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Hold Your Nose and Vote.

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A guest article from the past but very relevant to today.
The problem with politics as usual, as I see it, is that we are all — citizens and politicians — prisoners of our human nature.

We the citizen/voters are too human. We want instant gratification, solutions to all our problems. Too many of us think government can and should do it all. “The government that governs least governs best,” has been replaced with a demand directed at politicians: “What have you done for me lately.” deTocqueville was right when he predicted that as soon as Americans discovered they could elect leaders that would buy their votes with other peoples’ money, democracy would become a farcical bidding war.

Lord knows that the politicians are all too human. And I am not speaking of human foibles that result in furtive personal liaisons.  Stained dresses in the Oval Office are one thing, but I refer to pandering to the avaricious greed deTocqueville saw then and we see now.  Power goes to the highest bidder.

Politicians start out (some of them) wanting to do good, and then they do very well — too well– for themselves.  Power becomes an end in and of itself. The principled idealist becomes a calculating dissembler.

Ronald Reagan (the late president, not the renegade son), used to ask jokingly: “Do you know how to tell when politicians are lying?” His answer, with a rueful grin: “When their lips are moving.”

I’m troubled from time to time by Gibbon’s observation in his classic “Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.” He wrote that in all history the average republic lasts about 200 years. Last July 4th was America’s 227th birthday.

Dan Aponte and I were talking this morning about the presidential choice we face this fall, inspired by the noise and ballyhoo of the current Democratic lovefest in Boston. We both are in a quandary about a choice — neither of these guys is really appealing when you put them up against our very real concerns about liberty, peace and America’s future. And we both have kids about whom we worry, plus I have six grandkids. They’ll have to pay these politicians’ bills.

It reminds me of an editorial endorsement I got when I first was elected to the US Congress in a 1973 special election. The editor didn’t like either candidate, but concluded I was the least harmful.  He entitled his editorial:  “Hold Your Nose and Vote!”

That’s the way that it looks from here.
Bob Bauman

The facts no one wants to read.

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Written by solutions777

August 10, 2012 at 9:41 pm

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