The people get the leaders they deserve

Today, the results of the leadership contest of the Conservative Parry will be announced. As so many have pointed out in the past, less than 1% of the British electorate chose the leader of their party and with it the next Prime Minister of Britain. And that in a party that claims to want to leave the EU because of its undemocratic structures.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill: “Never was so much thrust upon so many by so few.”

As it stands, the next Prime Minister of the UK is going to be Boris Johnson, a man considered such a security risk to the UK that our own foreign intelligence agency MI6 allegedly withheld secrets from him when he was foreign secretary. A man who, according to his former boss, should never be trusted with a position of responsibility and who only cares about his personal benefit rather than the good of the country. A man who has repeatedly cheated on his wives and girlfriends and whose current girlfriend called him “spoilt”.

On the one hand, one might be outraged about the undemocratic process to elect the Prime Minister in this case, but we should not forget that Boris Johnson is a democratically elected MP and former Mayor of London. People voted for him in the past and they will vote for him in the future, no matter his character failings. 

The question should thus be: why do we keep voting for these people? 

I was once asked which comedian I wished was still around today. My first choice, hands down, is George Carlin. He would make mince meat out of Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and their ilk. But he would also see the deeper reasons for our current state of affairs.

Here is what he had to say about politicians in his show “Back in Town” 23 years ago:

“There’s one thing, you might have noticed, I don’t complain about: politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. But where do people think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky. They don’t pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities. And they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do, folks. This is what we have to offer. It’s what our system produces. Garbage in, garbage out.

If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’ll get selfish, ignorant leaders. And term limits aren’t going to do any good. You are just going to end up with another bunch of selfish ignorant Americans. So maybe it’s not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here, like, the public. 

Because if it is really just the fault of these politicians then where are all the other bright people of conscience? We don’t have anybody like that in this country. Everybody is at the mall...buying sneakers with lights in them.“

Unfortunately, George passed away in 2008 but his wit and wisdom is timeless. If he were a religious man, I would say “God bless him!” But alas, he was an atheist and he would certainly not appreciate that. So, instead, I’ll say: “Wish you were here!”