The Real Issue in the Special Election
By Jim Ostrowski
Member of the Jack Davis staff. The views expressed are those of the author and not the campaign.
May 20, 2011
The real issue in the special election for Congress is not substantive but an issue of character. That issue is: which candidate is NOT a member of a political machine?
A political machine is a conspiracy of the depraved to use the government to deprive the rest of us of our life, liberty and property, to satisfy their greed, ego and power lust.
A machine is a necessarily small but tightly organized and cohesive group that manages to wrest control of the government from the disorganized and undisciplined masses so as to use that power to avoid the harsh reality of making a living in the free marketplace. Members of the machine are terrified of that prospect and thus seek to use the government to secure financial security without any need to produce wealth or actual value for customers. Rather, they only need to satisfy a political boss by following orders and kicking back part of their wages and contracts for political contributions.
Kathy Hochul and Jane Corwin are members of political machines. Jack Davis is not. That’s why, while it matters a great deal what Davis says about policy, it doesn’t matter a great deal what Corwin or Hochul say because they will do what is good for the machine, including the special interests, regardless of what they said during the campaign. Their prime directives are (1) get re-elected to remain in power; (2) use their power to reward their friends and punish their enemies. That’s why career politicians like Corwin and Hochul are purposely vague in their platforms. They do not want their hands to be tied in office precisely because they have so many debts to pay off and puppet masters to be served.
There is an interesting relationship between big government and machines. Initially, it is big government that creates the machine—to distribute the loot seized from the taxpayer in a “rational” manner–that is, for the purpose of preserving and strengthening the machine. The child of big government, the machine is now its caretaker. The machine is now that agency whose job it is to keep government large and defeat the forces of shrinkage. If shrinkage were to occur, there would be no clear stopping point as the people would say, if A, B, C and D failed agencies or programs were abolished because the free market can do better than the clumsy state, then why not also eliminate E, F, G, and H?
Pork and patronage and corporate welfare are the main tools politicians use to pay off the machines that put them into power. However, these items do not make up a very large percentage of government spending. What really drives big government is vote-buying with programs that give away free money. A great example is George Bush’s prescription drug benefit. Karl Rove, a Corwin supporter, told Bush that he needed to take the drug issue off the table to win reelection. Now at this point, Bush could have cleaved to principle and refused but that would have put John Kerry into office. That would be unthinkable. That would mean taking ideas seriously as Ron Paul does. But machine politicians are philosophical pragmatists. To them, words are not tools for expressing truths but tools for manipulating people into doing what you want them to do. Truth is for suckers.
This point is critical. When the GOP rank and file hear career politicians like Corwin talk about small government, they take them at their word. They do not realize that they are being manipulated. However, after fifty years of hearing the same false promises, it may be time to wise up.
So, career politicians like Corwin and Hochul will do what it takes to preserve, protect and defend the machine and they will vote for any spending programs required to buy enough votes to get re-elected. Remember, it’s about power lust.
To come full circle, you may ask, how can these people get re-elected if they ignore their promises? First, they make very few promises that mean anything. “I will cut waste, fraud and abuse” is an example of a cliché that means nothing. It’s an unenforceable promise. They say this to avoid naming any programs they would cut because that might lose them votes. Second, remember what this essay is all about: machines and special interests. They will win because they have a machine and money from special interests to beat you, the ordinary citizen, if you try to run against them.
For example, when David DiPietro, a great tea party candidate, ran against the well-funded machine, he lost. He couldn’t get his message out without money while his opponents filled the airwaves and mailboxes with propaganda. Keep in mind that a machine is a conspiracy to separate you from your life, liberty and property. Since their entire enterprise is corrupt and dishonest, lying for power is naturally their modus operandi.
Unless we figure out a way to smash political machines, government will continue to grow until it destroys us. We are close to that point now. Time is short and alternatives are few.
The special election for Congress gives us a rare opportunity to win an important battle against both machines. The Republican machine thought they had this race locked up three months ago. The Democratic machine thought they had a chance when Davis turned up a close third in the polls.
This is the best chance the WNY tax revolt/tea party movement has had to win a major office since we started this movement in 2004. We have the machines right where we want them, splitting the vote in a three-way race where we only need 35% to win. And we finally have a well-funded candidate who can compete with the machine. We will never have a better chance to win and if we squander this opportunity, our movement will, I believe, die.
So the real issue in this race is this: will the people finally elect a candidate who is not beholden to a political machine? If we do, there will be hope in WNY after all. And in DC. Jack will join Ron Paul as a two-man army fighting for the average citizen. In Erie County, the GOP Chairman will be forced out and there may be hope for a better regime. Nationally, this win might lead to an independent candidate for President.
For real tea party activists, the choice should be clear. The tea party movement is a reaction to the failure of the GOP to cut spending in the three times it had a chance to do so: under Reagan, Gingrich and Bush II. We can now add Boehner whose 2011 budget, endorsed by Corwin, increased spending. Yet another GOP failure.
If you support a machine Republican, you are supporting the very thing that leads to bigger government. That would be absurd.
I will close by quoting from the greatest play ever written about politics:
There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
Julius Caesar Act 4, scene 3, 218–224
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