Sunday, December 21, 2008

Who's to blame for bad government?

Congressmen today actually spend most of their time soliciting bribes -- oops, "campaign contributions" -- for their next election run. One of my friends knows a congressman back home (no, not the congressman currently in the doghouse for soliciting prostitutes, nor the congressman recently defeated after stuffing bribe money into the freezer!), and said congressman complains he doesn't get to spend hardly any time back home nowdays talking to his constituents because he has to spend so much time rustling up the re-election cash or else risk a well-funded opponent taking up those bribes -- oops, "campaign contributions" -- and buying the office off of him.

Of course, this isn't the Congressman's fault. If we the people voted for the best man for the job, rather than for the guy who had the most campaign ads and spread the most money around for "get-out-the-vote" campaigns and etc., all the campaign spending in the world wouldn't matter. We'd research the candidates, check out their web sites (a very cheap source of both providing and receiving information), call their campaign office and find out their positions on the issues, etc., and we'd vote for the best man. But we the people don't do that. We vote for the guy with the most money for glitzy ads and the best content-free sound bites that sound good but when you look beneath are just empty nonsense, whether his or her initials are GWB, BHO, or DGBF. So we get the government we want -- and deserve. Then blame the politicians for the fact that, err, we voted for them. Sigh.

So now you know who is to blame for bad government. Just look in the mirror. Democracy. The theory that we the people know what we want, and deserve to get it good and hard. And if what we want is sparkle ponies and lies... well.

-- Badtux the Democracy Penguin


  1. Hey! I'm not taking the blame for bad government! I'm pointing the finger at everyone else. Not I. Hell no.

    I wish I had a freezer full of bribe money. sigh.

  2. You've got that right about who's to blame -- we have met the blame-worthy, and it is us. The stupid amongst us, that is.

    All that money spent on TV ads to persuade people based on half-truths and name recogniton -- it's done to persuade stupid people. Smart ones do what you mentioned -- research positions, form opinions based on their personal ideology. Stupid ones say "I like that guy. He stands in front of the flag. The other guy's face dissolves into Osama's." The stupid bloc is the most important constituency in Amurikkka. All hail Teh Stoopid!

  3. Yeah, the electorate holds the ultimate blame, but the system has also been rigged. I remember the Bill Hicks joke about the sock puppet debate. The audience members say, "I like the puppet on the left." or "I think the puppet on the right more closely represents my views." While the whole time there is one guy holding both puppets.

    I find that the best I can do is vote for the person I think will be the least destructive.

  4. So now you know who is to blame for bad government. Just look in the mirror.

    I've known that for some time, you have gotten the government you deserve.

    All so called democracies are driven by the nine year old in what appears to be adults. And sooner or later they all fail because of that.

  5. in the perfect world we are supposed to know when candidates are lying or deceiving with ads..

    the us education system

    i rest my case

    badtux... again you nail it

  6. Dude, heck yes.
    I'm too young to vote, but I do believe you just hit this nail soundly on the head.
    Reading something like this just drives the next generation to work harder... if the country isn't gone by the time we get the chance. O.o


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