Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 27

Thread: Do politicians actually know the state of the nation?

  1. Top | #1
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    United States-Texas
    Posts
    445
    Archived
    2,285
    Total Posts
    2,730
    Rep Power
    42

    Do politicians actually know the state of the nation?

    Hello,

    As much as politicians lie and are lied to by people working for them, or interest groups telling them lies, ect. is it even possible for a politican to ascertain the true state of the nation?

  2. Top | #2
    Contributor rousseau's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Canada's London
    Posts
    5,244
    Archived
    9,514
    Total Posts
    14,758
    Rep Power
    31
    Yes, when they're a competent human being it shouldn't be much of a problem.

  3. Top | #3
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    3,247
    Archived
    11,319
    Total Posts
    14,566
    Rep Power
    51
    Except for may the current ones, they do. But remember will have a diverse country so there are no single answers and the politicians believe they have answers.

  4. Top | #4
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    10,508
    Archived
    42,293
    Total Posts
    52,801
    Rep Power
    68
    Politicians are like everyone else. Their perceptions are filtered through their biases and the groups of people that they have around them, as well as their having the general tendency to assume that whatever opinions and positions that they have are basically the mainstream and sensible view.

    I remember that Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (who likely has an actual name of her own) was once on the Bill Maher show and she was going on about how she travels around the country and finds that Americans everywhere tend to be conservative people of faith, despite how the media accounts of the country would tell us differently. Maher responded that this is just because those are the people who tend to talk to her and it's no different than he finds that the country is populated by sarcastic liberals, except that he doesn't make the mistake of thinking he's getting a representative sample.

    It's the same with politicians. GOP ones tend to interact with the Republican voters in their districts more often and Dem ones tend to interact with the Democratic ones, along with their having hired people who share their political philosophies so they get a bubble effect in the office. They all probably think they know the state of the union, but their perception of that state is generally a skewed one.

  5. Top | #5
    Contributor rousseau's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Canada's London
    Posts
    5,244
    Archived
    9,514
    Total Posts
    14,758
    Rep Power
    31
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Politicians are like everyone else. Their perceptions are filtered through their biases and the groups of people that they have around them, as well as their having the general tendency to assume that whatever opinions and positions that they have are basically the mainstream and sensible view.

    I remember that Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (who likely has an actual name of her own) was once on the Bill Maher show and she was going on about how she travels around the country and finds that Americans everywhere tend to be conservative people of faith, despite how the media accounts of the country would tell us differently. Maher responded that this is just because those are the people who tend to talk to her and it's no different than he finds that the country is populated by sarcastic liberals, except that he doesn't make the mistake of thinking he's getting a representative sample.

    It's the same with politicians. GOP ones tend to interact with the Republican voters in their districts more often and Dem ones tend to interact with the Democratic ones, along with their having hired people who share their political philosophies so they get a bubble effect in the office. They all probably think they know the state of the union, but their perception of that state is generally a skewed one.
    But if you're a competent politician you recognize that you have biases and attempt to see situations objectively despite your bubble.

    You might not get the correct picture, but you'll get far closer than the politician who doesn't even realize he's in a bubble.

    Then there are politicians who have no motivation to see things clearly, they just want to look out for special interests.

  6. Top | #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    3,247
    Archived
    11,319
    Total Posts
    14,566
    Rep Power
    51
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Politicians are like everyone else. Their perceptions are filtered through their biases and the groups of people that they have around them, as well as their having the general tendency to assume that whatever opinions and positions that they have are basically the mainstream and sensible view.

    I remember that Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (who likely has an actual name of her own) was once on the Bill Maher show and she was going on about how she travels around the country and finds that Americans everywhere tend to be conservative people of faith, despite how the media accounts of the country would tell us differently. Maher responded that this is just because those are the people who tend to talk to her and it's no different than he finds that the country is populated by sarcastic liberals, except that he doesn't make the mistake of thinking he's getting a representative sample.

    It's the same with politicians. GOP ones tend to interact with the Republican voters in their districts more often and Dem ones tend to interact with the Democratic ones, along with their having hired people who share their political philosophies so they get a bubble effect in the office. They all probably think they know the state of the union, but their perception of that state is generally a skewed one.
    But if you're a competent politician you recognize that you have biases and attempt to see situations objectively despite your bubble.

    You might not get the correct picture, but you'll get far closer than the politician who doesn't even realize he's in a bubble.

    Then there are politicians who have no motivation to see things clearly, they just want to look out for special interests.
    But what if that special interest lies with your belief? It's more of an issue when you don't go with what you said but are bought or influenced.

  7. Top | #7
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    10,508
    Archived
    42,293
    Total Posts
    52,801
    Rep Power
    68
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Politicians are like everyone else. Their perceptions are filtered through their biases and the groups of people that they have around them, as well as their having the general tendency to assume that whatever opinions and positions that they have are basically the mainstream and sensible view.

    I remember that Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (who likely has an actual name of her own) was once on the Bill Maher show and she was going on about how she travels around the country and finds that Americans everywhere tend to be conservative people of faith, despite how the media accounts of the country would tell us differently. Maher responded that this is just because those are the people who tend to talk to her and it's no different than he finds that the country is populated by sarcastic liberals, except that he doesn't make the mistake of thinking he's getting a representative sample.

    It's the same with politicians. GOP ones tend to interact with the Republican voters in their districts more often and Dem ones tend to interact with the Democratic ones, along with their having hired people who share their political philosophies so they get a bubble effect in the office. They all probably think they know the state of the union, but their perception of that state is generally a skewed one.
    But if you're a competent politician you recognize that you have biases and attempt to see situations objectively despite your bubble.

    You might not get the correct picture, but you'll get far closer than the politician who doesn't even realize he's in a bubble.

    Then there are politicians who have no motivation to see things clearly, they just want to look out for special interests.
    Yes, I imagine that pretty much all of them want to see things objectively despite their bubble, just like pretty much everyone on this site wants to see things objectively, despite their bubble. Sometimes they fail spectacularly at that, though, and sometimes they only fail a little bit, which still gives them a skewed view of things.

    We all think that our positions are the sensible and mainstream ones and we're all subject to a confirmation bias where we, even unconsciously, pay more attention to those things which reinforce our beliefs. When there is so much diversity of thought and opinion out there and it's very hard, if not impossible, to truly nail down what an actual mainstream opinion on a topic might be and strong arguments could be made that any one of several conflicting ones are that, there's no real reason to assume that one of the non-sensible choices is the mainstream one as opposed to it being the sensible one that you already have because you're just so darned smart and level-headed.

  8. Top | #8
    Contributor rousseau's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Canada's London
    Posts
    5,244
    Archived
    9,514
    Total Posts
    14,758
    Rep Power
    31
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post

    But if you're a competent politician you recognize that you have biases and attempt to see situations objectively despite your bubble.

    You might not get the correct picture, but you'll get far closer than the politician who doesn't even realize he's in a bubble.

    Then there are politicians who have no motivation to see things clearly, they just want to look out for special interests.
    Yes, I imagine that pretty much all of them want to see things objectively despite their bubble, just like pretty much everyone on this site wants to see things objectively, despite their bubble. Sometimes they fail spectacularly at that, though, and sometimes they only fail a little bit, which still gives them a skewed view of things.

    We all think that our positions are the sensible and mainstream ones and we're all subject to a confirmation bias where we, even unconsciously, pay more attention to those things which reinforce our beliefs. When there is so much diversity of thought and opinion out there and it's very hard, if not impossible, to truly nail down what an actual mainstream opinion on a topic might be and strong arguments could be made that any one of several conflicting ones are that, there's no real reason to assume that one of the non-sensible choices is the mainstream one as opposed to it being the sensible one that you already have because you're just so darned smart and level-headed.
    I don't think this is true.

    Most politicians key skills are social performance and lying to get what they want, not being genuinely thoughtful. If you can get a cross of the two consider yourself lucky.

  9. Top | #9
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    10,508
    Archived
    42,293
    Total Posts
    52,801
    Rep Power
    68
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post

    I don't think this is true.

    Most politicians key skills are social performance and lying to get what they want, not being genuinely thoughtful. If you can get a cross of the two consider yourself lucky.
    I agree with you that they're very good at lying to get what they want. However, there is a reason that they want these things. For a large number of them, that reason is because they think that they are good things. The drive to lower tax rates is not simply because they are bought off by rich people who want to keep more of their money but also because they believe that the argument that this will stimulate the economy and help out everybody. The drive for affirmative action laws is not simply because a bunch of politicians have been put on the NAACP's payroll but because they honestly believe that minorities are disadvantaged in the workplace and need a leg up simply to even the playing field (Asians not included - check your local regulations).

    They think that these are good positions. When there are strong arguments being made both for and against those positions and it's difficult to sway people from one side to the other, the tendency is focus on the arguments which confirm what you already believe. As objective as one wants to be, if looking at something objectively still leaves one with inconclusive results, another way of viewing that is that you haven't been given a good reason to change your mind and what you thought before has things to validate how correct you were.

  10. Top | #10
    Contributor rousseau's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Canada's London
    Posts
    5,244
    Archived
    9,514
    Total Posts
    14,758
    Rep Power
    31
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post

    I don't think this is true.

    Most politicians key skills are social performance and lying to get what they want, not being genuinely thoughtful. If you can get a cross of the two consider yourself lucky.
    I agree with you that they're very good at lying to get what they want. However, there is a reason that they want these things. For a large number of them, that reason is because they think that they are good things. The drive to lower tax rates is not simply because they are bought off by rich people who want to keep more of their money but also because they believe that the argument that this will stimulate the economy and help out everybody. The drive for affirmative action laws is not simply because a bunch of politicians have been put on the NAACP's payroll but because they honestly believe that minorities are disadvantaged in the workplace and need a leg up simply to even the playing field (Asians not included - check your local regulations).

    They think that these are good positions. When there are strong arguments being made both for and against those positions and it's difficult to sway people from one side to the other, the tendency is focus on the arguments which confirm what you already believe. As objective as one wants to be, if looking at something objectively still leaves one with inconclusive results, another way of viewing that is that you haven't been given a good reason to change your mind and what you thought before has things to validate how correct you were.
    I feel you're giving politicians too much credit for their likely intentions.

    If these people had genuinely good policy in mind, and not political points, or whatever special interest, then they would seek out and discover what good policy was.

    In the U.S. we have an entire federal party attempting to repeal health-care law for really.. no reason at all. If they were committed to discovering effective bipartisan solutions they could easily do so.

    It's because they're either demagogues or idiots, not because they're blinded from finding the truth.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •