Why Politicians are Three Steps Removed from Truth

vangoghbedFirst there is God’s bed or the idea of a bed, and then the carpenter’s bed, made by someone who believes and pays attention to the idea, and then the artist’s bed, say Vincent Van Gogh’s.  The artist’s bed is just one way a bed might appear, depending on where and how you place the mirror of your imagination, and probably how clear or muddled your imagination is.  But even at its best and clearest, say the bed of Andrew Wyeth’s imagination, the bed of the painter is mirroring only one view — partial and incomplete and useless for design or sleeping — of the sturdy, useful, pleasant real bed made by the carpenter.

The artist’s imagination is three steps removed from the truth: God’s idea.  It is the person who uses the bed who knows what the thing is and what it is supposed to do.  So you have the knower of the truth (the user) of the bed; the maker, the carpenter who has the true opinion about it which he gets by listening to and believing in the one who knows, so making the thing correctly; and the artist is third, without any necessary connection to the truth of beds at all: the perspective of the artist may even be perverted or obscured.

This is the way I think about democracy.  First you have God’s idea or the idea of democracy and then the products of democracy (freedom, faith, personal responsibility, duty) made by the founders of democracy who have the true opinion about it which they get by believing and paying attention to God’s idea.  Then you have the citizen, the user of the products, the knower of truth, who knows what they are and what they’re supposed to do.  Finally, there is the politician who mirrors only his or her perspective on democracy based on their intuition and speculation.  Their theory of democracy determines what they observe, and they only observe those things that reinforce their theory and confirm it in their mind.  Eventually the politicians begin publicizing their theory as truth. Always forgotten is that fact that the politician’s theory is based on their intuitive and speculative interpretations of personal experiences without any necessary connection to the nature of democracy at all. 

The politician’s theory is three steps removed from the truth: God’s idea of democracy.  It is the citizen who uses democracy who knows what the thing is and what it is supposed to do.  So you have the knower of the truth (the citizen) of democracy; the makers, the founders of democracy who have the true opinion about it which they get by listening to and believing in the one who knows, so making the thing correctly; and the politician is third, without any necessary connection to the truth of democracy at all: the perspective of the politician may even be perverted or obscured.

Michael Michalko

 

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