Are we so desperate?

The current state of U.S. politics is beyond dismal and entirely depressing. Our society only follows the corporate controlled ‘news’ channels that stump for their party-of-choice. Our congress is laughably ineffective in doing their job. The bi-partisan House/Senate can’t agree on anything, and little gets done in the pathetic number of days these overpaid politicians get paid to work.

Long ago, I told people that I would never vote for anyone that wants to be elected for a given office. If John Doe is running for President, I will not vote for him. He wants that position for a reason, and it isn’t his altruistic nature. The money, the power, and the fame drive people to politics. Even the no-name positions that we don’t care about, they are stepping stones for bigger offices.

The last few weeks remind me of why I will never vote for someone who wants office. They also remind me that our political system is full of manipulative unethical criminals, and little more.

Do you remember Eliot “Client 9” Spitzer, then Governor of New York was caught in a prostitution ring? As the Daily Show notes, he is now very forthcoming about his past. Of course, when he was caught soliciting prostitutes, that led him to now admit he didn’t maintain the ethical standards expected of him and led to his resignation.

Do you remember New York representative Anthony Weiner getting caught sending pictures of his penis to a female via Twitter? When challenged, he lied and claimed his account was ‘hacked’. Ultimately, because of his lies and unethical behavior, he resigned in the wake of the scandal.

Disagraced politicians, a dime a dozen these days. The number of anti-gay Republicans caught in homosexual encounters is enough to fill a blog. The amount of peace-loving anti-big-government Democrats that don’t support everything they claim to support could fill another blog. [Insert sentence about third political party going against their claims… oh wait.]

So jump forward to 2013. The U.S. population is around 313.9 million people. Are we so strapped for people that want to hold office, that we would actually consider someone who has already proven they do not have the ethical merit in recent years? Apparently, we are. Is it the fact that the oath many take simply says to uphold the Constitution, which most of them have a history of going against, and does not say to be an unethical lying slimeball jackass? Does that absolve them of their past transgressions, and make them justified and righteous in the public’s eye? Apparently, it does.

Eliot “Client 9” Spitzer is running for office again. Insult to injury? Spitzer has not “filed an ethics report on time with the city Conflicts of Interest Board.” If that wasn’t bad enough, and apparently it isn’t, Spitzer’s primary competitor is Kristin Davis. Who is that you ask? According to her, the leader of the escort service that supplied Spitzer with the prostitutes. Personally, I think she is telling the truth. After all, why would you lie about that going into politics?

Anthony “show my junk on Twitter” Weiner is also running for office again.

Remember Mark Sanford of South Carolina, who lied about his extramarital affair, claiming he was hiking in the mountains? Yeah, he is back, and running again too.

So again, I have to ask. Are we so desperate for politicians that we’d happily take these unethical assholes back and let them hold public office? Apparently so. Some of them are ahead in the polls already.

If you ever wonder why I don’t vote, remember this. If someone wants political office, I don’t want them. If someone has proven themselves unethical, I don’t want them. Until I see an election between two relatively honest and ethical people, then I refuse to vote. In doing so, I do not give up my right to complain about the election or outcome. Telling me I have to vote for one of two lying assholes to ‘gain’ the right to complain, means you don’t understand what our country was founded on.

At this point, I will happily accept the Harrison Bergeron model of politics.


3 responses to “Are we so desperate?”

  1. I don’t think this approach is good enough. You are focusing on failure modes, which is of course the classic approach in the context of security. But pen testing government structures?

    Please keep in mind that all of that nonsense you are seeing is about minimization of horror and grief. Also, we have long since passed the point where we can wipe our civilizations off the face of the earth. So this is like live system testing with bombs pointed at your head.

    The people who are willing to do this?

    They are the survivors in of the most fucked up shitty situations you have never conceived of.

    We cannot solve this by making it worse. And yet that is our natural urge. (Or, that’s how I feel, anyways.)

    So what to do?

    My take is: we really *are* that desperate for politicians. And we just need to recognize what’s ethical about the people we’ve got, and build on their strong points. And, sure, huge amounts of shame – but what if we take those shameful issues and let them know that we understand, and it’s really ok? Is that nuts? (yeah, ok, it is… sort of.)

    But if we try taking the system apart, we probably will not live long enough to put it back together again. So that’s got to be a part of our threat models.

    Anyways, a lot of the stuff you are quoting here reads like broken marriages – politicians and prostitutes quarreling with each other. So how do you deal with broken relationships? That’s the problem I think you are trying to solve here. (And, no, I’m not offering any solutions here. But some people have solved those kinds of issues before.)

    • p.s. I should think this is obvious, but if we are going to be fixing up these relationships, we can’t be leaving people out of them. It’s also OK if the hookers want to occupy political positions – it’s good to switch things up now and then.

      Repairing relationships is not the same thing as stasis. I mean, duh.

      But I do understand that these things take time and that there are a lot of fears to sort through. So … anyways… mostly I am just venting.

      Anyways, minimizing harm takes a lot of gentleness and nurturing.

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