I don’t do politics very often, and maybe I should, but sometime in my late 20s I lost my stomach for it. On the other hand, this is important stuff. As Mike Peterson pointed out once, “To see people dismiss “politics” as a topic no more compelling than golf or the latest sitcom is very frightening. It’s like someone walking across a superhighway but casually saying that they aren’t interested in automobiles so they don’t bother to look.”
So take a moment of your time and read this interview with NY Times columnist Paul Krugman which appeared in Kevin Drum’s blog CalPundit.
Don’t skip it. Cause, y’know, this is important stuff.
In 1922 German politician Walther Rathenau was murdered by right-wing terrorists steered by those elements who always like to see problems as the intended aim of liberals or ethnic minorities. Mr Wirth, German chancellor then, condemned this further murder in a whole row of political murders committed by right-wing “patriots” with the words »There is the enemy, who drips his poison into our people’s wounds. There he stands, the enemy. And this enemy, make no mistake, this enemy stands on the right.” In the light of what happened in Germany ten years later one would wish somebody had listened to him.
Maybe it would have made a difference… But people could simply not believe the scope of the stratagem. Now, we know better. Now we should now better.
I think Krugman makes the classic error of folks on both the left and right — he assumes that the people who oppose him are doing it for purely selfish reasons rather than what they actually believe to be for the good of the country. I’m sure that there are *some* people who are motivated only by their own self-interest, but I think it’s a small minority, even among politicians. 🙂
If you remember that everyone wants to believe that they’re a good guy, you may have better luck getting at their actual motivations.
I knew this. I wish I didn’t.
I have a love/hate relationship with politics. I hate politics. I hate the fact that the game is all about stretching the truth as far as you can, and attacking the other side to make them look worse than you, instead of trying to make yourself look better than them.
I read that interview… and it bothers me about as much as Rush Limbaugh does. The other side is always this vast evil conspiracy hell-bent on destroying our way of life. I prefer not to believe that. People who are that shrill are often focusing in so narrowly on a few things that they never, ever get the big picture.
thanks for the link--set off a rant here!
If you read the interview, it points out how reasonable people cannot believe that truly radical regimes are operating on a radical agenda, and so average folks cannot act in time.
I like my democracy built with both sides of the aisle working hard. Bicameral. As designed, with our judicial system in tension with our executive branch. Not all part of the same old boy’s club.
Checks and balances.
This is because I don’t much trust the motives of the professionals on either side of the aisle, if you want the honest truth. I don’t think they can afford to pay much attention to peons like us. That’s not where their campaign money is coming from.
Question is, do you know enough to know whether it’s that extreme an agenda, or not?
Are you being informed by the press well enough to decide that?
The folks I know who keep up with events the most, are the most unhappy about the state of this country. Oh, yes, you could argue that they’d be alarmist no matter what was happening.
However, *I* really don’t like the numbers I’m seeing.
How about unemployment numbers; how about actual figures on those tax breaks we all got promised; how about the cost of the war(s), which apparently weren’t being put on for any of the reasons given as so necessary.
The news media are hardly keeping up, they seem so flat-footed about the changes in policies.
I’m reading stories now in our local paper about Pakistani men rounded up and imprisoned indefinetely, with no information on their names or when they would be released, as potential terrorists--because they’d showed up as requested by Immigration to renew their visas like legitimate visitors. 300+ of them. Then lots of interviews with exiles who made it to refuge in Canada. Lots of Muslim immigrants are fleeing this country, to the point they’re swamping Canadian Immigration.
During WW2, it was called brain drain.
WE got all the smart scientists, and the Germans lost them.
So they aren’t citizens, who cares…
Yeah, and I remember a time when there *wasn’t* all these skinny ragged women shuffling around every city in America, out in the streets begging, and looking as if we’re in Calcutta.
Yeah, I know, none of the younger folks believes it, but it’s true.
But now it’s survival of the fittest, and Rambo is the only guy who gets to live?
Yeah, try telling my sister with twins toddlers that--sure, that tough-man-first bit will help us raise healthy children.
Oh, sorry, forgot--nobody likes children either. Let ’em starve, the homeless little brats will never amount to anything anyway.
You think I’m joking?
Where is *that* attitude coming from?
Putting that Pakistani immigrant story in context: Our local paper is pretty conservative. It’s very far from being a red rag you use to wrap the fish leftovers in, or line the birdcage with. Perhaps you recall it? This story has got some space in other papers here and there?
It’s an old story in DC.
I just don’t know what else will happen before they get round to telling the rest of us.
Since the time of the national election, I found it all sounded like an eerie echo of the political assasinations and backstabbings on the sicence fiction tv series “Babylon 5”.
Now it’s starting to sound like Margaret Atwood’s novel “The Handmaid’s Tale”, if you like your science fiction politics ice cold. Stirred, not shaken.
Tell me that it just couldn’t happen in the current climate.
Let’s not even get off into other so-called minority groups they really dislike even more.
Scientists, for instance. Folks who know their muons from their prions.
You in trouble, boy, if you be singin’ bout that stuff.
The Chinese and the Russians have long since proved what a truly authoritarian regime will do about those annoying, noisy, long-haired, bearded geek-boys who ask all those stupid questions about weapons research and radioactive spills and such.
They lock them up and put them to breaking rocks in Siberia.
Hey, great solution, Rush Limbaugh will love it.