The Language of Gridlock

Fight, fight, fight.

I was in Houston a couple of weeks ago, just before the city council election. There was an ad in the paper for a Tea Party candidate who said he was going to “fight” for the people of Houston. Last week Andy Beshear, son of Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, announced that he was going to run for Attorney General. In doing so he said he was going to “fight” for the people of Kentucky.

When we elect people who promise to “fight” for us, how can we be surprised when all they do is fight? How can we be surprised by the endless fighting in Washington, over just about everything, when the people we vote for promised to fight? Aren’t they just fulfilling their campaign promise?

Why is it a fight? Why is governing a “fight”? Shouldn’t governing be about rationally addressing issues, and working to solve them? I realize that there are matters of principle, and some principles are so important that they should not be compromised. I also recognize that even politicians should be willing to take a stand on principle, but the reality is that those issues are probably pretty few and far between. Most of the matters of governing are rather mundane, and probably only rarely implicate issues that can be considered matters of principle.

I understand that when politicians say they are going to “fight,” most of the time they are really saying that they are going to work tirelessly. Why can’t they just say that? And why can’t the voters see through this nonsense?

There’s a reason why our politics are stupid. It’s because our politicians talk like their stupid. It’s because political consultants and speech writers and advisers tell them to talk like their stupid. And, unfortunately, it’s because we keep electing people who talk like their stupid. If we want to stop the stupid maybe we should elect people who don’t talk like, and act like, they’re stupid.

Author: Mike

I am a patent attorney in Lexington, Kentucky. My law firm web site is I ran for State Representative in 2010 and lost in the primary. Many of these posts are based on writing that I did for that election. Rather than delete it all, I decided to dump it onto the internet.

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