Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Political thoughts

In response to a post on another blog that opined that the president and his party were responsible in great part for corruption and the erosion of our liberties...

On the other hand ... We The People have to accept a lot of the blame for allowing our leaders to get away with things. How good a job do voters do in holding corrupt politicians accountable? Not very. How much trouble does the average person go to in order to become an educated citizen and exercise civic responsibility? Not a lot. How much will some people fight to defend liberty when they start feeling insecure and start listening to people who promise security? Not much. How many of us have held a politician accountable lately? How much contact did you have with your congressperson or senator when the Homeland Security Act was debated?

Then, of course, there's the whole political process and the inherent power-brokering, favor-trading, grandstanding and pandering, framing of issues into black-and-white us-versus them terms, mudslinging, and competition to bring home the spoils - - all at taxpayer expense - - that are bult into the system. These features tend to discourage many decent people from running for office and rather tend to encourage other sorts of people instead, people who in some cases may have a rather deep need for power and adulation rather than any sort of simple desire to serve and give back to the nation.

The President and all of the president's men and women can't get away with much of anything for very long without the acquiescence of Congress, the courts, bureaucrats, the press, thousands of special-interest groups, and voters. Power is sufficiently diffused, and information relatively widespread, that it's hard for an administration to move without at least tacit approval or tolerance of a whole lot of people.

Further, the administration and the Republican party are continuing along a path that brought increased votes and political power in the 2004 election (and fewer problems with hanging chads). (This is excepting, of course, individual cases of corruption that, as always, merely show human venality and frailty and confirm Lord Acton's dictum rather than necessarily reveal much of anything about a given political party's philosophy or course.) And, it's at least as plausible that the administration is doing what it's doing in order to pander to popular fears, insecurities, and prejudices to try to maintain some semblance of popularity and hence power, instead of for some darker or more obscure motive. So, yeah, you can criticize the administration and "Dubya", but save plenty of fingers to point elsewhere.


At 3:53 PM, May 24, 2006, Anonymous Adrift At Sea said...

I wouldn't say that the current regime and President are to blame for all of the corruption and problems in our government today...but a good amount of it can be traced back to their unethical and illegal actions essentially sanctioning similar behavior by their underlings.

I also think that the American need to become involved in the running of their country again, and that we, as a people, need to do something about the unhealthy influence that corporations have on the politcal process currently.

At 9:36 AM, May 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Bush and Pat should teach Clinton how to inhale. Clinton, Pat, Jesus and Mary Magdalene could then show Bush how to get laid. That would end a lot of the corruption. Does the end of the Spring racing season mean we get to read political ramblings till Fall?

At 12:56 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Pat said...

Nah, no such luck, I'm nowhere as political as I used to be. As well, the end of spring racing season is only the beginning of the summer boating season, especially up at Heron. Plus, we're looking forward to Black Magic getting on her trailer and hitting the road.

So, what are your plans for summer sailing and summer sailstice and San Diego and all that?

Also, we, most especially Carol Anne if a crew opportunity opens up, would love to get in on the SoCal racing scene and get humiliated properly by some good sailors.


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