Thursday, July 1, 2010

Is It Really Our Fault?

A popular meme these days is that the awful leadership we have is the fault of the voters who elected them.  I have to say that I bought the idea at first, but I think I'm changing my mind. 

Yesterday, TV, radio, and several blogs covered how California congressman Peter Stark went completely offensive on one of his constituents who wanted to know what congress would do about the border. (click here if you haven't seen it)  Glenn Beck covered this on the show, was outraged by the lack of respect shown by the congressman, and did a bit of his trademark crying before saying, "it's our fault, America" (or something close to that). Stark, by the way should be on the ballots as Stark Raving Mad - he's the guy who told a constituent "I wouldn't dignify you by peeing on your leg" last September, so it's not like being an A-hole is something new for him.

We certainly did a bad job of hiring people to do our work for us.  But how different is it from hiring a contractor, yard worker, well digger, or any other worker?  You don't have an infinite choice of people to hire, and you pick the best one available - the "lesser of two evils".  Saying that it's our fault they're a bunch of arrogant douche bags like Stark, or corrupt criminals like, well, pretty much 90% of 'em  is like saying it's our fault the "least suck-o" of the contractors was incompetent.  We did the best we could with what we had. Why is it our fault?  If I hire a plumber because he seems the best of the guys I ask out to bid a job, and he steals something, that's my fault? 

There are lots of problems here.  The process candidates get dragged through is hellacious.  Who would undergo such a nightmare?  The press is beyond incompetent, they're malevolent.  They are part and parcel of the move to take away all liberties, from Walter Lippman, on down.  (Lippman believed ordinary people were "too stupid to decide for themselves" and needed journalists to "tell them what they need to hear".)  That's part of why the press is so awful today.  The two party system grinds up candidates - how many times, this year alone, have we seen the national or state party get behind truly awful candidates while the party voters wanted someone else?  Nikki Halley in S. Carolina, Sharron Angle in Nevada, Doug Huffman in New York...

Still, it's almost a cliche that third party candidates just lose.

It looks to me like the process is an awful mess, the incumbents are useless, the parties are virtually useless, and it's my fault as a voter?  For not "being involved", that is, for not hounding the people we hired to work for us?  I started voting in 1972 and may have missed a primary or special election one time since then.  Every election gets as thoroughly researched as I can.  OK, maybe we didn't pick the optimum candidate every time, and I'll accept some blame.  But  is it really all our fault? 


No comments:

Post a Comment