Not making a difference since 2006. Blog motto: Always be sincere whether you mean it or not.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Schools For Scoundrels

The Libby trial is to start this week. I have no particular view on on the matter. He is not being tried for his real crime as a law against Gross Neoconnery is not on the books.

Still, he and his ilk are part of an American political problem that needs to be solved. I assert with no proof that we have to end student government.

You remember student government where a bunch of smart, smarmy kids learned early in life how to game the system. In theory, we were all supposed to be part of a process of government education. Most kids did not care, so a small cabal got favors from staff and faculty and learned it felt good. They also figured out the Woody Allen maxim about showing up making a difference. These kids graduate and climb up the sewer pipe of legislative staff, think tanks, journalism et voila, they become our rulers. It is a horrible apprenticeship. If the Libbys of this world, bright lads and lassies all of them, had not this scam, they'd have studied more useful subjects and benefitted us all.

Thi mini democracy should be replaced with a year long study of the Federalist Papers* and De Tocqueville as well as the constitution. We should not bother anyone under 90 IQ with study, but require they memorize the constitution. It may do no good, but it is within their ability and if they can throw back something of what they learned at their rulers, we are all just a tad safer.

* Full disclosure: I remember almost nothing of the Federalist.

4 comments:

Black Sea said...

I increasingly believe that anyone seeking political office must demonstrate, as an absolute prerequisite, prior success in some adult arena OTHER THAN politics.

What kind of person builds his whole life, from the age of 15 onward, on the pursuit of elected office? We know what kind of person does, which goes a long way toward explaining our current political state.

Such a criterion of demonstrated, non-political accomplishment would have spared us Bill Clinton, and God knows it would have eliminated our current Commander-in-Chief.

Increasingly, I find myself wanting to locate a good biography of Eisenhower. Now, there was a guy who accomplished something before entering politics. I have seen the D-Day Invasion described by some historians as one of the most complex undertakings in human history.

I'm doubtful that one of the idiot savants of the neocon persuasion could have pulled it off, not to mention massaging the egos of various alliance members long enough to hold the effort together.

And I really love Ike's shrewd awareness that his grandfatherly, afternoon golfer persona would win the approval of the American public, whereas, in private, he was described by no less of an expert than Nixon himself as "the most devious man I have ever met."

Jesus, when Nixon says that about you, you KNOW that you are fit for office.

tvoh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tvoh said...

Ike was a shrewdie. I hear he was asked to send troops to bail out the French and said he would not waste one of our boys in the elephant grass.

Of course we have Wilson, who had been pres. of Princeton and got us into the "War to end all wars."

Then again, W did have a career as a drunk. Maybe he would have done better if he had not abandoned something he had a talent for.

Black Sea said...

And being a university president is a non-poliitical achievement how?

Even so, were Wilson held to this standard, voters who were interested (few, I admit) could have looked at his role as president of Princton for some indication of whether or not he was a capable administrator. It would at least focus attention on what he could do, other than vote-gathering.

Hilter, as is well-known, was a tea-totalling vegetarian who pioneered the current hysteria about "second-hand smoke." Just think about what a blessing to humanity it would've been if Hitler had included in each meal one meat item, a bottle of wine, and a pack of cigarettes, or at least a couple of cigars. He never would've had the energy to cause all that mischief.

Actually, when I look at the menu I've just prescribed for Hitler, I realize that it would have turned him into Churchill. See, the Second World War could have been averted.