O Machiavelli, Where Art Thou?


Shame on YOU Hillary Clinton. I give a Tsk Tsk in your direction. Yes, I’m talking to you. You have stooped to dirty campaigning, and in a presidential election of all things! I am shocked. One would think we live in a country where politicians would do anything to get elected.

C’mon folks, let’s be serious for a moment. Welcome to America, where power is the tool of choice to do good, not respect. If you have to do bad to be able to do good, then so be it. This is why we speak derisively of do-gooders. They just go around trying to do good all the time, which is silly. You must be willing to do bad to ultimately do good. This is a dirty world, and playing dirty is just part of the game. Welcome to reality.

This is why we torture people. Not just for the fun of torturing people (which would be a bad thing). No, we torture people so that good can come from it – less people hurting people. Sometimes you have to hurt people to stop people from hurting people. Complicated, yes. But this is what we do in the real world.

This is why innocent people, including children, must die when we go to war. War is bad, yes, in that people die who don’t deserve to die, but sometimes we must kill people to get people to stop killing people. We don’t just bomb children, of course, but we know that some will get in the way. This is unfortunate, but often necessary. We teach our children this in school. Vaporizing Japanese children in August 1945 was a good thing – ultimately. It’s cost-benefit analysis, folks.

Or take police, for instance. We have rules against what police officers can and cannot do to the people they arrest, but we all know that those aren’t always going to be followed. Sometimes we need to rough up a few folks to get justice. It’s okay. Justice is the ultimate good, so breaking a few rules along the way is okay if the end result is good. We are always willing to pass through bad on the way to good. This is why we watch Law and Order.

So Hillary is willing to play ugly to win the nomination and help our nation out of the crap we’ve found ourselves in. Good for her. In fact, this will make her the perfect leader of the Democratepublican Party. Why is everyone hating on her?

Well, I understand the Republicans hating her, since she’s calling herself a Democrat. And I can understand the Democrats hating her, since race has not been one of their approved dirty tactics in the past. But c’mon, we have a name for people who aren’t willing to do what it takes to win: most recently, John Kerry.

Thankfully, some people are sticking by her side. Because they know the truth: sometimes you have to do nasty things to get a position of power where you can do good in this world. To quote the great poet, Flavor Flav, “They know what time it is!”

Now I believe all this is a crock of hippopotamus droppings, of course. But somewhere in here there may be something worth discussing.


7 Responses to “O Machiavelli, Where Art Thou?”

  1. msmiranda Says:

    Cute. But tell us what you really think about all this … you’ve been conspiciously absent from the discussion.

  2. alsturgeon Says:

    I’ve been pulling for Obama for quite some time. I think he is a legitimate candidate that has a chance of doing some really good things for our country.

    I don’t have super high hopes. For one, the system is bad, and to play to win one must often compromise values. For two, he is a black Democrat named Barack Hussein Obama – he won’t have an easy time of it.

    As to Hillary’s campaign, I’m not surprised. But not because it is Hillary Clinton. It bugs me that people think her tactics are unique to Clintons. They are basic power politics, and as I’ve tried to lampoon a bit in this post, normal in our country. We have bought this system – basically everyone has bought this system.

    McCain is still my favorite Republican, mainly because he is the least Republican.

    So my voting order has not changed:

    #1: Cross my fingers (hope audaciously) and vote for Obama

    #2: Sigh, and vote for Hillary

    #3: If Obama and Hillary decide to elope and drop out of the race the night before the election, shake my head and vote for McCain

  3. captmidknight Says:

    “O Machiavelli, Where Art Thou?”
    At last!
    A voice of reason, practicality, and moderation calling in the wilderness!

    Welcome back Al.

  4. DeJon Says:

    A submission well worth the wait, Al.

    I’m ready to mount a full-frontal assault on this notion that doing good by any means is somehow wrapped up in American patriotism. The whole idea makes my blood boil, and breaks my heart at the same time. Throw in the idea that some of the strongest proponents of such bunk are card-carrying members of the religious right, ready to evangelize at a moment’s notice, and I start to wonder if the whole world has just gone crazy.

    I can think of no greater perversion of justice.

    Derek Webb (a musician I highly recommend) describes it this way:
    peace by way of war is like purity by way of fornication
    it’s like telling someone murder is wrong
    and then showing them by way of execution

    Where is the outrage? Shame? Guilt? Collectively, its just not there.

  5. msmiranda Says:

    I don’t think her tactics are unique to the Clintons, but I don’t recall ever seeing a Democrat stoop so low in my adult lifetime (which is only from 1992 on, in terms of elections, which I understand is a short window). I’m sure that the historians in the group will remind me of some. I do recall several examples of Republicans doing so. But perhaps this is a case of attribution bias.

    I agree with Dejon, and you, that the whole thing is just depressing and sad. Though, that having been said, I don’t think it’s new. I seem to recall history lessons about how dirty politics was in the 19th century as well.

  6. urbino Says:

    This goes back to conversations we’ve had here (and elsewhere) before, Al. Your post is written from the viewpoint of somebody standing outside the messiness of the world we live in. It’s an Essene stance. An Anabaptist stance.

    That’s fine, I guess, but the Essenes and Anabaptists aren’t exactly known for the great good they’ve done the world.

    I don’t recall ever seeing a Democrat stoop so low in my adult lifetime (which is only from 1992 on, in terms of elections, which I understand is a short window). I’m sure that the historians in the group will remind me of some.

    In a presidential election, I’m not aware of any Democrat using race the way Hillary has this time, since the Civil Rights Era. In fairness, though, some see Bill’s “Sister Souljah moment” as a precursor.

  7. alsturgeon Says:

    Yeah, but at least I’m a weird Anabaptist. 🙂 One who votes, volunteers, etc.

    I don’t yet know what this makes me, but it’ll be fun figuring it out along the way!

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