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On the Nature of Politics

Posted By Don Boudreaux On January 30, 2007 @ 5:20 am In Politics | Comments Disabled

Some people might describe my view of politics as “cynical.”  I reject the charge.  I describe my view of politics as realistic.

Here are the final two paragraphs from my latest column in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review [1]:

Call me cynical but I doubt that most politicians who promise to solve (real and imaginary) problems by passing statutes truly believe their own rhetoric. They might not disbelieve what they say, but I’m convinced that politicians don’t ponder the complexities of reality deeply enough to convince themselves of the truth of what they proclaim. They say what they say and promise what they promise chiefly as a means of ascending to power and glory.

I suspect that people self-select into politics because they have an unusually large lust for being in the limelight and an unusually small concern for the ethics of the actions they must take to get there. And because enough voters stand ready to blame their own (real and imaginary) misfortunes on the evil doings of “the rich” or “the corporate elite,” unprincipled power-seekers are eager to ride this ignorance into office.

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[1] my latest column in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/columnists/guests/s_490794.html

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