EditorialsKevin King

Editorial: American kakistocracy


By Kevin King –
Managing Editor

The Greeks had a term called kakistocracy, which meant a government by the worst of men. It can also be defined as a government by the least qualified. Most of you already see where this is going. You may skip ahead to the clever cartoon on this page if you wish. Everyone else, let’s take a look at the American kakistocracy.

When was the last time you saw any politician excelling at their job? From the White House to City Hall, there seem to be a lot of unqualified people making some important decisions. People who have never run a business are setting rules on how businesses should run. Country Club members are writing farm bills. And who can forget those funded by the very industries they ‘regulate’? It seems there are a lot of unfit folks affecting the lives of everyone else.

Take a look at these quotes from just the first two months of 2013:

“We don’t need to be having something like sequestration that’s going to cause these jobs losses, over 170 million jobs that could be lost” – CA Congresswoman Maxine Waters. (There are roughly 150 million Americans employed total).

“Well, you know, my shotgun will do better for you than your AR-15, because you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door” – VP Joe Biden.

During a speech on the floor of the House, “I stand here as a freed slave.” – TX Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee

“Suppose somebody had a loaded gun and dropped it and it went off and shot some kid?” Asheville City Councilman Cecli Bothwell commenting on a Second Amendment rally.

What sort of future is there for a country when its leaders hold those beliefs? Are the best and brightest in office? Or is it only those who think they are the best and brightest? Perhaps it’s neither.

America needs more people with experience making decisions that require experience. Many people reading this right now believe that they could do a better job than their current representative, and they are probably correct.

It seems that a lack of humility might be the culprit of this epidemic. When important decisions needed to be made, people used to consult experts because they admitted they weren’t an expert on the subject. Now, politicians claim to be experts in every subject. When was the last time you heard a politician answer a question with, “I’m not sure how that works, I’ll ask someone about that?”

Instead, politicians use Wikipedia to quickly learn everything they need to know, and subsequently blog their professional opinion on the subject. Oddly enough, Wikipedia is probably correct more often than most elected leaders.

Regardless of the reasons why, it is undoubtedly true that America is being run by the least qualified to do so. At least the next time someone brings up that America is a democracy, you can correct them and say, “no, we are a kakistocracy.”

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