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Reprobates

Posted By Don Boudreaux On April 14, 2012 @ 8:07 am In Politics | Comments Disabled

I do not recall ever, as an adult, failing to be mystified whenever I encounter another adult expressing confidence in politicians – confidence either in an individual politician (say, confidence in Ronald Reagan or in Barack Obama) or confidence in politicians as a group.  Successful politicians – and particularly those who are successful on national stages – are, with exceptions too few to matter, master con artists [1].

Whatever is the reason why so many grown people respect holders of political office is, as it has always been, beyond my comprehension.  I just don’t get it.  Practitioners of no other profession are accorded more honor, respect, and (most importantly) power while at the same time being held to such low standards of ethical behavior.  Actions that, when committed by the family dog, properly elicit scolding or muzzling or even eviction from the premises are, when committed by an elected official, greeted with oohs, aahhs, applause, and re-election to powerful office.

I cannot encounter a politician’s image or words without being repulsed.  Nor can I encounter any of the incessant instances of publicly expressed admiration and respect for politicians without being (on good days) befuddled or (on most days) sickened.

Bob Higgs feels much the same way as I do [2].  Here’s a slice of his latest post:

So, the questions naturally arise: Why does anyone place any confidence in anything a politician says? Why does anyone expect anything but deception and predation from these dishonest reprobates? Why does anyone seek social improvement or economic salvation from the programs these ne’er-do-wells devise and implement? Why, indeed, do people continue to tolerate politics at all? (This last question presupposes, of course, that those who wish to use the political process to commit a de facto crime—that is, an act that, if committed privately, would be seen as plainly criminal—will be entirely in favor of politics because using the government as their agent-perpetrator offers a way to legalize their crimes. My question pertains to the noncriminal element of the population.)

Why indeed.

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[1] con artists: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/con+artist

[2] Bob Higgs feels much the same way as I do: http://blog.independent.org/2012/04/13/if-politicians-honesty-set-the-standard-for-others/

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