Posted on: Tuesday, April 15th, 2008 by Nina May
Ican still hear the James Carvell orchestrated mantra of the Clinton campaign in1992, drilling it into all our thick heads that the economy was the only issuethat mattered that year. In his own, inimitable way, he summarized the threepoints of that campaign as being, “change vs. more of the same,” “The economy,stupid” and “Don't forget health care.” It is refreshing to know that with allthe hyperbole about change, that some things actually never do change . . .like Democrats and elections.
Itis easy to understand why Hillary would rely on those three successful pointsto hang her campaign on since they were prominently posted at the Clintonheadquarters in 1992 as a constant reminder to employ the KISS method ofpolitical strategy . . . Keep It Simple Stupid. But, that doesn’t explain whyObama has adopted exactly the same three points, not straying off subject toeven feign originality.
Thereare a few very interesting points about the two democratic contenders, who areusing pages from the old Clinton playbook as though nothing has changed in 16years. One is that in 1992, Clinton won with less than 43% of the vote and didjust four points better in 1996, never, ever getting a full majority, or“mandate for leadership,” as they like to say. When Clinton benefited from thedot com boom, inspite of having raised taxes, the assumption was that he wasdoing something to stimulate the economy. That’s like taking credit for the rainjust because you got wet. And when Bush came to office, not only did he inherita recession, but less than nine months later he presided over one of the mosthorrific attacks on US soil in our history. He still refused to raise taxes asa result of it, and saw eight years of stable and consistent economic growth, arobust stockmarket, and a real estate bubble that was bound to burst as thingsalways readjust to natural levels.
Ifyou dust off the old script that was disseminated to the mainstream media in1992, it is almost a verbatim argument for voting for the Democrats today andthrowing the Republicans out. Even though, at the end of Clinton’s 8 years,with a recession, they weren’t clamoring to throw out the Democrats and electthe Republicans, so it can’t really be the “economy stupid.” And even up until election day of 1992,the talking heads were shaking theirs, so concerned that if the Democrats didnot regain control of the White House, it would be certain economic disasterfor the country. Sound familiar? The only problem is . . . if you go back andcheck the newspaper headlines the days leading up to the election, you willfind the term “faltering economy” over and over. But if you look up theheadlines just a few days after the election, there is not a mention of theeconomy. It is as though it miraculously healed itself overnight. And oddly, itdid, because it was only bent, not broken, and the constant drum beat ofimpending economic doom was silenced because the political battle had been won.
Itis called a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you are told over and over, andbelieve that you are going to fail, or you will get sick, or something horriblewill happen to you, that idea begins to control your actions until you defineyourself by that statement. If people hear over and over that the economy isbad, a recession is coming, housing prices are falling, even it is to adjustfor an outrageous spike in prices, then they will be on edge about the calamityhitting them. That is not to say there aren’t people who are hurtingfinancially. I know people who have been hurting financially through 6presidents from both parties. But statistics show that more people today areearning more, owning homes, starting small businesses, investing in the stock marketand using their tax cuts to stimulate the economy by purchasing goods andservices.
Thereality of a discussion about an economic slowdown is that first of all . . .there are no experts on the subject. It is all total speculation based onseveral moving parts that rely mostly on human behavior. And if that behavioris driven by fear and apprehension, then not only are you able to recognize it,you can actually manipulate it. And that is what we are seeing in the 2008elections. But the big differenceis that liberals who deny that the economy really was totally broken underCarter, refuse to acknowledge normal adjustments and fluctuations that occurwhen several factors are in play . . . the least of which is not telling peopledaily, that the economic world as we know it, is coming to a screeching halt.Will someone please get a memo to Starbucks . . . . encourage your customers tosave that $5 they are splurging on a latte, to put one more gallon of gas intheir car.
Formost people, according to polls, if you ask them if they are doing OK, theywill answer in the affirmative and then tell you how they are concerned aboutthose less fortunate. But those less fortunate are always with us, even whenthe economy is booming, the stock market is soaring, housing is skyrocketingand things look rosy for everyone, except those few who are forgotten in theyears between elections.
Itis interesting to note though, that as the Democrats insist the economy istanking. . . they have magically been able to come up with millions andmillions and millions of dollars to see either Hillary or Barack win theelection. And if you look at the leaders of the Democrats, especially, Bill andHillary Clinton, you will discover that they have made over $100 million dollars in the eightyears since Bush has been in office. Wow, that’s pretty cool. Even Bush andCheney didn’t come close to making the same amount while the Clintons were inoffice. It is still a little confusing as to how with just one salary of about$200,000 while he was President, that they were able to buy the multi-milliondollar house in New York without ever even owning a home before. I wonder if itwas one of those risky sub-prime loans. And going from being a Whitehousewifefor 8 years, to being a US Senator, now worth millions and millions of dollars,it is no surprise that Hillary wants to parlay those earnings into greaterearnings by being president . . . again.
So, Bill and Hillary,Obama, John Edwards, Al Gore and all the other wealthy Democrats have gottenvery rich under Republicans, yet they want change. That doesn’t make sense.They should want to keep Republicans in office, keep taxes down, keep theCapital Gains Tax capped . . . or even eliminate it, and consider a flat tax.That way, they can continue to get wealthy, fly around in private jets, ride inlimos, buy their huge mansions that the rest of the country only dreams of, andtry and convince all Americans that they are not better off than they were 8years ago. That dog just won’t hunt any more, and the tune is getting old.
Thereason people are at the malls on Monday and the gym on Tuesday and continuingto cause long lines at most restaurants, sold out screenings of movies andpacked stadiums is because they wink and nod at the economic figures knowing itis that season again. It’s that time every four years when they are supposed toappear concerned, but really they just want to get their vente caramelmachiata, jump in their SUV and head off to play racket ball. It’s not reallythe economy stupid . . . it’s the stupid economy that takes on a life of itsown every four years, only to readjust naturally, the day after everyone stopstelling them . . . “It’s the economy stupid.”
Nina May is the producer/director of the award-winning documentary,Emancipation Revelation Revolution (www.ERRVideo.com).
Articles by Nina May
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