Shots of Wit

A regular posting of witticisms, aphorisms, and general musings by Clifford Cohen.

Back room deals…

Why do the powerful always insist on having a “back story” to justify whatever they do? Why can’t they—just once—do something for the simple reason that it is the right thing to do, in itself, for reasons understood and accepted by all? In politics, laws are passed to secretly serve hidden agendas, for without such agendas many lawmakers would never find the motivation to support anything at all.

Back Story

I get it – for some politicians, backroom deals are part of the “fun” of being in politics. When I hear of a new piece of legislation being passed, the first question I ask myself is why they really managed to pass the legislation. Call me cynical, but all too often I see right through the “public facing” reasons given for the legislation to the likely actual reasons for it. It is rarely pretty. When leaders treat the public like idiots, that is galling enough, but not to speak openly about the true purpose of a new law (or the true reason behind a change in the law) is, well, downright criminal. To be fair, there have been many circumstances where changes to the law achieved altruistic aims (or as close to this as conceivably possible), and the politicians who championed the changes acted with great integrity and resolve. However, there is little excuse for any circumstance in which the opposite occurs. Yes, it is fun to be “in the know”, one of the “movers and shakers”, someone who understands how things “really are”—but such delight comes at the expense of transparency, decency, and integrity, and it threatens to undermine the very foundation upon which we all stand.

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