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Are voters to blame or Politicians?

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Free speech is being lost in the west due to militants threatening force against citizens who speak out against them. It's a travesty of justice.
I blame the ordinary voters in these countries for not standing up to defend the freedom of speech. It does not even require physical courage, merely strong convictions applied when voting.
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It does not even require physical courage, merely strong convictions applied when voting.

Just genuinely curious...whom do you think citizens/subjects should've voted for to preserve our free speech rights? :rolleyes: Voting is a joke. All the candidates are awful and want to control our bodies, brains or both.

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Just genuinely curious...whom do you think citizens/subjects should've voted for to preserve our free speech rights? :huh: Voting is a joke. All the candidates are awful and want to control our bodies, brains or both.
Sorry Kelly, I should have said "present company excepted". :) Seriously, I'd make that exception much broader to include a fair number of voters who would vote pretty well if given the choice.

Nevertheless, the blame lies with the vast majority of voters for the following two reasons:

  • for some: their demands for the wrong things, allows the wrong politicians to arise, to pander to them
  • for others: their ignorance or apathy allows the wrong groups of voters and politicians to hold sway

Many of these voters are quite reasonable in many ways, but they have the wrong political philosophy. Still, whether through ignorance or not, they want the wrong things from their politicians.

For example, if a vast majority of voters wanted their politicians to stay away from gun-control, I doubt the issue would get much traction. It is the ideology of the voting public that is key.

Or take the issue of abortion. Imagine that 80% of voters wanted the government to stay out of it. In such a situation, only a few maverick politicians would still insist the government ought to control it.

Or take my city that put a bond issue to vote a few years ago, to spend a few extra million on some parks. The ballot passed. So, it is not just politicians who want to take money from X to spend on things that are "good for everybody". This is a standard political philosophy of the average voter.

All said and done, in a democracy -- with some short-term exceptions -- people get the government they deserve. Not all of us deserve it, but the majority do.

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Also, a representative government isn't just some bizarre institution that obscurely governs and makes decisions upon it's citizens behave like an involuntary organ that exists for the sole purpose of carrying whatever duty it was created to do. A representative government is the manifestation of the general ethics of the populace, for they are the ones truly in power in a Republic. Even if their only options for politicians were horrible, they could demand better ones if they cared enough to take to the streets and protest for their convictions but they don't. The sad truth is just simply that most citizens don't care about ideas. True intellectuals only encompass a small minority of the general population, the rest are to concern for direct material needs to even care. Our government composed of bipartisan anti-ideological morons could just be a representation of that attitude.

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I think there is a false sense that voters get to select their leaders. In truth the selection is made long before there is an election by the delegates of the parties. They get to select who the average voter is allowed to vote for. All the average voter gets to do is select the "best"/least objectionable of a very limited talent pool.

For Objectivists there is no way to have a voice in the selection of the limited choices unless you swallow your principals and become a card carrying member of one of the parties, because there are no politicians today espousing lassiez faire capitalism. Even if there were, a true capitalist would not have a snowball's chance to get selected as the candidate in either of the American parties, or any party I'm aware of in any Democracy today.

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