NAIVETE AND POLITICS
NAIVETE AND POLITICS, our corner of the world is suffering not from too much politics, but from a lack thereof…
The naivete of our people can be frightening, especially among the more educated. It seems at times that the more education many achieve, the less common sense they can demonstrate. Absolutes often have negative connotations among the educational elite as many live in a world of conceptual debate, and have little experience with practical realities. Words do have meanings; however, and that concept is important because our words provide accountability for our actions.
We are living in a time when we shade and “spin” the definitions of words. For instance, we use politics when we may mean partisanship or tactics. Poor understanding of the word politics can lead to dangerous political strategy. How quickly people have forgotten who we crawled into bed with in WWII as a result of an organized political strategy for prosecuting the war. Our mistake in the move came at the close of the war when an ally was clearly presenting as a new enemy. We did not listen to one of the great military minds when Gen. Patton recommended that we pursue Stalin immediately. Russia was weakened, and we were present, prepared and battle wise. The argument could be made that we have been paying for that political decision ever since, and, now, here we go again with Russia under another imperialist president.
Are people really startled, then, that politicians weighed an alliance of convenience with Assad in Syria, or would it be with the resistance? What are the politics of the choice? The enemy of my enemy is my friend of convenience? I heard a war correspondent recently casually mention that if the USA did move against Assad even moderate Moslems would strap on suicide bombs. She did not understand that her own words contradicted the very premise of her comment—the “moderate” Moslem. Can any political group be considered “moderate” that is willing to strap on a suicide vest and target civilians?
What am I saying here? A difficult problem facing our nation is not the presence of sound politics, but the lack thereof. The demonization of politics in American culture is one of the critical causes of political correctness—a chief contributor to the divisiveness, feminization, and departure from the American ethic practiced in our governance today. It is the lack of good politics that fails effective communication with the governed and leaves a vacuum often filled by manipulative misinformation or the negative propaganda of a post-Constitutional agenda, as with our current president.
I would describe Politics as the science of the rule of the state. It is a complex concept incorporating practical lawmaking and administration, as well as the more interpersonal and nuanced skills of negotiation and insight. A responsive politician will be studied, sober, and perceptive, open to advisors yet decisive. Two surprising synonyms for politics are ministry and constitutionalism.
Part of the role of the political leader is straightforward communication with the people, a cornerstone of representative government, and I do not mean that it involves giving battle plans to the enemy as Obama famously does. I do mean that politicians have a duty to inform the people they represent on a philosophical and pragmatic level, not obfuscating on most every front as the Obama administration infamously does. Though this president constantly appears before us, it most often presents as an almost clinical tactic or a petulant retread of previous statements. We cannot have confidence in what he says, because he is not credible. That kind of executive behavior creates a loss of trust in their government by the people and our allies, and cannot result in healthy or effective governance.
Politics are leadership, and presently, we do have a dearth there. President Bush was trustworthy, and yet, also had troubles keeping the country’s support of his policies in the Iraq War. George Bush’s mistake was not necessarily in leading us into Iraq in the first place, rather in his failure to continue to stay before the people, informing, instructing, and bringing us along, making the case for the national security with clarity and frequency. Thereby, he allowed the mostly contentious press to fill the communication vacuum he provided to suit their own political persuasions.
Bush, a sincere and forthright man, was generally excellent at this political skill. Though I believe history will prove positive for President Bush, he might have helped to save us from a reactionary electorate that gave us the Obama years had he thought it more critical to consistently shepherd us. Political leaders, in this pastoral role, “minister” through comforting the families of the fallen, rebuking our enemies, negotiating with the unwilling, educating the citizenry, motivating the loyal, and reaching out to the dissenting to the benefit of the nation as they administer their office.
Governance by poll, or whim of the people can result in serious unintended consequences. Even our entry into WWII was hindered by poor politics—the failure of Franklin Roosevelt to move the people early on to the need for the USA to join the fight against Hitler cost us the fallen at Pearl Harbor. Britain was bowing under the Blitz. American flyboys were joining the RAF and French air force to get in the fight. Prominent businessmen were helping to support the British effort against the Nazi scourge, still we halted between two opinions. We finally declared war against Japan after Pearl Harbor, a shocking enough event to overcome what FDR perceived as the political risks of entering the War. Wars have always been politicized, from our own Revolution to hundreds of years of wars before it. Politics have determined trades made, rulers appeased, marriages arranged, and kings aroused against kingdoms. World wars, civil wars, 100 years wars, 1000 years wars are started and are fought, until politics ends them.
Good politics are “constitutional” when they are exercised within the parameters of the foundational law of the land. If they are not, they are no longer politics, but tyranny. It is this constitutional characteristic of politics that restrains the man of moral conscience from overstepping the confines of the law in the administration of his leadership, leading within the parameters of our political system—that of a federal republic. A leader not studied in politics will find no constraints to his actions.
Politics are exercised in our families, the schoolyard, and the State houses across the globe. Good politics and wise governance are one in the same. Barrack Obama, is highly educated, we are told, yet he demonstrates little understanding of or regard for our political system, preferring not to govern, but to rule by dictate and personal agenda. He is a head of state, yet he cannot govern. He can only usurp power and play at deception while a naive people either follow adoringly as he marches down the road to anarchy, or whine and blame the coup that they complain he is orchestrating on “politics.” Mr. Obama has demonstrated a shocking lack of wisdom and leadership. He has proven to be neither ministerial or constitutional. He is, therefore, not only inept at politics, but, apolitical, and that is a very dangerous president indeed, by any definition.