As we close in on the first actual voting in Iowa, with actual voters, now just a few weeks away, I would like to register a few cautions.
I have addressed the limitations of polling before, but here want to say something about the use made of them by the chattering classes. Keep in mind that in a nation like ours, there are two wild card entries in every recurring scramble for power that we call elections. Those two wild cards are: 1. The voting public and 2. The chattering classes — those who would shape and mold public opinion.
It is not the case that the voters do whatever it is they will do, and the chattering classes simply comment on it. No — every election is a sumo wrestling contest between the electorate and those who would steer the electorate beforehand. Into this latter group I would place newspapers, cable networks, campaigns, superPACs, television pundits, authors, and ahem, bloggers.
The candidates are the counters in the poker game. The poker players on opposite sides of the table are the people and the elites. The candidates are those who may occupy the offices after the election, and so it is that we come to believe that this is where all the power is. We see what happens when we cash the chips in, and this is not insignificant. But the real game is earlier.
I am leaving out of this analysis the un-elected functionaries who make up the teeming population of our vast and illegal administrative state. I haven’t forgotten about them, but am simply leaving them out of this discussion for the time being.
There are any number of overlays to put on top of an election, and many of them are valid. But it is easy to see the clash between those who are voting for Candidate A and those voting for Candidate B. But I think a more telling contrast is to see the clash between those who do the voting and those who would shape the voting.
For example, now that it looks that Ted Cruz has a shot at taking Iowa, the hit stories about him are starting to appear. My point is that these stories are not just “appearing.” It is not the case that stories float into your Facebook feed from nowhere. These things are launched — from one group toward another. I do not mean from one campaign to another (although that happens also). I mean that the ruling elites want to exercise prior restraint over the choices on every ballot in every election. The roster of candidates that the rabble believe they should be able to select from is a slate with a much greater breadth than what we usually get. When an “unacceptable” candidate starts getting traction (as I believe we are seeing with Cruz), it is not long before you start seeing political freak outs.
The narrowing of options is usually brought about by the chattering class gatekeepers. I am talking about those who work in the tops of skyscrapers up and down our two blue coasts.
In order to extricate ourselves from the soft despotism that is swallowing us up, there will have to a be a series of (at least) three major battles. The first is the obvious one — I believe it was Sam Francis who named them the Evil Party and the Stupid Party. The second is the battle that needs to be joined in overthrowing the administrative state — the kind of people who prosecute ranchers under terrorism laws. And the last is what I have been addressing here — the people who vote and the people who try to teach them what votes are acceptable.
Ignore those people. If you live in Iowa, go to the caucuses with the full intention of being naughty.