Rush Limbaugh has an interesting theory about the press and the Democrats.
Most conservatives believe that the Democrats set the policy of their political party and the press helps them promote it. Limbaugh believes that the power flows in the opposite direction. The press sets the policy and the Democrats help promote it.
First, what is the policy? The policy seems to be to have more government. Some people believe that more government means that government experts will make the important decisions, so the best choices will always be made. We would live in a utopia. It may not make sense to us, but there are many people who believe this.
Other people want a big government because they want political power for themselves. With a small government, there is no political power to acquire. These people are likely to be government officials and their political appointee employees.
Looking at people’s motivations another way, people want money, fame, and power. Most people want money the most. Members of the media want fame. Government officials and their political appointees want power. Given fame or power, one can get money. For example, they can do television commercials. Money and fame cannot buy power. Millionaires who finance their own campaigns usually lose. (Donald Trump spent little from his own pocket compared to his total campaign cost.) Famous people who run for office usually lose. Exceptions are Jesse Ventura and Clint Eastwood, who were content with only one term. Power seems to be king, but most people do not want much. Perhaps it is because people focus on being free. Abraham Lincoln once said “As I would not be a slave, I would not be a master.” Most people do not need power to be happy.
The Money Seekers
This is most of us. We want a nice life, so we learn a skill and work hard. The harder we work, the richer we and our society become. We prosper as much as we do because most of us think this way.
The Power Seekers
Power comes from the government. The government officials are the direct recipients of the power. Their appointees would be beneficiaries of the power through the government officials. With a strong government, the appointees must be content with the boss having supreme power over them and living in a dictatorial country. Considering that they are usually political science graduates, they do not have much of a future if the government is small.
We observe the politicians seeking power quite often. They are always looking for a microphone, not just for fame, but to convince people that the politicians should have more power. They use phrases such as “I will fight for you” and “I want to empower you.” They use the word “you” often, but they are really thinking “me.” Clearly, they want power the most.
Politicians do not learn their skills in political science class. Instead, the politicians learn to work a room. Their job is to make everyone like them. Their qualifications become irrelevant. We vote for them out of a personal connection.
The Fame Seekers
The fame seekers want us to like them, too. They will do anything to appear before a camera. This is most easily seen with actresses. For their entire careers, they diet so that they are as thin as a rail. They learn to use makeup impeccably well. They know that if they do anything less, their careers will be over.
Those who are less attractive can still appear on television as reporters. Those who are too unattractive for television can go to radio. In either medium, they can report the news and tell us what to think about it. For them, it can be a very satisfying life.
In summary, those who want power become politicians. Those who want fame join the media. Those who want money get jobs in the real world.
Those Who Seek More
What do people want second most? Those who want money want fame second. This is why they have Facebook accounts. They try to get as many Facebook “friends” as possible.
Reporters want fame first, but they want power second. Their attempts to go from television personality to elected official usually fail, but they still get to associate with the “power brokers.” Mingling with the powerful appears to make them happy.
Politicians want fame second. They jump at the chance to be interviewed. They eagerly go to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner every April, even though they know that they will be ridiculed. When they are no longer in office, they look for a chance to appear on television as a political expert.
Who is the Most Desperate?
Rush Limbaugh’s theory can be phrased as the question “Who wants their second aspiration the most?” Do the powerful politicians want fame the most or do the famous television personalities want power the most? Since the television personalities rarely run for elective office and usually lose, they probably are content to stay in television.
The politicians have a higher goal in mind. All of them dream of becoming the US President someday. They can enhance their odds with fame. For example, in 1991, Senator Al Gore was offered seven minutes of speaking time on the Senate floor if he voted against the Persian Gulf War but twenty minutes if he voted for the war. He took the twenty minutes.
One can conclude that politicians are more desperate for fame than the press is for power. This means that the press has the better bargaining position. Both want government control. It is irrelevant why they want it. What is in contention is what should be implemented when. Should they seek government run health care, higher taxes, more spending, or more welfare first? The press calls the shots. Government officials must follow or they will not get their fame.
Notice that I do not refer specifically to Democrats. The siren song of power enraptures Republicans, as well. This explains the existence of RINOs.
As usual, Rush Limbaugh is right. When the news anchors tell us the major problems of the day and what should be done, the politicians must watch the broadcast. This is how they get their marching orders.
If the press controls the politicians, what is the solution? Make the government as small as possible. Then, those who seek power will not find much. The media will not be attracted to government officials. There will not be much collusion because there will be little to gain from it. Those who seek money instead, most of us, will find plenty. This is what happens when people are free.