Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Election Results

The big picture election result is whether individuals achieve greater credibility, power and influence -- or if they suffered less -- which is quite possible to do despite winning the actual election. Because Election Day is only one day in a campaign -- for a greater purpose, and I think we all need to have a greater purpose than simply winning an election.

I think that is precisely the problem of elections -- that they are only about winning an election and not about anything else beyond that. And real leadership is what is beyond that.

Politics now is mostly about following, or conformity -- and not about leading, and why it has little appeal. People have lots of “opportunities” to follow, to comply, to acquiesce -- but very few to actually lead. The worst are the traditional leadership positions -- in which such leaders are open to abuse by anybody who wants to. The worst offenders are the people in the media -- who think by deriding more celebrated people, that gives them equal status.

So the worst nobodies are allowed to abuse those in the highest offices -- as an indication of a fair and free society. In addition to freedom, what is important is that it is freedom to do that which is meaningful -- and not just a display of freedom signifying nothing. Choice means something, when there are meaningful choices -- and not one arbitrary one presented alongside another.

It’s like asking someone, “Do you want to die by the electric chair or by hanging?,” and not questioning whether one should die at all. Those are the choices under the worst tyrannies and oppression -- while maintaining that there is freedom of choice, to vote for the present ruler, or to choose to die or otherwise be ostracized.

We see that in the rail discussion. Rail or more cars, more traffic? -- implying that with rail, there will be less traffic and less cars, when all that is likely to happen is that bus riders, now become rail riders -- and both are underutilized. But the planners will point out, “Both run perfectly,” because there are no passengers.

I see the big construction rigs parked outside City Hall, all the union members in a menacing show of strength, the signs -- everything but a really good and compelling reason that isn’t a manipulation and deception. I don’t think they believe they can win without lying, cheating and stealing anymore. They don’t know how to win straight up -- which is really the pity of it all. They themselves do not believe they are legitimate -- and why they have such low esteem.

A good reason is a compelling reason -- and not just a trick to get one to do one’s will, against their will. That’s bad human relationships and bad society, and bad government. Government is a contract between people to provide for the common good -- and not just to promote the various narrow self-interests.

Increasingly, even the narrow self-interests, don’t want to go that route, if they can avoid it.


At November 22, 2006 10:07 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The next best thing to winning the election myself -- is forcing the Democrat incumbent to step up to a higher level of visibility and performance. Let’s see how he does. Although I don’t attend the Neighborhood Board meetings as regularly, when I do, I set the bar up pretty high.

I think those meetings have to get better -- and not just longer.


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