Thursday, May 06, 2010

Why Politics Isn't A Dirty Word

"Damn politicians, they're all the same," is one of the lines you will hear with just about as much frequency as, "You can't trust any of them," or a variation on "It's all about them, not us." I'm not going to start right out denying these truisms or mocking them - yes I'm actually going to treat them seriously.

It is pretty safe to say that the "it's just right" kind of support for any legislation is a pretty distinct minority, things are going swimmingly when anywhere near a half of voters aren't actually not happy about it. You don't need for a piece of legislation to have attracted the serious interest of the heavy hitter money bunch to get this result and it can be from town council to the halls of Congress. Without the influence of money or Party leverage, things won't get done in something other than a messy fashion and there is a good reason for that; it is the number of discrete individuals being represented. That is the rub.

People just plain do not think the same way about things and the more opportunities there are for differences the more there will be. We actually propose that we can take a nation of over 300 million people and still get things done. The name for the way we do that is politics and it is never going to be mess free. It can't be, not with all the competing voices trying to have their own way over things that can be small differences or vast. I've watched these tussles get played out from town councils to Congress and I'm never surprised.

I play on the left of Democratic politics, though some would classify me as something else thanks to some of my views. Naturally, I'm just as convinced that they don't understand being left means something other than their views. Keep in mind that these folks are my friends and colleagues, not some un-named voters in some distant state from an opposition group. We see eye to eye on a lot of things, but we just don't on some others. So we muddle into some position we can live with. (I know that according to Will Rogers my membership in the Democratic Party bars me from belonging to a political organization) Anybody who is or has been married or had a Significant Other knows just how infrequent complete agreement is, and yet we wonder what is going on in politics. Those of you with such experience want a job being in a room with a bunch of people who "represent" a whole bunch of other people and try to get agreement? Well that, by god, is what the job of politics is about.

Just to be perfectly honest - I think a lot of crap things get done for lack of nerve, thanks to the influence of money, or Party arm twisting and not in search of some compromise in the good of the voters in general. That stuff is just the icing on the shit cake that is served from the get go.

Ah well, so it goes...

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