is plausible deniability the cornerstone of american politics?

I was having a conversation with a friend recently. They aren’t someone who is particularly political. All they wanted was a straight answer out of the township where they lived. But they weren’t supposed to bother township staff. They were supposed to go through elected officials. That would be (depending on where you live):

  1. A Commissioner
  2. A Supervisor
  3. A Borough Council Member
  4. A City Council Member
  5. A Selectman or Selectwoman
  6. An Alderman or Alderwoman

(You get the idea, right?)

So this person I know was turned over to a newly elected local representative/official. And the new person sadly appears to be merely the patsy of a more established political cat, a/k/a a more senior and longer duration elected official who feels free to be a puppet master of less experienced officials.

I am speaking in generalist terms and not saying where this friend lives, because this is not anything new. It’s as old as the art of politics itself, and goes on everywhere. I have experienced it in Chester County.

A few years ago now, I was told I should not bother the township people who worked in a township building. I was told the best practice was that I should go through an elected official. I did that at first until I realized it was a way to try to control residents and also for a way to ensure township residents wherever did not build relationships with township staff. I then decided that I didn’t want a politician translating for me all of the time. Sometimes it’s handy to have a politician translate for you, but really as a resident wherever you live you should be able to speak to the people that work in your municipality, right? (Yes that’s right, live dangerously and email your local municipality!)

What I have discovered with dealing with politicians versus municipal staff wherever, is municipal staff will answer an email even if they don’t have the answer. Politicians are more cagey. They only want to have a conversation, they don’t want anything in writing. And the reason for that is a term called plausible deniability . Plausible deniability refers to circumstances where a denial of responsibilty or knowledge of wrongdoing can not be proven true or untrue due to a lack of evidence proving the allegation.

Yes indeed, plausible deniability is a true hallmark of politicians from the tiniest of municipalities through to state houses and Washington, D.C. Without plausible deniability, politicians would not be able to give you that trademark blank or politically shocked stare and say murmuring “kindly” things like “I am so sorry I did not know” or “I was not aware.”

(Of course with this as a best practice, it is probably why there shouldn’t be a Tweeter in Chief with all their Stepford Tweeter Minions, right? )

But it’s no wonder nothing ever gets done anywhere because all of the politicians today are like various versions of Sergeant Schulz from Hogan’s Heroes. They see nothing.

When was the last time we truly had accountability in politics? Again , on any level, from the most local of levels through to the nation’s capital? And this is a problem with both Republicans and Democrats alike.

So why is it we keep electing these people? Or is this a corruption which occurs when they become sitting politicians?

Just some of the random things I think about with regard to politics. The politically jaded will now sign off.

Thanks for stopping by.

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