The Decline of Our Political Class

Glenn Reynolds, linking to several other sources, rails against our current political class–Democrat and Republican–so hopelessly out of touch with ordinary Americans. Glenn endorses this assessment from one commentator:

The root problem is a bipartisan inability – or refusal – to adopt policies supported by clear majorities of the American people. Those policies for the most part involve a significantly lower level of government activism, whereas the political class for the most part seeks only a higher level.

While I agree completely that the political class is out of touch with Americans, I don’t think the problem is entirely one-sided. Don’t forget — it is the American voters who put these bozos in power, and keep them there term after term. Read any typical “man on the street” interview of voters trying to size up the candidates, and it’s glaringly obvious they don’t have a clue where the candidates stand on the issues. They don’t even know what the issues are to start with. Instead, they evaluate the candidates on the basis of vague values like “we need change,” or “he feels our pain.” Such mushy criteria can be easily manipulated by well-oiled political machines.

If Americans feel their politicians are out of touch, I suggest they consider the possibility that they themselves are out of touch with how our system of government is supposed to work. Voters who take the time and trouble to educate themselves on what really matters, and hold up candidates against that standard, will elect politicians who share their respect for limited government. Voters who form their opinions on the basis of thirty-second sound bites and water-cooler chit-chat are ill-prepared to elect the kind of leaders our republic needs.

Americans get exactly the political class they deserve — no more, no less.

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