Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Genuineness and Messy Democracy

I really appreciate genuineness. I love people who come across as real, flaws and all. A big problem with politicians is that there seems to be so little genuineness shown. Everyone seems to be afraid to be real. They might alienate some block of voters, they might alienate a special interest, or the opposition might seize on it and use it somehow against them. The conventions are so stage-managed and scripted today. The Democrats were really concerned someone might go "off message". Maybe a good "floor fight" might not be such a bad thing!

Does anyone remember the show "Mr. Sterling" (it only lasted a shortened season)? I particularly remember the episode in which the research of Sterlings' friend was taken out of context - which made the friend appear to be racist. Sterling was going to vote FOR him in a confirmation hearing, but his chief of staff said, "It's not about the truth anymore." She said it was all about appearance. I was struck by the fact that NO character in the show challenged that! It seems to be exactly like that in real life. Truth too often takes a back seat. For example, I could not get over how those "Swift Boat" veterans were given any credence at all!

I would love to see no more political posturing, a real discussion of issues, and a true desire to make things progress for ordinary Americans. Amy Gutman, President of University of Pennsylvania, champions what she calls "collaborative democracy". She says it can be messy - there can be very spirited, even heated debates. However, voices are heard and collaborative solutions are sought. Congresspeople and legislators, are you listening?


  1. I certainly appreciate your comments regarding politicians taking more forthright stands on relevant issues. As someone used to say, "I feel your pain" about this problem. Unfortunately, I don't think many politicians are going to grow much in the way of spine or integrity unless and until the way political campaigns are financed in this country is fundamentally changed. We badly need to get special interest money out of politics, so politicians won't be held hostage for what they say.

  2. Hello! It's good to see some discussion get started. I think you've hit a nail head-on here. Campaign finance reform in order to break the back of special interests really is key. I think the reason this hasn't happened is that both parties (unfortunately) are still so dependent on that special interest money. I keep hoping enough people will say "Do something!" and something will finally be done. The big problem now is those "issue ads".
    In the meantime, here's a site which can help us keep up with the issue!
    open secrets page


What are your thoughts?