Clueless politicians, elected by the ignorant, keep messing up 

There is no shortage of cliches that apply to politicians who commit totally foolish actions of misconduct. But the overriding common thread is a shocking ignorance of history flavored by just plain stupidity.

How do such people get into positions of influence? Alas, there is no answer to that except to note that the enemy is us — an electorate equally as handicapped in its judgment. How shocked we always are at someone we had believed was “smarter than that.”

Take the former hot dog Anthony Weiner, a take-no-prisoners hitman for the Democrats in the Obamacare wars. His gift for verbal assassination had boosted him into a prominent place in his party’s firmament. Anything was going to be possible, mayor of New York, the state’s governorship, maybe even president.

But that was before his weakness for showing off his physicality to women was discovered and his erasure took only a relatively few days. What was he thinking? Obviously he wasn’t, which often seems true when one gets caught up in his own arrogance and self-importance.

It isn’t as though the historic consequence of this kind of behavior is obscure. Yet he, as so many to whom we have given our votes, failed to learn anything.

Then there is the matter of an indictment of two prominent campaign aides allegedly intent on winning back Maryland’s statehouse for former Republican Gov. Thomas Ehrlich Jr., apparently at any cost. It has been nearly 40 years since Watergate, but a plan that almost could have originated back then was established to dampen the turnout of the black vote in key districts.

State prosecutors charge that on the last day of the election, robo-calls were made to black voters telling them to relax, the Democrats already had won and there was no need to rush to the polls.

Both cases demonstrate an extraordinary dimwittedness that appears more and more prevalent among those we chose to represent us. I personally don’t find it all that surprising after watching Americans being interviewed by a television street crew the other day. Those stopped were asked the most basic questions about our system of government but couldn’t answer.

Therefore, it is no wonder that with such a lack of historic perspective, those we entrust to lead us or conduct our elections ethically so frequently let us down.

Dan K. Thomasson is a former editor of the Scripps Howard News Service.

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Dan K. Thomasson

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