Very good essay here by Gary North. Excerpt:

Democrats and Republicans think of Presidential candidates as “their men.” They think that these men represent them. In what way? Not their ideas, surely, which Presidential candidates share only randomly with hard-core party members, which is why they invariably ignore their party’s platform once they are in office. The platform is never mentioned again. The faithful party member nevertheless thinks, “he’s my man.”

The suggestion is ludicrous. He is the Council on Foreign Relations’ man. He represents either CFR Team A or CFR Team B. This year, he is also Skull & Bones’ man. This is a first for Bones. In the past, Bones has been content merely to represent half of the voters, always Republicans: William Howard Taft, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush. This year, Bones cannot lose. When you think about this, it is amazing. An oath-bound Yale University secret society that inducts only 15 people a year has picked off both candidates. Isn’t democracy grand? It is the voice of the people.

Voters are confused about political cause and effect. They think of a Presidential candidate as their man. In fact, they are his people. They exist so as to get his branch of the CFR elected. Fanatically loyal party voters are the party’s hip pocket voters. The party can safely pay no attention to them. The party must court voters who are not committed to the ideals of its core supporters, who in turn overlook the fact that their man will sell them out on every major issue that did not have support from the CFR. Most of them have never heard of the CFR.

Voters today see politics as a game: “them vs. us.” Clinton was a two-timer, so he remains beloved by Democrats. Why? Because he let Democrats feel good about themselves. He cut Federal welfare. No problem. He pushed through NAFTA. No problem. He produced not one major domestic political victory. No problem. His tax hike barely sprinkled the rich, let alone soaked them. No problem. He lied repeatedly and got caught. No problem. He had sex with that woman. No problem. Why was there never a problem? For the same reason that a loud-mouthed felon running back on a Super Bowl-winning team has no problem with fans. “He’s ours!”

This is politics as the voter’s personal self-image. Politics has almost nothing to do with ideological issues. It has everything to do with the voters’ quest for self-esteem. “He kept them out. I therefore feel better about myself. I’m on the winning team.” That Ronald Reagan starred in a movie called The Winning Team was appropriate.

Republican anti-abortionists and fiscal conservatives suffer the same fate. Nobody in the Republican Party takes them seriously. Toss one bone to them per term — no stem cell research, or a one-shot tax cut — and that satisfies them. Like lap dogs, they come when they are called.

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