Run towards your base to get elected in the primary. Run to the center to get elected in the general election.
If you're a republican, you promise to be tough on poor folks at home and abroad in the primary. Republicans love the poor. That's why they make so many of them. The rich don't like it when the poor get too prosperous. It becomes hard to get good help.
But there aren't enough rich people to win elections, even with saturation propaganda, so a Republican candidate must make some promises to the poor to win the Presidency. Remember:
But the zigzags don't end once the election is over. During the first year or so the new president governs to please his base.
And we get medical marijuana busts in California, Federal interference in Marijuana ballot initiatives in Nevada, and two wars against pot smoking Muslim states.
And leave no child behind seems to mean; if we can't starve them with sanctions or bomb them directly, maybe we can get them with land mines.
Things lighten up a bit just before the mid-term congressional elections, and then it's back to business as usual for a while.
Then comes time for the re-election campaign. Now we're definitely not thinking of invading Iran or Syria. For the first time, the President will meet with both Israelis and Palestinians. There have been no new Federal Medical Marijuana busts in California recently. The latest tax package had some provisions for relief for some of the richer poor folks.
If George W were re-elected, it would seem we could expect some really sharp turns to the right immediately after the inauguration. Since he can't be reelected, his only restraint would be the interests of other politicians in remaining in power. If we were to ask him if he cares, could we believe his answer.
If a democrat is elected, we can expect a different set of zigzags. What we can't expect is a consistent and logical set of policies designed to benefit all the people.
When we stop worshiping pathological statists and learn to respect people with integrity, then we can develop a stable, rational, and prosperous society.