Friday, August 1, 2008


It has been said often: "All politics is local."

But that's wrong. In fact, I believe that really, "All politics is personal."

Consider that most of us support a politician or a policy or a program because we think the candidate or the policy or the program is best for us and our family.

For example most folks know Social Security and Medicare are bankrupt and believe those programs need to be fixed, just so long as it doesn't interfere with our monthly check. When the money is gone "they" will think of something.

We choose to vote for people running for office based on their perceived ability to "bring home the bacon." Although we tend to be highly critical of politicians we appreciate the new road, the new post office, the prescription drug benefit and the defense contract for our town.

We are all concerned about global warming but we bought the SUV and drove to work alone in spite of Al Gore's scare mongering until the price of gas made us believe it's too expensive to drive that SUV. Now we are eager to authorize more drilling not because we think we can drill our way out of the energy crises in the long run but rather because we want those gas prices to come down in the short run.

We all make choices we believe to be in our enlightened self interest and we tend to ignore the consequences of those choices.

The politicians, the manufacturers, the media, the retailers and the service industry all respect our choices and do their best to cater to those choices. So, we get the government, business, media and service we ask for each time we make a choice. Although we hate to admit it we get exactly what we deserve.

But the consequences of our collective choices are piling up and at some point rather sooner than we all expect or hope, the bill will come due.

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