Monday, September 24, 2012

In the interest of have a better political conversation... It's all political

This is part one in a serious of posts I'm calling: In the interest of having a better political conversation...

So, in the interest of having a better political conversation... It's all political.

Politicians will typically pivot to blame their opposition for saying or doing things merely for the sake of playing politics. Case in point: Mitt Romney's criticism of Barak Obama's response to embassy attack in Libya, to which Ben LaBolt (Obama's campaign spokesman) responded that he was "shocked" that during a time like this Romney "would choose to launch a political attack."

While it's not shocking to me that people blame other people for merely playing politics when there are real issues at stake (because it happens all the time), it's frustrating that this kind of slam goes on often times without regard to the fact that it is all political and it can't be any other way and that this is not a bad thing or something to be feared. Politics, as such, isn't the enemy and shouldn't be used as a means by which one politician asserts him or herself as better than another. In fact, when you hear a politician blaming another politician for merely playing politics, you should assume that the politician doing the blaming is trying to get their agenda over on you with you know it. That's deceiving.

Politicians all over the place stand up and tell you why their plan is better than the other persons, but it's so duplicitous because as soon as they see an opportunity to take political advantage, mostly in regards to winning an election, they blame the other person for playing politics, thus setting themselves up as being more like the average person, who apparently is not political. This is demeaning.

Inherent in the slam that someone is playing politics is this notion that that person has some kind of (secret) agenda that's working you over, which is why you shouldn't trust professional politicians who spend their lives playing politics just so they can stay in power. However, inherent in the slam itself, that someone is merely playing politics, is also the notion that the one doing the slamming has a (secret) agenda, as well, that's working you over. This is what the person doing that blaming doesn't want you to know because then they can't try to back door you with their agenda.

Why not be forthcoming with it in the first place? It's all politics, which is not a contested idea. It's regularly assumed by political scientists and theologians, dating all the way back to Aristotle. Real political people don't try to hide that fact that they might have some good ideas about how this world should be organized. Whether you agree with them or not is a whole other issue, but at least they are forthcoming. And that would be refreshing.

So, watch out for what I'm calling the playing-politics-blame-game because really it's all political.

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