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Politicians as Acceptable Professional Targets:

 1 Midnight Rambler, Sat, 16th Jun '12 7:37:13 AM from Germania Inferior
stout shako for 2 refined
Politicians. For many people around the world, including some on This Very Forum, they're Acceptable Professional Targets big time. They're seen as greedy, corrupt, dishonest people who will do or say anything to gain power and don't care at all about the voters they claim to represent.

I don't see it this way. I have followed politics closely for a few years now. I have seen how hard it is to build up a reputation, and how easy it is to destroy it - a slight gaffe can turn you and your party into a laughing stock overnight. I have also seen how hard it is to make and implement sensible policies - you have to compromise with other parties, and appease the hundreds of stakeholders who are affected by any given measure; besides, civil servants are humans too, and their egos and rivalries can frustrate the implementation of even your most reasonable policies.

Combining the two - appealing to the public and the media and making policies which improve the situation in your country - is a nightmarishly difficult task, and I think anyone who takes on this challenge and achieves decent results deserves a lot of respect. I'm not saying all politicians are saints who always do what's best for their country; Sturgeon's Law applies, and many of them are stupid or egoistic. But there are also many who are genuinely trying their best in a difficult environment, and I think much of the rage against politicians in general is gratuitous, ignorant and unfair.

This thread is for discussing "politician hatred", as described above. Who or what causes it - the politicians themselves, the media, or perhaps something inherent in human psychology? Is it justified, and to which degree?

Some causes I can think of off the top of my head:

  • Simple envy and distrust of those in power.
  • Ignorance of the complexity of the political process and the difficulties I mentioned above.
  • Close media scrutiny of politicians' private lives, meaning their mistakes and vices are exposed much more than those of the average citizen.
  • And partly, politicians' own tendency to be quite confident - at least in public statements - in their own power to change things, which in reality is often quite limited, as explained above.

That's the way you do it: pony for nothing, and your mares for free.

Just another brick in the Wall of Text.
 2 Morven, Mon, 18th Jun '12 3:57:12 AM from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
I think a lot of rage directed at politicians individually is misplaced at the individuals concerned rather than the flaws of the system.

For example, as mentioned, that in many cases a politician seeking election must exaggerate the amount of things they can influence in the post. If they don't, the other guy will and will get elected. US Presidential candidates, for instance, are required to pretend that the President is capable of doing a whole bunch of things in domestic politics that are not actually within the Presidency's purview. They can try and persuade Congress to do them, but in the end they have no power there.

A brighter future for a darker age.
 3 Michael, Mon, 18th Jun '12 9:39:56 AM Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
So that's what this does
Politicians are powerful tools to have access to, so people with money or other hard to obtain luxuries will do their best to corrupt them.
Balance - the original sixth sense.
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Total posts: 3
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