What I learned From Politics – Part 1

People who know nothing about politics have the exact same vote as the people that do.

Politicians may give lip service about future generations, but their concept of “future” is the next election.

Whenever a policy is successful, whether it is to reduce crime, lower inflation, create jobs, or a foreign affairs initiative, the people quickly accept the achievement as the way things will always be, forget the way it was, and then go back and elect the very people whose policies caused the problems in the first place.

The best policy is a campaign slogan that fits on a bumper sticker.  Anything more detailed will overwhelm the majority of voters.

Likewise, repetition of a simple concept is much more effective than comprehensive speeches on the major issues.

Voters vote against a candidate more often than they vote for a candidate.

Smearing and demonizing opponents are more effective in a campaign than presenting ideas.

Some politicians enjoy trashing corporations and Wall Street nearly as much as they enjoy taking campaign donations from them.

No matter a leader’s foreign policy, the opposition will always maintain that their country lost respect in the world because of that policy.  The opposition always pledges to make their country respected again.

Every candidate promises to bring change, stress the need to change, and the value of changing for the sake of change.  It is not until they are elected that they believe it is better to stay the course than to change.

The United States is the most affluent country the world has ever known, where even the poor arguably lead better lives than kings and queens who lived a few hundred years ago.  Yet, making Americans believe that they are poor, oppressed victims is easier than I ever dreamed.

Big corporations and wealthy individuals are only bad when they support the other political party.

Voters and the media are more concerned with following the polls, as if a political campaign was a sporting event, than understanding the issues.

Even though it is the U.S. Legislative Branch that is actually responsible for the Federal Budget (since they generally disregard the President’s budget proposal), the President is credited for budget surpluses and is blamed for budget deficits.  Why then, would any member of Congress or the Senate risk unpopularity, and vote to lower funding for an item in the budget?

You receive a very different impression when you watch a political speech or event on C-SPAN without the interference of journalists, than if you only listen to the journalist’s personal and biased interpretation afterwards.

Taxation is no longer about just raising money for the government, but rather a political weapon to use against those who support the opposition.

The people whose job it is to report the news seem to spend more time deciphering and debating the polls than informing the voters about the issues.

Political speeches can influence some people, but television, movies, music, and the news media determine the country’s culture, the framing of the argument, and ultimately the path of the country.

Never assume that a politician will be defeated simply because they lack intelligence, do not understand the issues, cannot explain their positions, and are generally incompetent.

Personal gaffes are evidence of the stupidity of some politicians, and evidence of “folksiness” and “relatability” for others.

People want governments off their bodies and out of their bedrooms until it is time to pay for the Viagra and birth control pills.

Large corporations are devoted capitalists when it comes to profits, but committed supporters of socialism when they produce losses.

The Roman concept of “Bread and Circuses” – or the appeasement of the public through superficiality – still works quite well in the twenty-first century.


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