Get Our Culture of Pandering PDF

By Paul Simon

As we develop our perspectives, include our variations, foster developments in technology and know-how, and collaboratively improve the political, social, and academic underpinnings from which we construct proficient and efficient lives, we've a lot to be happy with as a country and as a people.


But we're tempted—particularly in periods of political unrest and unbridled patriotism—to forget about the far-reaching repercussions of a society that caters to cash and gear. In Our tradition of Pandering, former U.S. Senator Paul Simon interrogates the arenas of politics, media, faith, and schooling to decry the anxious practices that confuse public provider with profit-making ventures or acceptance contests, that compromise the easiest pursuits of the wider inhabitants to soothe a robust few. Boldly and eloquently contributing to a cumulative knowing of ways we will be able to construct a sturdier, extra moral origin for the longer term, Simon indicates proactive, long term options to the issues that threaten our country’s ethical, monetary, and highbrow well-being—problems which are more and more exacerbated through our tradition of pandering. 


Lest we develop complacent and our state static, Simon urges us to call for extra from the political applicants who chase greenback symptoms and cater to polls, to elevate our expectancies of neighborhood and nationwide media retailers that recycle gossip and peddle scandals whereas international coverage and foreign information obtain back-page remedy or no therapy in any respect. He asks us to think about the results of church buildings that spend extra money home improvement their structures than supporting these in desire inside of their very own groups and during the global, and he presses us to recognize the outstanding, long term effects of faculties that drop their educational criteria to maintain their reputations and keep funding.


Our tradition of Pandering is a stalwart and earnest name to motion from a steadfast and relied on suggest of revolutionary public coverage. Leavened with altruism and wealthy with compassion for voters of the United States and past, current and destiny, this crucial and cautioning treatise advocates real management within the geographical regions of politics, media, faith, and schooling. In his trademark lucid and synoptic variety, Simon supplementations updated examples of pandering in our society from a breadth of assets with statement and interpretive knowledge garnered from a life of public service.

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Unfortunately, to many officeholders, the problem of deficits is “small potatoes” compared to the votes they can get by promising people tax cuts or increases in spending without additional revenue. In a choice between fiscal prudence and getting votes, fiscal prudence loses out. The Reagan tax cut of 1981 hurt the nation. Sadly, in response to the public clamor, the Democratic alternative that year was almost as bad. Pandering became a substitute for leadership. Frequently cited as a political reason for caving in to this biennial siren call for tax cuts is the Walter Mondale experience in 1984, when he told the Democratic convention that in response to the huge deficits, taxes would have to be raised.

John F. Kennedy had one of the three shortest inauguration speeches in our presidential history. Listen to these ringing words he spoke a few minutes after having taken the oath of office: To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required—not because the communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. 22 An Oxford University scholar writes: “In the 1960’s, the richest fifth of the world’s population had a total income 30 times as great as the poorest fifth’s; in 1998, the ratio was 74:1.

Almost always, the erosion of those liberties is temporarily popular. Social Security One of the most significant policy areas we have to deal with, having long-term consequences for our economy, is the financing of the Social Security Retirement Trust Fund. Not only has Social Security become an important source of income for retirees and their dependents but it has dramatically reduced poverty in the senior age group from 35 percent to less than 10 percent—and gives the economy a solid, steady source of revenue and economic stimulus.

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