Kevin R. McCarthy for Jefferson County Commissioner

Why Do We Elect Crummy Politicians?

I’ve been thinking about this since my last entry.  It’s bothered me for some time, but I finally put a few brain cells to working on the problem.

I’ve come up with several reasons and they can be (mostly) traced to two sources: laziness and religion.

I hesitate to say that Americans are lazy, because we (as a group) really are not lazy.  However, we do tend to spend inordinate amounts of time on things like entertainment and hobbies (fun things) rather than more difficult and (arguably) more important pursuits.  I don’t know if that’s laziness.  I, for sure, would rather play video games than go to work every day, but I don’t.

The other side of the coin is that it is very difficult to keep up with all the items in politics that we have to keep up with to make informed decisions.  I really don’t know what the state railroad commissioner does, nor do I know what qualities would make a good one.  However, like many political jobs, I suspect that he has staff to make everything work correctly, and his main job is to talk to politicians higher up on the food chain, so his staff can get some work done.

I guess my main point about ‘laziness’ is the effort it takes for us to make informed decisions, rather than random decisions.  It is hard, but, on the things that are major concerns to me, I try.

This is where the ‘party system’ comes in.  Instead of being an expert and researcher, theoretically, you just have to vote for the party you most agree with.  However, lately this is becoming more difficult with Conservative Democrats, Liberal Republicans, people who switch sides after a few terms in office, etc.  Who knows anymore what the ‘parties’ really stand for.

The other reason is religion.  This is a tricky one and don’t go jumping to conclusions.  But religion really trains people to not ask questions.  And if a difficult question is asked, religion trains people to accept totally insane answers.

Politics can be compared to religion very easily.

  1. In both, you have a few people who are in complete control of almost everything.
  2. In both, the people are encouraged to believe in their leaders and not ask questions about what is going on.
  3. Both claim to know what is best for you.
  4. Both try to tell you what to do and when to do it.
  5. Both require a significant portion of your income.
  6. Both claim to have the answers for every problem you’ve ever had.
  7. Both tell you that you have more problems and have the answers for those too.

All of this requires the willing participation of the ‘subjects’ (for lack of a better word).

December 18, 2007 - Posted by | Politics

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