Latest reader comments

  • Reply to: Tuesday Twitter roundup   1 day 9 hours ago

    "We don't need none a yer commie bullshit, boy. We the ones who git to say what 'doctrination is by god and we don give a happy crap what you think."

  • Reply to: Tuesday Twitter roundup   1 day 10 hours ago

    Hey, whatever works...

  • Reply to: Sunday News: From the Editorial pages   2 days 16 hours ago

    Can’t be said enough.

  • Reply to: Sunday News: From the Editorial pages   2 days 16 hours ago

    I see it every day, both generalized and specific, criticisms about the acts of government. Or the lack of action. And when I see both of those expressed by a single individual, often followed by an exhortation that more people need to vote, the urge to scream comes bubbling to the surface.

    Understand, I have been to places where democracy was struggling to be born; where people were, in many cases, afraid to vote. Afraid to voice their opinions. And some of these situations were actually created by those who attach themselves to our elected officials like leeches, dreaming of Empire and the personal wealth and prestige that would bring. But that didn't shake my faith in democracy, it made me more determined to see it properly administered.

    When we levy blanket criticisms on "politicians," as if they are some sub-class of citizens who are inherently evil and corrupt, confidence in our electoral process suffers. It makes it much easier for would-be dictators like Trump to drum up support for the idea of overthrowing an elected government and replacing it with a populist demagogue.

    He never intended to "drain the swamp," he saw the swamp for what it was, a hyperbolic construct of small-minded people who project their own irresponsibility onto others. They don't believe in public service, because they are only concerned with their own personal wants and desires. Ergo, politicians must be pursuing the same ends when they run for office.

    Some are, but most aren't. You might ask how I arrived at that supposition, so I will tell you. In addition to researching and studying public policy in depth for some fifteen years or more, I've gotten to know many politicians. Hundreds. I've had discussions, debates, even heated arguments with them. By any reasonable measure, I am a politician. I've ran for office, and am currently sitting on a board and a commission. I consider myself a good judge of character, and if you shine me on, try to mask your true intent, my spidey sense tingles.

    So I can safely say, shoving all these folks into the same corrupt basket is extremely inaccurate. It's downright lazy. But even worse is the effect that has on voter confidence. We try to skewer those who refuse to vote as being irresponsible, but what do you expect? We tell them (by our actions) that their vote doesn't matter, that corporations run everything and decide our future, and that they are virtually powerless compared to the wealthy. And then we wave a voter registration form in their face.

    If you want to place blame for voter apathy, look in a mirror.

  • Reply to: Naming names   3 days 11 hours ago

    Concatenation. Institutional. Gerrymandering. I almost fell asleep just typing those...