Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I gave a caveat on my political views before, but I now think it was incomplete, so let me restate it more fully. Please bear these in mind when reading political rants on this blog.

1. I'm not a political thinker by any stretch of the imagination.

2. I've seen my political views change enough in the past to render me suspicious of the ones I currently hold.

3. I see in my son certain personality traits that he obviously got from me. Many of my political beliefs are expressions of these innate traits. That means they do not stem from following the logic of an argument to its conclusion. In other words, some of my political inclinations appear to be held for non-rational reasons. (I see some of these traits in my sister's politics as well, but don't tell her. It'd make her head explode if she found out that we agree.)

4. I find politics offensive. I feel dirty for having to participate in the body politic by voting. I still vote because I think it's a civic and moral obligation, but I feel unclean for doing it. Thus I disagree with Aquinas that had the Fall of humankind never taken place, we would still need government. Rather I agree with Augustine that government is a necessary evil, necessitated by the Fall. As such, I tend to be very cynical about politics and politicians. Indeed, if there was a cynic political party, I'd join it -- although, I suspect that if you wanted to join, you wouldn't meet the membership requirements.

Update (6 Feb): 5. Here's another point I forgot. I don't really vote for candidates or political parties. I vote against them. When someone asks me if I voted for X or Y for President, my answer is, "Neither. I voted against Y."

Update (19 June): 6. The Dennis Moore Paradox.

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