In this highly volatile economy, practicing politics means feeding the fears of the public. In Hunterdon County, there’s a new breed of Republican — shills for big money. These are the “grassroots” political operatives who vie to rub elbows with the rich and powerful in the party. They are the shills who attack the people who protect our towns, our county and our state.
Their main tactic: They claim we are against Democracy and the Constitution. Their methods are Machiavellian: Accuse your opponents of what you yourself do, and stimulate public sentiment against them without facts, evidence or logic. The strategy is old as witch hunts: Keep repeating lies until the general public starts to believe them.
The solution is to expose the individuals doing this and to teach people to educate themselves before they vote.
The single biggest danger to democracy is people who vote for whom their friends tell them to vote — rather than study the issues and judge the candidates on their records.
This new cult of “influencers” is easily identified: They dismiss facts and rant about “Democracy” and “the Constitution.” They decline to answer for their own records, and their records stink. They rant and attack. The media, of course, love this because it sells newspapers. No publication has been more guilty of such yellow journalism and stilted reporting than the Hunterdon Democrat. With the exception of reporter Warren Cooper, the Democrat does no critical reporting on the issues and no investigative journalism. In the world of yellow journalism, the ink goes to the attacker.
Robo-posting shills are permitted to dominate the nj.com public discussion forum and crank letter writers are permitted to spout bile and to misrepresent the public record without critique or accountability by the press. How is it that a resident of one town repeatedly attacks the government of another town in letters to the editor, but the Democrat does not report anything at all about that individual?
What’s most interesting is that in this complex and volatile political scene, the Democrat has written no articles about the political controveries themselves — there is no analysis about why the Hunterdon Republican Party is so fractured, no articles about who the attackers are, and no reporting about the battle for public opinion. It’s far easier to quote cranks and move on.
The weakness that these shills exploit is ignorance and gullibility. Voters uncritically accept what they read.
The people behind these shills are the ones who personally benefit. When public sentiment is turned against those who have been assertively protecting our towns, they step in as “the solution” — and they get elected because the public wants something new.
But look closely: These candidates either have lousy public records burnished to a sheen by the media, or no substance. They don’t talk about issues, they merely attack. The smartest of them say nothing at all. They let their shills do the attacking while they portray themselves as “statesmen.” Then the fun begins: Big money takes over our towns.
Watch. It’s happening all over Hunterdon and NJ. The media don’t make people smarter. The media make big money more powerful. In Hunterdon County, the “new Republicans” are shilling for big money.