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People’s Romance

Here’s a letter to USA Today:

Mitt Romney joins the chorus of those who lament that politicians’ responses to the BP oil spill are infused with politics (“We need a leader, not a politician,” June 15).

These lamentations reveal that public understanding of government remains detached from reality in ways that are untrue of our understanding of almost any other area of life.  Everyone knows, for example, that professional football players are big, muscular, fast, and physically aggressive.  And so everyone accepts the fact that linebackers generally act like linebackers rather than like Buddhist monks or cookie-baking grandmothers.

Why, then, are we surprised whenever men and women with personalities and skill sets that enable them to succeed at the very competitive (if perverse) sport of politics act like politicians?  That’s what these people are!   So it’s childish to imagine that we can turn any aspect of our lives over to politicians without inevitably subjecting that aspect of our lives to politics.

Donald J. Boudreaux