combat writing badge C O M B A T
the Literary Expression of Battlefield Touchstones
ISSN 1542-1546 Volume 01 Number 03 Summer ©Jul 2003

Lying Politician is a Tautology

"You can tell when a politician is lying because his lips are moving!"
anonymous graffito
"Nothing political is correct."
anonymous graffito

Their histrionics are utterly absurd! I don't mean to offend anybody ... but I'm terribly offended! Who do they think they are?!

I'm sorry if your feelings are hurt, but given the fact that most people don't vote, it doesn't make sense to send people in uniform to defend that right! Having fought for your voting rights, I'm particularly offended that most people are irresponsible in casting their ballots! And, after electing a candidate because he's attractive, or she's the right sex or race or religion, these people blithely disassociate themselves from the results of their selection! Our local undertakings, national prestige, and international relations are too important to be entrusted to people who make their living deceiving and exploiting the public!

Let's not mince words in expressing these truths. In primitive cultures, the misfit becomes the shaman; but in modern societies, the misfits become politicians! Identifying these glad-handers as slick salesmen does the sales profession a disservice, since pols only trade in promises, favors, and other intangibles ... and they are never taken to task for failing to fulfill their campaign promises! Unlike physicians, who at least entertain their patients while nature takes its course; these contortionists create issues where they have no authority to remedy them, and take credit whenever the issues resolve themselves! And unlike genuine service professions, where firefighters and policemen demonstrate their convictions in every aspect of their work; pols take stands which are immaterial to their office or jurisdiction. Inventing controversies and exaggerating circumstances is simply another method of attracting attention for self-aggrandizement. Their intent is not to solve problems, but to sustain name recognition for the gullible voters.

These putative public servants believe they're smarter than other people, which is why they think they should direct our private lives! They also believe they are more capable than regular folks, who actually possess real-life skills beyond the artificial abilities of officeholders ... but, in a sense, they're correct; because they have succeeded in their aspiration to positions of control and influence at public expense. No pol ever gives the public anything, but merely returns a portion of what has already been taken, while retaining power over its distribution, and collecting a livelihood for this maladministration. Giving lip-service has become a lucrative career for public sector wheeler-dealers lacking any other vital occupation. In common with other public servants, military personnel do not personally profit from their altruistic pledge, except by a wealth of infirmities and a plentitude of rich memories. The opulence of pols is renown, even when their origins were unpretentious, but each of these sanctimonious hypocrites is quick to lambaste any colleague caught pilfering the public trust. The clear message is not be above reproach, but don't get caught!

Given that war is a climactic dispute over irreconcilable differences by otherwise honorable men, it is ironic that most combat veterans hold harmless their opponents. The enemy, pledged to defend hearth and homeland, is not unlike oneself. However, the blame for every war is invariably laid upon the politicians who contrived or compelled the confrontation. There will always be accidents and incidents in war which the combatant regrets, but the cause for escalating an inevitable conflict into a violent crisis devolves upon the politician who has substituted brawn for brains. Unlike the irretrievable mistakes of battle, political errors are usually repairable. Political machinations undertaken on behalf of some abstraction often require the latest iteration of Alexander's solution to the intricate complexities of the Gordian Knot. Bleeding a people into acquiescence is never pleasant, but the sunshine incumbents usually manage to suffer the least, while brandishing their patriotic bravado.

Entrusting our national pride to pettifogging scoundrels and pompous liars invites desecration. But since most pols are either masochistic toadies or shameless egomaniacs, nonpartisan or indiscriminate bashing of them is only a form of negative reinforcement ... since they can't learn self-control, they must be defeated. Abandoning the welfare of the nation to them is a travesty. Our commonweal is too precious to be squandered by greedy men. As practitioners of the Big Lie and conquest by division, their credo is How can we fool them today? They manipulate by popularizing ideals ... false, dilute, and otherwise ... which are jettisoned whenever more opportune prospects for tampering arise. They will say whatever they think the public wants to hear, and variously posture in every guise, from progressive and conservative to apostate and iconoclast, in their bid for power ... all except abdication.

Given its late promotion, it must seem heretical to disclaim the democratic panacea for all social ills; but democracy, with its compulsive reduction to the lowest common denominator, is not only not the best form of government, but is only representative of the fact that any accepted system can be made to function adequately. Dogmatically asserting that power rests with the people as a nebulous evocation of ubiquitous egalitarianism, a thesis easily disproved, is no more axiomatic than the divine right of monarchs or the regenerate might makes right tyranny. Because popularity is not a warrant, anything morally debase or militarily incorrect cannot be redeemed by popular support. The vaunted American democracy, which is proliferating with the extension of consumerism, is actually federal republicanism; wherein voters get to endorse the acts of electors and representatives before the fact of their actions. A similar tokenism exists in the jury verdicts regulated by supervening laws. Numerous politicians attest the political reality of constituent popularity, in regulation and legislation of both foreign and domestic policies; but factions and principles are also alleged to rule decisions.

It is often declared that the people will always support just wars; but the citizenry is irredeemably fickle in its affections. This sentiment is depicted by the cynical phrase: What have you done for me lately? ... and with shorter attention spans and increased irresponsibility, the spastic public is apt to abandon an ally out of boredom! If the justification is too complex, or the intelligentsia redacts the evidence, the public may contest what they just endorsed. Popular impatience is usually exacerbated by a duplicitous press which has its own agenda to promote. As recent history has repeatedly shown, political ideology, like religious conviction, has a higher value than truth! ... and, of course, the definition of truth then becomes subject to interpretation.

From time to time, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary to change our form of government. Most of these historic changes have been symbolic, some have been substantial; but most have replaced a bad system with a worse system ... and scholars agree that the jury is still reserving judgement on the American revolution. Suffice it to say that ideas are not responsible for the people who misrepresent and exploit them! The mass of contradictory licenses attempting to pass as pluralism or eclecticism is more and more resembling homogenization ... that is, flouting our superficiality and curtailing all unanimity that confounds heterodox diversity. Like old wine in new bottles, the new orthodoxy is just the revisionistic old orthodoxy. There is no preferred alternative, given human nature, since the manipulators will eventually find a way to corrupt the improved methodology. We could easily function under some form of aristocracy, meritocracy, or anarchy. It has even been proposed that enfranchisement be restricted to combat veterans who've been honorably discharged from the armed forces; but a brief survey of soldier politicians should dissuade anyone of its efficacy ... in fact, any military cross-section, from yardbirds and goldbricks to hot-dogs and sweat-hogs, should categorically disprove that proposition!

All politicians fundamentally believe that, because they know what's best for everyone else, they should be empowered to act on their projections. Before their pronouncements have become stale, they will be contradicted; and at the same time our trusted leaders are promising peace in our time, they are planning for another war. If the public is persuaded by all of the political verbiage, then they are complicit in their own enslavement. Political profundities and pontifications cannot manumit anyone! Given the pol's tendency to say anything for attention, making or ending peace, starting or stopping war is insufficient if this illusory affray or chimerical fracas does not make the public content ... if the result does not assuage the people. The fact is that soldiers don't make wars; they finish the ones that pols have ineptly started.

People should be appropriately skeptical of gift horses. The same people who give unemployment benefits or infrastructural repairs to the public are also bestowing retirement benefits and prosecutorial immunity upon themselves. If political discourse can be dismissed as mere political rhetoric, then accommodation is intractable. Just as fools give reasons that belie their wisdom, so the authenticity of accounts cannot be guaranteed not to change, not to become untrue or invalid. The politicos who bear gifts cannot restore what the unleashed dogs of war have deliberately destroyed ... and like the restoration of Humpty Dumpty, neither can these politician revive dead soldiers for their mourning families. If the pols lack discipline and the public lacks restraint, then the necessary controls will be inconsistent and unnatural.

Our post-modern society, where living laws are endlessly reinterpreted, imposes artificial reality upon its denizens. The radicals at the political extremes effectively negate each other, and ostensibly counterbalance the mass of inconsequential middlings. But human nature being no better than it must be, voters would readily accede to terminal debates by contending political candidates ... giving a literal meaning to the injunction for the best man to win! They would, in fact, buy tickets to watch a gladiatorial resolution of contentious issues! So if the imposed reality is unacceptable, then it is incumbent that a new reality be made ... as a cloistered venue or an alternative lifestyle. If the institution of a respectful moment of silence infringes upon one's rights, then one has the privilege of absentation ... not of imposition. If one has the right not to be offended, then one also has the obligation not to offend. Just as every person has the right to express themselves, so every other person has the right to knock them down for their expression! Just as your freedom to swing your fist stops at my nose, so the freedom of my nose stops at your door.

Since ancient times, we've been cautioned about our overweening vanity, and yet we still presume discriminations based upon earned authority ... I've paid my dues. If such arrogations are not, and perhaps ought not be acknowledged, then disparate definitions or divergent parameters must be set for adoption. Unlike the factitious posturings of unregenerate political self-promoters, true Last Stands are always unimpressive ... being a modest setting which acquired its remarkable reputation from self-sacrificing men. If we can imbue ourselves with such irrevocable values, then our successors may inculcate them. Our personal example of humility, in war and peace, is all we can offer anyone. It's our only redeeming chance.

by Wolfram Landsknecht
... who is a retired soldier, outdoor guide, and freelance writer.