What they really, really want

These days, the number of politicians without an agenda is right down there with the number of atheists in foxholes: there might actually be one now and then, but that’s not the way to bet.

Francis W. Porretto amplifies:

[A] candidate for public office wants that office and its powers, not the “good he could do with it.” Perhaps he’d use those powers to good effect, and perhaps he wouldn’t, but we must assume that the office, not his projected activities therein, is his true desire. From there it follows that his policy proposals, like his promises to various voting blocs and interest groups, are principally means to an end — and from there it follows that he’d never have articulated them, or the catchphrases with which he promotes them, if he thought they might cost him the election.

All political rhetoric must be viewed in this light, whether or not one approves of the people employing it or the policies they espouse.

It is well to remember that much raw power is wielded by the unelected, and the same rule can be assumed to apply: activists contrive to get themselves appointed to these positions, where they can inflict their wish lists on the rest of us.

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