Friday, November 25, 2016

Natural Politics

Natural Politics
Bobby Derie

"The thing to understand," the senator said, "is that Nature rewards successful behavior. Moral considerations don't come into play," she added with a decisive hand gesture. "Parasites are natural, and egg-stealers. Mothers eat their children during lean winters. The carefully hoarded honey is ravaged by the hungry bear. Dolphins will harry a female until she is too tired to resist and then gang-rape her. Long-term goals are often sacrificed for short-term gain, because in the final equation short-term gain is gain. Survival, by any means, at any cost."

"But ma'am, we were talking about politics..."

"So am I!" She thundered, a triumphant smile on her face as she whacked the podium. "Do you really not understand that? Politicians engage in behavior that is rewarded. Any behavior that is rewarded. You people in the media think that politicians are greedy and vain; you are correct. But they are not often stupid. The stupid ones die out early. They don't know when to switch strategies. But even the stupid ones can achieve success, if they finding a strategy that wins in the short term. And when they do find something that works, others pick up on it and follow it. How many times," she fixed the reporter with a challenging look, "have you heard one politician say something blitheringly idiotic, only for six more to say the same thing? Because it works. And as long as it works, they will keep doing it."

She dropped the microphone, and left the stage to a sparkle of flashbulbs.


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