There’s never been a shortage of sincerely stunned song
lamenting that a breach of threshold has not been enough to lead to the breacher’s end or at least the beginning of the end by way of a massively stirred collective mindset that would force a change or storm the castle gates.
The concern moved by the current preoccupation is that very soon an electorate should be engaged. And how! – that is, precisely how the electorate should engage itself, as well as precisely how it should not. This might illuminate the image of masses who would seem perfectly able to rise up and sever the heads of several snakes but cannot otherwise agree on anything.
The question “if not now, when?” is often spun right round into “if not then, why now?” This employs relativism, but that cuts both ways. Nowadays it is often mocked as “whataboutery”, which relates a fair observation in general but too oft misses the point that the latter question is as rhetorical as the original lament, and bringing up then compared to now — or someone else’s misdeed compared to someone’s — does not mean that someone should be spoken free of guilt; it is intended to bring an additional charge that would encompass a greater number of breaches and establish a stricter threshold, lest a precedent be set that continually allows the tendentious crossing of lines.
Given that that pernicious precedent has pretty well been set, long already indeed, wedged de facto & deeply woven into our political nervous system, we have a situation where well-meaning people would like to know where the threshold is, yet are always concerned about the timing of the drawing of a line at some point prior to wondering why a line is not being drawn. Meditate on that a moment and I think you’ll find that it applies to either side of this particular style of discussion. Take it back far enough and you could replace the donkey and the elephant with a chicken and an egg, even if you think the egg is most demonstrably wrong.
Is someone right and someone else wrong here? Is there anything new under the Sun? Is it more a question of degree over style or the other way around? Have the frogs in the cauldron failed to acknowledge how blessed they are by those of the kingdom, if not of their class, who wield a superior sense memory that tells them when now is the time to jump?
Well, what an oversimplification that would be! However, rather than abandon the metaphor I’ll extend it just a smidge to make it more material to my point of departure: The brilliant — or perhaps only organic — design of rule by division has employed a nice little procedure whereby the ostensible dialing back of the water temperature only allows for a deep breath of relief, not for a group effort to keep bringing down the heat enough to make it survivable for everyone, let alone to turn off the damn stove. And that’s just among those of like mind who, twist as the mind might, can never be taken for chickens and are hardly ever only eggs.
Never forget that when the occasion presents itself, which is at a minimum annually, each plays the other on television. And never attribute to stupidity that which is adequately explained by malice of a more machiavellian nature — even if the mockery is more fun. And always follow the money. That’s an imperative unfortunately conflated with a philosophy of resignation. Nevertheless, once you follow the money you pretty well know where they stand.