Monday, November 12, 2012
Bread, Circuses, and Common Sense
Some 1900 years ago the Roman poet Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis (Juvenal) wrote:
Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses
Populism, or populist democracy has been around for a long time, it comes when you vote for politicians who promise you things you know you can't have.
"Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following are not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them a general favor; long a habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But the tulmult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason." ~Thomas Paine, Common Sense.
Common Sense... a quality we seem to have lost when evaluating political pitches. We lack common sense when we believe someone who tells us we're going to cover millions of people with medical insurance on the same number of doctors and facilities, and it is going to save us money.
We lack common sense when we believe someone who tells us we are going to raise enough revenue to cover the deficit by lowering taxes. Common sense dictates you pay off debt either by spending less, or earning more.
Next time some politician tells you something that doesn't pass the common sense test.... boo them offstage. We have to stop rooting for the home team like its a sporting event and start holding our 'players' accountable for their actions.
And... if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Face it, both the Republican Party and Democratic Party are seriously screwed up, in some ways the same, in others different. But as long as we keep filling the stands and cheering nothing will change.
I don't want to hear what is wrong with the other party. I'd like to offer you the opportunity to tell us what you think is wrong with your party. Let's stop talking about 'them' and start talking about we.