The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Dog Whistle

My adopted home state of Florida has a booming economy, very low unemployment, and outstanding employment figures for all communities, including the African American and Latino communities. It has achieved this even though it has no income tax, low corporate taxes, and a regulatory regime that does not suffocate existing businesses and the formation of new ones.

Apparently, state Democrats view this as a dystopian landscape and have decided to fix it by nominating a gubernatorial candidate that is a Socialist in the Bernie Sanders mold. The Democrat candidate, Andrew Gillum, has announced that he would work toward universal (think: "free") healthcare for all Floridians, free college, more accountability (think: regulations) for businesses, yada, yada. Like all socialists, Gillum believes that empty promises of free stuff, funded by additional promises to tax businesses will buy votes.

A debate on the details of that premise is worthwhile, but when you get beyond the notion of "free stuff" and the abstraction that Dems call "social justice," that debate will be difficult to win for the Dems. Small questions like:

-- How do we pay for the "free stuff?"
-- Are voters doing well today under a low tax, pro-business government?
-- Do you want to make it easier or harder for businesses to grow and prosper?
-- Are you in favor of stressing the state government in the same manner that governments in blue states like CT, IL, NJ, and CA are now stressed?

may create challenges for Mr. Gillum. In fact, it might also be interesting to hear Gillum's take of the current implosion of socialist policies in Venezuela, and why it is that tens of thousands of Venezuelans have fled their country for South Florida.

It's for that reason that the Dems need to change the subject. It took less than 24 hours for them to use their old standby—"racism." Gillum's GOP opponent, Ron DeSantis, said the following (it's difficult to find the direct quote because the Dem's trained hamsters in the media want to reinforce the dishonest suggestion that DeSantis was talking about Gillum rather than socialist policies) about a socialist agenda for Florida:
“The last thing we need is to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state.”
The left immediately called this a "dog whistle" even though it had nothing to do with Gillum, the man, but rather the socialist policies and programs he would institute. But heck, calling someone a "racist" is S.O.P. in modern leftist politics, particularly when it allows leftists to avoid any substantive debate on the issues. This repugnant tactic works because it demonizes. It poisons political discourse and is blatantly dishonest. But no matter.

It has forced DeSantis to spend time defending himself from this ridiculous charge, and as they say, when you're explaining, you're losing.

UPDATE (8-31-2018):

Charles Cooke comments on the DeSantis story:
I ... want to add my own exasperation at the rank dishonesty and profound irresponsibility on display from the media outlets that have run with the attack. This was not an honest mistake. On the contrary: Those who sold this lie knew exactly what they were doing, and they knew exactly why they were doing it. They did it to mislead, willfully, for clicks and for political advantage.

In pursuit of both, an enormous number of self-described “journalists” deliberately tied DeSantis’s use of “monkey this up”—which came attached to some praise for Gillum coupled with a warning that Gillum’s socialism would muck up Florida’s excellent economy—to the fact that Gillum is black, the obvious implication being that DeSantis believes that electing a black man as governor of Florida would “monkey this up” (whatever that means). But that is not what DeSantis said. It is not what DeSantis meant. And it is not what anyone really thinks he meant, either. It is a lie of the sort that is to be expected from explicitly political players, but not from those who believe they are Woodward and Bernstein in a firefighter’s hat. (Given his interest in “context collapse,” I’m sure that Ezra Klein is penning a defense of DeSantis for Vox as I type.)

We hear a lot about the “politics of division” these days. Indeed, that phrase was used in a few quarters as a criticism of DeSantis’s words. But I can think of fewer more “divisive” actions than falsely telling millions of people that the man who may well be their next governor believes that African Americans are monkeys. Those who did so should be ashamed.
Ashamed?? Cooke is kidding, right? The trained hamsters of the media are so biased, so unprofessional, and so incompetent that they no longer even consider "shame" as a aspect of their lives. To paraphrase Glen Reynolds, they are "Democratic operatives with bylines—partisan hacks who do the bidding of their masters without shame or self-awareness. The good news is that tens of millions now recognize that fact and discount their babbling.The unintended consequence is they are inadvertently helping Donald Trump get re-elected in 2020.