For most of history the attributes associated with political leadership were the command of language, personal integrity, and critical reasoning. Somehow all of that has been turned on its ear recently. Now the honored characteristics of leadership are rhetorical incoherence and blatant falsehoods, contempt for common decency, and a fuzzy sort of logic that deals in false equivalencies, straw man arguments, dismissive labeling, and a general disregard for risk/benefit analysis.

In the process of this change we are encouraged to accept that political language is irrelevant. Supposedly what a politicians says doesn’t matter. If we like his policies, we should ignore the words that surround and support that policy, even if they are hateful, divisive, and just plain untrue. If the supporting words are incoherent, that is strategic, making them deniable later if that denial better serves. If the supporting words endlessly repeat a lie, well eventually that repetition will make it the truth, which then becomes a form of logical persuasion and consensus building, in other words a necessary part of the democratic process.

Recommended for you

(2) comments


Your right rick. Keep your doctor, keep your insurance, having the IRS go after your opponents and no scandals during my administration. How about when the CIA goes to you and informs you that Hillary is about to launch a scheme about Russian collusion on her opponent to take the heat off herself over emails and the sitting President goes along with it. Talk about character? Really rick?


Mr. Crotts, you have done an exemplary job of outlining the Democratic leadership; now I suggest you right all these wrongs (and past voting mistakes) and vote for the Republican Party.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.