Monday, October 28, 2013

Criticizing Politics

At least here in Kentucky where our senior senator is running for re-election next year and has a primary opponent the mud slinging has already started. For the next twelve months we are in for a lot of political punishing criticizing from both Republicans and Democrats. Both sides will spend millions on ads telling us how bad the other side will be if elected. It really won’t make any difference as both parties are so corrupt that they are bought and paid for and often by the same people.

Friedrich Nietzeche wrote, “Let us stop thinking so much about punishing, criticizing, and improving others. Instead, let us rather raise ourselves that much higher. Let us color our own example with ever more vividness.”

Where are the statesmen who can lead by positive example and provide our country with vision and pride? All we seem to have now are politicians who seek only re-election term after term. I think it is our own fault as we keep re-electing them to office all the while wondering why the other states keep voting for their crooked politicians.

What can we do? One of the things I have been doing for years is to seek out the positive statements and double and triple fact check all the negative statements. It is unfortunate that most of us blindly accept what our “guy” says as truth and condemn the other side as lies. I usually start with the idea that both may be lying and check it out. I often wind up voting third party in protest.

I am praying for America.


  1. I think most honest and competent statesmen just cannot survive the political culling process of election. They can't get campaign funding because they have too much integrity to bow and beg to oligarchs with promises of quid-pro-quo. Meanwhile, they make the PR climb almost insurmountably asymmetrical when they won't throw their opponents' mud (full of lies and distortions) right back at them. This unfairness is exacerbated when we all live basically from cradle-to-grave under a magnifying glass, so that the tiniest perceived misdeeds and character flaws of even the finest people can be hyped into a political epitaph.

    And it's not their fault, or really even that of their opponents. This is the system that our cognitive biases created. It's a terrible system for selecting someone for a job in administration and statecraft, but a wonderful system for reinforcing the appetites of the electorate. It just happens, though, that the people who are successful in manipulating that system are also psychopaths, cynics, crooks, liars and hypocrites; those are the traits that favor their survival in the political arena.

    If we want good, honest, competent people in government, we need a system that favors their selection (it's really rather Darwinian, actually).

  2. Justin is right. To even make it to the primary round you have to have spent years "in the political trenches" doing dirty work and proving you are a guy that can be "depended on" to march in line. You're tainted before you're ever even elected.

    One obvious (to me at least) remedy is term limits. As you said, politicians #1 concern is getting themselves RE-elected. They only spend 1/2 their time doing the people's business. The rest is fund raising/lining up support for their next campaign. But if they couldn't have a "next" campaign.... :)