I'm a lot less likely to express strong and specific opinions on political matters these days. It's not due to any change in my core beliefs, that most people are (or at least aim to be) decent and good and aren't made any more so by an ever-increasing burden of law and regulation.
Nor have I lost the feeling that most new laws -- especially on old topics -- are intended mainly to aggrandize their proposers, enrich some group or class of rent-seekers, or pander to an increasingly dumbed-down base.
That thought bears expanding: we live in a bumper-sticker kind of world, where Twitter's 140-character limit about matches the typical attention span. Buckley, Vidal and Mencken* are all dead and buried deep and the latter's "boobocracy" is in the driver's seat, encouraged by as rotten a pack of politicians as we've ever had. --No worse than the worst, but certainly not a patch on the best.
The Right have become modern-day Know-Nothings (and even the Left has learned to drop final g's when hectoring the unwashed); the Left encourages a culture of smug superiority, especially among the average (and the Right emulates it with a wink and a chortle), with a resulting downward pressure on the intellect of the body politic: Sure, both sides say, we're Average Folks, but we're way smarter than those crooks and fools who support the other party. Next thing you know, we're all extras in Idiocracy. (I'm not talking about who does or doesn't have a college degree -- you can walk out with a Ph.D. and still be an ignorant lout about anything outside your specialty.)
By under-estimating themselves and way underestimating the other guy, by measuring "smart" and "savvy" in terms of buzzwords and unexamined bullshit, The People generally act dumber than they are -- and our "Leaders," who were supposed to be high-minded public servants, have become rulers, laughing behind closed doors at the milling pack of rubes who comprise the electorate. It ain't no way to run a railroad, let alone a nation of people who were supposed to be largely left alone, neither run nor railroaded unless they violated the peace.
What can I say about all that other than what I just have? Yeah, if I see a candidate or serving politician I can root for, I'll root for 'em loud and long, and likewise changes in the laws, but more and more I see less and less of either.
I still pay attention to politics but it's like looking at car wrecks: sure, you do it, and you'd help if you could; but you don't go talking about it much.
* What do these three men have in common? Hint, it's not politics, it's not their sex-lives, it's not their religion, it's not even that I think any of them had ideas that everyone ought to rush right out and wave banners for. But they weren't idiots; they didn't celebrate incompetence. They weren't spooked by big words or big thoughts or sentences so long MSWord suffers conniptions and wavy underlines. You'll look in vain for their like today.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
8 months ago