Slickness with words

Dr. Sowell gets to the fundamental issue in US elections:

Representative government exists, in the first place, because we the voters cannot possibly have all the information necessary to make rational decisions on all the things the government does. We cannot rule through polls or referendums. We must trust someone to represent us, especially as president of the United States.

Once we recognize this basic fact of representative government, the question of how trustworthy a candidate is becomes a more urgent question than any of the so-called “real issues.”

Much of the ‘negative attack adds’ in election have been to note this problem of trust and integrity. It has been to highlight that

A candidate who spends two decades promoting polarization and then runs as a healer and uniter, rather than a divider, forfeits all trust by that fact alone.

The response to taking note of these things has been a “slickness of words” and a parsing of meaning to suit the needs of the moment. Sowell notes that many wonder how slick words can prevail and offers this:

what con men have long known: Their job is not to convince skeptics but to enable the gullible to continue to believe what they want to believe

Slick words comfort – ‘oh, that’s when I was only 8 years old’ – ‘spread the wealth is just progressive taxation’ – ‘real issues’ – and this comfort is only skin deep. Trust, integrity, and dependability require the electorate to go a bit deeper if they do not want to be conned.

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