Politicians/ Politics and Public Policy

Politicians

  • We want to like a person and hold true to a belief that they truly represent us.

  • We want a scapegoat for the ills of society and a face to blame when they fall short of staying in the box we put them in.

  • In return that face behind the scenes is in negotiations for their personal gain, attempting to secure financing for another absurdly expensive campaign and disconnected from the people they are a face to serve.

Politics

The battle between politicians on what policy will be adopted

Public Policy

In the broadest sense of the word public policy is defined as what governments choose to do or NOT to do. The policy is designed to alleviate personal discomfort or societal unease

Stop and read it again.


The first time you maybe thought well that's nice, BUT the problem is whose discomfort and societal unease are being alleviated. We read these and assume that it is for the common good, again assuming that there is an understanding of the common good.


This is a huge issue in creating public policy! Different people have different views on what good is.


For example: Climate Change

Environmentalists- If the planet isn't healthy what's the point of living?
Others- If I can't have a gas party than life itself isn't worth living.

Since our value systems can be different on what policy should focus on and what a good policy is we lump ourselves in with a politician and then accept their value statements as our own.


Warning Personal Opinion: I think this is where we have gotten it all wrong. Our media should be thoroughly looking at policy and reporting on how this policy will effect different groups instead the policy is glazed over and all the focus is on what the politician or political group is doing.


So why do we focus so much on the Politician?

The short answer is that it is easier!


Policy documents can be anywhere from 100 to over 1000 pages in length. Most of us are used to 15 second videos!


So instead of diving into the policy we look at the 15 second clips from the politician who may or may not have our personal interest in their advocacy of the policy or opposition to it.


What do we do to help resolve this discrepancy?

We need to look at the policy documents and whoever is our representative (democratic, republican or independent) we need to contact them about our opinion on the policy.


But you just told me that the policy documents were long and complex?


That is the entire purpose of this blog! To develop tools and review policy that impacts us in Texas so that we can make decisions not based on a politician but on the policy.


Next week:

How is policy started?


- Ashlee

Resources

This Mini Series comes from the book by Thomas R. Dye, Understanding Public Policy 11th Edition

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