Wednesday, November 28, 2007

On Issues

As a follow-up to her previous, rather murky post (when Pretty Lady doesn't write for awhile, she tends to suffer from Clogged Neurons), she would like to state that she is tired, tired, tired, not to mention Disgusted, with people who support political candidates on the basis of Issues.

You heard her correctly. She is sick and tired of all you people who pore through a list of Most Desired Perks and sign up for the person who promises you your Top Ten.

Issue Voting is of the Ego. Do you hear? It presumes that there must be a Winner and a Loser, that one must wrest one's victory from an opponent by force, and enjoy the spoils of war while standing on the groaning heads of losers.

Issues, she must repeat, are not Character. Do you understand? People are not Good People because they are liberal, or conservative, or pro-choice, or anti-abortion, or because they promise lots and lots of money they don't have, toward causes they know nothing about.

People either have Integrity, or they have it not. People of Integrity are capable of Listening, and of taking instruction, and of changing their minds when provided with new information; they do not, however, flip-flop with the winds of political convenience.

It strikes Pretty Lady that there are a couple of candidates in this election who possess a modicum of Integrity, and many who obviously do not. The candidates who do possess it, have almost nothing in common on the Issues front; nevertheless, they ring true as regards Character.

Pretty Lady would like to see her country, and eventually the world, managed by persons of this caliber. Hillary and Rudy, on the other hand, may go eat sawdust.


Doom said...

Oh Pretty Woman,
Never befoul your thoughts. Even I, a sometimes dedicated doubter, debunker, pessimist, and doomsayer can and do read right past mis-steps in "pronunciations". I understand, if not your mind, your written intent, for the most part. Even when I completely disagree, I do not doubt your heart and hand are in the right place given where you come from. That does not mean I will (or perhaps can?) change my ways, only I felt the call to allow you grace when you seem to doubt yourself. A grace I sorely need from time to time.

(I hope I am not transferring my need wrongly into your space?)

On to the topic. I am not sure that you are completely incorrect, however, I do disagree to some extent. Of course, I not only want, but really need, to see a candidate who has character. But like in math class, there are sometimes only correct and incorrect answers, period. If a man honestly and humbly believes in and supports communism (which many do), is he still wrong? The answer, simply, is yes. Economically, socially, and more importantly down to individually, that man is wrong. So, there really aren't two sides, only one. As with God, He either is or is not. If he is, he is singular, if he is not, we are animals and perfect capitalism in the form of socialism or communism is all that is left (a man-king-god thing). Urhm, in my humble opinion.

Now, pairing correct and character is the mix that is sought. It's the magic number, the holy grail, the ambrosia of philosophically erudite political governance. Unfortunately, in the end game, it usually comes down to who is tallest, most handsome, and a better liar. *sigh* Oops, my ways again... Still, I have hope, but doubt, other than that God's hand is fully in play beyond my sight, of course.

prettylady said...

Doom! My dear, it is so good to hear from you.

Certainly there are correct and incorrect notions; however as far as I know, none of the apparently viable candidates in this particular election are Communists.

My point, which I must re-iterate, is that a person of Character is capable of admitting when he is wrong, of listening to the concerns of others and taking them into consideration, and of remaining true to transcendent principles in the face of political expediency. When such a person is incorrect, then, it is not nearly so dire a situation as when a person is defending his or her Ego Self as a top and only priority.

To put it more clearly: Dick Cheney is interested in expanding the political power of Dick Cheney, full stop. Hillary Clinton, ditto. Rudolph Giuliani, igualmente. They will promise anything to anyone with their fingers crossed to obtain it.

This is why listening to promises on issues is a terrible way to pick a candidate.

Anonymous said...

The major problem with your thesis is that with people of character there are always some things so basic to their character that they will not ever change them, barring catastrophic events. If those basic beliefs are wrong, it will take a national catastrophe to change them.

Therefore, if you know that a candidate's basic worldview is disastrously wrong, it is highly dangerous and destructive to vote for him/her merely on the basis of character. At least with a typical politician one can use the threat of public opinion to force needed change. The principled politician will stay the course even when wrong, while the unprincipled pol can be dissuaded by political distruction.


Anonymous said...

An excellent example would be Ralph Nader. He is a True Believer; unfortunately he is also a first class idiot, as are those who support him.

prettylady said...

If those basic beliefs are wrong, it will take a national catastrophe to change them.

You will note that in my definition of 'character,' I include the qualification, 'able to admit when he is wrong, and to change his position in the face of new information.' Your definition of character would bestow our current Dear Leader with a sterling recommendation; mine, not so much.

I have never paid a great deal of attention to Ralph Nader, sadly, so I am unable to say whether your opinion of his idiocy is well-founded or not. For me, True Believing is not the basis of character; true humility is.

Starbuck said...

But, you forget, that if a political leader is found out to be wrong, and then admit it, he/she is labeled an idiot. The opposition will slam him/her every chance they get until the entire country believes them an idiot. Hence Dan Quayle comes to mind. He told a child to spell potato wrong.
And to this day when someone mentions his name they right away think he is a stupid moron.

I bet you did too.