="comment-respond"> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=14&amp;2=field_blog_comments&amp;3=comment" token="MWkKHP2AmYlJPPoRbiZwT_Yf5xOfApOMw_Kb2WBZEpo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--field-blog-comments.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-blog-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-blog-tags.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-blog-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <a href="/tags/2016-presidential-campaign" hreflang="en">2016 Presidential Campaign</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-comets-blog-format--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-comets-blog-format.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-comets-blog-format.html.twig * field--list-string.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> Standard <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <li> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/theagendagame.com/files/styles/image_1000x520/public/Photo---Facebook-Cover.jpg?itok=RW0F-kTL" width="1000" height="520" alt="Join The Agenda Game on Facebook" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </li> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-blog-background-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-blog-background-image.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-blog-background-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/theagendagame.com/files/Agenda_FB_ad2_0.jpg" width="1200" height="627" alt="Th Agenda Characters" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-default-sidebar--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-default-sidebar.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-default-sidebar.html.twig * field--list-string.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> No sidebar <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-blog-category--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-blog-category.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-blog-category.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <a href="/blog-categories/gaming" hreflang="en">Gaming</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> Mon, 15 Aug 2016 20:40:20 +0000 mary 14 at http://theagendagame.com The Silent Agendas http://theagendagame.com/silent-agendas <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--node--title.html.twig' --> The Silent Agendas <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <span lang="" about="/user/34" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">mary</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span>Fri, 08/12/2016 - 20:00</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * links--node.html.twig x links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/navigation/links.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/navigation/links.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <p>Every election is underwritten by the silent agendas which underpin the human heart. Though politics is often regarded as an arena for duking it out over ‘getting stuff’, even when specific social reforms are a driving impetus as implied idealistic vision gives them credence. As a species we have long indulged in animated philosophical peregrinations about our supposed superior rationality, a discourse that has spanned disciplines from theology to economics and sometimes, it seems, everything in between. Our ability to reason ‘makes us human,’ ‘sets us above the animals,’ is ‘God in us’ and on it goes, our ego stroking pas de deux with this lovely thought. We are more, much much more, than mere (lower) passions and appetites, but rather creatures who can think logically and reasonably about our needs and how best to achieve them. Well, maybe we can, but we almost never do. For we are, in truth, creatures of bounded rationality at best, something modern neuroscience increasingly makes apparent. We are rational within sharp limits; we are emotional with over-arching intensity. And when we vote, the preeminent silent agenda is our emotional animus.</p> <p>It is our emotions that make us want, above all else, to identify with our candidate. Books like “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” lament the fact that rural voters especially so often vote for candidates whose platforms will actively do them harm economically. But, if they can afford to, voters will always vote their identity rather than their self-interest. The generally high standard of living enjoyed in this country in recent decades has given this propensity a free rein at the ballot box. Conversely, the grinding economic exigencies of the Great Depression caused millions to put aside any niceties of identification and vote for someone, perhaps foreign to them in persona, intellect, and background, but who seemed willing to wade into the carnage and pragmatically take the bull by the horns.</p> <p>This is the economic bottom line demarcating interest vs. status politics, a concept introduced to me by Richard Hofstadter in his excellent essay, “The Pseudo-Conseervative Revolt - 1954.” Interest politics are bread and butter politics, concerned with how best to allocate resources to achieve the greatest good or remediate past social injustices. Status politics are all about the much more amorphous question of morality. ‘What is the good?’ ‘How Shall We Then Live?’ ‘Do We Measure Up?’ Status politics are inordinately preoccupied with questions of moral degeneracy, judgmental by definition, and obsessed with sexual mores. Generally, they are validated by some sense of higher, noble purpose; the human animal they purport to ennoble and improve seems scarcely to enter into their lofty calculations in any realistic sense at all. They might as well be playing chess with a wooden token.</p> <p>Status politics have the most emotional clout; they tend to hit us in the gut (assuming our gut is reasonably well fed). People, after all, are generally as ‘good’ as they can afford to be. Status politics are also the most polarizing, not least because we disagree about what is good, but also because those afflicted with a crusading mentality see these issues as a titanic conflict between the forces of good and the forces of evil. In this, Manichaean, apocalyptic theater, compromise is tantamount to treason. This political mindset is also highly susceptible to the routine tools of propaganda which rely for their efficacy on vivid emotional triggers.</p> <p>Interest politics are more complex from an identity standpoint because they generally require diverse coalitions of disparate individuals to force the economic order in an inertia resisted direction. The issue of identifying with the candidate has to move from the personal to the philosophical. It has to engage with the rational realm with which our emotions have such an uneasy (and unequal) partnership. It posits the individual as not just individual but a creature shaped and defined by the milieu in which he or she lives. It posits the human as an indubitably social, communal creature. So the voter identification becomes less one of say, liking, the individual candidate than with what are sometimes called ‘big tent policies’, with idealizations of human rights, social justice, a vision of what can be achieved to further the common good. Ironically, it is an identification with an abstraction even though it is less about God, who can certainly be regarded as the ultimate abstraction, and more about people.</p> <p>Obviously, American politics of the last forty years or so have been predominantly of the status variety. But the economic disruptions of the Great Recession and the anemic and uneven pace of recovery are causing our body politic to gravitate to a decidedly interest based focus.</p> <p>In whichever direction we fling our hearts and our voting allegiance, there are other silent, mostly emotional, agendas, that are always in play. We want to find someone worthy of our fealty- a leader. We want more than the lesser of two evils. We want to be uplifted and inspired by the discourse that demands our attention. We want to be respected as befits autonomous citizens in a democracy. We vehemently object to the sense of being ‘played’ in service to someone else’s agenda. We want to be offered a vision of the future in which we can believe, because one of our most pressing human needs— one infused through and through with emotional gravitas—- is for meaning and purpose.</p> <p>And, finally, the most amorphous silent agenda of them all: the Zeitgeist. What is the Zeitgeist? From the German, it translates literally as ‘time-spirit’; more broadly, it is the spirit, attitude, and general outlook of a specific period, the moral, cultural, and intellectual climate of an era. Politicians bear the stamp of genius when they intuitively recognize a shift in the Zeitgeist and make themselves an early ‘voice crying in the wilderness.’ Obama’s ’08 campaign had some of this stamp. Conversely, even old political warriors can appear incredibly befuddled when they continue parroting the mantras of the old Zeitgeist as a new one takes hold. Most of the time politicians, like the rest of us, stumble into a new Zeitgeist, a new point of view, propelled by a vague sense of discomfiture with the status quo which we feel acutely but would find it hard to fully articulate. The clearest sign that the American Zeitgeist has shifted are polls quizzing voters about the direction of the country which consistently report discontents at 50% or greater. Similarly, incredibly dismal ratings of the recent performance of Congress reflect overwhelming public disgust with an institution whose main focus in the near past seems to have been creating an impregnable fortress around the increasingly discredited status quo. Just as symptomatic are the successes of unorthodox, outside-the-mainstream candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.</p> <p>The Zeitgeist, however, will have its way with us. Already, decidedly centrist candidates like Hillary Clinton are groping their way in its direction. And candidates like Ted Cruz, who regard the old Zeitgeist as gospel ( and his followers who perceive any change as apocalyptic ) are doubling down on the old, established mantras and titillating us with ‘end is nigh’ predictions if we don’t heed their clarion call.</p> <p>Who knew the simple little voting booth was so enormously crowded? All these agendas, however, are going to be clamoring for our attention when we mark our ballots. Come November, we’re going to find out whose voices are the most cogent.</p> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-blog-comments--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-blog-comments.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig x field--field-blog-comments.html.twig * field--comment.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--field-blog-comments.html.twig' --> <!-- end of comments--> <div id="respond"> <h5 class="upper">Leave a comment</h5> <div class="comment-respond"> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=117&amp;2=field_blog_comments&amp;3=comment" token="rRL3fYbu59HvJi-i-TS8O4Aqnp2rczTlOhMO5mvqyvo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 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typeof="foaf:Image" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </li> <li> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/theagendagame.com/files/styles/image_1000x520/public/Blog%20Post%20shhh_0.jpg?itok=FdqZOVJg" width="1000" height="520" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 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</li> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-blog-background-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-blog-background-image.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-blog-background-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/theagendagame.com/files/Blog%20Post%20shhh_0.jpg" width="1500" height="844" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-default-sidebar--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-default-sidebar.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-default-sidebar.html.twig * field--list-string.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> No sidebar <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-blog-category--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-blog-category.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-blog-category.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <a href="/blog-categories/gaming" hreflang="en">Gaming</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> Sat, 13 Aug 2016 00:00:00 +0000 mary 117 at http://theagendagame.com Penis Politics http://theagendagame.com/penis-politics <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--node--title.html.twig' --> Penis Politics <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <span lang="" about="/user/34" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">mary</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span>Sun, 08/07/2016 - 20:00</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * links--node.html.twig x links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/navigation/links.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/navigation/links.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <p>The present political season with all its strange and outlandish theater can most aptly be labelled ‘penis politics’. The overriding and oft-expressed desire of great masses of voters to ‘stick it to the em’ about the establishment is an obviously phallic image. But the dynamic that has emerged between our two dominant political parties explicitly pits traditionally male mores against more amorphous female ones. That the two chosen candidates are also male and female is interesting but nevertheless a non sequitur. You can be male and espouse politics not yoked to traditional male roles and stereotypes, and two obvious penis politics practitioners, Margaret Thatcher and Sarah Palin, presumably didn’t and don’t have one.</p> <p>Penis politcs are preoccupied with the male as the traditional family breadwinner, and the female as the dependent, submissive partner. Motherhood is glorified (and abortion abhorred) as an implicit cornerstone of this paradigm. Nothing is more important than that the almighty sperm – the creator within – hit its mark. People whose self-identification puts them outside these Ozzie &amp; Harriet, Beaver Cleaver molds are deviant, dangerous, and worthy of shunning. Maleness is equated with machismo (no, they are not the same) and synonymous with physical courage, virility, the domination of women, and aggression. ‘Real’ men prove they are men with confrontation. In the same vein, strength and security, national and otherwise, are synonymous with machismo. We need to ‘project’ American power worldwide. Nothing is more phallic than a missile.</p> <p>God is male, male is God, and the ultimate male is a bully – he pursues domination as an end in itself. The working class male – portrayed in this context as ‘Everyman’ – is the facet of society whose needs pre-empt everyone else’s. Everything is a fight, a struggle, a zero-sum game; conversely, discussion and compromise are female ploys. No ‘real’ man countenances them. And we have an extraordinary preoccupation with rigid social norms and ideology as an absolute.</p> <p>Not the sly clues our language gives us in regard to underlying (yes, literally) agendas. Social norms and ideology have to be ‘rigid’. Twitter has unleashed a compulsion to ‘one-up’ or ‘put down’ one’s opponents, the prevailing exchange of this campaign season. Political debates, ostensibly a forum for airing policy proposals, disintegrate into playground taunts about the ‘hotness’ of one’s respective partners and the adequacy of genitalia. And what if you’re not ‘up’ to playing in this arena? There’s always penis augmentation i.e. buy a gun.</p> <p>Implicit in this fixation on domination is its correlative, exploitation. Women were created to be the help-mate to man, part and parcel of a universe designed to meet his needs and give him pleasure. Thus as well the natural world and its gifts, and the rabid hostility of penis politickers to anything smacking of environmental stewardship or protection. It’s their playground, after all. You hear that, minorities? Theirs!!! You’re just another kind of woman.</p> <p>It would be tempting to regard the Trump Campaign as the epitome of penis politics, but it would be overly simplistic. Although this is without question its overarching dynamic, Trump himself, a worldly and pragmatic businessman, has, for example, steadfastly refused to be drawn into gay-bashing and restroom baiting. He has also seen fit to break dramatically from Republican orthodoxy (rigid, remember?) of the last 40 years on free trade deals. This, however, is a direct consequence of his newly found identification, improbable as this reach from his always cushy rich man’s perch is, with his ‘bros’ in the white male working class. Nevertheless, his debut logo with newly picked Pence, already reportedly pulled after much Internet hilarity, perhaps sums up his campaign’s tenor best: it showed an excessive preoccupation with penetration. On the other side, Hillary, during her long sojourn in the public eye, has consistently felt it necessary to ‘man up’ to show herself ready to be commander in chief, and has often taken flack, deservedly I think, for being too cold and distant from ordinary people’s needs as well as maddeningly above it all (Who’s on top?). All I would argue legitimate criticisms but just as obviously gender generated defense mechanisms to survival in a penis politics world.</p> <p>Penis politics are no doubt as ancient and pervasive as the missionary position. We are, after all, sexual beings, schizophrenic as our relationship with this immutable fact is. But why are they so preponderant in this election cycle in our place at this time? Because the most aggrieved portion of our electorate is older, white, middle class males (plus their female counterparts who see this penis politics storyline as gospel), and this group’s formative male icons were John Wayne and Clint Eastwood (fairly obvious penis politicians). These are the people in our body politic who feel most, er, shafted. These are the people in mortal terror of that most visceral of male phobias, castration, even if only symbolic. The general hysteria in some quarters toward any efforts at reasonable gun control is fueled, at bottom, by this most ancient of male anxieties.</p> <p>And they’re not wrong. They are quite definitely the group who has lost the most in terms of power, influence, money – clout – over the past 50-100 years. Our country, but also the world, has been moving, by fits and starts certainly, but steadily toward a consensus which rejects this penis projected male paradigm. Secularization, with its concomitant democratization of the divine, has accelerated this process (and thus becomes another focal point for anger and anxiety).</p> <p>Disaffected hordes are never conducive to social harmony. Thus freer societies everywhere have these pockets of males who feel entitled to the old penis politics paradigm – and just as entitled to act out their rage at its loss in violent rampages and terrorist acts.</p> <p>Tectonic plate caliber change never comes easily or quickly, and a shaking, rumbling playing field is not conducive to clarity. It does help to try to peer through the fog and find the real agenda. Some of these disruptions will only begin to be resolved as a younger generation supersedes the older. But we need to take a good, hard, square, honest look at male anxiety and its roots. What were once dubbed women’s rights, civil rights, LGBT rights are now more fully than ever just human rights. We have cadres of disaffected, confused, alienated males everywhere that need to be re-integrated into the larger social fabric. We all need liberation from passé social norms and empowerment by new, millennium worthy ones. We need to energetically seek policies, both political and practical, that are liberating and empowering for every facet of our body politic, quixotic as this quest may very well be. Competition is at the very heart of the American experience, but we need to grow up a bit and stop seeing everything in terms of winners and losers. The ship of state is in some shoals, and it needs all of its rowers to power through. And it works better when we all pull together.</p> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-blog-comments--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-blog-comments.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig x field--field-blog-comments.html.twig * field--comment.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--field-blog-comments.html.twig' --> <!-- end of comments--> <div id="respond"> <h5 class="upper">Leave a comment</h5> <div class="comment-respond"> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=116&amp;2=field_blog_comments&amp;3=comment" token="1CH1mylmq2R8IbI01fpGV5xWb-TE9lLkFn_E1gRu6Fo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--field-blog-comments.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-blog-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-blog-tags.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-blog-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <a href="/tags/2016-presidential-campaign" hreflang="en">2016 Presidential Campaign</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-comets-blog-format--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-comets-blog-format.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-comets-blog-format.html.twig * field--list-string.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> Standard <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <li> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/theagendagame.com/files/styles/image_1000x520/public/tag-logo-1000x520.png?itok=qUI09laM" width="1000" height="520" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </li> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-blog-background-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-blog-background-image.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-blog-background-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/theagendagame.com/files/Agenda_FB_ad2_0.jpg" width="1200" height="627" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-default-sidebar--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-default-sidebar.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-default-sidebar.html.twig * field--list-string.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> No sidebar <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-blog-category--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-blog-category.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-blog-category.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <a href="/blog-categories/gaming" hreflang="en">Gaming</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> Mon, 08 Aug 2016 00:00:00 +0000 mary 116 at http://theagendagame.com Take me to the Promised Land http://theagendagame.com/take-me-promised-land <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--node--title.html.twig' --> Take me to the Promised Land <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <span lang="" about="/user/34" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">mary</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span>Thu, 07/21/2016 - 20:00</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * links--node.html.twig x links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/navigation/links.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/navigation/links.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <p> So what ‘agendas’ are driving the 2016 presidential campaign? Much has been written about the phenomenal rise – at least to the mainstream – of candidates perceived as outsiders like Trump and Sanders. But an agenda drives their success even if it is unarticulated and mostly characterized by a vague, overarching sense of disquietude. The obvious propellant is anger – anger at income inequality, residual anger over the bank bailouts of 2008, the perception, correct or no, of a rigged system, the corruption of vast sums of money putting thumbs on the scales of electoral politics and, in direct consequence, politicians understood as bought and paid for, the sense that government only works for the rich if it works at all, and the economic bottom line: wage stagnation. All these issues are related, and they cross pollinate and feed on each other. And they spawn often ugly or bewildering progeny: a circling of the wagons against any kind of outsider or ‘furriner’ to protect what little you think you have left, a shoot first and ask questions later mentality, an abiding distrust of our ability to work together for the common good, an enthusiastic embrace of ideas once regarded as radical.</p> <p>Thus we have an extremely entertaining if often dismaying campaign season. To the degree to which it has thoroughly flummoxed the political establishment, it has already fulfilled one facet of voters’ agenda: a tremendous desire to ‘stick it to the man.’ But a much more interesting question is how various candidates sync with voter anger.</p> <p>Something inherent in human nature longs for a messiah. We want to be saved, redeemed, vindicated – brought into the light, Sans Christos mythology, the Greeks couldn’t make their theater work to their satisfaction without a deus ex machina. We desperately want the world to be fair; we see clearly that it is not. A nice savior seems highly desirable: someone who can ‘make it right.’ An election by definition is an exercise in hope and belief about the future. And this election particularly is infused with messianic longings.</p> <p>Donald Trump is our present John Wayne. He seems part and parcel with the common man, a plain spoken, shoot-from-the-hip kind of guy. Yet his billions proclaim that he has made it in a hyper-capitalistic world, something a very great many of us feel we have not. They also make him seem above the fray, perhaps personally corrupt, but also in some sense incorruptible. He’s not worried about playing by the rules or speaking the script: any savior worthy of the name is above all that. He offers simplistic solutions, if they can be called solutions at all, to complex problems – exactly what a nice deus ex machina should do, just re-engineer the entire plot. He doesn’t even come close to meeting the demands of Republican orthodoxy and that is precisely his appeal to the great masses of lower income Republican voters who feel betrayed by that orthodoxy.</p> <p>Bernie Sanders is the modern day reincarnation of the progressive movements and leaders that emerged from and went head to head with our first Gilded Age. He’s also a direct descendant of Occupy Wall Street and the masses who elected and re-elected Obama in ’08 &amp; ’12 but find the messianic hopes invested in him unfulfilled. If hyper capitalism is a big part of the problem, he’s the anti-capitalist. (If matter is partially defined by anti-matter, messiahs are at least partially created by what they stand against).</p> <p>Bernie is the primal scream for every single specific ingredient in voter anger, and his policies are meant to address them directly and absolutely. He also understands messianic longings (his is Jewish after all) as unrealistic – he is as afraid of that label as Obama should have been – and calls for a political revolution under-girded by the masses. But what he is saying is still implicitly messianic: a voice crying in the wilderness to make straight the paths. And he rattles Democratic orthodoxy as much as Trump does Republican.</p> <p>Of the entire pack of candidates, Ted Cruz is the most overtly messianic. He embraces that mantle with the gusto and conviction of a true believer, on emboldened by his certainty that he has been called by God. And he is explicitly enamored with second coming mythology, working hard and consistently to portray himself as the second coming of Ronald Reagan. His message about the causes of and solutions to voter anger is also imbued with Biblical overtones: the trouble is we’re a fallen people who have strayed from the true path. We need to be redeemed, like it or not, by being dragged back to that path. This is why he can’t and won’t compromise: his ends are so obviously right, so obviously ordained from on high, that they justify any means. This is why he touts himself as a ‘pure’ conservative, the only pure conservative in the race, and by inference “the anointed one.” But he also cloaks his blatant religiosity in some familiar Republican shibboleths: remember Reagan’s ‘government is the problem’? Cruz channels that perfectly (and deliberately). All his solutions are simplistic and retrograde: reduce taxation and its infrastructure to a bare bones minimum, abolish rules, regulations, subsidies – except, of course, to the shoot whatever moves crowd. No question about Crusaders needing an Army. He prattles on about God certainly, but also that other conservative god, the Constitution. Manipulate the letter of that 233-year-old text to make sure we can’t do anything new or progressive. And he is a classic political animal; his solution to anger is a very old political one: give it a scapegoat on which to vent itself. Everything’s Obama fault. That has been the Republican tactic of choice for the past eight years and, except for his inferences at a fall from righteousness, a need to re-embrace Christian orthodoxy and by implication, grace, Cruz doesn’t stray from it.</p> <p>Obama is especially handy for this because he’s black. The other thing interesting and significant about all the above candidates if we’re trying to tease out subliminal agendas is that their supporters are overwhelmingly white. This could be called the ‘trickle-up’ phenomenon. Lower and middle class whites are now struggling with the same problems that have long plagued minority communities. And these same communities now feel embattled and under siege. The world they thought was their birthright, their oyster, their cachet, seems to have disappeared or to be disappearing fast. The very celebration of not being politically correct is a celebration of a world of white talk and white power where the darker hued, the multi-cultured, the unorthodox of lifestyle, are second class citizens. When Trump says ‘Make America great again!’ these people hear ‘Make America white again.’ After all, so called traditional values are the values of the old traditional white class. For Sanders’ supporters, it’s more like taking the Civil Rights movement to the lighter skinned, but the deep seated unease that fuels it is one newly found among lower and middle class whites. With Cruz, this phenomenon is a bit more nuanced because there are certainly black and Hispanic evangelicals. But the crowds he draws are mostly white, and left unsaid but palpably present among these, is the certainty that the ‘chosen people’ are white.<br /> In the meantime, the agendas of the political elites of both political parties is to reason, cajole, or coerce these candidates and the agendas they represent out of existence. (In the case of Clinton vs Sanders, co-opting is not off the table). Even if these establishment prerogatives meet with temporary success, the forces driving these candidate agendas are not going to quietly disappear. Sooner or later, they’re going to have to be addressed with substantive policy or agendas now seeking political redress are going to find less socially acceptable outlets. There are some real and abiding discontents simmering in the land, and they are creating persistent gnawing hungers demanding to be fed with substantial change. When they’re not shaking their heads in bewilderment, the billionaire class is already picturing mobs with pitchforks in their dreams. So there are raucous times ahead, and we’re not just talking the election season. As the Chinese proverb proclaims, “May you live in interesting times.” Both a blessing and a curse.</p> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-blog-comments--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-blog-comments.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig x field--field-blog-comments.html.twig * field--comment.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--field-blog-comments.html.twig' --> <!-- end of comments--> <div id="respond"> <h5 class="upper">Leave a comment</h5> <div class="comment-respond"> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=15&amp;2=field_blog_comments&amp;3=comment" token="Su39uEtmGb5TGwGIb3Eyr4NoVO4Ofw4MyngXZefYMqA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--field-blog-comments.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-blog-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-blog-tags.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-blog-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <a href="/tags/2016-presidential-campaign" hreflang="en">2016 Presidential Campaign</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-comets-blog-format--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-comets-blog-format.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-comets-blog-format.html.twig * field--list-string.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> Standard <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <li> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/theagendagame.com/files/styles/image_1000x520/public/tag-logo-1000x520.png?itok=qUI09laM" width="1000" height="520" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </li> <li> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/theagendagame.com/files/styles/image_1000x520/public/Promised%20Land.jpeg?itok=pIBYVwDM" width="1000" height="520" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </li> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-blog-background-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-blog-background-image.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-blog-background-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/theagendagame.com/files/Agenda_FB_ad2_0.jpg" width="1200" height="627" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-default-sidebar--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-default-sidebar.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-default-sidebar.html.twig * field--list-string.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> No sidebar <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-blog-category--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-blog-category.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-blog-category.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <a href="/blog-categories/gaming" hreflang="en">Gaming</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 00:00:00 +0000 mary 15 at http://theagendagame.com Trumpenda http://theagendagame.com/trumpenda <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--node--title.html.twig' --> Trumpenda <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <span lang="" about="/user/34" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">mary</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span>Fri, 04/01/2016 - 15:00</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * links--node.html.twig x links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/navigation/links.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/navigation/links.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <p>What is Donald Trump’s real agenda? Does he even want to be president? A fair case can be made that that has never been his goal. After his decisive win in South Carolina, as he was preparing to make his victory speech, he even said, “Who would think last June that we would be standing here? I thought we’d be, like, maybe in the middle of the pack?” He consistently does and says things that would by rights crater the campaigns of any conventional candidate. Most have seen this as the knee-jerk reactions of an inveterate bully, and certainly this is part of the mix. But on a much more subliminal level, can it be that Trump is actually trying to sabotage his own campaign?<br />  <br /> By every possible metric, being president of the United States seems like a pretty tough job. Extremely important and immensely consequential decisions are a fact of daily life. Does Donald Trump seem like a worker? Don’t forget he didn’t exactly work to get where he is, starting out with a playing field massively tilted by tons of inherited cash. And even with those loaded die, he has managed to go bankrupt four times. He likes to make deals, he likes the limelight, he likes to give orders, he loves to build ostentatious monuments to himself ( latest idea in this direction: a border wall ). Plus, does the presidency seem like a job for someone afflicted with OCTD—-obsessive compulsive twitter disorder? I see no glimmer in this resume of even a flicker of interest in engaging intellectually with the nitty gritty of serious policy development and implementation. Actually, ‘intellectual’ in any context regarding Trump seems a bit of a stretch. On the other hand, we have had plenty of presidents about whom this would also be true. Certainly, he seems inclined to believe his own press, and he’s obviously pretty drunk at the moment on his own success. Perhaps he really does believe he can govern, as he has campaigned, by bluster alone. But actually being president would indubitably curtail the nice perks of his lavish billionaire’s lifestyle. For one thing, he would need to put all his assets in a blind trust. Of course, since he has shown a marked propensity to ignore other niceties of ethics and law along with common courtesy, he might well just bull on past this and many other pesky details. He has already promised to reform libel laws, no doubt to open a clearer path to governing through demagoguery alone. But there are other constraints about the fishbowl life at the center of the White House that seem certain to rankle an inveterate control freak used to getting his own way. Tiresome little details like constitutional law, judicial review, and a Congress even more obdurate about his whims than the one we have now.<br />  <br /> What Trump is quintessentially about is the brand: creating the brand, marketing the brand, milking the brand. Running for president is the ultimate branding gig ( see Sarah! as in Palin ). Now he wants to ‘trump’ his Republican rivals to show that ‘Trump’ really is the most magnificent over-arching brand. As if right on cue, he gave his acceptance speech after his March 1st victories surrounded by about 10 different products branded ‘Trump’, nicely arranged for maximum prime-time camera exposure. His analysis that making his brand seem superior and larger than life by winning the nomination is probably uncannily shrewd and spot-on. If, that is , your ultimate agenda is the one that most obviously makes Trump tick: making money. And it’s a pretty safe bet that a good number of his supporters like to patronize casinos.<br />  <br /> If this is the driving agenda, winning the Republican nomination makes absolute sense, the actual presidency much less so. In reality ( and reality, although often suspended lately, does kick in eventually ) a President Trump has overwhelming potential to crater his own brand, if for no other reason than that he is so demonstrably unqualified and certain to seem obviously way out of his depth, more likely sooner rather than later. Sarah Palin’s tour in the limelight is instructive in this regard<br />  <br /> Trump is a crude, bombastic, misogynistic, xenophobic, bloviating bully, but he is far from stupid. I suspect he understands this dynamic better than anyone. Some might argue that his solipsistic glory-collecting rampage to the Republican nomination will destroy the Republican Party and the modern conservative movement ( the frenzy on this front has reached a fever pitch of late ), but the notion that these entities ( or their loss ) have any currency with Trump himself is laughable. As long as he’s on top of the fallen bodies instead of under them, he will march merrily on his money making way.<br />  <br /> If his South Carolina comment is any indication, he is as surprised by where he is today as anyone. Obviously, as Obama did, especially in ’08, he has connected with currents he didn’t know existed, and he is happily surfing their wave. That is not the same as having earned that momentum. Any good or even middling businessman can tell you the tremendous significance of being in the right place at the right time. Generally, such businessmen have an equally keen sense of when to clear out.<br />  <br /> There have been times of late that Trump seems to be actively believing his own shtick. The public was treated to the same dynamic with Sarah Palin. He has been less overbearing, even humble, in his acceptance speeches. He has had exchanges with the press that seemed more like actual press conferences instead of celebratory self-fests. There seems to be at least a tacit attempt to appear presidential in some of his recent outings, even professed moral outrage over Vincente Fox’s off-color comments about his proposed wall which, after a campaign littered with profanity of every stripe, is disingenuous at best. Assuming he continues to rack up delegates with aplomb in the coming weeks, this posture will almost certainly become more pronounced. He wants to win the nomination, no question about that, and he is both fueled and emboldened right now by the tantalizing taste of that victory. He is certainly giddy at present with the image of himself as President of the United States. But the most fantastic parties still have a morning after. And then what?<br />  <br /> Most polls indicate Trump commands at best the support of 45% of Republican voters; in most areas, it may be closer to a third. His die-hard supporters will stick with him to the end; if they had liked some of the other Republican candidates, Trump’s own actions would have already scared them away. Because candidate choice is so closely linked to identity—-we want to ‘feel’ our candidate is ‘one of us’, someone we can trust to speak for us—-a very great many of these voters will never support any Democrat. It’s just too big a stretch for them in terms of who they think they are. If the Democratic nominee ends up being Hillary Clinton, that would be doubly so. A great many of these voters would never support any woman, much less one so closely identified in their minds with liberal Democratic elitism. But this constituency is hardly the sum total of the American electorate, and there are large swaths of that electorate for whom Trump as the actual Republican nominee would be incredibly galvanizing. The recent concerted and hysterical push by Republican elites to abort the prospect of Trump as nominee is probably a pretty good gauge of what we can expect, writ large, as we segue from nominating to presidential contests. Trump certainly knows this. In fact, he might very well, be counting on it.</p> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-blog-comments--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-blog-comments.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig x field--field-blog-comments.html.twig * field--comment.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--field-blog-comments.html.twig' --> <!-- end of comments--> <div id="respond"> <h5 class="upper">Leave a comment</h5> <div class="comment-respond"> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=13&amp;2=field_blog_comments&amp;3=comment" token="IKqqNGzna0isfyEknk_oRE2sfWThSeFDbglHdf4AmjA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--field-blog-comments.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-blog-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-blog-tags.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-blog-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <a href="/tags/2016-presidential-campaign" hreflang="en">2016 Presidential Campaign</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-comets-blog-format--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-comets-blog-format.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-comets-blog-format.html.twig * field--list-string.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> Standard <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <li> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/theagendagame.com/files/styles/image_1000x520/public/tag-logo-1000x520.png?itok=qUI09laM" width="1000" height="520" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </li> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-blog-background-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-blog-background-image.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-blog-background-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/theagendagame.com/files/Agenda_FB_ad2_0.jpg" width="1200" height="627" alt="The Agenda Game" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-default-sidebar--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-default-sidebar.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-default-sidebar.html.twig * field--list-string.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> No sidebar <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-blog-category--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-blog-category.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-blog-category.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <a href="/blog-categories/gaming" hreflang="en">Gaming</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> Fri, 01 Apr 2016 19:00:00 +0000 mary 13 at http://theagendagame.com What ‘Agendas’ are driving the 2016 presidential campaign? http://theagendagame.com/what-%E2%80%98agendas%E2%80%99-are-driving-2016-presidential-campaign <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--node--title.html.twig' --> What ‘Agendas’ are driving the 2016 presidential campaign? <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <span lang="" about="/user/34" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">mary</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span>Thu, 02/25/2016 - 12:00</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * links--node.html.twig x links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/navigation/links.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/navigation/links.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <p><strong>So, what ‘Agendas’ are driving the 2016 presidential campaign?</strong> Much has been written about the phenomenal rise—at least to the mainstream—of candidates perceived as outsiders like Trump and Sanders. But an agenda drives their success even if it is unarticulated and mostly characterized by a vague, overarching sense of disquietude. The obvious propellant is anger - anger at income inequality, residual anger over the bank bailouts of 2008, the perception, correct or no, of a rigged system, the corruption of vast sums of money putting thumbs on the scales of electoral politics and, in direct consequence, politicians understood as bought and paid for, the sense that government only works for the rich if it works at all, and the economic bottom line: wage stagnation.<br />  <br /> All these issues are related, and they cross-pollinate and feed on each other. And they spawn often ugly or bewildering progeny: a circling of the wagons against any kind of outsider or ‘furrier’ to protect what little you think you have left, a shoot first and ask questions later mentality, an abiding distrust of our ability to work together for the common good, an enthusiastic embrace of ideas once regarded as radical.<br />  <br /> Thus we have an extremely entertaining if often dismaying campaign season. To the degree to which it has thoroughly flummoxed the political establishment, it has already fulfilled one facet of voter’ agenda: a tremendous desire to ’stick it to the man’.<br />  <br /> But a much more interesting question is how various candidates sync with voter anger.<br />  <br /> Something inherent in human nature longs for a messiah. We want to be saved, redeemed, vindicated —brought into the light. Sans Christian mythology, the Greeks couldn’t make their theater work to their satisfaction without a deus ex machina. We desperately want the world to be fair; we see clearly that it is not. A nice savior seems highly desirable: someone who can ‘make it right’. An election by definition is an exercise in hope and belief about the future. And this election particularly is infused with messianic longings.<br />  <br /> Donald Trump is our present John Wayne. He seems part and parcel with the common man, a plain spoken, shoot-from-the-hip kind of guy. Yet his billions proclaim that he has made it in a hyper-capitalistic world, something a very great many of us feel we have not. They also make him seem above the fray, perhaps personally corrupt, but also in some sense incorruptible. He’s not worried about playing by the rules or speaking the script: any savior worthy of the name is above all that. He also offers simplistic solutions, if they can be called solutions at all, to complex problems - exactly what a nice deus ex machina should do, just re-engineer the entire plot. He doesn’t even come close to meeting the demands of Republican orthodoxy and that is precisely his appeal to great masses of lower income Republican voters who feel betrayed by that orthodoxy.<br />  <br /> Bernie Sanders is the modern day reincarnation of the progressive movements and leaders that emerged from and went head to head with our first Gilded Age. He’s also a direct descendant of Occupy Wall Street and the masses who elected Obama in ’08 and ’12 but find the messianic hopes invested in him unfulfilled. If hyper-capitalism is a big part of the problem, he’s the anti-capitalist. If matter is at least partially defined by anti-matter, messiahs are at least partially created by what they stand against. Bernie is the primal scream for every single specific ingredient in voter anger, and his policies are meant to address them directly and absolutely.  He also understands messianic longings (he is Jewish, after all) as unrealistic - he is as afraid of that label as Obama should have been - and calls for a political revolution undergirded by the masses. But what he is saying is still implicitly messianic: a voice crying in the wilderness to make straight the paths. And he rattles Democratic orthodoxy as much as Trump does<br /> Republican.<br />  <br /> Of the entire pack of candidates, Ted Cruz is the most overtly messianic. He embraces that mantle with the gusto and conviction of a true believer, one emboldened by his certainty that he has been called by God. And he is explicitly enamored with second coming mythology, working hard and consistently to portray himself as the second coming of Ronald Reagan. His message about the causes of and solutions to voter anger is also imbued with Biblical overtones: the trouble is we’re a fallen people who have strayed from the true path. We need to be redeemed, like it or not, by being dragged back to that path. This is why he can’t and won’t compromise: his ends are so obviously ordained from on high, that they justify any means.  This is why he touts himself as a ‘pure’ conservative, the only pure conservative in the race, and, by inference, ‘the anointed one’. But he also cloaks his blatant religiosity in some familiar Republican shibboleths: remember Reagan’s 'government is the problem’? Cruz channels that perfectly (and deliberately). All his solutions are simplistic and retrograde: reduce taxation and its infrastructure to a bare bones minimum, abolish rules, regulations, subsidies - except, of course, to the shoot whatever moves crowd. No question about crusaders needing an army.  He prattles on about God, certainly, but also that other conservative god, the Constitution. Manipulate the letter of that 233-year-old text to make sure we can’t do anything new or progressive. And he is a classic political animal; his solution to voter anger is a very old political one: give it a scapegoat on which to vent itself.  Everything’s Obama’s fault. That has been the Republican tactic of choice for the past eight years and, except for his inferences at a fall from righteousness, a need to re-embrace Christian orthodoxy and by implication, grace, Cruz doesn’t stray from it.<br />  <br /> Obama is especially handy for this because he’s black. The other thing interesting and significant about all the above candidates if we’re trying to tease out subliminal agendas is that their supporters are overwhelmingly white.  This could be called the ‘trickle-up’ phenomenon. Lower and middle class whites are now struggling with the same problems that have long plagued minority communities.  And these same communities now feel embattled and under siege. The world they thought was their birthright, their oyster, their cachet, seems to have disappeared or to be disappearing fast. The very celebration of not being politically correct is a celebration of a world of white talk and white power where the darker hued, the multi-cultural, the unorthodox of lifestyle, are second class citizens. When Trump says, ‘Make America great again!’, these people hear, ‘Make America white again!’. After all, so called traditional values are the values of the old traditional white middle class.  For Sanders’ supporters, it’s more like taking the Civil Rights movement to the lighter skinned, but the deep seated unease that fuels it is one newly found among lower and middle class whites.  With Cruz, this phenomenon is a bit more nuanced because there are certainly sincere black and Hispanic evangelicals. But the crowds he draws are mostly white, and left unsaid but palpably present among them, is the certainty that the ‘chosen people’ are white.<br />  <br /> In the meantime, the agendas of the political elites of both political parties is to reason, cajole, or coerce these candidates and the agendas they represent out of existence (in the case of Clinton vs. Sanders, co-opting is not off the table). Even if these establishment prerogatives meet with temporary success, the forces driving the candidate agendas are not going to quietly disappear. There are some real and abiding discontents simmering in the land, and they’re creating persistent, gnawing hungers demanding to be fed with substantial change. Sooner or later, they’re going to have to be addressed with substantive policy or agendas now seeking political redress are going to find less socially acceptable outlets. When they’re not shaking their heads in bewilderment, the billionaire class is already picturing mobs with pitchforks in their dreams. So there are raucous times ahead, and we’re not just talking the election season. As the Chinese proverb proclaims, ‘May you live in interesting times.’  Both a blessing….and a curse.</p> <p>~ Mary</p> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-blog-comments--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-blog-comments.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig x field--field-blog-comments.html.twig * field--comment.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field--field-blog-comments.html.twig' --> <!-- end of comments--> <div id="respond"> <h5 class="upper">Leave a comment</h5> <div class="comment-respond"> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=16&amp;2=field_blog_comments&amp;3=comment" token="PxBEEjMNnN6bxJwA5uTvkIiXXSU76SK-WRBHv4dgcXc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 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--> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/theagendagame.com/files/Agenda_FB_ad2_0.jpg" width="1200" height="627" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/stable/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'sites/theagendagame.com/themes/comets/templates/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-default-sidebar--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-default-sidebar.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-default-sidebar.html.twig * field--list-string.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 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