Why Would The Candidates Prefer To Brawl?
In Part 1 of this series (link => here), we discussed what was wrong with the format of the First Presidential Debate of 2020. Here we will consider why some candidates might prefer to brawl instead of debate.
Why would some candidates prefer to debate the character of their opponents? It is easier.
- It is easier to attack your opponent than it is to explain one’s positions on the issues. It is easier to point out flaws in the other guy than it is to choose and to defend the best policy choices.
- It is easier to manipulate us. Politics tend to be tribal or factional because we each tend to dislike people who are unlike us, especially people who dare to disagree with “us”. We readily think those “other people” must either be inferior or evil.
- It is easier to fool us. Some politicians are just plain crooked. No crook wants an honest debate of the issues. Such a debate risks exposing his lies.
- It is easier to hide a flawed ideology than it is to defend it. People with bad ideas like Communists (including Socialists and Marxists), Nazis (racists of all stripes), Secularists (especially Atheists), Pagans, and so forth find it much easier to attack opposing beliefs than it is to defend their own beliefs. Contemplate the fact that Napoleon Bonaparte and Karl Marx were among the first to denigrate “ideologues” (see In Defense of Ideology (nationalreview.com)). What are ideologies about? Ideas. We want the best ideas, not the worse.
- It is easier to lie about the competence of your opponent than it is to explain your own record of accomplishments, especially if you have none. When we are aroused with enough hatred to savage another human being, it is easier to ignore the past.
In spite of their candidates, perhaps, both the Democratic and Republican Parties have published platforms, what they stand for. Political parties exist to nominate candidates for public office. If we want to know what the people who nominated the candidates expect from their candidates, we need to examine the party platforms.
Will we do our best to evaluate the candidates, to see pass what they what us to see and strive to understand what they would do if we elect them? That depends upon who or what we worship. Unfortunately, BECAUSE we are fallen creatures — so greedy, conniving, and dishonest — we need a government that protects from each other, but government is not a great solution. Why? If we want our government to protect us, we must run our government. We have to figure out how to protect ourselves from our own leaders. We must find the means to overcome our own fallen nature and select the most trustworthy men and women we can find to to lead us. To win the battle we each fight within our flesh, we must seek God’s help.
How awful is this conundrum? There have been only a few times in the history of man that we have even come close to solving this problem. There have been only a few times in history that men have even come close to creating a government that protects us from each other WITHOUT ENSLAVING MOST OF US. The United States represents one of those times and that makes it precious. Can we keep it? God knows. With His help we can at least try.
To be continued.
- Part 3: Why Is Politics A Blood Sport?