Modesty, Humility and Politics (posted humbly by Jim Jennings)

Perhaps one of the words in the title of this post doesn’t fit.

Forgive me, Imaginary Reader, for another clumsy foray into the dank and unseemly realm of electoral politics, but our nation cries out for calm and reasoned guidance. I hear my cue.

As noted in a recent strikingly trenchant post, the essence of real-world politics lies in the skill of getting along with those you don’t like (and who don’t especially like you).

Let’s say that you are elected president this year. Perhaps you claim an implicit mandate due to the fact that a sufficient number of electors found you to be marginally less odious than the alternatives. That’s all well and good, but tens of millions of your fellow citizens will subscribe to political opinions that are contrary to your espoused convictions. Not all of those contrarians will be idiots or pricks. You will be president of your ideological adversaries as well as of your allies. We’ll all have to live together—ideally in peace and prosperity—and exercise the forbearance to let our wrong-headed compatriots live their lives as they choose.

That’s where the humility comes into it. Imagine a politician who doesn’t pretend to lead a crusade to save us. A political who takes the oath of office with the clear-headed recognition that you are an adult and deserve to make your own decisions, so long as they do not interfere with another adult’s choices. A modest, humble politician.

Hmmm…if only unicorns really existed…

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