I've always like magicians. Seriously, who doesn't? Be it clowns and card tricks or making 747's disappear. While I appreciate the illusions and the showmanship which goes into each performance, I've always found myself drawn to the act of the illusion itself. Perhaps it's the sleight of hand tricks that I enjoy the most---creating a believable situation, stating a "problem" and then presto chango, the "problem" re-manifest itself into some other form; be it a flower, coin, different card, or simply vanishes into thin
I think politics is a bit like magic too. We all see the problem. We know what our logic and reason tells us, yet, we are subtly drawn into a world of make believe by a media which manipulates the truth into something which sounds reasonable to many of us. The politicians use a verbal form of "sleight of hand" to lead us along a path where the roses have no thorns. Together, they create a world of illusion which promises one thing but delivers another while trying to convince us that it's the same as what we desire. I don't think we're to blame, at least not entirely. There's a part of us which wants to believe. We want to think that the individuals in office are looking out for us; that they have our best interests at heart, and yet, the logical portion of our brain tells us that we've just been hoodwinked in the way a magician seems to magically move coins from one pocket to another.
One of the tricks used most often by the media and politicians is misdirection. Have you ever noticed how we seem to go from crisis to crisis? We seem to always be jumping from one fire into another. The media treats each as if it's some earth shattering event given the "overkill" they devote to each; creating this feeding frenzy where they start citing each other's opinions and comments as if it's actually part of the story. Of course, there's the opposing pundits doing the same thing. Eventually, the public grows mind numbingly confused and loses interest out of frustration. Mission accomplished. But don't fret! We're soon off to the next big thing before we know it and the cycle repeats itself. Naturally, the politicians and their handlers are busy putting out their own spin. They're just as much a part of the media spin cycle as any of the talking heads.
Right now, we're being bombarded with stories about the poor refugees coming by makeshift boat or foot from war torn areas of the Middle East in search for a better and safer life (the majority are single young men not whole families). At least that's the storyline. We see pictures and video of these battered refugees confronting various military and police units who are either impeding their travels or herding them through like cattle. We are told, if the media mentions it at all, that most of these individuals are from Syria, Afghanistan and the East African nation of Eritrea. It's true that that most of the refugees are in fact coming from these areas, but many more are coming from surrounding areas not affected the hostilities. They're simply looking for an easy way out of the region.
The media and politicians have been silent on the violence Europe is experiencing too. Since this mass exodus into places like Austria, Germany, France, Belgium, and Scandinavia, there are been several violent encounters with police over what is seen as "non-Sharia" compliance; from women's clothing to ringing church bells to food; a few Moslems have recently petitioned the Mayor of Munich and the City Council to end Oktoberfest and stop serving beer (alcoholic beverages are forbidden under Sharia law). No doubt they'll also demand that Germans stop eating pork which has been a staple of the German diet (along with beer) for centuries. German girls have been asked not to wear short skirts to school as not to "offend" the newly arrived Moslem children and their parents. Schools have been asked to remove crosses and other religious items as well. In addition, there has been outbreaks of violence between Moslems sects with centuries old hatreds, battling each other with rocks, bottles, and fists with the police seemingly powerless to combat it. Many admit they are heading for Europe because of promises of free housing, food, medical treatment, and yes, "willing blue eyed blonde women needing strong men" as one advertisement put it...I kid you not.
Take a look at the US. For over 25 years we've been demanding an end to illegal immigration. We've been demanding a secure Southern border. We've been demanding an increase in border patrol agents and funding. We've been demanding stiffer penalties for employers and churches who smuggle and protect illegal immigrants. We've been demanding an increase in ICE funding and deportations. We've demanded widespread application of E-Verify. And what have we gotten for all those years? Well, we've gotten a partial amnesty courtesy of Ronald Reagan.
You may also note that in nearly every instance when public outrage reached the boiling point, "something" always happened to divert the public's attention away. The greater the outrage, the longer the media focused on whatever that something was. Sometimes is was domestic like the economy and at other times its some manufactured "crisis" overseas. This is in essence the same diversion used by magicians in their sleight of hand acts; get the people to look somewhere else while hiding what you don't want them to see.
Lastly, the foreign countries benefit. Most are struggling economically; limited to primarily an agricultural base, few ever developed a middle class thanks to a combination of limited education, a repressive Church hierarchy which discouraged economic self-improvement, and an upper class which controls the levers of power. Women are largely considered to be second class citizens, whose primary purpose is to marry, have children, and stay home. Many are "discouraged" from even voting. Of course, there's always the military and police which serve as enforcers of the status quo. Whenever there's been an attempt to reverse the trend, it's often brutally put down. On those rare occasions when a "Man of the People" has succeeded, they've been ousted by a coup and a military junta installed (mostly with the active support of the US Government coupled with sweetheart deals for a select few corporations). Such has been "democracy" corporate style!
There's no doubt that the US is in decline as well. It lacks the full support of most countries, including former and current allies who note that the US has been unable to match its actions with its promises. American political leadership has become something between a global joke and a global embarrassment. The American People are fed up with Washington and the rumblings of fundamental change are growing ever louder. The economy has deep fissures and the crisis with illegal immigration is making them worse. Russia and China, on the other hand, have showed a willingness to step up and fill the gap being left by the US. Neither have any patience with Moslem extremists and have shown they are more than willing to use the same level of brutality. Perhaps that's what it will take. Imagine the irony of our Cold War arch-enemy Russia coming not just to the rescue of the West, but to ours as well. Talk about your sleight of hand. That would be the slickest trick of them all.