That pretty well describes my experience in local politics.
Mark Twain, my father’s favorite humorist, said
“Always do right. this will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”
Mark Twain and Will Rogers are proof that if you want to tell the truth in politics, it helps to have humorist skills.
Elected officials (with too few wonderful exceptions) don’t want to hear the truth – because they’ve almost always already made up their minds before they listen to the public’s views. The biggest problem is they don’t want to offend their campaign supporters, particularly their financial donors. That makes campaign contributions the physical equivalent of “Protection money.”
Local news people (again, thankfully with some wonderful exceptions) have also already made up their minds. But in addition they don’t want to offend their advertisers, typically represented by the Chamber of Commerce, who call in and scream at the publisher and threaten to pull their full page advertisements – for personal financial and political reasons.
“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them, and these will continue till they have been resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they suppress.”
–Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), American social reformer, orator, writer, statesman, ex-slave, leader of the abolitionist movement, Women’s suffrage supporter.
So don’t waste your time annoying them with facts (particularly science) or reason – you’ll just get the Gandhi Treatment —
1. First they ignore you,
2. then they laugh at you,
3. then they fight you.
I added — “And Then You Win.”
and Finally – “Then your opponents try to take credit for your success.”
When they are fighting you in part three – you might just get pounded by elected officials supported by the media. Both with gross Conflicts of Financial Interest that they hope you’ll never find out about.
But keep going, when it gets to this point – you’ve almost won.
If you ever feel like giving up — always remember “Persistence – is the most powerful tool known to womankind.”