"We can't just tell people what they want to hear, we need to tell people what they need to hear. We need to tell them the truth!" - Senator Barack Obama, from his latest campaign commercial
I had hopes when this primary race started that we might see something different this time. Obama used to speak like a normal human being. Now, obviously, the speech writers are busy feeding him sound bites and making him into another pontificating politico-bot.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Didn't we see this plot inThe Seduction of Joe Tynan
? As long as we have political regimes running both parties like privately owned machines, we have no chance of getting anyone in office that will effect significant changes.
The question that comes to my mind is why? Why can't we tell people what they want to hear? It seems like a good idea if we want something from them, like votes or money. The context of the quote above: Obama was speaking to a room full of people about his having gone to Detroit to confront the auto manufacturers about better fuel economy. He argued that we were sending too much money to potentially hostile nations for oil, and contributing to global warming to boot. All true, but I suspect that's what that particular roomful of people wanted to hear, that someone was standing up for these issues. Talk is cheap.
Telling people what they want to hear can be quite profitable. Just ask this guy.
Joel Osteen and his trophy wife have been telling people what they want to hear at the Lakewood Ministries ever since his father died and left him the family pitch. They emphasize the "Sunshine and Light" version of the gospel, and also push self-help materials in true medicine-show fashion. They seem to be getting a lot of free publicity lately on news and morning TV shows. Maybe he's being groomed for the recently vacated Jerry Falwell slot. The fire and brimstone crowd complain that Joel and his lovely wife are ignoring all the possibilities of selling fear and guilt. In short, they are being well paid to blow sunshine up the respective asses of their follower/victims.
This is also what I have come to expect from the modern breed of politician; sunshine. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to know what a politician wants
to do, I'd like to know how
they plan to get it done.