Thursday, January 12, 2012

Political Straight Talk...?

   Before I get started, I would like to acknowledge the oxymoronic title of this post. Politics can be cutthroat and politicians rarely talk straight to anyone about anything. Everybody has an opinion when it comes to politics and it’s one of the three subjects avoided when trying to maintain peace...the other two being sports and religion. I have an opinion as well, but it isn’t nearly as important as my observations. A friend told me this would be a risky post...but I think the risk is greater not to write about what I see.
   I’ve observed that it doesn’t matter what your party affiliation is, a politician seems to want one thing most of either get elected, or get re-elected. I was raised a Democrat but have found my way into the Independent status mostly because I think for myself and make critical observations, not just about politics, but life in general. Looking at all the tenets of both the Republican and Democratic parties...I can say with confidence that I don’t line up with every single one of them in either party. I like some ideas from why commit wholly to one?
   It was said to me that this country is in dire need of statesmen instead of politicians. After hearing the criteria of each, I agreed. I found this comparison very interesting:

Politicians run to win — Statesmen run to serve
Politicians are ideologues — Statesmen are open-minded
Politicians, “it’s all about me” — Statesmen, “it’s all about them”
Politicians focus on the next election — Statesmen focus on the future
The final definition of “statesmen” on Wikipedia defines it as:

As it relates to American history, "statesman" represents an individual, who after being elected to office, holds firm to their oath to defend and uphold the US Constitution within their duty as an elected official.
   I think it’s important to know the difference between a politician and a statesmen, because if we don’ can we ever tell when there is a statesmen among the politicians? 
   Which brings me back to the subject of political straight talk. It doesn’t exist if you’re a politician. I recently watched the 2012 Republican debates and was deeply disturbed...just as I was during the 2008 Democratic debates. I just don’t understand why the “b.s.” card is never pulled when a yes or no question isn’t answered by the words “yes”...or “no.” I blame us...we the people, for not holding any of these politicians accountable for the words, or lack of words, that come out of their mouths. We allow the politicians to dazzle us with slogans, sound bites, and applause seeking monologues by constantly voting them into office without ever having answered the questions...or committed to a specific point of view when framed in an unpopular light.
   We further shoulder the blame for our own demise when we let ourselves get so polarized by ideology...over issues, that we simply “tow the party line.” The only line I’m towing is my own since I choose to be a free thinker and make decisions that are in my best interest. To clarify, my best interest isn’t what a politician tells me it is, it’s those situations that have directly effected my day-to-day living.
   I took this risk to write a post about a subject that divides more than it unites because the national situation is getting worse daily, and a nation divided is conquered first by it’s own hubris. If there is a starting point of agreement that can begin to bring unity...then let it be that we will reject the curve of political straight talk...and embrace the sense in our own minds as it becomes more common.


  1. Excellent post, Dennis. I think many of us share your conscientiousness and independence of thought and spirit. The problem is that money dictates not only the selection of candidates for office but their policies and decisions as well. Under the present system I don't see how it's possible for any politician to act in the interests of the general public and against those of his/her financial supporters. It's so easy to destroy a candidate's reputation these days with a little bad press, and the entire media is controlled by the same money interests.

    1. Well Nothingprofound...first we have to find and/or identify someone that champions the interests of the general public. I dare say that if we find such a person, he/she won't be a politician, but a statesman/woman. Then WE must become the supporters you speak of.

      As far as the reputation of a that we recognize the machine being used, why then must we allow it to work on us? I agree with your assessment of the media...but I also separate the news from the spin when I watch it BECAUSE I know their game. The minute they go off topic, that is away from the issues that matter to me, they lose my attention....and my viewership.

      This is where our power is...and how we give it away to them. Why do we watch them if we know their agenda..? I've watched the media shape the debates and not hold candidates accountable on real issues...while at the same time harping on non-issues.

      Few people really understand that following the money reveals a great deal about the position of a candidate...and thus, it's amazing that so many people actually vote against their own self interests. It's no wonder we are in the current situation.