Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Tugboat Photos/Aristotle’s Golden Mean

Here is a picture of a little tugboat—

 

Here is a picture of a big tugboat—

 

Somewhere in-between the size of these two tugboats is Aristotle’s Concept of the Golden Mean as described below–

 Aristotle's Concept of the Golden Mean
-- Defect -- BALANCE + Excess +
cowardice COURAGE rashness
stinginess LIBERALITY extravangance
sloth AMBITION greed
humility MODESTY pride
secrecy HONESTY loquacity
moroseness GOOD HUMOR buffoonery
quarrelsomeness  FRIENDSHIP flattery
self-indulgence TEMPERANCE insensibility
apathy EQUANIMITY irascibility
Hamlet’s Indecisiveness  Atticus’ SELF CONTROL Don Quixote’s Impulsiveness

Here is an introduction to Aristotle. 

February 26, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Do “The People” Exist In A Political Sense?—Questions Spurred By A Low Turnout Election

  

Despite a number of important ballot issues and at least a few open City Council seats in Houston, voters in Houston and Harris County turned out at only around 10% of registered persons.

Here are some questions I have based on this terrible turnout. They are questions that would apply to any low turnout election— 

1. Does a political entity such as a city or a county exist in the most meaningful regard of a shared sense of citizenship when so few people vote? No wonder conditions in Houston are so awful for so many people.

2. Are candidates elected by so few people legitimately elected? Why should office holders not vote the way large donors and more affluent voters wish them to vote, when little counter pressure is exerted by an involved public?

3. Don’t you imagine elected officials hold the public in contempt over such low turnout?   

4. If you accept Aristotle’s premise that society existed before the individual, to people delegitimize their very existence by failing to take part in politics? Do “the people” truly exist in a political sense when turnout is so bad?

5. If county and city services would be temporarily suspended unless municipal elections generated at least 75% turnout, do you think people would then vote? I bet a 75% threshold would be met if folks were told police, fire and water service would be stopped until enough people decided they were really part of our society.

The above picture is of people voting in Haiti in 2006.  Imagine that people can line up and possibly face violence to vote in a poor place like Haiti, but people in Houston and Harris County and elsewhere in America will not come out and vote.   

November 9, 2007 Posted by | Books, Houston, Houston Council Election '07, Politics | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments