’Tis the season

This week’s oh-so-interesting social media meme shows the king and his adviser looking over the huge crowd who are armed with torches and pitchforks and want his head.

The adviser comments to the king, “It’s easy, sire. All you have to do is convince the torch people that the pitchfork people want to take their torches.” And, of course, if the torch people are coming for our pitchforks, all’s the better.

And there you have the essence of political advertising in the midst of another brutal election campaign: One side wants to take away my Social Security and everything else I own, and the other side wants to take away my ability to defend myself and, well, everything else I own.

Or, as H.L. Mencken said and I quote for the umpteenth time, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”

Just in time for Halloween, the hobgoblins are out in full force. Will the torch and pitchfork people ever realize that their real enemies are standing together on the balcony?

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