.rants



 
Old.Reid.pre.2001
 




Why the Liberals are Losing
Another rant by K. Reid Wightman,
running for President with the Pessimist Party

I wrote this little piece, starting out as a real rant. But, of course, I have self esteem issues and figured people would hate me writing five sentences, so I decided to make a bit longer, though probably equally as horrible, so my friends will have a good reason to point and laugh and stop talking to me for writing something so blatantly obvious and, well, stupid. In addition, it probably contains a lot of run-on sentences..

It dawned on me today, while reading a Slashdot post why the liberals are losing. It is inherent in our nature. We can't avoid it.

What runs politics? Lobbies. Love it or hate it, the Man follows the Buck, and leaves Giminy Cricket out of the decision. Money is a hard thing to argue with. As Dan Quayle recently said (once again), "Everybody has their price." Not even a democrat could deny that -- who would not want a boatload of extra money? Go ahead and get all gushy and say you would take the money and not be a corrupt politician. We've heard it before.

Wait, wait, wait Reid! What about the Greens?

Um...yeah, because Nader came close to winning the last election :P. That was harsh, yeah. Which is odd because I voted for him. He's a good man and I will continue to vote for him (and people like him). Yet it is my belief that he will never win because he does not play the money game.

Nay, a seat in a political office is like the One Ring. Go ahead and try to use it for good. You won't win for long. I guess I equate Nader to one of the wiser folk that won't pick up the ring. His professing it to be a cool thing is just to fit in.

So what is a liberal to do? Easy, I hear you thinking, form a lobby of their own.

Nope. It won't work. Why not? Liberals are inherently untrusting of big groups.

Liberal democrats believe anybody with a lot of money is evil.

Just compare Walmart and the mom and pop convenience store. I hear the complaints coming in now -- "Walmart pays its employees minimum wage, gives no befits, it's not fair," etc etc. Well, what do mom and pop shops do? I used to work at Victoria's Deli, a little store started by a woman, Victoria, and her husband, Roy. They paid me, you guessed it, minimum wage with no benefits. If adults want a job with benefits, they wouldn't work at Victoria's Deli as a cashier. And if they did, nobody would stick up for them. So why do they work at Walmart and expect better treatment?

Whoah whoah whoah! Walmart is a very different story from Victoria's. Those execs at Walmart make a hundred billion gazillion dollars and they should give some of it back to their employees

Okay, you're right, and I was starting to sound like a conservative prick anyway. Sorry about that. But Victoria and Roy netted a cool $500,000 a year, and they never gave me a raise. If they decided to go all-out, and started a nationwide chain of crappy convenience stores, netting $500,000 a year a piece, they'd make a killing. Sure, they'd have to hire regional managers to figure out that, for example, their stores shouldn't carry condoms in Utah, but they'd still be pulling in a few billion dollars a year. I still don't hear you complaining about them paying me minimum wage.

Liberal democrats believe large groups are ineffective in policy-making. It's like the rule from The Cathedral and the Bazaar. Add more programmers to an already late project, and you'll only make it late(r) due to increased communication cost.

Same goes with government, or at least the law making and enforcing sections. Just like a program, the specifications for a law must be clearly defined, leaving no question in the minds of the creators or the users as to its meaning. Unlike a program, the language is a bit slippery. In addition, unfortunately, as people know in the programming world, the users are idiots. Constant enhancements and clarifications are necessary on the part of the law (in the form of the judicial system) so that people understand what to (and not to) do.

These two tidbits combine to form Big Committee syndrome. Everyone wants to get it right the law defined correctly the first time, so that the users don't have to request changes through the Complaints department. It creates a sort of inefficiency that is both sane in its intention, and retardedly narrow-minded. Instead of pumping laws through congress, meticulous care is taken on each one. I don't think that's a bad thing...after all what if the judicials misinterpret the legislature's intentions and "clarify" a law in a completely unintended way. That would be Really Bad. Unfortunately the happy medium isn't very happy.

At this point, I'd probably whip out some statistics like "The average bill was X pages long and took Y hours of work to produce. Of course only X - BigNum bills actually passed, so the rest just wasted time. There are two problems with such an approach. 1) I'm lazy, and 2) so are you. I could just make up numbers and you'd probably believe them or disbelieve them (or think I was using the numbers "creatively") depending on what you think of my views. Besides, I figure if I can't win you over with words, numbers aren't going to do anything. But back my point. Liberals can't make Lobbies. They won't trust them. We are the working class, our money is limited. Why should we sacrifice our hard-earned cash and give it to an organization looking out for our rights, when it might just run off the money and not do anything for us? Not only that, but because our money is limited, it takes a lot of us to put a lobby together.

Sure there are some groups and even a few crazy individuals out there with enough money to throw around to help. Take a look at this article if you don't believe me. Of course, $1,000,000 isn't enough to do anything with on the large scale, I believe. Is the government supposed to believe what Duke University says the law should be? Doubtful.

That little donation does put an idea into my head though.

I can't sit back and criticize the person that donated it. They don't exist. Because they don't exist, because they don't have a name, I cannot shrug them off as some rich CEO and criticize their intentions.

Suddenly I realize the grass-rooters can win -- anonymously. Put enough money in just the right areas and never say who you are, and you will have the support and appreciation of the masses. Best of all, *the masses* cannot put you in power, only money can.