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HP's avatar

Do you have the perception that the quality of our politicians has slipped decidedly in our lifetime?

Asked by HP (6425points) May 6th, 2022
23 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

Among the many things I find to grouse about. That’s the other thing. I don’t believe this sorta stuff bothered me when I was younger

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hat's avatar

It’s common to hear people use qualifiers to discuss current reality that hints that they believe it’s a new. “Politicians these days are dishonest….”. What it usually reflects is the awareness of the speaker.

When we’re young, not paying attention, or things don’t affect us, we tend to think things are ok. When our perception meets the reality of how things work, we tend to feel like something was working but has since broken. Unfortunately, most of these statements can lose the “today” or “any more” qualifiers. The phenomenon you describe is not something that was good and then broke. It’s always been broken, and you’re likely just becoming more aware of it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That is my perception, yes. Especially since trump.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Have you forgotten Obama already?

raum's avatar

For better or for worse, I think politicians tend to reflect their constituents. Generally speaking.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

For the most part YES!
But occasionally there does come one ,or two that truly care for the country not just their pockets and their Lobbyists pockets and that goes for my country as well as yours.

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^^Obama. JFK. Nixon.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Nope. I think we just have a lot more direct and immediate access to the sort of details that undermine our confidence in and support for the politicians currently in office, which in turn reinforces our natural capacity for recency bias.

gorillapaws's avatar

I think so. Our legislators are very old. More money than ever is being poured into elections from special interests. They’re getting rich from stock trades based on their privileged access to information. Washington is a sewer.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Maybe the best talent is going elsewhere? Like CEO of whatever? Or STEM? Or not participating in the workforce?

LadyMarissa's avatar

No, I think that they are just being more blatant about what they are doing because they’ve always gotten away with it…they feel invincible!!! I was working for the Republican Policy Committee back in 1970–71. All the Republicans in office would meet about once a month to brainstorm on how they were going to keep their jobs. The biggest complaint they were receiving at the time was that they would promise to get a particular bill passed & then they didn’t even support it. Constituents were furious when it was something they believed in!!! I was serving coffee…this was before the women’s lib movement & women were considered too dumb to understand politics. The moderator listened to ALL those brilliant men whining about how they didn’t know how to respond without pissing off their base.The moderator looked up over his cup of coffee & laughed responding “It’s simple. Just tell them that we have to trade favors sometimes. When we don’t get it approved in this bill, it will be in the next bill where we can be assured that everyone will vote for it.” One guy said “What IF it’s NOT in that next bill?” The moderator glared at him & responded “It doesn’t matter…they are too fucking stupid or lazy to follow the trail to know it’s not there.” I could see the light bulb going on over every Republican’s head in that room!!! It seems that they were right, every voter just wants to hear that you are doing what they want you to do, but they don’t want to take the time to verify that you’re doing it!!!

Back then, politicians didn’t screw around with the young girls on their staff because they didn’t need to…they had a hooker on their payroll who stayed available 24/7/365 to do EXACTLY what they wanted or needed. Hookers don’t talk as long as they get PAID!!!

The day Nixon returned from Vietnam, the whole office was loaded onto a bus & taken to the White House. We were lined up along the fence that lead from the helicopter to the White House entrance. Nixon parades down the helicopter steps walking by ALL his smiling supporters, shaking hands with each & EVERY one of us. Then he marches into the White House as we follow his every move. Now, that one looked GREAT on the evening news…throngs of supporters come to the White House to support their President!!! We were FORCED to be there & PAID while shaking his hand!!! After the press left, we were loaded back onto the bus & returned to our office to complete our work.

EVERY politician had their very own journalist assigned to them to make sure they were covered in the MOST favorable light!!! The journalists had to ask permission to publish their articles!!!

Senators send out hundreds of letters a day that they NEVER see. Their Aides dictated them, the clerks typed them & the clerk of the day signed them. We had a machine that had an EXACT copy of their signatures so EVERY piece of correspondence that went out appeared to be individually signed. I’d hear constituents bragging about how they had received a letter personally signed by the politician. I’d recognize the name & I knew that he had received one signed by ME!!! The politician’s secretary was required to be able to forge their signature so close, personal friends would receive a personally signed letter…the secretary did personally sign it!!!

There was one lady who was the wife of a man who went to jail to protet his favorite politician. She came to work at 11:00 & went home at 2:00 & she took a 2 hour lunch EVERY day!!! She was paid $60K which was unheard of at the time. Anytime somebody pissed her off, she’d pull out her little black book that her husband had given her for security & ask them IF they wanted to rephrase their comment. She kept her job until her husband got out of jail!!!

Kropotkin's avatar

No. They’ve literally always been the most malign, ignorant, and self-serving scum around.

There’s just a recency effect and a perception that they’re worse than they once were.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

^^^^^ @raum another Trump backed politician ^^^^^

SEKA's avatar

No they’ve always been sleezy

LostInParadise's avatar

I still can’t get over the fact that we elected such a complete scumbag as Trump. He makes Nixon look heroic. How can you even begin to compare raiding Democratic party headquarters with making a coup attempt? Some of what happened under Nixon. What happened under Trump that is even remotely comparable?

si3tech's avatar

@HP IMHO It has not slipped. It has plunged. Our politicians/society is morally bankrupt.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

The idea that politicians of the past were superior is stupid and shows a lack of knowledge of history. In the 19th century, candidates were often handpicked by political bosses in backrooms, and they bribed voters or got them drunk before marching them to the polls.

In the early 20th century, candidates were chosen in smoke-filled backrooms by a group of corrupt political bosses who then got kickbacks from their protégés after they were in office.

The system has often been corrupt.

There have been occasional and notable exceptions like Abraham Lincoln.

No one was convicted of high crimes during the Obama administration. In fact, a Google search will bring up a chart of convictions under presidents since Nixon, and the vast majority of corruption has been during Republican administrations.

No, I’m not going to give citations. This knowledge comes from a carefully earned history degree. One that I earned cum laude.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Nice answer @Hawaii_Jake !

smudges's avatar

I think: 1. it’s harder to hide their actions than in the past, and 2. as @LadyMarissa said I think that they are just being more blatant about what they are doing because they’ve always gotten away with it…they feel invincible!!!

flutherother's avatar

I think the quality of the electorate declined and the quality of the politicians followed soon after.

jca2's avatar

I think there’s more scrutiny on politicians now because of the ever present media and social media and cameras everywhere, and people being more out in the open about sexual abuse and scandals. I think the politicians now are no more or less fucked up than they were 50 years ago or 100 years ago.

HP's avatar

Things have changed with the polarization of our population. Example? Prior to Clinton, there was an unspoken pact between journalists that philandering on the part of Presidents and other high officials was not talked about, unless of course, some heinous crime was associated with the scandal. The guy’s sex life was off limits. The thing might pop up in the scandal sheets right mixed among the alien abductions and two headed man “sensations”, but otherwise, you weren’t going to hear about it from Walter Cronkite.

LadyMarissa's avatar

The decline in the morals of the voters may have a lot to do with it!!! I can remember when NO candidate who was divorced was offered the chance to run for President because it was a given that NOBODY would vote for him. Then along came Gary Hart who ran for President in the late 80’s. He wasn’t divorced; however, he did have a mistress & got caught with her thereby causing him to drop out of the race. Fast forward to 2016…we had a twice divorced President who married one of his mistresses after he got her pregnant & tried to force her to have an abortion. She refused, went public with the facts & he left his family to marry her. Now he as NOTHING to do with the resulting child but to send money to clear his conscience!!!

Many a good President of the past couldn’t survive the scrutiny of today’s society!!!

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