John K Clark (johnkc@well.com)
Tue, 26 May 1998 22:21:30 -0700 (PDT)


Fireeye978 <Fireeye978@aol.com> On Tue, 26 May 1998 Wrote:

>we get the sort of candidates we deserve in that we seem willing to
>tolerate the bickering and attention to character assassination that
>is the mark of the vast majority of campaigns...

It's more than tolerated, it's demanded , a public official who did not
behave in the standard way would be severely punished by the voters.
Politicians act in an entirely logical way, and there is a very good reason
they're hypocritical, it gives them a survival advantage in the struggle for
political existence. A mutant politician who had a tendency to speak of
unpleasant truths, even if only on rare occasions, would have a sever
handicap and be politically dead by the next election. Voters would rather
hear pious lies, even if they know full well they are lies. I'm reminded of
the time President Carter in a unguarded moment foolishly said that although
he had never been unfaithful to his wife he had "lusted in my heart many
times"; his popularity in the polls dropped 10% overnight. A good politician
knows that if he wants to thrive in his ecological niche he must swear on a
Bible that in his entire life he had never, ever, not ever for one second,
looked at any woman in a sexual manner, except perhaps for his wife. Nobody
will believe him but everybody will vote for him.

>I am told repeatedly that "that's the way the world is", but I rather
>think that if fewer people accepted that BS answer, then the world
>wouldn't be that way... but then, that takes effort and thought.
>Something most people seem loathe to engage in....

Voters are being quite logical also, the probability that their vote will
change an election is so small that it would be foolish to waste time
studying the issues, and you're not voting on issues anyway, you're voting
for people and their promises, what they will actually do once elected is
anybody's guess. It would be far more rational to spend that time lobbying
politicians for special favors, such as declaring your competition to be
illegal and putting them out of business. It didn't take Netscape long to
figure that out, Microsoft for all their skill in other areas was very naive
in politics, they're only learning now how to play ball with Washington and
it may be too late.

John K Clark johnkc@well.com

Version: 2.6.i