Contemporary politics continues to boggle me. Oh, the process has never not been tawdry, acrimonious and tarnished all the way to the highest office, starting with the bitter Adams - Jefferson feud and continuing to the present day. It's been more crooked in the past but I'm not sure it has ever been quite as trashy and nonsense-ridden as it has become.
If "Politics is show business for ugly people," it has become even uglier of late, and the verbal flimflam is astonishing. You need a good set of tools to dig through the muck -- Carl Sagan's Baloney Detector is handy, as is an understanding of "cold reading" (article also covers "warm" and "hot reading") and knowledge of basic cons.
All politicians are trying to sell you a bill of goods. Figure out what they're selling, how the pitch works -- and if the goods offered are worth the price, or even deliverable. We've been sold a war on poverty, a war on drugs, a war on the border and a war on the sources of terrorism, but in every case, the conditions for victory are unclear, the price is higher than advertised and the sincerity of the pitchman is questionable.
BUILDING A 1:1 BALUN
3 years ago