We Don’t Actually Want Consistent Politicians

Lane Crothers has some really interesting thoughts on George McGovern, who passed away a few days ago.

Those who aren’t politics geeks like me probably have heard his name in passing, but he was a liberal’s liberal who lost to Richard Nixon in the worst way ever.

Crothers’s point, and I think it’s sound, is that we claim that we want consistent, ideological politicians who honestly believe and stand up for their principles. But the fact of the matter is, we don’t. When those types of candidates are presented to us, we ridicule them and pretend that they have no shot. Not because we don’t like them, mind you. We’re good [insert political affiliation of choice]. It’s those other people who don’t believe in the cause enough that would never vote for this person, so why waste our vote and time?

Whatever we say about wanting ideologically pure, politically consistent political leaders, the simple truth is: we don’t. We crush them, mock them (think Denis Kucinich) or commit the greatest crime of all — we ignore them (Jill Stein, Gary Johnson).


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