I highly recommend that you vote, cheer on your favorite sporting team, and attend church regularly. All are equally effective.

Since I have entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in commerce and manufacture are afraid of somebody, afraid of something. They know there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when the speak in condemnation of it. (Woodrow Wilson, circa 1912)

I have grown more detached and distant from partisan politics since I began to understand it better – a mere distraction. This is not to say that the offices held by various officials are not important, but rather that our selections usually guarantee that no true outsider ever makes his or her way in. Further, office holders are usually corrupt – in fact, corruption is a qualification for office, as it makes a person easier to control.

So I imagine that even relatively decent people who make their way of high office, if not compromised beforehand, are after. Washington is a world of eavesdropping, easy sex and bribes, and two-way mirrors. And if no controversy exists, one can be manufactured.

So I don’t think voting matters. Any way we look at it, we lose.

The office of president is not cast to the wind, however – it is too powerful, too important, to be left in the hands of amateurs. The people who happen to grace that office can be highly astute or very dumb, from Rhodes Scholars and professors to mere caretaker generals to very dumb men like George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. The dumb ones don’t actually take part in policy discussions – in fact, Reagan was shunted to the side and ignored after his attempted assassination right after taking office. We really had twelve years of George H.W. Bush.

It’s all interesting, however, and I’ve stumbled across this before … that Theodore Roosevelt, trust buster, was actually a JP Morgan man, and was persuaded to run as an independent in 1912 to weaken Howard Taft and clear the way for Wall Street’s preferred candidate, Woodrow Wilson.

It makes me reflect on my own ill-considered support for Ralph Nader in 2000, whose only impact was to weaken Al Gore. I don’t care about Gore, just another phony, but I wonder about Nader’s genuineness creds, and of course feel abused and ashamed at being played so easily.

We’ve had a string of interesting men in office, however, and Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are not fools – I imagine each is (was) actively involved in formulating and carrying out mischievous US policy, always subject to oversight, of course,

Which leads me to something that just floors me, it is so intriguing. I don’t know what it means. I believe in coincidence – it has deeply affected my own life. But this is so strange …

Hale Boggs, father of NPR correspondent Cokie Roberts, was a member of the Warren Commission, but a disgruntled one. He only signed on to the final report reluctantly and under pressure. He later became an open critic of the report, wanting a new and better investigation of the JFK murder …

…except, he died in a plane crash in Alaska, his body never recovered. That’s very fishy, and sounds like murder, but without a body, there is no crime to investigate. That event is not uncommon in American politics where small planes are deadly for dissidents of all stripes. The Kennedy family alone has lost three members to small planes, almost a fourth.

Here’s what is so intriguing: Boggs was driven to the airport that morning, October 16, 1972, by a young man whose name we all recognize … William Jefferson Clinton.

About Mark Tokarski

Just a man who likes to read, argue, and occasionally be surprised.
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33 Responses to I highly recommend that you vote, cheer on your favorite sporting team, and attend church regularly. All are equally effective.

  1. Big Swede says:

    You’re coming around. Good. Time for some Orwell.

    “The real division is not between the conservatives and the revolutionaries but between the authoritarians and the libertarians.”

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  2. steve kelly says:

    re: “…ill-considered support for Ralph Nader in 2000.” “Played” by whom? Nader? Green Party?
    Media? Just curious.

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    • If the overall effect of third party movements is to assist one of the two parties, then I would have been played by Nader for benefit of Bush.

      If Nader is a genuine man, as I want to think he is, then I was a fool but a sincere one.

      Look at all of the Libertarians who were played by Tester in 2012.

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      • larry kurtz says:

        If Senator Sanders isn’t your choice what would it take to get a candidate like Nader nominated and elected, Toke?

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        • Candidates don’t matter, as real power is outside the political system, not in it.

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          • larry kurtz says:

            Is there any level within the political system with any power? County commission? Mayor?

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          • Yes, Of course there are governmental units that do good work and that are sensitive to voters. Usually they are closer to home. But at the national level, no, it is all corrupt beyond repair.

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          • larry kurtz says:

            Talk about your fix for the miasma?

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          • There is none! The corruption is so total and complete that it cannot be undone. We can only wait for the body to rot out, as did Germany and the Soviet Union.

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          • larry kurtz says:

            Who is “we?”

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          • All of us. I love it when people ask “what’s your solution?” Do you not read? I suggest above that you “vote, cheer on your favorite sporting team, and go to church.”

            It’s like you’re standing in a river bed and I tell you a dam has broken and a major flood is coming your way, and you ask “So, what’s your solution?” And I suggest make sure you vote against the flood. That always helps.

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          • larry kurtz says:

            Good that you and i have a white privilege bulwark to stem the rising tide of despair and hopelessness you project for us. Cognac or Pinot Noir with vittles tonight, Mark?

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          • You are in a state of deep stupor, unaware of your political environment. You’re not alone. Don’t blame me for your state of mind.

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          • larry kurtz says:

            You’re impenetrable, Swede.

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          • My experience is that people prefer lies to truth, and need for the political system to be real even as they know better.

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          • larry kurtz says:

            Do we live in a pure democracy? No. Do the two major parties have too much power over elections? Sure. If additional parties want to win elections they have to win local elections like county commissions and mayor, build momentum at the grassroots or forever live in the shadow of the the Ds and Rs.

            Civil war sucks, Mark.

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          • There is only one party, the Democrat/Republican and it exists to squeeze out any second parties that might arise. Democrats are allowed to sound a little more progressive during campaigns, to soak up dissident energy. Then they revert to form..

            It has been this way in all of the postwar era, 70 years now, not a hint of change, no grassroots action. But keep hoping Larry. You’re not delusional or anything.

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          • larry kurtz says:

            why do you obsess with the things you cannot control?

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          • You’re changing your tack now. You are out in the open too – you know the system is a fairy tale, and now I am obsessing.

            Some of us live in the real world.

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      • steve kelly says:

        Hindsight has a way of improving the view… At the time (2000) Nader was the only choice on the ballot for anyone left of Ghengis Kahn. Now anyone left of Ghengis Kahn has nobody to vote for because ballot access laws and other factors have changed since 2000. It’s base vs. base regardless of how few choose to not participate. The system was broken then, and has been run into the ground by both parties ever since.

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  3. Swede – I regard you as dangerous, not you personally, but groups of people who think as you do.

    The reason is that you are so sure you are right that you do not need to pay any heed to anyone else’s viewpoints. You feel justified in simply implementing your ideas, and if others object, they’ll come around when they see you are right.

    A short trip down the road from there, those who object to your ideas and methods become the enemy. And then they become evil. And then you become sure they are out to get you. And then you start killing them.

    That’s all Nazis and fascists are – people who think they have the answers and don’t know how to listen to anyone else. You pretend that you read things, but you don’t. I see through you, easily. All you ever do is look for things you agree with, and skim.

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  4. PS – regards the “narcissist” bugaboo you got, I do not care if you read what I write. That is not the point I or anyone makes. What is annoying about you is that you come here, there and everywhere, and hit us with comments without even the courtesy of reading the things that you comment on. That is really rude. We all get to take in your ideas (or whoever you are parroting today), but you never bother to take in ours.

    I have self-examined on the narcissism complaint, and I am not the final judge, but pursuit of gratification from admiration of one’s own attributes is not something I do, or at least I do not see it. I am not the best writer or thinker on the blogs. Others, Skink, for instance, do much better and more thorough work and ventures farther afield than I do. Kelly and Koehler have much more to offer on environmental issues. Kailey does really good NFL coverage. Budge was by far and away the best I’ve encountered.

    I do this day in and out because I enjoy it. Nothing more. When I put my fingers on the keyboard, I do not know what will result.

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