Political Clichés That Deserve a Response – Part 2

Here are more political clichés that I believe deserve a response:

I may not agree with what you say, but I will die for your right to say it. This paraphrased quote is attributed to Voltaire, during the Age of Enlightenment. In reference to political speech today, this cliché is virtually laughable, and is better suited to an age of darkness. Depending on your politics, you are essentially banned from speaking at universities or college campuses – those beacons of diversity and tolerance. Some speakers require bodyguards, while others are shouted down by the audience. So not only is no one willing to die for the speaker’s right to speak, but the speaker must be more concerned about his or her safety than giving an effective speech. In addition, there are movements to silence radio talk shows by threatening sponsors, and boycotts of businesses and states that aren’t politically correct. As tyrants say, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. Destroying lives, businesses, reputations, and careers – and other egg-smashing – are all done in the name of tolerance.

Diversity is our strength. Diversity can be a strength, and kudos to those who turn it into a strength. Historically, however, diversity is more often a source of problems. Diversity works best when it just happens. When it is forced upon a populace, it actually divides people. Is the politician celebrating diversity or imposing diversity? It makes all the difference in the world. And diversity almost never means diversity of ideas. Diversity today means the ability to choose one of the fifty-eight gender options in Facebook. And has anyone else observed that so many politicians at the state and federal level are lawyers? Sorry, not much diversity there. Would love to impose some though in the next election. Isn’t it bad enough that lawyers make their money on the misery of people? No, they feel the need to impose that misery on the entire electorate.

We must work together in a bipartisan manner. Give and take between opposing politicians is about as rare as a game of hockey without a brawl breaking out (or is it a brawl without a hockey game breaking out?) Calls for bipartisanship are really attempts to have the other side abandon their beliefs. The caller never surrenders his or hers. I have yet to hear a politician say, “For the sake of bipartisanship, I am going to put aside my beliefs on the issue, and agree with my opponents.” It is more likely that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, converts to Judaism.

The U.S. Congress has a lower popularity rating than the President. This is supposed to be significant, but it isn’t. For example, the U.S. Congress also has a lower popularity rating than a bowl of steamed brussel sprouts. So what? You are comparing a group of people with various ideas, temperaments, intelligence, and political ideologies with a single person. A president may be as popular as a referee at a Texas high school football game, but of course, he or she would be preferable to 535 people who can’t get along. Election-wise it makes even less sense, since Congress doesn’t run for office – individual members run for office. Incumbents seeking reelection triumph over ninety percent of the time. You could argue that such a high reelection rate demonstrates popularity. More popular than any president that I can recall. Of course, that prompts us to call into question the wisdom of people who re-elect the very politicians that they hate. But let’s not go there. I’ll discuss voter ignorance in another article.

 

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