A good analogy hit me last week over the phone. While we were walking around the Great Lakes Folk Fest several weeks ago, I registered to win a free cruise. On Friday, someone called from Ontario to let me know that we had won 16 nights and 15 days at several different vacation hotspots, Orlando, Daytona Beach, somewhere in Mexico and a short cruise to the Bahamas. Awesome. So they read all this stuff to me about what I had won, that it was transferrable and could be used any time in an 18 month window of opportunity, or that we could sell it. Cutting to the chase, all this fabulous stuff could be ours as long as we pay the tiny port fee of $199 per person for entering the Bahamas, or we could skip that and still get all the other accomodations in Florida and Mexico for $374 for two people.

Sit back and digest this for a moment, and most people would not argue that what you've won is a cheap promotional package. To be even more honest, it's not like you've really "won" anything, because winning does not usually entail paying $700+ for your prize.

Most people would see that the company's claim that you had "won" something was inconsistent with the "prize" that they've described. Why is it that people can recognize that these claims are bull, but they don't recognize the claims of their government when they clearly vear away from results or actions.

Appointing unelected "interim governments" headed by former CIA operatives does not exactly bring democracy to a place. When you hold a meeting in Germany to determine who will become the head of government in Afganistan, it's hard to believe that's democracy. People in our government and some other governments make claims about their reasons for doing things, then they behave in ways totally inconsistent with their claims, and people just ignore it. The claim sticks with them and the inconsistent behavior breezes past without registering.

Wouldn't it be nice if people treated the claims of their politicians with as much healthy skepticism as they treat telemarketers?

No, we aren't going to Florida or Mexico or the Bahamas, and we won't be paying for the "prize".


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