Sunday, September 13, 2009


One of the distressing features of our politics is the concept of "discipline" as it is applied to politicians in media and government.

If you stick to your message, no matter what, even when persuasive arguments or even verified facts contradict that message, without revising or varying to any degree in light of good information, this is considered "discipline." It means you are staying "on message" and showing "conviction."

What a perverse concept. Lying well is considered "discipline" and no one stands up to contradict that notion. What's wrong with us?

What about telling the truth to the best of one's ability, no matter what? Isn't that discipline? What about the hard work of discerning what will serve the public best, and then trying to make that happen? What about choosing public service again and again, resisting other temptations?

That idea is not celebrated. You can't write an op-ed suggesting such a thing without being laughed out of the editorial office.

And we don't even find that remarkable.


What are we?

1 comment:

Pam said...

What we are is locked into a political system where "the message" is the mantra. Get off message and you risk the wrath of your party.

The truth, Alg, usually always (in politics), falls somewhere in the middle, between the messages.