Thursday, May 22, 2014

“Inspired Amateurs Should Avoid Politics”

On May 12, 2014, the Wall Street Journal carried an op-ed piece that was truly opposed to what the newspaper claims to stand for.  (Contrary to popular opinion, “op-ed” doesn’t mean “opinion-editorial,” but “opposite the editorial page.”  An op-ed piece presumably reflects the personal opinion of the writer, not necessarily the official stance of the newspaper.  Look it up.)

The piece was titled, “Inspired Amateurs Should Avoid Politics,” and it was by Philip Terzian, editor of The Weekly Standard.  It was on page A15 . . . opposite the editorial page, as we might expect.

Winning is all that matters.
At the end of his analysis showing how “inspired amateurs” can’t get elected in America because professional politicians are so much better at getting into and staying in power, Terzian declared, “the purpose of politics is to win elections.”

Keep in mind that this was published in the Wall Street Journal, which has been moaning and groaning that President Obama’s only skill is winning elections, and that he lacks the ability and the vision essential to running what is still the most powerful country on earth.  For now.

Tweed & Tammany: a winning ticket.
If what Terzian says is correct, then what you get are legions of “politicians” whose only skill is winning elections.  Obama is president because he is the best qualified . . . for winning elections . . . and the Wall Street Journal has been shooting its mouth off for years for nothing.

On the other hand, if the purpose of politics is (as the word suggests) to protect and maintain the network of institutional structures of the political unit, the pólis, within which citizens realize their human potential by exercising their inherent rights, then the gifted or inspired amateur with proven leadership and administrative abilities that match a comprehensive — and comprehensible — vision that goes beyond just getting elected is far and away the better choice.

Maybe it’s time to get rid of the professionals and give the “inspired amateurs” a chance.

#30#

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