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Surfing The Wave, Or Making One's Wave?

Surfing The Wave

1) Introduction

Let's imagine a country, a completely crazy country where 48% of citizens want to exterminate all Jews in concentration camps, 48% of citizens want to hang all Blacks, and 2% of the population considers that all men have the same inviolable human dignity, whether Jew, Black, etc.

If that imaginary country was a democracy, and you were part of that 2% that respects human dignity, how could you get elected?

I claim you would not have a choice: to get elected, you would either need to lie, or educate.

In a democracy, politicians don't have the choice. They can "surf the wave" of public opinion, or explain their good principles to the people, so that the people will also want to follow those good principles.

2) What does a politician who is "surfing the wave" look like?

It's rather easy to detect a politician who's "surfing the wave". Here are a few clues:

2.1) A political party named according to a classification of voter's customs. Men are intelligent beings endowed with free-will. But men are also creatures strongly influenced by their customs. We can try to classify those customs. For example, in Politics, there is often a division between "conservatives" and "liberals". Note that it isn't a classification based on a moral or economic principle, but based on a general trend of customs, of what these people are accustomed to doing, thinking, feeling.

2.2) A web site designed to entertain, not edify. A web site for a political party that has a tendency to "surf the wave" will be designed to entertain visitors, to have its audience have fun, to flatter emotions.

2.3) A big budget for opinion polls. Of course, if you want to surf a wave you didn't make, you need to find out in which direction it's going!

2.4) No written commitments. If you want to surf all future waves, whatever they may be, you can't commit yourself in writing to go in one direction rather than another. You can't know in which direction a wave will be, before that wave even exists! (See among others Political Anecdote #1)

2.5) Figure skating during press conferences. Have you ever been to a press conference where journalists ask specific questions to "wave-surfing" politicians? What spectacular artistic talent, when they answer the questions, without answering the questions!

Etc., etc...

3) What does a principle-based politician look like?

A few clues:

3.1) A party name that has some intellectual and moral content. A good politician tends to become a member of a political party that seeks some kind of objective, rather than some category of emotions or customs.

3.2) An educative website. By definition, a good politician tries to "make his own wave" which goes in the right direction, in order to then surf it. See #3.4 of How To Make A Web Site For A Political Party: Part 2.

3.3) A big budget for education. A good party will try to train and educate its members as well as the general public.

3.4) Written commitments. If you want to be a real leader, you have to lead citizens toward a noble goal. This goal can't change like a wind vane! (Of course, the means to that end might vary somewhat with changing circumstances, but the goal itself will remain fixed.) Members of that party will therefore have to embrace a certain minimum of clear principles. See among others The CHP Pledge: Good Or Bad?

3.5) Plain English. A good politician opens his mouth to make himself understood, not to cultivate ambiguity.

Etc., etc...

4) Conclusion

If citizens were automatically all born wise, then demagogy would be impossible. There would never be any difference between the desires of voters, and the true Common Good. But citizens aren't bricks. A brick is what it is, nothing else. But citizens are very "flexible", they can be good, or bad, or somewhere in between. Moreover, all citizens are born completely ignorant and devoid of virtue (and some remain somewhat that way all their lives!). A politician must take people where they are, and raise them to the level where God wants them to be.

Honest and intelligent politicians refuse to surf waves that are headed in a direction that is bad for their Country. They have the patience and nobility to make their own good wave!

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