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I see it often, and it is easy to do. Got a problem with our society? Blame it on politicians. And not even specific politicians, just politicians in general.

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It’s Really Freakin’ Easy To Blame Politicians, And It’s Wrong

I see it often, and it is easy to do. Got a problem with our society? Blame it on politicians. And not even specific politicians, just politicians in general.

I see it often, and it is easy to do. Got a problem with our society? Blame it on politicians. And not even specific politicians, just politicians in general.

I get it — it’s easy, it’s fun, it’s convenient. However, it is woefully misleading and leads to even more problems. Remember, as much as one family would like to pretend otherwise, we do not live in a kingdom. Wecitizens — are responsible for our government. Along those lines, there are two or three very important matters to consider.

First of all, selflessness versus selfishness is a spectrum, not a binary matter. We all have some degree of selflessness that influences what we do, and we all have some degree of selfishness that influences what we do. A narcissist is heavily prone to do things out of selfishness, and has a hard time understanding selfless behavior at all. We have an extremely well documented example of that in politics who I will not name. Someone who aspires to and chooses the role of “public servant,” on the other hand, is likely to favor selflessness.

Interestingly, politics attracts people on both ends of the spectrum, as well as people who struggle with strong urges in both directions. But what that means, when we lump together “all politicians” under one negative category, is we are not being fair at all to the many selflessly oriented politicians who are doing their best to help society.

It is indeed our responsibility, as residents in a democratic republic/representative democracy, to examine people running for office or holding office carefully in order to pick the “good seeds.” Can we honestly say we put in a decent amount of time looking into the people who represent us, who we have the opportunity to vote for?

Of course, character and intent are only part of the equation. Policy is also important. Unfortunately, policy probably gets even less of our time. Some people — and basically one whole party — has noticed this and decided to completely detach policy from politics. They have positive marketing campaigns based on what people want to hear, while they are engaged in policy efforts to do the opposite. As one example, I have been seeing YouTube ads from the Donald Trump campaign claiming that he and his party are going to keep people on insurance who have pre-existing conditions, but that’s simply not true. He is in court trying to take away those protections, and his party has been working to dismantle the Affordable Care Act for years, which is based and relies heavily on the right of people with pre-existing conditions to get health insurance coverage. Donald Trump was furious that his attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act in Congress when Republicans controlled the House and the Senate was blocked by John McCain. They have repeatedly tried to roll back the law on this. Even after the Supreme Court denied repeal of Obamacare, as it is more commonly known, the Trump administration is trying to bring it through the courts again another way.

Donald Trump’s campaign has actually decided to not include any policy matters on his campaign website. What does Donald Trump want to do in the next 4 years if re-elected to the presidency? Well, a ton of tweeting and rallies in which he entertains his followers will surely be included. Will he separate more babies and kids from their parents without even setting up a system to reunite them one day? Will he allow even more pollution to flow into our air and water than his coal-led EPA and oil-led Bureau of Land Management have already permitted?

As a third and final point, it’s noteworthy that the United States has shifted itself into an extreme far-right policy world. We are far right of Canada, the UK, and EU countries on several matters. The video below succinctly explains our odd position on the matter of health care. Furthermore, we are one of only 3 nations around the world that will not be in the Paris climate accords if Donald Trump gets his way and we pull out next year. The only other countries not in the agreement are Iran and Syria.

There’s one general goal that many Republicans in power have pursued for decades. It is bearing huge (poisonous) fruit now. It is one reason why many people just broadly claim that politicians suck.

Grover Norquist stated years ago, “I’m not in favor of abolishing the government. I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” Modern Republicans’ goal has not been to make government work better, work more efficiently, or work for certain aims. Their goal has been to destroy the government of the people, for the people, by the people. The goal is to not regulate or stop polluting companies, companies that take advantage of humans, or companies that engage in price gouging, a practice that makes US health care costs dozens of times higher than health care costs in other developed nations. This is why Donald Trump and the former GOP lobbyists who now run the US Department of Energy, Department of Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, etc. are allowing all types of deadly, cancer-causing, heart-attacking pollution to flow out of various industries and into people’s homes again. This is why the United States is on the verge of becoming one of 3 nations opposed to the Paris climate accords rather than one of 198 nations in the international agreement. This is why no one should be surprised if Republicans gain full control of the US government and then cut Social Security and Medicaid, remove a requirement that health insurance companies cover people with pre-existing conditions, and gift more public lands and public resources to private fossil fuel companies to strip and drain dry. This is what they’ve been saying they’ll do. This is what they’ve been doing every time they get power. And this is why they and their friends have become super rich while average Americans have seen their wealth and quality of life degrade or stagnate for decades.

If government isn’t functioning correctly, that makes certain politicians happy, because it makes it easier for them to claim government (of the people, by the people, for the people) is the problem — which makes people disengage and makes it easier for those politicians to not be held accountable. If government isn’t functioning correctly, that makes it easier for those politicians to do more damage to the government. If “politicians” are seen as “all bad,” that leads people to disengage, not inform themselves, and not find the politicians that are indeed working for us and trying to implement policies that help the majority of Americans.

If you want good politicians to run the country, vote for good politicians who are in the career out of an ideal to provide selfless service to society, and who want to implement policies that lift average Americans up rather than tear them down while taking away the threads of a US social safety net.

Featured photo by Caleb Fisher on Unsplash

 
 
 
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Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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