Friday, May 9, 2014

His Concern For Cynicism Brings Out The Cynic In Me

George Nethercutt whiffs again as he swings for the fences in his latest commentary published in The Inlander. He feigns concern about "Millennials" not voting and their lack of trust in government. I say feign because Republicans don't want young people to vote anyway. Their base consists of elderly white people.

But George Nethercutt wants to make a point about public cynicism.

Likewise, Americans have generally lost faith in President Obama. His "trustworthiness" scores have diminished due largely to Obamacare promises unfulfilled, perceptions of dishonesty relating to the IRS and Benghazi controversies, and his drawing of false "red lines" internationally.  

What promises were unfulfilled? He does not say. He only makes an unsupported assertion and treats it as a fact. The Affordable Care Act was definitely not the best implemented legislation, but millions more of Americans have health care now and millions have more affordable health care. What negatives have outweighed the plusses? As for perceptions of dishonesty relating to the IRS and Benghazi controversies, these were perpetrated by Republican House members, especially Rep Darrell Issa, and Fox News. Leave it to George to allow the perceptions to stay in the forefront and ignore the facts that show that conservative organizations were not singled out by the IRS, there was no White House involvement, and there is no Benghazi cover up.

But George Nethercutt wants to make a point about public cynicism.

When a Republican congressman was recently photographed passionately kissing a staffer who was not his wife, public disgust ensued. When another Republican congressman was arrested and indicted on multiple fraud and tax evasion charges, the public was again let down. When a Democratic congressman claimed that opposition to Obama's policies are simply race-related, the public took issue and cynicism increased.

I'd like to add that public cynicism also increased when a certain Republican congressman, who now writes commentary for The Inlander, violated his self-imposed limit of three terms.

But George Nethercutt wants to make a point about public cynicism.

Researchers from Princeton and Northwestern universities recently suggested that the U.S. political system is an oligarchy, dominated by special interest organizations and the economically elite, instead of the majority of voters. President and Mrs. Obama haven't helped that perception by vacationing lavishly and spending extravagantly while the rest of America is hurting.

Vacationing lavishly? Spending extravagantly? What is the basis for those statements? What the researchers were referring to was the monied interests who get their way politically through their influence on legislation and the legislators. Elected leaders are not the oligarchy. It's the people and companies who purchase their influence.

So what does he recommend to get young people engaged?

For starters, the quality of congressional leaders needs improvement. Leaders should be elected to serve the public good, not personal ambitions.

Another baseless statement implying that congressional leaders are only interested in personal ambition. Unless, of course, you take into account that for many of them their primary concern is getting re-elected and so they spend an extraordinary amount of time raising money.

Members of Congress should convene advisory groups of young voters to advise them through social media outlets regarding their views on policy matters — and then those members should produce results by giving progress reports on suggestions implemented. Voters also should demand that their public officials periodically explain how their service has improved the public good and offer young people hands-on projects that achieve a public or policy objective. Fair competition also means frequent candidate debates.

If a politician is able to effectively communicate their message and their views, why would they need an advisory group of young people? Also, just because a politician uses social media, doesn't mean it they communicate effectively. Have you seen anything of substance in Cathy McMorris Rodgers' Facebook and Twitter accounts?

Progress reports? Really? I'm way too cynical to think any elected leader would give themselves anything but an A+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++.

Overall, I think George Nethercutt makes a valid point about public cynicism.

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