I don’t understand politics. I mean, I sort of understand how government works, and I understand economics, also in a decidedly lay-mans kind of way.
What I don’t understand are politicians. The people, the way they do (or don’t do) things, and the mind-boggling childish behaviour they exhibit.
Left/Right/Centre, Tories/Social-Democrats/Liberals it’s all too hard. And how about the “Grand Old Party” – the Republicans – their mascot is an elephant: a slow moving beast that is so inefficient it digests less than 50% of what it eats… OK, now I get it.
And I won’t let the Democrats off the hook: they have a donkey as their mascot. Seriously? An Ass defines them?
So here’s what I don’t get. Let’s start with the United States. OK, so they have 2 main parties, Republicans and Democrats. The party that is not incumbent in the White House chooses their leader in an exhaustive selection process called the “Primaries”. It’s called that because all of the candidate’s time is spent “primarily” on publically destroying the other candidates.
Take Hillary and Barack. In 2008, this is what Hillary had to say about Barack:
“Shame on you”
“Alot of talk, no action”
But then he got the nod, was elected, and suddenly, according to Hillary:
“I’m a proud supporter of Barack Obama”
“We are on the same team”
“I support President Obama in the difficult work that lies ahead.”
In Australia, there is an unequivocal and clear choice of leaders – neither of them. We have a Prime Minister who is fast and loose with the truth, and an opposition guy who is quite seriously, a ‘class A’ idiot. In Australia, parliament is no better than a schoolyard. Both sides of politics spend their days trading insults. Policy or robust debate is but a distant dream for the Australian electorate.
In Britain, politicians seem to spend equal amounts of time either in drag, or committing “sexual indiscretions” with big-breasted staff. Invariably, of course, they are “deeply sorry” for getting caught making such a poor, isolated, moral choice.
In France, some politicians actually don’t sleep around or have multiple affairs. They are invariably sacked. That’s just not the French way. It’s also all about fashion and style. The 1.6-meter ex-President Sarkozy wore platform shoes and the incumbent First Lady (and the First Mistress) are judged solely on their stiletto choices.
It might be a tired cliché, but oh so true: when it comes to politics, the lunatics truly are running the asylum.