Thursday, July 06, 2006

Thinking Out Loud

I have recently attended a few social gatherings. Inevitably I am asked about any political ambitions that I might have. The truth is that I would love to serve our community. But I am realistic. I am well aware that my willingness to challenge status quo special interests has rendered me all but unelectable. And that is OK. I do what I do because I believe it is important to consider and debate the issues that affect our community. I don't seek popularity and I won't be intimidated into silence by the thug element of the status quo. That said, I do hope that some of the ideas that I support will find expression in the actions taken, or not taken, by our local elected officials.

Which leads me to a question that I have been pondering. Is winning an elected office the only or best way to influence public policy? I hope not. Politicians vote on ideas. The ideas which garner the most support from people will almost always result in support from politicians. It is not neccessary that the idea be a good idea, only a popular idea. Most politicians are merely the tools through which popular ideas are expresses in public policy. My conclusion is that the best way to influence public policy (in a positive manner) is to help good ideas to become popular ideas. Thus the battle to popularize ideas is at least as important, if not more important than the battle to win elected office, because the politicians will merely adjust their votes according to what their constituents find to be popular.

As such, the critical task is to identify good ideas and share them with the widest possible audience. This is easier said than done. The internet is helpful. A newspaper would be better.


Anonymous said...

Great to have you back to the living. Now - the Dactyls have lost 3 in a row. We not only need your brain but also your softball skills. Get back in the game (next week).

Flash 44!

Denis Navratil said...

If you need me for softball, give me a call.

Anonymous said...

Denis, I accidently bumped into your website and have read all your entries. Keep up the good work! But is it really necessary to cut a line between conservatives and liberals? The word liberal is almost spit out of your mouth in the first entry! Surely not all liberals are against every conservative thing and vice versa. By the way, I will not vote for the gay marriage amendment. After knowing several gay people I choose to believe love between two people is a good thing, no matter the color or the sex of those who have fallen in love.

Denis Navratil said...

Thanks for your comment anon. You raise an interesting point about the use of the word liberal. Of course not all liberals are against conservative ideas and vice versa. When I use the word "liberal" and it sounds pejoritive, I am most likely referring to the unhinged subset of liberalism that believes all corporations are evil, George Bush is evil, religious people are evil, capitalism is evil, etc... But you make a good point and I don't have a good answer for you. The meaning of the word "liberal" has changed such that it may have lost much of its meaning. My guess is that if 50 years ago I held the same views that I hold now, I may well have been considered liberal. Anyway, thank you for your comment and I hope that you will continue to read and contribute comments.