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Hasty Overreactions: The Good and Bad Kind

A few simple observations to help you understand American politics.

First, assume a spectacular crime.

Next, assume an opportunistic politician. Let's call him Stan.

When Stan responds to this crime by introducing a bill kick-punching suspects and/or criminals -- say by expanding the death penalty, abolishing the insanity defense, broadening police powers, mandating life without parole, or lowering the age of criminal responsibility -- this is known as responsive democratic action.

When Stan responds to this crime by introducing a bill opposed by powerful lobbies -- say a bill imposing higher penalties for financial mismanagement, or stricter gun-control laws -- this is called exploiting a tragedy for political gain, rushing to judgment before all the facts are in, and/or irresponsible populism.

I hope that helps!


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Thanks for the enlightenment on American politics - we need it too, not just Europeans!

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