Politics they say is the “art of the possible”. Despite this, people all over the world seem to hold politicians, the people who are trying to make things possible, in low regard. “They never do anything” is a universal complaint about them or “they are only in it for themselves” is another often heard comment. I do not doubt that some politicians “do nothing” (well nothing good anyway) and some others are only interested in enriching themselves. Still, the vast majority of our public representatives are involved in their communities and stand for election because they want to get things done. They believe in the art of the possible.
That doesn’t mean that we give them a pass and just let them do what they want. For politics to work, there have to be ideas. People obviously have different views, and it is a good thing for democracy and for our countries that people challenge each other’s ideas. The great thing about living in a democracy is we can listen to different ideas about how to govern our county. We can elect people whose ideas we agree with. We can disagree with other people, and If we don’t like how we are being ruled, then we can change our government. Better still, we can put forward our ideas, and we can stand for election ourselves.
I think if the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, or, the Irish patriots who fought for Irish Independence, were to return to their countries today they would be shocked — and astonished. Both countries are very different now compared to when they got independence from Britain. Socially, culturally, technologically and economically both countries would be unrecognisable to their founding fathers. All these changes happened because people had ideas and were free to try and implement their ideas. Not all ideas are good ideas. Every change is not, necessarily, progress. Were some things better in the old days? Possibly. Would many people like to go back to living as the people did back at the beginning of independence? I doubt it. It is undeniable that enormous change has occurred. The change doesn’t happen by chance, and nothing is inevitable. The ideas and laws passed by our politicians have a huge impact on our lives.
Neither the US nor Ireland is a perfect utopia. Far from it. Both societies have a lot of problems and challenges to overcome before they can claim to have satisfied the ideals of their founding patriots. However, a large majority of people are living lives unimaginable at the time of their nation’s birth. Things like life expectancy, dental hygiene, central heating, air conditioning, motor cars, technology, aeroplanes, electricity, wifi, leisure time and entertainment make our lives today so much better, easier and more enjoyable than the lives of our founding generations.
In this section of the website, I have two separate pages- one page for US politics and one page for Irish politics. I will examine all the major talking points in both countries from the US Elections to Brexit. It is a bugbear of mine that people think and say that politics is boring. It’s not. It has a major impact on our lives. Politics is the art of getting things done, of making change happen and of making things possible.
- The British General Election, 2019 (The Brexit Election)"Oh Jeremy Corbyn, Oh Jeremey Corbyn…." was sung at the Labour leaders rallies and even by football supporters at premier league games. It was believed that he was creating a "youthquake" that would shock the Tories and ensure that Boris Johnson's reign as British Prime Minister would be a very short one. Now, after the … Read more
- Why did Trump win the 2016 Election?As the early results of the 2016 election came in, it looked like the United States was indeed about to have its first female President. The networks were calling the early reporting states on the East coast for Hillary Clinton. The talking heads on T.V. had some discussion about the margin of her lead being … Read more
- Why America is Not Great (Part 1)As we walked back to the car after I collected my daughter from school, she began telling me about her day. "We had a lockdown drill today, dad." "How was that?" I asked. "It sucks," was her reply. After I had a little chuckle to myself over her use of the Americanism, "it sucks" I … Read more
- Socialised Medicine vs Private Insurance"Are people's teeth in Ireland as bad as the rest of the UK?", my child's larger than life dentist asked me. We were meeting him for a consultation to see if our daughter needed to get braces. He admitted that he was quite shocked at how crooked teeth were in the UK. He said it … Read more
- What Makes America Great? Part 1.My daughter is taking part in her school play "Schoolhouse Rock". One of the songs that she is learning is "The Great American Melting Pot". The song is about how people from Russia and Italy were inspired by "Lady Liberty" and her book of recipes to come to America where "life might let them win". … Read more
- The Irish General Election 2020Irish people have a problem. The political system is broke. The 2020 campaign is well underway; however, despite people carefully choosing a candidate to vote for, they have no idea what the government will be once the votes are counted. It is almost certain that no party will win an overall majority, so the new … Read more
- The EU, Ireland and BrexitJurgen Klopp the manager of Liverpool FC, when asked about his opinion of Brexit, said that the European Union was “the best idea we have had to date”. It is difficult to disagree with him. Born in the aftermath of World War 2 and out of a desire to see an end to wars between … Read more