So that does it, we reached another milestone here on the ol’ blog. And that is this:
I am (almost) done with politics! And that is just fine by me, because I know how much the subject alienates me from my potential audience and frankly I find it pretty arduous to talk about. So why have I devoted so much space to a subject I find tedious and depressing? Well, I wrote these in 2016 to contextualize how someone like Trump came to be, and thought they might find an audience here. But beyond that, I truly feel it needs to be done. Maybe not by me specifically, but by somebody, and I don’t see anyone else sincerely taking up the mantle. I don’t mean to aggrandize myself; the world will keep turning just fine without my rants about some obsolete debate. But what the world does require, and now more than ever before, is young people getting passionate about the issues and trying to learn about our past to better influence our future. It may be boring or defeating at times, but if all of us tune-out then that only ensures no one except other greedy sociopaths get involved in politics (for the wrong reasons) and continue to rot our system from the inside.
Maybe you’ll see these analyses and think I’m a stupid, idiot, dumb-face who doesn’t know what she’s talking about. And maybe you’re right. If so, hopefully reading my honest perspectives will at least allow you to understand how someone on the other side thinks. That, to me, is the main issue of our time. We just echo-chamber ourselves, shut out or mock dissenting voices and thus we’ve lost touch with our own countrymen. Often people make assumptions and strawmen for anyone they perceive as not in their faction or party, and default to attacking rather than listening when someone else talks. This leads to our political discourse, integral for any functioning democracy, becoming an adversarial zero-sum contest as opposed to a civil strive for truth and mutual betterment.
I say to all my readers: I hope you have, or will, then take some time to do your own research firsthand so you can be better than me. I don’t expect any normal person to do what I’ve done and catalog a glossary of poli-sci terms, watch every debate and major speech, write their own constitution and platform…but certainly a little bit of examination of our heritage won’t kill you. We have a duty to ourselves, our peers and our offspring to become informed voters, activists and maybe even politicians in order to keep the system in check. Even now, in a post PRISM, Panama Papers and PATRIOT Act world, I genuinely believe that to be the case. The powers that be fear an educated populace asking questions and demanding accountability more than anything else.
This post will serve as a convenient index of my major speech & debate reviews. I will divide the essays by category, provide links and list the speeches within each section by order of what I consider to be best to worst. Maybe, someday many many moons from now, I might analyse the State of the Union Addresses. But that’s like #536 on the list of things I want to do with my life right now.
Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness; only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?
John F Kennedy (1961) Richard Nixon (1969) Bill Clinton (1993) Bill Clinton (1997) Barack Obama (2009) Gerald Ford (1974) Ronald Reagan (1985) Barack Obama (2013) Ronald Reagan (1981)
Richard Nixon (1973) Dwight Eisenhower (1957) Dwight Eisenhower (1953) Jimmy Carter (1977) Harry Truman (1949) George W Bush (2001) George W Bush (2005) George HW Bush (1989) Lyndon B Johnson (1965)
You are thinking, that my face is old and tired. You are thinking that I talk of power, and yet I am not even able to prevent the decay of my own body. Can you not understand, Winston, that the individual is only a cell? The weariness of the cell is the vigor of the organism. Do you die when you cut your finger-nails? We are the priests of power, God is power. But at present power is only a word so far as you are concerned. It is time for you to gather some idea of what power means. The first thing you must realize is that power is collective. The individual only has power in so far as he ceases to be an individual. You know the Party slogan ‘Freedom is Slavery.“ Has it ever occurred to you that it is reversible? Slavery is freedom. Alone-free-the human being is always defeated. It must be so, because every human being is doomed to die, which is the greatest of all failures. But if he can make complete, utter submission, if he can escape from his identity, if he can merge himself in the Party so that he is the Party, then he is all-powerful and immortal. The second thing for you to realize is that power is power over human beings. Over the body-but, above all, over the mind. Power over matter external reality, as you would call it-is not important. Already our control over matter is absolute.
Dwight Eisenhower Barack Obama Richard Nixon (to White House staff) Bill Clinton Richard Nixon (resignation) Jimmy Carter
Lyndon Johnson Harry Truman Ronald Reagan George HW Bush George W Bush
Election Night Speeches
We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull. You will learn-by degrees, Winston. There is nothing that we could not do. Invisibility, levitation-anything. I could float off this floor like a soap bubble if I wished to. I do not wish to, because the Party does not wish it. You must get rid of those nineteenth century ideas about the laws of nature. We make the laws of nature. This is not solipsism. Collective solipsism, if you like. But that is a different thing; in fact, the opposite thing. All this is a digression. The real power, the power we have to fight for night and day, is not power over things, but over men. How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?
Third Party Concessions
Victory (First Half)
Victory (Second Half)
DNC Acceptance Speeches
By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love and justice. Ours is founded upon hatred.
Upon reviewing what I wrote about the 21st Century Democratic candidates’ speeches, I decided I was not happy with them. At some point in the semi-near future I will redo them. When that’s done, I will post them here.
George McGovern (1972) Lyndon Johnson (1964) John F Kennedy (1960) Bill Clinton (1992) Harry Truman (1948) Bill Clinton (1996) Adlai Stevenson (1956) Adlaid Stevenson (1952) Jimmy Carter (1976) Michael Dukakis (1988) Jimmy Carter (1980) Walter Mondale (1984) Hubert Humphrey (1968)
RNC Acceptance Speeches
In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy- everything. Already we are breaking down the habits of thought which have survived from before the Revolution. We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty toward the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always-do not forget this, Winston-always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face-forever.
Upon reviewing what I wrote about the Republican candidates’ speeches, I decided I was not happy with them. At some point in the semi-near future I will redo them. When that’s done, I will post them here.
DNC & RNC VP Speeches
And remember that it is forever. The face will always be there to be stamped upon. The heretic, the enemy of society, will always be there, so that he can be defeated and humiliated over again. Everything that you have undergone since you have been in our hands-all that will continue, and worse. The espionage, the betrayals, the arrests, the tortures, the executions, the disappearances will never cease. It will be a world of terror as much as a world of triumph. The more the Party is powerful, the less it will be tolerant; the weaker the opposition, the tighter the despotism. Goldstein and his heresies will live forever. Every day, at every moment, they will be defeated, discredited, ridiculed, spat upon- and yet they will always survive. This drama that I have played out with you during seven years will be played out over and over again, generation after generation, always in subtler forms. Always we shall have the heretic here at our mercy, screaming with pain, broken-up, contemptible-and in the end utterly penitent, saved from himself, crawling to our feet of his own accord. That is the world that we are preparing, Winston. A world of victory after victory, triumph after triumph after triumph: an endless pressing, pressing, pressing upon the nerve of power. You are beginning, I can see, to realize what that world will be like. But in the end you will do more than understand it. You will accept it, welcome it, become part of it.
Democratic VP Nominees (First Half)
Joe Biden (2012) Joe Biden (2008) Al Gore (1992) John Edwards (2004) Geraldine Ferraro (1984) Lloyd Bentsen (1988) Al Gore (1996) Thomas Eagleton (1972)
Democratic VP Nominees (Second Half)
Lyndon Johnson (1960) Hubert Humphrey (1964) Walter Mondale (1976) Joe Lieberman (2000) Edmund Muskie (1968) Walter Mondale (1980) Tim Kaine (2016) Estes Kefauver (1956)
Republican VP Nominees (First Half)
Sarah Palin (2008) Bob Dole (1976) Henry Cabot Lodge (1960) Spiro Agnew (1972) Spiro Agnew (1968) Jack Kemp (1996) George HW Bush (1984)
Republican VP Nominees (Second Half)
Mike Pence (2016) William Miller (1964) George Bush (1980) Dick Cheney (2000) Dan Quayle (1988) Dick Cheney (2004) Dan Quayle (1992) Paul Ryan (2012)
Third Party & Non-Election Debates
You are under the impression that hatred is more exhausting than love. Why should it be? And if it were, what difference would that make? Suppose that we choose to wear ourselves out faster. Suppose that we quicken the tempo of human life till men are senile at thirty. Still what difference would it make? Can you not understand that the death of the individual is not death? The Party is immortal. We control life, Winston, at all its levels. You are imagining that there is something called human nature which will be outraged by what we do and will turn against us. But we create human nature. Men are infinitely malleable. Or perhaps you have returned to your old idea that the proletarians or the slaves will arise and overthrow us. Put it out of your mind. They are helpless, like the animals. Humanity is the Party. The others are outside- irrelevant.
CNN Town Hall on Healthcare
Summary & Conclusion
Primary Debates (Republican & Democratic)
If you are a man, Winston, you are the last man. Your kind is extinct; we are the inheritors. Do you understand that you are alone? You are outside history, you are non-existent. And you consider yourself morally superior to us, with our lies and our cruelty? You are the last man; you are the guardian of the human spirit. You shall see yourself as you are. You have thought sometimes, that my face — the face of a member of the Inner Party — looks old and worn. What do you think of your own face? Look at the condition you are in! Look at this filthy grime all over your body. Look at the dirt between your toes. Look at that disgusting running sore on your leg. Do you know that you stink like a goat? Probably you have ceased to notice it. Look at your emaciation. Do you see? I can make my thumb and forefinger meet round your bicep. I could snap your neck like a carrot. Do you know that you have lost twenty-five kilograms since you have been in our hands? Even your hair is coming out in handfuls. Open your mouth. Nine, ten, eleven teeth left. How many had you when you came to us? And the few you have left are dropping out of your head.
1956 &1960 (Democratic)
1984 (Democratic, Part 2)
1988 (Democratic, Part 2)
1992 (Democratic, Part 2)
Summary & Conclusion
Recommended Progressive Candidates
VP General Election Debates
You are rotting away. You are falling to pieces. What are you? A bag of filth. Now turn around and look into that mirror again. Do you see that thing facing you? That is the last man. If you are human, that is humanity. It will not last for ever,’ he said. ‘You can escape from it whenever you choose. Everything depends on yourself. Winston, you reduced yourself to it. This is what you accepted when you set yourself up against the Party. It was all contained in that first act. Nothing has happened that you did not foresee.”We have beaten you, Winston. We have broken you up. You have seen what your body is like. Your mind is in the same state. I do not think there can be much pride left in you. You have been kicked and flogged and insulted, you have screamed with pain, you have rolled on the floor in your own blood and vomit. You have whimpered for mercy, you have betrayed everybody and everything. Can you think of a single degradation that has not happened to you?’
20th Century (First Half)
20th Century (Second Half)
21st Century (First Half)
21st Century (Second Half)
General Election Debates
Winston had stopped weeping, though the tears were still oozing out of his eyes. He looked up at O’Brien. ‘I have not betrayed Julia,’ he said. O’Brien looked down at him thoughtfully. ‘No,’ he said; ‘no; that is perfectly true. You have not betrayed Julia.’
1960 John Kennedy vs Richard Nixon
1960 (Part 2)
1976 & 1996 Jimmy Carter vs Gerald Ford & Bill Clinton vs Dole
1980 Ronald Reagan vs Jimmy Carter
1984 Ronald Reagan vs Walter Mondale
1988 George Bush vs Michael Dukakis
1988 (Part 2)
1992 Bill Clinton vs George Bush vs Ross Perot
1992 (Part 2)
1992 (Part 3)
2000 Al Gore vs George Bush
2000 (Part 2)
2000 (Part 3)
2004 George Bush vs John Kerry
2004 (Part 2)
2004 (Part 3)
2008 Barack Obama vs John McCain
2008 (Part 2)
2008 (Part 3)
2012 Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney
2012 (Part 2)
2012 (Part 3)
2016 Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton
2016 (Part 2)
2016 (Part 3)
2016 (Part 4)
Summary & Conclusion
2020 Donald Trump vs Joe Biden
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This project is a truly magnificent achievement and deserves to be much more widely known.
Make no mistake, Cassandra, you are a shining example that other young people would do well to follow!