Sunday, October 16, 2011

Understanding Politics Made Easy

~With all this #occupywallstreet stuff going on, the average citizen is once again being thrust into the middle of the political scrum. But politics is constructed in such a way as to utterly confuse and confound those who do not know its arcane rules and rituals.

Therefore, as a Public Service, I have made this simple guide to understanding how politics works. Now 'simple' does not mean 'easy'. This method involves homework. But trust me that if one sticks to this simple construct, all will be made clear in due course.

This construct consists of just five words. That's all: five words. These five words are actually two quotes from a pair of veteran players in the cutthroat politics of legalistic republics.

Cue bono [pro; Q-E bono] These first two words are a question, Latin for To whose benefit? They come from a speech by Cicero, who in turn was quoting the respected Roman consul and censor Lucius Cassius. This was twenty one centuries ago and it has since entered the language of modern jurisprudence. But it also fits perfectly for following politics. After all, the Romans did found the first Great Republic of Lawyers.

Follow the money. These last three words are an instruction. They were uttered by “Deepthroat” to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein when they were investigating the Watergate coverup. And 'following the money' blew the entire Nixon administration wide open. “Deepthroat” turned out to be Mark Felt, an Associate Director at the FBI. Mr. Felt was also a lawyer, as was nearly everyone involved in the scandal.

So, five words: “Who benefits?”-“Follow the money.” Like I said, 'simple'. Now comes the homework example: Google “Freedomworks” and “Tea Party Express” and keep following the links, all while repeating in your mind, “Who benefits?”-“Follow the money.” The personal experience of this process will explain all of this far better than any rant of mine.

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