Saturday, 30 April 2016


A few days ago the former Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, in a talk to Stanford students described  Presidential candidate, Ted  Cruz as, " Lucifer in the flesh" and a "Miserable son of a bitch." The blunt description inspired a great column by
the distinguished American journalist, Jack Shafer. He posed this question:

Why would  politicians of all people choose to build their careers upon a bedrock of loathing?

Shafer began his analysis noting that many pricks  have held public office but somehow managed to be likable.

That, however, is not the best approach.  Politicians are different. In politics it can be better to be hated. See ( . Updating Machiavelli Shafer observes:

Experienced politicos may have determined that spending effort on getting people to like you is a mug’s game. *** once you get people to like you, your job has only begun. Additional acts of kindness, consideration and fairness must be extended or your likability will fade into the background. But hatred is a much more efficient use of emotional energy.

Three days ago,  the governing VISION gang proposed to surround Vancouver General Hospital with a moat of bike lanes. This prompted an outbreak of letters from sick people afraid that they would be unable to get to the hospital to line up for their quadruple bypasses and hip replacements. see

[I can tell you from recent personal experience the six block struggle to or from the B.C Cancer Agency is not a matter the merit of which needs a study by a committee of concerned bike riders.

Why would Vancouver City Hall send out a threat like this even as a trial balloon? Is it because they are what they seem to be: People who have  learned that in politics there is no percentage in decency. It is better to be hated. 

They have achieved their goal.