It’s All In How You Present Information

Politics the lifeblood of any country whether it be communist, dictatorship, or even and perhaps most especially a democracy. Politics is a crazy system where voters are told information given no real basis behind the information then excepted to draw conclusions from the pre-packaged information that doesn’t fit with the underlying facts of the argument. In the interest of full disclosure I will openly tell you what my political affiliations are. I am generally liberal in my outlook, however I desire a Libertarian government but I also feel that it is for now an unreachable goal for a vast majority of society. There are times when I tend to agree with conservatives on issues, so it’s rather difficult for me to say that I am always in agreement with any one party even 75% of the time. However overall I most closely associated with the Libertarian and the Democratic party.

Now, onto my post for this evening or rather afternoon now, the Democratic party yesterday sent out one of their mass e-mails detailing the “horrible atrocities” that the Bush administration has committed in the year since Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. One of their statements is “So far, the administration has gotten around to spending barely half of what Congress authorized.” Now the problem with this statement is not that it is true, in fact Americans should be happy that this statement is true. Before the comments get started, let me cut you off at the pass. I am not saying that the administration did everything that it could and that it shouldn’t do more for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and Rita. President Bush himself has admitted that there were problems with the federal response to the disaster.1 The real problem is with what the Democrats do not say, Congress has appropriated $110 billion dollars in both immediate aid that was used on trailers and food stamps and repaying states that housed refugees from the hurricane. A good deal of this money is also to be spent cleaning up New Orleans and also making it safer from another hurricane. The issue here is that only in the next several weeks will the Corp of Engineers which is responsible for the dams and levies used to protect New Orleans will present their report to Congress on what to do to fix the whole system.

Democrats imply throughout their message that if Democrats were in charge the money would have already have been spent. This is in fact a bad thing, money should not just be shoved out the door and hope it does some good. This has been proved more times that any one person can list, money alone doesn’t solve a problem you first need a well defined problem and a reasonable plan to fix the problem. Yes, more money will help you solve a problem as you will be able to present more and possibly better plans for an option. But first you have to know what to fix. Even if Democrats were in power the money would still be sitting in bills waiting a final decision as to where it will finally be spent. This is the same as bidding on contracts you appropriate money for a problem, companies bid to solve the problem and you choose the best and cheapest plan.

Politics more and more often does not appear to be to present unbiased information to the masses and allowing them to make an honest decision but rather to manipulate facts and information. Now I know that this most likely will never change, but what would happen if candidates actually had to debate the issues. Anybody who has every watched a presidential debate, knows that they are at best a joke. The facts are spun like crazy, neither side makes any real argument, most of the time conclusions are draw based on sketchy or irrelevant information.

I can not imagine any of our modern politicians writing Common Sense simply because the capacity for basic logic seems to be lost among candidates these days. Instead arguments are wrapped around the idea of it being a “Christian idea” or “Protecting the rights that we have”, ideas used by the pro-life and pro-choice groups respectively. Their most basic arguments boil back to one of these very simplistic and basic ideas that doesn’t really address the issue.

Politics has turned into marketing campaigns rather than what politics should be. An actual debate on the organization and purpose of government and what it can accomplish and should accomplish in the life of everyday citizens of the government. Where is the politician that understands the concept of a social contract and uses it to promote their point of view. Now for all those out there who say that the public can’t understand these concepts, and that this information needs to be spoon fed to them. Please refer to my earlier posts in which I discuss ways that complex information can be presented without the general masses uneducated in complex philosophical or even political theory can understand and accept these concepts. Pluto – What is it, and what about the other stuff in the solar system? And, How to be a better chess player and, Beef Jerky Reports

References:

  1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5295218.stm

P.S. Sorry about this post being so late in the afternoon, my computer decided to quit working last night, but it’s up and running now.

Justin Yost is a full-time Software Engineer and a part time educator. A graduate of Texas Tech University with a bachelor's degree in computer science, Justin relishes programming and learning more about anything and everything. When not working, Justin occasionally gives talks at the local PHP Meetup. In his free time, Justin enjoys backpacking and reading science fiction books.


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