Political Cowardice

A reader left this interesting comment on my Cho's Coin Toss post:

Our lawmakers are not in the business of making laws that protect the most people, young or old. They are in the business of making laws that gain the most attention and we the voters sit back and allow it. MORE

Well said. Even before the victims at Virginia Tech could be buried, our political heroes were already racing to do the wrong thing. As I said in the post, there is probably very little that anyone could have done to stop this massacre. Yet the result will be an orgy of legislation that will, at best, simply create dangers of a different kind in the course of reducing this one.

This futile exercise will, however, have one certain effect: it will make the politicians look good. And as the commenter noted, we the people will fall for it. We always do.

One of the feel-good measures came directly from the White House when Bush ordered flags to be flown at half-staff. At one time this gesture was reserved for people of legend: presidents, kings, national heroes. Over time it has been slowly reduced in importance to the point it is now used as nothing less than cheap political theater. People die in tragic circumstances every day. If you happen to die in the company of 32 other people, somehow you become a subject of national mourning?

A soldier in Afghanistan saw the obvious stupidity of this. His base is, as ordered, flying its flag at half-staff for the Virginia Tech victims. Yet they are not allowed to give the same respect to the soldiers who are regularly killed there.

Of course, we really have no one to blame but ourselves. Politicians naturally want to make the voters like them, and they know that most are easily misled. If they look like they are "doing something" we vote for them again. And again. And again...


Professor Howdy said...

Very good posting.
Thank you - Have a good day!!!

Bro Robin said...

Very well put, and how true it is.