Pandering and politics go together like Seattle and rain. However, sometimes even the most cynical politico can only gaze in wonder and awe as the pandering touches a level of absurdity that few could predict this political season. In Thurston County, home of Washington State’s capital City of Olympia, Democrat Olympia City Councilman Jim Cooper is campaigning for a seat on the Thurston County Commission. It appears that his effort to appeal to rural (and one assumes, more culturally conservative) voters, this well known Democrat politician has chosen to cover himself with “Tea Party” symbols like the Gadsden flag when he goes to small town parades.
Political pandering is never a pretty sight, and the process is not confined to politicians from any one political party. When Hillary Clinton changes her accent depending on her audience – it is an action of deserved ridicule. Jim Cooper is well known in the City of Olympia, and he grew up around politics. Most political observers expect at least some nuance from experienced politicians like him. The rural voters of Thurston County are only starting to understand the “Progressive” plans he has for them if he gets into office. No honest person could believe that Mr. Cooper would last for 30 seconds flying the Gadsden flag at an Olympia City Council meeting, or at the Democrat Party headquarters for that matter. A rainbow flag? Of course. A United Nations flag? Hang it high and proud. But, a Gadsden flag? Flying this symbolic flag in Olympia is like waving a cross in front of Dracula, or unfurling an Israeli flag in ISIS territory. Why would he do this out in the rural parts of the county?
Democrat Jim Cooper has a lengthy history of supporting all tax increases (including an illegal income tax proposal). He believes in much bigger government, and he has become a poster child for incompetent and unaccountable government. This history is unlikely to endear him to the average “Tea Party” voter.
However, based on primary election results and other recent county-wide elections – he is aware what works in the progressive bastion of Olympia will not play well in the rural parts of the county. So, in an awesome chameleon strategy of political pandering, he pretends to be whatever he believes people want him to be. This politician pulls out the Gadsden Flags, the gas-guzzling yellow truck, and the straw hat to ride in the small town parades of Thurston County. Because, that is what those hicks in the sticks want to see in their politicians. Don’t tread on me, hell yeah!
Exposing this pandering spectacle is not an attempt to deny Jim Cooper the right to wave whatever flag he wants. It is still a semi-free country. In the rural areas of Thurston County, few would care regardless. However, most people – rural or urban – don’t admire hypocrisy and pandering. It insults the intelligence of the very people at whom the pandering is directed. It is far better to be true to your beliefs, even if they are politically harmful. People may disagree, but at least they still respect their differences, and they know where you really stand.
A self-identified “progressive” Democrat may wrap himself in the Gadsden flag in an effort to virtue-signal Tea Party solidarity. However, actions speak louder than flags. Just how stupid does Jim Cooper think voters are?
Our Constitution begins with the phrase “we the people.” It was the founder’s intent that government be created by the people, to serve the people. It wasn’t their intention for the people to serve the government. It was always intended that government which failed to serve the people should be “altered or abolished.” Until we return to the founder’s intent, we remain We the Governed…