Demystification Guru

Just because we don't understand something, doesn't mean it isn't understandable.

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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Thursday, September 01, 2005

on politicians

Interesting thoughts from Lileks today (
About politicians:
"Sometimes you just tire of spin, the endless carping, the incessant pissy miserabilism, to quote the Pet Shop Boys. It’s as if there’s a superior breed of humanity, uncorrupt and all-knowing, waiting in the wings to solve all our problems if only we’d let them have the reins of power and speak the honeyed words."

I watched some of “Primary Colors” last night. That John Travolta had Bill Clinton down to a tee. What is it about people like Clinton that makes other people think they are so special that they (the other people) will spend their lives trying to get this person into power? I don’t get it. Maybe people need a leader, a figurehead, someone to follow, someone who will make everything all right. I think it’s the longing for some lack of responsibility that does it. It takes work to be an adult and you have to make the decisions yourself and take the consequences for them. When you are a child, your parents take the consequences. Sure you might get spanked if you make the decision to disobey a parental rule but consequences that involve other people, entire nations, are hard to swallow.

Someone has to decide how to deploy our health care resources, our army, our education programs. When we started with democracy, what we did was hire representative people to go somewhere central and make our decisions for us. You can imagine the village, having a meeting about this. They said, “you go Joe. We trust you to do what we would do if we were there.” It’s still a little bit like that, sort of. But now, only people who want to make those decisions, or at least those who want the power to make the decisions (and there’s a huge difference), are going somewhere central to represent us.

I don’t like it and I’m not alone. This nagging feeling that there has to be a better way is what is bothering a lot of regular folks these days. You know, maybe it’s because the representatives are involved in far too many things that just aren’t their business. We want government to protect us and to run the big infrastructures. But we don’t need government to tell us anything about culture, we don’t need them to dictate our ethical behaviour. Can you imagine if government decided to get in on fashion and tell us what to wear? Well as silly as that sounds, that’s what government is doing when it gets involved in the arts. Run museums, fine. Preserve history, okay. But don’t tell people what hours they can keep their shops open and don’t run any shops. Maybe I would feel less nagging if I knew our government reps were just doing their job, instead of being there for personal aggrandizement. If a person wants to fluff up his ego, he should do something that gains him fame in some other way - be a sports hero, a movie star even, invent the cure for something, write something wise. But don’t be a politician.


Anonymous Norah said...


1:42 p.m., September 02, 2005  
Blogger JuliaR said...

Aw shucks. Glad you think so.

6:39 p.m., September 02, 2005  

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