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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Government by Kakistocracy

We are ruled by an elite, but elite what?
It's no surprise to anyone who's watched politics, the media and academia for a few years. We are no longer the republic forged by the Founders and Framers. We are ruled by kakistocrats—a government peopled, by and large, by the most venal and corrupt among us.
I've known a few politicians.  On the local level, their venality wreaks no great harm and is generally limited by a short feedback loop: we know where they live, and they know we do. heh  I've even known one who aspired to and reached high national office.  As a member of the state legislature, he seemed firm in his principles.  As a governor, he was clean and competent.  But after just a short time as a senator, every public statement I heard from him was mealy-mouthed, wishy-washy and self-serving.
And he was the best of a bad lot.
Sure, there are probably a few honest people in government. And there are even a few competent people in government.  But the number who are honorable and competent seems vanishingly small.
Note: yes, I know that all generalizations (including this one) are false, but still... It seems as though the folks on the left are nothing but liars, though sometimes competent liars.  And the folks on the right are sometimes honorable... as far as their (tiny degree of) competence and lack of courage takes them (wimps and dunces for the most part).
Rule by the worst: kakistocracy.  Yep.  Fits politics.
How about the Mass Media Podpeople?  Yes, that was a rhetorical question. One in one thousand are not useless or harmful to society.  Maybe.
And what about academia? I can honestly say that I have met some brilliant and honorable people in academia.  None in the fields of social work, education or political science, of course.  And most of the rest who do have sense enough to pound sand in a rat hole are so cowardly, fearful of violating the politically correct mores, that they are virtually useless in promoting... virtue, the common good. 
The "elite" are the best of the worst.