Fan ‘Mail’ of the Week

The radio talk show on KMED in Oregon was lots of fun yesterday.   Host Bill Meyer has thought long and hard about the problem of ignorant voters and government off the leash.  Commenting on my work over the years, he said, “You are one big fat canary in the coal mine.”

I admitted that it has been a long time since anyone accused me of suffering from anorexia.

One of the folks who called in made an astute point. He first somewhat apologized for being critical – and then he got to the crux of the matter:

“Why don’t you put a little bit of effort – actually, a lot of effort, into your research?”

The caller was perturbed that I had not exposed how so many politicians at all levels of government stay in office so long.  I have dealt with that in at least one or two books, but I suspect they have escaped the caller’s attention.   I have written a bit on term limits, which would probably help a little, but I don’t see it as a silver bullet.

I pondered deeply on the comment after the show and have now formally resolved that, in the future, I will begin including footnotes in any book that I write.


, ,

11 Responses to Fan ‘Mail’ of the Week

  1. steve April 29, 2006 at 11:04 am #

    My congressperson is Charlie Norwood- won in 1994 promising he would back term limts- 3 to be exact. He is running curently unopposed for a 7th term.

  2. Jim May 1, 2006 at 9:31 pm #

    Steve – the double-crossing on the term limits pledge is another example of how politicians, once they get into office, have nearly boundless sway to lie to their constituents and everyone else.

    And folks just shuffle along, reelecting almost every incumbent who has not been caught in bed with a live boy or a dead girl.

  3. Steve May 2, 2006 at 4:28 pm #

    Yes, and Norwood is going to cakewalk right back in and will as long as he pleases…..

  4. Jim May 2, 2006 at 10:29 pm #

    So you don’t sense an imminent mass enlightenment by local voters?

    Well, this certainly blows to hell everything I heard in high school civics class.

  5. Adem Kupi May 3, 2006 at 9:58 am #

    Hehe… I once commented on an online forum that the only sensible voting strategy is to always vote against the incumbent until one of them starts actually doing what people want.

    Of course everyone thought that was just nuts.

  6. Brian May 3, 2006 at 7:38 pm #

    The voting against incumbents strategy is nuts. That’s the reason why they are incumbents. They keep doing exactly what the sheeple want.

  7. Jim May 3, 2006 at 9:43 pm #

    But this assumes that the voters actually follow & understand what the politicians do on a daily basis.

    Does the average citizen prefer that the ethics rules in the House of Representative operate as an entitlement program for scoundrels?

  8. Brian May 3, 2006 at 11:21 pm #

    Does the average citizen prefer that the ethics rules in the House of Representative operate as an entitlement program for scoundrels?

    More exactly, they don’t care. Which means, they get exactly what they want. What they don’t care about doesn’t even enter the picture.

  9. Jim May 4, 2006 at 7:57 pm #

    I agree that they don’t care. Someone may be apathetic about home security but that doesn’t mean they want a burglar to hijack both the VCR and their cat.

    I had a paragraph on this question in the last chapter of ATTENTION DEFICIT DEMOCRACY: “Many Americans no longer value freedom enough to make any effort to understand government. If people choose not to think, then they have chosen to submit. If people choose to make no effort to understand the machinations of government, then they have chosen to be political victims. If people choose to disregard past lies and abuses, they choose to sacrifice themselves to the next liar and abuser.”

    I’m certainly not exonerating citizens who don’t care. I’m only disagreeing that they get what they want.

  10. Sunni May 5, 2006 at 12:57 pm #

    It seems to me that at least some segment of the individuals who don’t care seem to have this idea that their apathy somehow cloaks them from the negative consequences it can carry.

  11. Jim May 5, 2006 at 4:28 pm #

    The old “ignorance as a shield of armor” secret trick, eh?