National Catholic Reporter

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What's Really Wrong with Our Politics

This article at Politico puts a smile on one's face. Conservatives like Grover Norquist are coming forward to voice their support for comprehensive immigration reform, hoping to provide cover for GOP members of Congress from the attacks being thrown by the talk-radio crowd. Then, you come across this paragraph:

Conservatives say the strongest case in favor of immigration reform is an economic one, not values-based, arguing that an expanded pool of legal workers will boost the economy — the message that tests best in focus groups.

"The message that tests best in focus groups." There it is. That is what is wrong with our politics. They will not advocate this reform on the basis of values because it does not test well. Politics by marketing. It is found on the right. It is found on the left. It is the root of what really ails our politics, the confusion of politics with salesmanship, manipulating arguments - and voters for that matter - to reach a goal, rather than leading and shaping public opinion. It makes me sick to my stomach.

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