Grifting Elites

If you’ve ever turned on the ol’ television set, browsed through the interwebs, or chanced upon a newspaper (remember those?), you’d know that Western politics is, and I say this with the utmost respect, a bit of a circus. Now, I don’t mean the kind with fluffy cotton candy and delightful elephant tricks. No, this circus is more the kind where the ringmaster might just be pickpocketing you while you’re distracted by the acrobats.

You see, Western politics has this long-standing, robust tradition of what we call “grifting.” Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Grifting? Isn’t that the thing where con artists sweet-talk unsuspecting folks out of their hard-earned money?” And, well, you’d be right! But instead of the alleyway card tricks or that Nigerian prince who keeps emailing about his frozen bank accounts, the stage here is much grander: the political arena.

Enter the political consultants: smooth operators with tailored suits, sharp tongues, and an uncanny ability to spot a mark from a mile away. These are the folks who make a pretty penny – and by that, I mean millions – convincing some well-meaning, ambitious politician that they are, without a shadow of a doubt, the next big thing. The White House? It’s practically theirs already! Or so they’re told.

But here’s the kicker: once they’ve gotten their hooks into their politician mark, what unfolds is nothing short of a comedic tragedy. These consultants run campaigns so bizarre, so outlandishly wacky, that not only does the politician have a snowball’s chance in July of winning, but their once-pristine brand? Well, it gets dragged through the mud, stomped on, and left out in the rain. One might think they’d be better off with a literal circus clown as their campaign manager. At least then, they’d have balloon animals.

It’s a tale as old as time, or at least as old as modern politics. A politician’s ego, fluffed up and preened, is gently nudged into the trusting arms of these political pirates. And before they realize it, their ship isn’t sailing towards the horizon of a bright future but is being looted, plank by plank. The saddest part? The consultants couldn’t care less about the outcome. Win or lose, their pockets are lined, and the politician is left wondering where it all went wrong.

You might’ve heard of those high-ranking fellas from Hamas, right? Now, if someone asked you, “Hey, where do you think these leaders live?”, you might think somewhere in the Gaza Strip, given, you know, they’re leading the place. But oh boy, would you be wrong.

Rumor has it, and by “rumor,” I mean those little tidbits that everybody knows but no one’s really talking about loudly, these guys are living the high life in swanky mansions far away in Qatar! It’s as ridiculous as hearing that your local community leader, who’s always talking about “going back to the roots,” spends his weekends in a posh penthouse in Manhattan. It’s a little off-brand, to say the least.

But here’s the real zinger: while they’re lounging in serine luxury, do they genuinely care about what’s happening to the Palestinians? It’s a tough pill to swallow, but the evidence suggests they might be more interested in thread counts than the well-being of their folks back home.

You see, in this world of political puppetry, vast amounts of wealth are just sloshing around, like water in a bathtub. Whether it’s in the form of aid, generous donations, or those ever-mysterious “administration costs,” the money is flowing. And you’ve got to wonder, where’s it all ending up?

The sad truth is that, more often than not, the common folks, the ones these elites are supposedly representing, well, they end up as mere pawns in a grander game. It’s a game of extracting as much wealth as possible and funneling it not into community projects or local infrastructure, but straight into personal pockets. And it’s not just a few coins; we’re talking big, life-changing money.

It’s like if you donated to a charity for, let’s say, saving endangered parrots, only to find out the CEO bought a new luxury parrot-shaped yacht. The intention was good, the money was there, but somewhere along the way, things got a tad… sidetracked.

As we pull back the curtain on this world of political grifting, we see a pattern where those at the top enjoy the spoils, while the average Joe, or in this case, the average Palestinian, is left wondering where their piece of the pie went.

Picture this: impressionable Palestinian teenagers, all fired up, looking for a purpose, for meaning. It should be as innocent as, say, a high school football rivalry. But, oh no, in the hands of master puppeteers, it turns into something far more sinister.

You’d think, “Surely nobody’s out there convincing these young folks to go on violent rampages, right?” But, buddy, you’d be surprised. It’s almost like persuading someone that a pet rock is not only alive but can fetch your morning newspaper. And the saddest part? These teenagers are led to believe they’re seeking some form of poetic revenge.

But here’s where it gets downright perplexing. Instead of strategizing, planning, and maybe, just maybe, aiming for strategic military targets that could, in theory, further their cause, they’re guided towards… innocent civilian targets. It’s like aiming for a checkmate but moving your chess pieces willy-nilly, hoping something sticks. And let me tell you, in the game of chess and geopolitics, that strategy rarely pans out. The senseless violence is just a technique to extend the grift for a few elite’s personal gain at the cost of thousands of lives and much destruction. That pattern of money from the ruin of others recurs everywhere.

You see, the problem with these so-called “symbolic strikes” is right there in the name: they’re striking at symbols. It’s like getting mad at your reflection in the mirror and trying to punch it. Not only are you going to end up with a sore hand, but you’ll also be no closer to solving whatever issue you had with that reflection in the first place.

These acts, however symbolic they might seem, spread nothing but chaos, mayhem, and an all-around miserable time for everyone involved. It’s like throwing a wrench into the gears, hoping the machine works better. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t. And what’s even sadder? They don’t advance any purpose, any goal, except to facilitate grift. It’s otherwise just destruction for the sake of destruction, like tearing up a book you haven’t even read.

Remember when news used to be about things like Farmer Joe’s award-winning pumpkin at the state fair, or that hilarious squirrel that could water ski? Simpler times. But today? Well, let’s just say that squirrel would probably be embroiled in some geopolitical controversy, and Farmer Joe? Accused of pumpkin doping.

Enter the era of “fake news.” Some say fake news is just a fancy term for a good ol’ fashioned tall tale, and they wouldn’t be entirely wrong. But it’s a tall tale with a twist, brewed to perfection for the masses. It’s designed to rile up what I like to call the “cow consciousness.” You know, the herd mentality where if one cow starts running, they all do? No offense to cows; they’re lovely creatures, really.

But here’s the kicker: the public hears these wildly concocted narratives, and just like a cow spooked by a random noise, they react. And not just any reaction; they follow the script, marching along to the rhythm of the pied piper of fake news. It’s almost like watching a hypnotist on stage, except the entire audience is clucking like chickens, convinced that’s their reality.

The real zinger, though? Most of these narratives are so far removed from reality, it’s like believing the Earth is flat… in 2023. And while it might seem like these stories are just harmless distractions, they often run counter to our own self-interest. It’s like a mouse rooting for the cat in a nature documentary. Doesn’t make a lick of sense, does it?

So, who’s benefiting from this grand orchestra of misinformation? Surprise, surprise: it’s the elites. Those puppeteers who, as history has shown us time and again, rarely have the public’s best interest at heart. To them, Joe Public is just a mechanism, a cash cow if you will, ripe for the milking. Their goal? Draining wealth and consolidating power for their own private shenanigans.

Now, I’m not saying every piece of news is some grand conspiracy, but when the line between fact and fiction gets blurrier than my vision after a night out, one has to wonder who’s writing the script and what their end game is.

When we were kids, we thought adulthood would be all about freedom and choices. Turns out it’s a lot more like being part of Farmer Bob’s prized herd. And let me tell you, Farmer Bob isn’t always looking out for the livestock.

Now, it’s a funny thing, the way the bigwigs up top often view the public. In their eyes, we’re just a bunch of animals milling about their grand farm, ripe for the plucking. And no, I’m not talking about giving us a nice shearing so we look snazzy for summer. These elites have something a bit more, shall we say, financial in mind.

You know that hard-earned paycheck you get? The one you worked blood, sweat, and maybe a few tears for? Well, before you can even dream about what you’re going to spend it on, a good chunk of it gets magically whisked away. It’s like watching a magician pull a rabbit out of a hat, except instead of a fluffy bunny, it’s your money, and the hat is the tax system. This taxing business isn’t just about paying for roads or schools; it’s also about extracting the value of your labor for, well, other purposes.

And here’s where things take a turn for the morbidly comedic. Every so often, these folks reckon that the farm – I mean, the country – is getting a bit too crowded. So, they think, “Hey, why not balance things out a bit?” And by balance, they don’t mean giving everyone a fair share of the pie. No, siree! They mean culling the herd, tweaking the numbers so the farm operates at maximum efficiency. It’s a cold, calculated business, and to them, numbers on a spreadsheet matter more than the real lives those digits represent.

Who in their right mind would sign up for this circus? That’s kind of like asking why someone would willingly get on one of those dizzying carnival rides. The answer? The promise of a good view from the top, and maybe, just maybe, a touch of delirium.

You see, when politicians first dip their toes into the choppy waters of politics, they’re not thinking about being one of the herd. Oh no, they’ve got their eyes on the prize: the coveted role of an owner. It’s like every kid who dreams of being the zookeeper, not realizing that it’s a lot more about shoveling… well, you get the picture.

With this newfound owner status comes a swanky toolkit: a megaphone to shout their chosen narratives, a pen to draft laws that act like fences corralling the public, and a mastermind’s playbook to hatch schemes that would make even the slickest con artists tip their hats in respect. It’s a tantalizing package, and who could resist?

Once in power, they’re not just playing the game; they’re setting the rules, picking the players, and deciding the scoreboard. Suddenly, they have the ability to weave tales so tall, they’d make Jack’s beanstalk look like a sprout. And the best part? The news laps it up, broadcasting these narratives far and wide. It’s like telling your fishing story at a local pub, but instead of a couple of buddies, it’s an entire nation hanging onto every word.

But here’s the real kicker: those laws they draft? They’re not always about justice or public welfare. Nope, more often than not, they’re more like electric fences, designed to keep the masses in check. It’s as if they’re saying, “Stay in your lane, and don’t even think about jumping the fence.”

And let’s not forget those schemes. Oh boy, those intricate, multi-layered machinations designed to rule over the masses. It’s like watching a puppet master at work, only instead of marionettes, it’s the very fabric of society being deftly manipulated.

So, when you peel back the layers of this onion of political ambition (and try not to cry while doing so), you begin to see that it’s not just about serving the public. For many, it’s about the intoxicating allure of power, control, and the dream of becoming an owner in a game where most remain pawns.

As our modern world spins on its axis, a peculiar thing is happening. While technology’s advancing faster than a greyhound on roller skates, the quality of life for many is sliding down quicker than a kid on a water slide slathered in sunscreen. And you gotta wonder, who’s at the helm of this ship? And more importantly, did they forget to pack the lifejackets?

Our so-called political owners, the ones with the fancy titles and even fancier bank accounts, they’re starting to look like one of two things: incredibly incompetent stewards or cunning profiteers seeing dollar signs in society’s descent into chaos. It’s a toss-up between “Oops, did I do that?” and “All according to plan.”

Imagine being in charge of a lush, thriving garden but deciding that selling off the topsoil, piece by piece, is the best course of action. Sure, in the short term, you’d make a tidy profit. But as the seasons roll on, all you’d be left with is a barren wasteland and a pocket full of cash. And guess what? Plants, much like societies, don’t grow too well in wastelands.

What’s startling, and I say this with the hint of a smirk, is how the wealth of these political figures seems to grow in direct proportion to the dysfunction around them. It’s like watching a magician pull coins out of thin air, only to realize he’s been swiping them from your piggy bank the whole time.

The thing is, public service used to mean just that – serving the public. But for some of these high-flyers, it seems more about serving their bank balances. If there were an Olympic event for profiteering, I bet they’d snag the gold every time.

So, as the walls of this gilded cage they’ve built close in, one has to wonder: Are these folks really that short-sighted, or is there a method to the madness, a grand plan where society’s loss is their ultimate gain?

Picture this: we’re all living in a big, sprawling mansion, thinking we’re the kings and queens of our domain. But unbeknownst to us, the true owners are on the outside, peeking through the windows and whispering tales through the vents. These tales aren’t your cozy bedtime stories, oh no. They’re narratives, craftily spun, designed to keep us distracted and docile, like a cat chasing a laser pointer.

It’s all a grand illusion, folks. While we’re busy being mesmerized by the latest scandal, trend, or crisis, we’re not seeing the bigger picture: that we’re more like hamsters in a cage than free-roaming adventurers. And these political grifters? They’re just spinning the wheel, watching us run in circles.

But here’s the kicker: their game isn’t some grand, complex strategy akin to 4D chess. Nope, it’s as simple as a child’s game of peek-a-boo. Whether it’s a bustling city or a quaint village, their modus operandi remains unchanged: weave the story, watch the masses dance, and pocket the profits.

What is the way out of this tangled web? The first step is to recognize the puppet masters for what they are: crafty storytellers with a flair for the dramatic. By seeing through their charades, mocking their predictable plots, and tossing aside their strings of control, we can begin to chart our own course.

Our grandparents, bless their souls, lived in a world where the quality of civilization was a tangible, cherished thing. They weren’t perfect, mind you, but they had a certain spirit, a zest for life that wasn’t dictated by shadowy puppeteers. If we aspire to thrive, truly thrive, it’s high time we took a page from their book. Not to regress, but to reclaim what it means to be masters of our destiny.

So, as the curtain falls on our saga of political grifting, here’s my parting thought: In a world filled with puppet shows and grand illusions, maybe it’s time to turn off the show, sit back, and start writing our own story. A tale where we’re not the pawns but the heroes, striving for a brighter, freer future.

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