Category Archives: Politics

Wusses, Bastards and Politicians

Politics, Politics, Politics. Gah! Sometimes I get so frustrated with politics that I feel the drive to become a politician myself just to fight back. Of course I won’t. It’s not for a lack of passion, more because of a realist’s attitude towards the amount of time that it would take to pursue that career. I’m already 13 years into my own, thank you very much. Still, it’s tempting. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see a government where each person focused on accomplishing what they thought was right instead of following the party line?

It serves me right for reading a politician’s memoir. Reading about the realities of the political process always stirs me up. This time it comes from reading Decision Points by George W. Bush. I’m surprised by this quality of the book. Based on his reputation and the impression that I got of him from a distance I expected the book to be trite, self-serving and impotent. I was wrong. Instead, the book is raw, eye-opening and has depth. As I’m reading it I’m struck by the impression that W is a genuinely good person who did his best to do what he thought was the right thing to do. Unfortunately, due to the battleground atmosphere of modern American politics and American Media all that I ever saw of him was a spinfluenced caricature (and yes, I just made up a word… quite proud of it actually). I’m surprised to say that Decision Points is my must read pick of the year for 2011.

The book is organized into chapters focused on the key topics of interest during W’s presidency. The titles are things like Day of Fire, Katrina, Afghanistan and Surge. The book was written in such a way that a person can look back on it after a number of years and understand what the president knew, why he thought the way he did and why he made the decisions that he did. I’ve found the style to be extremely successful and informative. The style is particularly informative when it describes what he tried to do and why. It’s a peek behind the curtain at the most important job in the world. Unfortunately, the thing that it reveals most glaringly to me is the corruption in our political system. Read the rest of this entry

Fixing the Government: Voters and Candidates

I’m not adept at writing about politics or the government, but I’m too annoyed with the topic to ignore it. This is part two in my series on fixing the government. Today I want to talk about voters and candidates.

Let’s start with some basics. I think there is a general misunderstanding among the voting public that the United States of America is a democracy. This is not true. A pure democracy is a country where all issues are brought up for vote and the side with the greatest number of votes wins. I believe that I’ve heard it referred to as a “mobocracy” in the past. When you think about it, a pure democracy is generally not a great idea. Read the rest of this entry

Fixing the US Government – pt1

We’ve all grown up being taught that the United States of America is the greatest country in the world. It’s easy to believe it. Our size and status in the world community is unquestioned. Our standard of living is so high that our “poor” live lives that would be considered upper middle class in many European nations. Of course we’re the greatest nation in the world. So obviously we’re doing the right things, right? Our government must work better than any other, right? Read the rest of this entry

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