Well, you've all done done it. All the pie-fighting here has driven me from my longtime lair to post once again. Here's a short rant on the Kos situation, but please feel free to just jump directly to the poll question at the end-- as that's what this diary is about, getting your take on an aspect of democracy-- and hopefully finding some commonality.
It goes like this: supporters of one set of ideas here call those in the opposite camp "stupid," or one of a couple dozen other insults. The other side then calls them out for HRable offenses-- and then some of its members find different ways to call the other side "stupid" (though I am well aware, thankfully, that sometimes people introduce actual evidence). Most of the arguing seems to wrap around who is the true "progressive" or the "troll" and who is not.
So here's a question for you all-- whether you're on Team Righteous (and aren't we all) or one of those (wrinkle nose here)... "others." It's a question that seems a no-brainer for progressives, so hopefully it'll remind us of our commonality. Unfortunately, I suspect that some won't be able to resist the urge, once again, to use it as an opportunity to chuck a chunk of pie at those who dare speak with their own voice:
The Founding Fathers said again and again, in so many words, that "Democracy requires a well-informed citizenry." Do you agree, therefore, that those politicians, political operatives, media personalities-- or even those who post here-- who knowingly mislead or misinform are, by definition, the enemies of democracy and those people wishing to live under it?But there are of course plenty of self-serving types in this world-- many of which are not quite sociopaths and therefore in need of a pitiful but exculpating justification for their actions. If they indeed exist upon this site, of course they would just lie.
So the poll is indeed of limited use. But, at minimum, we can have the satisfaction of knowing most of us are indeed actual progressives-- or, lacking that, any BSing operatives have been made to confess to themselves what they truly are.
These types will typically say to those who point out their lack of integrity things like, "You're just being naive," which in no way answers the question-- but it does make quite clear that they have given themselves their own personal definition of "democracy." Self-serving types will always try to convince themselves that they are something more than self-serving, that they have "methods" the rest of humanity is just too simple-minded to get. So here're a few such excuses-- ironically enough, most of them used throughout history by its scuzziest actors:
1) Not corrupt; just being smart
2) That's just how the game is played
3) Doing it for the good of the country-- or the greater good-- or for "God"-- or for the kids, etc.
There are plenty more excuses available for those well-versed in the trade of bullshittery-- and all are fairly easy to deconstruct (that's why they tend to keep these excuses to themselves or like-minded friends; they're not after the truth, just a balm for their miniscule consciences). I'd be interested to hear other lines of the self-serving that you've recognized.
So, enough. Please take the poll, or comment and give your take, whatever. Ask other posters you have qualms with to take it, if you wish, maybe you'll find something unifying in their answer. And if that doesn't work, well dammit, you still have the satisfaction of knowing, whether you can see 'em squirm or not, that you just gave a troll a good poke.
Let us converge, fellow progressives: