What is in our political DNA that makes some voters so susceptible to the mere words politicians speak and so forgiving of their actions? Now, certainly politicians differ, and there are good, honorable politicians—well, probably. However, they seem too few and far between.
The fluctuation in polls reflects this susceptibility. Too often, between one poll showing a certain candidate ahead, to the next poll showing that candidate falling behind, the only differentiation in the interim are the words they, their representatives, or their opponents have spoken in speeches and in political ads for and against. Simple words and images, and somehow a significant number of the electorate will change their positions, thus demonstrating a brittle commitment to their candidate, initiative, or whatever.
A month or so ago I heard a blurb from a speech President Obama made to students, which was admittedly good, and inspiring. He admonished them to work hard and pursue their educational and life dreams—on their own terms. Great stuff, indeed. However, he speaks these words, while at the same time advocating for policies that work towards reducing these students ability to do things, “on their own terms.” For example, he now forces them to go to the government for student loans.
These politician’s words and actions affect voters in two ways: One, is the contradiction between what the politician promises, compared with what they deliver, once in office. Two, is when voters let their guy off the hook for inappropriate, or even illegal, behavior simply because it is their guy, when they would eviscerate the other guy for the very same behavior.
More voters should try what libertarians strive for, and demonstrate, intellectual honesty and political consistency. Hold all office holders to their promises and to honorable behavior, at least while they’re representing us.