Politicians: Egocentrism vs Social Conscience

Most politicians will tell you the reason they entered politics was that they saw an opportunity to make a difference in the way their constituency was being run. The evidence suggests otherwise. In short, the evidence suggests that politicians are, by and large, egocentric, megalomaniacal and some may even be categorized as psychopaths (in the medical sense as opposed to the horror movie sense – see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSDIT55KeKc ).

 

Below is some factual evidence regarding the character of the political leaders of the USA arising from the Fiscal Cliff “negotiations”.

 

 

The following are two quotes from a Wall Street Journal article of December 18th   2012 that reported on a meeting between President Obama and Speaker Boehner: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324731304578193770576333616.html

 

  • “Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn’t reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.

 

  • At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, “I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?”

 

You get nothing,” the president said. “I get that for free.” (Analyst emphasis]

 

 

 

The following are four quotes from a Yahoo article published on January1st, 2013:

 

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/senate-passes–fiscal-cliff–deal–house-up-next-082813845.html

 

  • “Biden, evidently in good spirits after playing a central role in crafting the deal [with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell], said little on his way into or out of a roughly one hour and 45 minute meeting behind closed doors with Senate Democrats. “Happy New Year,” he said on the way in. Asked on the way out what his chief selling point had been, the vice president reportedly replied: “Me.”[Analyst emphasis]
    • “One thing we can count on with respect to this Congress is that if there is even one second left before you have to do what you’re supposed to do, they will use that last second,” he [Obama] said.
    • Obama’s remarks – by turns scolding, triumphant, and mocking of Congress [analyst emphasis] – came after talks between McConnell and Biden appeared to seal the breakthrough deal.
    • “If Republicans think that I will finish the job of deficit reduction through spending cuts alone … then they’ve another thing coming,” Obama said defiantly. “That’s not how it’s going to work.” [analyst emphasis]

 

Democracy is/should be “Government of the people, by the people, for the people”.

 

Question: Does the above behavior of those occupying the highest political positions in the USA reflect this view of Democracy?

 

From a different perspective, this problem is not confined to the US, it is global in nature: The recent hijacking of the Egyptian constitution by the Muslim Brotherhood, the slaughter in Syria of that country’s own citizens by forces representing its leader, and the attitude of Czar Putin to the Russian Media are but three examples that spring immediately to mind. In Australia, where I live, the problem simmers below the surface in the form of lies and disinformation fed to the public by democratically elected politicians who have so low an opinion of the intelligence of the electorate that they rationalize the lies as being “for the good” of the Great Unwashed.

 

Question: So, what do “we the people” do about this state of affairs?

 

In my most recent novel, The Last Finesse, one of its themes attempts to address this question. “We the people” do have it in our power to do something about this and precisely what we might do is spelled out in The Last Finesse. The novel may be ordered in e-book format at under US$10 via the following link:  http://www.beyondneanderthal.com/place-an-order/

 

The time has come for ordinary decent people to get off our butts and do something constructive.

 

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January 2, 2013
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