Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"That's political!"

Lately, the most vile insult one politician can hurl at another is to say that his or her opponent on an issue said what they said, or did what they did, for “political” reasons, or “political” gain. “It’s a political move,” Senator X or Congressman Y decrees. And that’s supposed to stop all discussion. If a politician is making a political statement, the views expressed are automatically null and void, contemptible, irrelevant.

But it’s code. When a person with political power is dismissed for exerting that political power, it’s a way of signaling to the citizenry that power itself is a dirty, disgusting thing, to be washed off, abandoned, or otherwise ignored. So long as We the People find power distasteful, those who have it can keep it for themselves and gather up what we’ve been throwing away.

Very dangerous, this trend. Now, more than ever, we need to embrace our dirty, political, powerful side. We need to say as much as we can, as fast as we can. And the more it relates to power – who has it, who doesn’t have it, who wants it, who’s abusing it – the better.


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