Politics: where the impossible is easy

Thomas Sowell remains a voice of reason amid a whirlwind of ignorance whipped up by politicians, the mainstream media and the public education establishment. 

A senior fellow at the Hoover Institute, Sowell has authored numerous books on a wide variety of topics, including economics, race and culture, and he long ago secured a reputation for a willingness to skewer sacred cows. 

His twice-weekly column at townhall.com ruffles feathers regularly, particularly among those who embrace simplistic or disingenuous ideas out of willful ignorance or to feather their own nests.

His latest column, “The Art of the Impossible,” points out the fact that many politicians make a career out of claiming to be able to accomplish the ridiculous and even the impossible, but that doesn’t stop them from getting elected.

“Whoever called politics ‘the art of the possible’ must have had a strange idea of what is possible or a strange idea of politics, where the impossible is one of the biggest vote-getters,” he writes.

California wanted low electricity prices while using more electricity, but didn’t want to build more generating plants? No problem, said the politicians. And when energy blackouts came, the politicians jumped in to solve that problem, too. After, of course, scourging the power industry for trying to operate in the environment that the politicians themselves created.

Citizens demand open-space laws and affordable housing? No problem, say the politicians. And when housing costs blow through the roof, as they always do, the politicians are there to come to the rescue, which helps keep them in office. As Sowell points out, “Happy voters are what get politicians re-elected.”

It’s akin to a doctor spreading disease through a town, then riding in white knight-like to administer care, while lining his pockets. And doing it over and over and over again. Yet we fall for it every time.

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