Politics and used car salesmen

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The ease with which politicians leave behind the pledges they make is mind boggling. Personally, I've known used car salesmen with better scruples. When I posted here for the first time (after the convention) some questioned my values; would I run as an independent? While I truly believe that the post in question was out of lack of knowledge of me (Honlon's razor applies), it does raise the question of what is or is not typical of politicians.

When such obvious flaws of character become so commonplace that people immediately jump to such false conclusions, it points to deeper problems in our society. (As an aside, the day of the convention, I changed my personal website to be exactly that, personal, rather than anything to do with politics.)

If we have gotten to the point (as it appears from the Simpson and Reid camp at the least) where politicians are not people of their word, and almost everything to do with politics revolves around the words used, and we actually elect these people, then we have a problem indeed. I can half understand Simpson--now that he is out of the office (I'm presuming he will loose in November) he really has nowhere to go in law enforcement. Can you imagine him in an interview for a position working for another sheriff?
Sheriff: "So, you were sheriff in Loudoun county in your last position, where do you see yourself five years from now?"
Simpson: "Taking your position and putting you on the street."
Sheriff: "Next."
Now, while I can see why Simpson would be desperate, that does not justify going back on his word.
I cannot see a reason for Reid going independent. I know he was a delegate. I cannot believe he did not know he was going to run as an independent when he was at the convention. (Though I can see it would have been very awkward for the campaign manager of my opponent to be declared as an independent before the convention. I also have to wonder if Gary Clemens knew this at that time.)

If we accept deception as part and parcel to politics, then we have lost our way. Pragmatism? Not what I would call it. Dishonesty is closer to the mark. I have heard it said, and fully agree, in a democratic society, the people get the kind of government they deserve. If a person can sign their name pledging to support the Republican party (or Democratic party, or Communist party) in the election, then declare themselves independent and actually receive any votes, then we truly will have the government we deserve.
That scares the living daylights out of me.

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3 Comments

It's that pledge which is the sticky wicket. Unfortunately such a big deal was made of it this year that these "defections" or whatever you want to call them are really rubbing a lot of people the wrong way.

Great first post, by the way - thank!

No Relation said:

Absolutely, Joe, and welcome aboard Mr. Withnell.

I'm glad we have people much brighter than me on this site. It makes my nonsensical rantings seem much more artistic.

Okay, we now have at least some positive comment that Jack Ryan has gone south. Second hand, I have not talked with Ryan himself. I had hoped that he was going to stand taller than the those that have started an independent race.
http://tooconservative.com/?p=1378#comment-60317
While this is hear-say (I've not seen the petition myself) I'd have a hard time believing this is a conspiracy (I wouldn't understand the motive if Jack is not running, and it would be very easy to shoot down if false). The existence of the www.votejack.com site (even under construction) does not bode well for Jack.
The day of the convention, I changed my personal site from having campaign promotion to promoting my personal views, with a small "thank you" to those that worked for me. Once I'd lost the nomination, the door was closed--I'd already signed a pledge to support the convention nominees. If the candidate died, I could see starting an independent campaign. If a candidate was charged with a felony and would be disqualified if convicted (and it looked like conviction is all but assured) I could see starting an independent campaign. If the candidate withdrew ...
There aren't many options for honorably starting up an independent campaign, and all of them would require an explicit event that followed the convention of such character that the nominee could no longer be supported by the party.
Used car dealers, lawyers, snake oil salesmen. I'd hate to think that all politicians are slimy. Heaven help us all if this is what we expect from candidates.

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