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All Things Being = equal?

August 7, 2013

“I’m working on a theory that all things being equal people who vote tend to cancel their vote out for the best person because their vote usually reflects the qualities of a person they admire in themselves, so therefore their vote doesn’t really matter,” said a perpetual student, who aspires to be an academic. And he’s around 25! His Dad is rich, which helps. And from what I can see, not a lot of warmth going on there. He works part-time for his Dad, who I overheard say to his kid, “You want overtime pay, then I’ll give it to you if you pay rent. What do you think?” From what I could tell, the aspiring academic was silent on this particular philosophical point. But he was a nice kid, and I liked talking to him.

“I agree with your point,” I said, lying. “But what about the last two political elections, the only reason Obama won was because the people turned out inm such numbers the Republicans couldn’t steal enough votes to beat them. And what about politicians that gerrymander their districts to ensure thety’ll be elected? And what about the drive by GOP for voter ID’s to deter people from voting. So voting matters. Then your theory doesn’t take into account people who will vote for someone they don’t like but who represents their financial interests. Or what about intellectuals who allowed Hitler to come into power because they dismiss his antii-Semitic views? And that lead to the ultimate evil? I’d say that mattered too.”

Without responding to a single point he said, “I said, ‘All things being equal.'” said the aspiring academic

“What does that mean?”

“It means you don’t take any of those other factors you mentioned into account,” he explained.

I was diligently silent.

“It’s a theory I’m developing to publish in a paper for my degree.”

I smiled and nodded.  I didn’t want to hurt his feelings and lied, “I agree with what your saying then.”

But all things are never equal! How many of these people develop dead ideas they believe are still-born dreams.

And he will find as he pursues his intellectual career, all things aren’t equal in university faculty politics.



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