This missive is intended for the eyes of those who seek positions of power over the People. Since those striving for such a position rarely take the time to read anything beyond summaries and talking points, this open letter will most likely only be read by a few people on the Internet and- possibly- by those who work for the power-seekers and have to read their mail. There are two versions of this message- one short and one somewhat longer. I will start with the shorter version.
Shut. The. Fuck. Up.
The longer version is mainly an explanation of the short version.
Have you heard the old saw about it being better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove doubt? It really and truly applies to politicians. Every time one of the so-called “political elite” opens his or her pie-hole, everyone with an IQ above room temperature begins face-palming so hard they risk mild concussions. Before you deign to pollute the public discourse with your “views” on any given subject, it would behoove you to know something more than the Cliff’s Notes version of the subject matter. If you don’t have a general working knowledge of any given subject, refer back to the short version of this message.
I grant that the world is growing ever more complicated, and it is not possible to have encyclopedic knowledge of every subject. That is no excuse for policy-makers (and would-be policy-makers) not bothering to take the time to learn a little bit before running off at the microphone. If you plan on making policy or laws regarding a given subject, it ought to be required to know whereof you speak first. Sadly, this is not the case. Our elected representatives are routinely caught making demonstrably false statements on all manner of subjects- in public, no less. Here’s a clue for all you would-be movers and shakers in the realm of politics: Every fucking thing you say or write can be microscopically examined by anyone with internet access.
Here’s another clue for the politically-minded among us: The internet is a two-edged sword- it can be used by you or against you with equal ease. Just about every fragment of information you can think of is available online. Make use of this asset to help you avoid the more obvious pitfalls before speaking in public. You can also find out various and sundry interesting things about your political opponents online, but be warned- they will be doing the same thing to you. Failure to heed this warning will result in the worst possible outcome for political power-seekers: public humiliation.
Being politicians- which is merely a synonym for “attention whore”- our elected oafishals are completely incapable of shutting their yaps. In a rational society, the drivel spouted by any given politician would be reserved for the “humor” sections of the Sunday newspapers. Here, of course, the media gives the empty-headed opinions of political “leaders” a great deal of air time, thus continuing the Klingon Death-Spiral of public discourse. This self-perpetuating cycle of vacuous commentary reported breathlessly as “news” only encourages more attention whores to vomit their misinformation onto the public’s collective laps. For those of you playing at home, “misinformation” is a long word for “lies”. Whenever a politician is speaking, assume that he or she is either not telling the whole truth or lying through their teeth. The same holds true for political pundits and similar would-be policymakers. Obfuscating the truth is part of their job description. From an engineering perspective, the truth is always preferable. Even unpleasant truths are serviceable. Lies break under strain. Politicians specialize in lies.
Sadly, a solid majority of the voting public (which is a far smaller population than the public in general), is only too happy to swallow lies which make them feel good over unpleasant truths. This growing trend has allowed an ever-larger number of would-be rulers to survive and prosper in public office. This, in turn, has led to a growing number of politicians who treat the public they supposedly serve as either sheep for the shearing or inconvenient obstacles to be overcome. In either case, our elected officials are growing farther and farther removed from the people they are supposed to represent. Far too many of them are so secure in their positions that they routinely and openly treat their constituents with contempt. Whenever a politician grows complacent about his or her power and position, they tend to arrogantly assume that the voters in their district will mindlessly re-elect then regardless of how the politician acts or what the politician says.
Fortunately, we (the People) can deal with arrogant would-be rulers: point and laugh, long and openly. Every time a politician does or says something stupid, point and laugh at them. Encourage others to point at them and laugh. Attention whores cannot stand getting laughed at, and that goes double for self-important ass-hats who think they’re better than their constituents. An unintended side benefit of pointing and laughing at dim-witted politicians and/or pundits is the fact that the voting public is more likely to remember something which made them laugh when it comes time to vote.
Scorn and derisive laughter are the sire and dam of change, to paraphrase a poem by Rudyard Kipling (The King’s Task), and real change is sorely needed. The turnover rate among our elected representatives is abysmally and shamefully low. Once an elected oafishal gets a taste of the power and perks of office, he or she starts compromising whatever principles he or she has left in order to maintain that coveted spot sucking off the public teat. In order to remember just how badly these pernicious vermin-in-office are screwing us, we need to make fun of them. Fortunately, the nature of the beast is such that politicians are unable to stop doing and saying stupid things. Make jokes about these all-too-common fuck-ups by our self-described ruling class, it will help us remember why they don’t deserve another term when the next election rolls around. After they are hounded out of office by their justifiably-furious constituents, we can forget all about them.
But, in the meantime, don’t forget to point and laugh.
Current status: Disgusted
Current music: Secrets by One Republic