The following is a personal experience of mine from a government class I'm currently taking this semester. My government professor has assigned a class project of sorts which will contribute to 1/3 of our entire individual grades for the semester. The project is regarding the campaigning and voting of gubernatorial candidates from our state of Texas with respect to the upcoming gubernatorial elections. The class has been broken down into several sub-groups, including: The People, The Press, Republicans (Rick Perry), Democrats (Bill White), Libertarians (Katherine Youngblood Glass), and The Green Party. The groups were broken down by random drawings, so no individual student was able to choose what party or affiliation they wanted to represent. Those chosen to represent the respective political parties who have candidates running for Texas Governor are tasked with essentially creating an in-class campaign to win the votes of The People. As such, The People will be assigning specific issues to be discussed in presentation format by the respective political party representatives. The Press are mostly tasked with asking questions of the respective groups to better evaluate their positions on such issues. This entire project will take place over several weeks, and in the end, the People will vote for who they feel did best, or who they liked best--this vote will be taken into account as our professor grades us. Today, The People stood before the class to outline criteria and expectations that they would like to see from the groups representing political parties: Believability--even if we, as individuals, do not agree with the party we are to represent, or the candidate chosen for that party, we are too effectively "fake it" There were several other points they made, most of which were equally absurd (IMO), but this one struck a particular chord with me. As they explained this expectation, all I could think was, "is this really what people want from those whom they entrust to lead?" To hell with principles, convictions, passions, or resolve--so long as we're convincing enough liars we'll be good to go? Really? Now, I realize this is just a small group of college students, and as such they only partially represent a particular demographic of voters; nevertheless, I think there's serious cause for concern from this expectation they've burdened us with for this project. In my mind, it speaks volumes about the lunacy which we call democracy in practice. By their own words, they do not seem to care about what is true, honest, or accurate; all they want is to be fooled and deceived in a convincing manner. I am not so naive as to believe that this isn't already a focal point of politics in present times (if not in all times), but to see fellow peers and students not only give into the same bogus political paradigm that we all know and hate, but also advocate it as if it were an admirable trait worthy of advancing ones grade was rather appalling to me. It was all I could do to contain myself and not stand up, berate them for their blundering ignorance, and then storm out of the class room. Part of me hopes that perhaps this is the intent of our professor, to cast some light on this particular issue. My more cynical side, however, suspects that I may very well be among the few, if not the only one, in the class who even picked up on this particular point. As an aside: I somehow managed to draw the Libertarian party, which I found rather amusing. Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me here. We were debating economic issues not too long ago, and when someone advocated increased government spending and regulation, I effectively threw them under the bus with the help of ABCT only to have almost everyone in the class look at me like I was speaking in tongues--I was even making an effort to avoid deeper specifics, to appeal to the layman, but still... blank stares. I don't see our group getting a many votes from this crowd, honestly. When we did an introduction presentation about our particular party, we spoke of the libertarian position of less government spending on public services which would lead to a way of reducing taxes. We were asked what areas could be cut, and we responded with such things as Medicaid and public education only to receive blinking silence as if no one could even fathom why such a ludicrous notion would even be contemplated, let alone spoken aloud. I suspect I'll be fighting a losing battle in government class for the next month or so. Sigh. So much for libertarian dominance amongst the younger masses, I suppose.