Saturday, February 7, 2004

Kerry's "Populist Claptrap"

I'm not sure why I felt this article would be relentlessly condemning from the first line through to the last. I had to go 3/4's of the way down to find the demeaning phrase in the title offered above. But even before I clicked on the link from a news site, I knew venom was waiting. I wasn't dissuaded nor proven wrong.

A good argument is frequently made by taking politician's soundbites and applying logic, reason, and data. This aritcle does a fair job of doing just that - if only in the first portion.

Kerry and The Others demagogue "big business." Easy target. Many people have a boss, and many of those people think they can do their boss's job better. But just because a belief is common does not correlate to its truth. Many employees have very little insight into the totality of their boss's job.

Many people view drug prices as outrageously high. Many of those same people could not begin to discuss Phase I, II, and III clinical trials, could not see the value in millions of dollars spent on R&D with no marketed product to show. But those same people have opinions that sway from deeply suspicious to profoundly grateful when a med brings down their BP or lowers their cholesterol. Even though their poor medical condition reflected their poor lifestyle choices.

So Kerry and The Others condemn the bosses, the corporate profiteers, the gluttonous drug companies. The working class resoundingly moans and groans in sway with the music. They vote their conscious. They continue with their lives. They wait four years. They hear the condemnations again - the names have changed, but the drum beat is the same. They vote their conscious again.

Are people stupid for participating in this endless cycle? No. Instead I offer that people are endlessly hopeful.

I think the issue is that the politicians out of power - at present Kerry and The Others - treat people as if they are stupid. They change condemnations like a hunter changes game calls. If one didn't work, perhaps another will. The process has little if anything to do with the feelings of the blower ... just the reaction of the game - and any game will do. Numbers are all that matter. Perhaps the electoral system requires it.

But doesn't it seem as if the Democrats are more inclined to share blame rather than vision?

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