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ddude1116's avatar

In politics, is the result what matters most?

Asked by ddude1116 (5575points) April 4th, 2011

FDR did a lot to help this country, but he was a pretty crooked politician from what I’ve heard. Winston Churchill wasn’t any better. Also, the Kennedys were pretty corrupt, let’s face it, with all Jack’s affairs and Joe’s rigged elections. But all these men did a lot of good for their country (depending on your opinion, but I think so), does their corruption really matter because the outcome was good? Is it alright to use lies to paint the truth?

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14 Answers

gorillapaws's avatar

The Louisiana purchase was unconstitutional. I guess the ends justify the means at times, but it would be a hell-of-a-lot better if they were able to achieve the same ends without the corrupt means.

Taciturnu's avatar

Did you watch a House re-run tonight? The campaign manager used that quote.

The sad thing is, it’s hard to win and election without some sort of funny business. Elected officials are “bought” even if they run a straight and narrow campaign. Owing votes is a bigger problem to me, but I think those are just some very negative aspects of a “not-nearly-perfect-but-about-as-good-as-it-gets” system.

TexasDude's avatar

The problem with this is its hardly ever possible to guess what the ends are and it could go either way.

Lincoln suspended Habeus Corpus? Civil War won…

Stuff like that. Who knows? There may be historians way down the line that celebrate something Bush did that people were opposed to at the time. History is weird like that.

ziegler's avatar

I feel as if the government lying and being sneaky about information is not ok. It causes a lack of knowledge and thus causes ignorance. Ergo Americans are perceived as ignorant because of our lack of knowledge about foreign affairs, cultures, etc. Americans believe the American way is the right way, which might not always be the case, but we always act like it is.

ddude1116's avatar

@Taciturnu House rerun..?
And it could be better, not easily, but it’s possible. I think relying too much on these officials is our problem. Not everybody is going to be satisfied with them, but if people become more generous, and realize that it isn’t entirely about them, then we would eliminate the need for such damning things as corruption, and people would be left much to their own devices. Relying only on themselves and their neighbors.

KateTheGreat's avatar

As long as we’re taking a step forward and not a step back, I’m okay with it. Governmental corruption is inevitable. Corruption will find it’s way into things no matter what. Sure, it’d be great if we could get things solved without having to go about things the wrong way, but I’m pretty sure it won’t ever be able to happen that way again.

Taciturnu's avatar

@ddude1116 Yeah- The new med-student told the campaign manager that they thought his condition was affiliated with the consumption of unpasteurized cider. When the campaign manager wasn’t responding to her statement of knowing that he had the cider, she said “Aren’t you going to ask how we know you had unpasteurized cider?” The campaign manager said he knew that meant they broke into his house. When the med-student asked if he was upset about it, he said something to the effect of, “No. It’s like politics- Results matter, nothing else does.

PS- By “as good as it gets,” I meant of current gov’ts around the world

ziegler's avatar

Well obviously it would not be easy, but it would be worth it seeing as we would be relying on people we know personally and interact with and who we can tell what we think to. We would be heard easily and actions would be taken quickly. I feel as if there is a way to live without having a system of government in place at all.

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ddude1116's avatar

@Taciturnu is that the episode with Claire’s dad from Heroes, ‘cause if so I totally saw that one
but it seems to me so much, that politics relies on the ends justifying the means, and what I’m seeing now in all of politics is a verbal stalemate where the means are clogged with no end in sight (to bring this to today). But that seems so classic democracy, where it’s all a bunch of talking heads arguing, too worried about the money they’re making to give a damn about the people, and that itself is the cancer of government and politics.

jerv's avatar

You seem to assume that right and wrong have any place in politics. Until you let go of that delusion, you cannot understand the truth of the matter.

ddude1116's avatar

@jerv I’m aware that right and wrong have no place, but I don’t think the truth of politics is much of a good truth at all, there are too many grey areas that people misconstrue into things that are bad, or remain ignorant on the matter. Therefore big business reigns, and the people get screwed.

weeveeship's avatar

Politics is about the distribution of power. It is inherently hegemonic. As a hegemonic discourse, it invariably causes a disproportionate negative impact against the disempowered and the disenfranchised.

Getting to the heart of the question, of course, people want to see results. However, the bigger issue is the complexity of identity politics. Society is divided into many political groups based on a variety of socioeconomic factors, such as race, gender, religion, etc. Each group has its own identity and therefore seeks different outcomes. For instance, one group might want police to have more powers to protect the people. Another group might want police to have less powers to not infringe on fundamental civil liberties. Oftentimes, the group that has the final say is the group with more resources (e.g. money, but there are other factors).

mattbrowne's avatar

No, results are only an important part, especially when they are rather short term. What matters as well is political culture and the levels of participatory democracy, which also have a significant influence on long-term results.

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