Elections: any way you look at this you lose

Let us do a small thought experiment.

Suppose that we agree that mankind is so inherently evil that he must be governed to constrain him from committing rape, pillage, and other violent acts against his friends, family, and neighbors. Now I don’t think that way, but many people do, so let us stipulate that condition for the sake of discussion.

If you believe the above then man is so inherently “evil” that he must have rulers to govern his behavior. We tried using the Roman Catholic Church in the West; but that did not turn out so well. We have tried dictatorships, kings, republics, democracies, communism, fascism, and god knows what else. So far the problem seems to be that the nature of man  does not become magically better when some goon puts on a uniform and goes out to enforce the dictates of the elite rulers. In fact, it is often (always?) the case that the goons who work for the government are made worse as humans by being handed power over their fellow men. Many very smart men over the centuries have observed that power corrupts us all. The more power, the more we become corrupted.

So far, we have seen centuries of the State and its rulers imposing its “governance” upon the poor sods unfortunate enough to be their subjects. Can anyone point out a “good” government that made the lives of all the people better? A golden age so to speak?


Paul Simon offers the thought that the nearer to your destination you get, the more you are slip-sliding away from it. In his song a women said, “a good day ain’t got no rain; and a bad day is when I lie in bed and think of things that might of been”.  Was Paul Simon thinking of the Taoists who told us thousands of years ago that the more you grasp at the Tao the faster is recedes from you? Perhaps, but he was explicit about politics with this line:

Sitting on a sofa
On a Sunday afternoon,
Going to the candidates’ debate,
Laugh about it,
Shout about it,
When you’ve got to choose,
Every way you look at it, you lose.

One of my favorite movies is “As Good as it Gets“. When the main character walks though a waiting room of a psychiatrist filled with people with mental problems he stops and says to everyone there, “what if this is as good as it gets“? Well, with politics this election may well be as good as it gets. Depressing thought, eh?

Don’t get too depressed, we will survive and we will be free someday. I have no idea how long it will take to put down the crazy idea that government works but it will happen. Till then, we are just slip sliding away. To answer the question, “is this as good as it gets?” — I say no it is not. Liberty will rise yet again.

As a closing note, I find that as I get older music speaks to me even more than it did years ago in my youth. Only now it often is saying things I did not hear then. I wonder if I am just weird or if that is normal.


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