Are We More Than Votes?

This morning I bumped into this article [will open a new tab/window] in the Washington Post reporting on political consultant Drew Westen’s attempts to help Democrats use language morely likely to appeal to voters’ emotions, and so more likely to persuade them to vote accordingly. Also this book review, from New Scientist, of Flipnosis: The art of split-second persuasion, revealingly titled “How to get others to do what we want”.

Yesterday I read “Crisis of Legitimacy” on Talking Points Memo, which ascribes citizen anger at the federal government to a sense, clearly exemplified by the Tea-Partiers but widespread, that we are wallets-and-votes only, existing only to enable the will of the pow that be, without a voice of our own–at least not one being listened to.

For several years I’ve been tracking and trying to articulate my feeling, arounsed as much in local politics as in national, that the common interest of the citizens is no longer a category of thought in politics, that politicians cannot conceive of a political arena not constituted by competing interests. So their “difficulties”, the scorn with which we view them, stem from their view of life as a content of competing purposes rather than a collaborative effort of common purpose, which is more like how the rest of us see the world.

As Ruskin said: “Beware the fury of a patient man.”

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