Why America Hates Its Politicians So Much
Another State of the Union speech has come and gone. These speeches are predictable, useless, boring, and purely political.
Supporters of the party in power rave about matters such as "vision," "compassion," "fairness," and "the future." Detractors focus more on reality -- the present and the distortions, contradictions, and, yes, outright lies contained in the message. So it was with the recent SOTU by President Barack Obama.
In the heated political divide, partisan supporters and detractors know no bounds in terms of their defense or attacks. Party and politics, not truth, are what matters. Both sides spin, distort, and lie in their efforts to gain advantage. The spoils for the victor in politics have become so great as to trump integrity and other sacred values. Truth is the biggest victim. To practice truth in modern-day politics is verboten. Loyalty to party and ideology trumps everything else. Truth is a disqualifier in this racket.
With a president who feels unconstrained by law, the Constitution, economic reality, or the truth, interpretations of what he said and its relationship with reality are especially useful. Little of that comes from the so-called mainstream media who put him in office and now desperately seek to defend and re-elect their tragic mistake. For the most part, the media are interested in maintaining their integrity by continuing to distort the truth. Political outcome to them has replaced fact-checking and truth.
This quote from Warren Meyer writing in Forbes expresses the frustration of many Americans:
Had Barack Obama given this State of the Union speech at the beginning of his Presidency, I probably would have been supportive of many of his proposals. Today, though, I am simply dumbfounded at the mismatch between his words last night and his policies and actions over the last three years. The portion that really floored me was Obama's taking credit for the increase in US oil and gas production over the last several years. Oil and gas companies are once again proving Julian Simon's [adage] that the only true scarcity is human brain power, and they should be given a lot of credit for the recent production boom. The one person who deserves no credit for this boom is Barack Obama. In fact, this Administration has bent over backwards to make oil and gas production and exploration as difficult as possible.
Other non-establishment views of Obama's speech can be found here:
- The Cato Institute Fact-Checks, Responds to President Obama's State-of-the-Union Address
- Alarming Thoughts On The SOTU from Clark Judge
- ACTION TRUMPS HOPE
Today, American Idol appears to be the litmus test for electing a president. Is someone cool, hip, and exciting? Is he/she good-looking?
On that basis Obama is eminently qualified. He is good-looking and smooth-talking (with a teleprompter), and he exudes confidence. These characteristics, coincidentally, are the same ones necessary for a successful career as a charlatan or confidence man. What is not coincidental is the overlap between a successful politician and a successful criminal! Success in either of these two fields is dependent upon duplicity, fraud, and coercion.
Based on the substance of our politicians, would we not be better drawing them from the professional acting class? Brad Pitt and/or other talented Hollywood celebrities would be ideal. They are more attractive than the current crop of politicians. Certainly they can handle themselves better in front of a camera. Some puppet-master could write their scripts, which they would regurgitate flawlessly.
Hollywood has enough talent that it could supply both parties. Let's not use rank amateurs to staff our political class. Hollywood should be the training base. Surely this crop of actors exceeds our current politicians in every superficial characteristic that seems to matter.
As we approach the upcoming election, the country appears to have narrowed down the choices to three -- Obama, Romney, and Gingrich. Is there anything more demonstrative as to why people are turned off by politics and politicians? Surely a country of 300 million people, many of whom are laden with talent, character, and integrity, should be capable of producing a better selection than these three. Is this the best that our political system can deliver? Was it any better in prior elections? Of course not.
Gresham's Law in economics explains why bad money drives out good money. Something like that law is at work in our political system. "Bad" people drive out "good" ones. Quality people are repelled by politics.
Truly talented people don't enter politics. They don't need to make a living as a member of the parasite class. Hypocrisy, character assassination, and money-begging are requisites for success in the political world. These qualities are anathema to people of character. Men and women of integrity and talent make their way through life the old-fashioned way. As intoned in the old Smith Barney commercial, they "earn it." They have no need to subject themselves to the filth of politics, where the way to success is to "steal it."
That doesn't mean that quality people don't find it necessary to support politicians. When an economy has been overly politicized and run from Washington, it is important to pretend to like even slimeballs if they are the difference between your success and failure. Political support is not necessarily motivated by respect. Often it is driven by either bribery or extortion. It is a cost of doing business in today's statist world.
One must pretend to worship the wise and sage Washington if one wants to operate successfully in the U.S., a lesson Bill Gates learned the hard way. Gates, a true genius and loner, had no use for Washington or lobbying. As he grew, the pile of riches represented by Microsoft became too large for Washington not to notice. Gates soon found his company under attack by the Justice Department on questionable anti-trust charges.
Gates quickly saw the light and began to worship at Washington's altar. Apparently he recognized that being extorted was more costly than joining the bribery side. Now he, like all other major corporations, lobbies and contributes to the political coffers in Washington, usually both sides. He has had no U.S. anti-trust problems since.
A loser, at least in terms of being able to contribute productively to society, is what defines most politicians. For the less talented and less scrupulous, it is an easier route to wealth than that of markets. It is the same motivation that draws the less talented toward organized crime. Coercion and force make for an easier way to make a living than success in free markets, where cooperation, mutual consent, and value-creation are the essentials for success.
If you are unfortunate enough to meet one of these (political or Mafia) creatures, count your fingers after shaking hands. Then apply liberal amounts of antiseptic soap for as long as it takes for you to sing "Happy Birthday" -- twice! Then get religion and pray that you have not been fatally infected by your encounter.