Do two clueless people know more than either one alone?

car talkSometimes your arguments make NO sense at all !!!!!!!! — Bob McGill Nov. 23, 1013.

Bob McGill is “New NY 23rd’s” most avid reader and frequent critic

NPR’s Car Talk recently addressed the question: do two clueless persons know more or less than either one alone. I believe the answer is that generally two or more together do know more than any one of them. This is the basis of our democracy–Lincoln’s idea that you may fool some all the time and all some of the time but never all the people all of the time.

The current Congress may seem to disprove my belief, but I think not. When members of Congress dutifully follow a party line, they aren’t giving us the benefit of their best judgement by acting independently and responsibly. The probability that every Democrat holds one view and every Republican the opposite is very small, yet Congress votes this way again and again. When Amo Houghton was (as I remember) the only Republican to vote against war, right or wrong, he honestly gave us the benefit of his best judgement. If our representatives were honest and free of political pressure, I am confident that they would more often act responsibly. If not, we should fix that.  !!!!!!!!

© William Hungerford – June 2014





About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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9 Responses to Do two clueless people know more than either one alone?

  1. josephurban says:

    Not only did Amo Houghton vote against the war, he voted against his own party in the Clinton “impeachment” fiasco.


  2. whungerford says:

    Thank’s for the reminder Joseph. I suspect Amo might oppose the current Republican plan to sue President Obama were he still our representative. While Amo certainly wasn’t always right, he did give us his honest service.


  3. Anne says:

    As usual, I think it’s a case of follow the money.


  4. Deb Meeker says:

    It seems to me the pressure comes more from demanding of themselves – integrity. For example – Rep. Justin Amash, a very staunch Libertarian, has no problem bucking his leadership on policies he disagrees with, nor explaining why he votes as he does. I personally disagree with most of Amash’s votes and reasons for them, but I respect his integrity for not caving to money or power.


  5. pystew says:

    The following Open Secrets site lets us compare the voting records between two different representatives, and how often they vote with their party.


  6. whungerford says:

    Addressing Deb’s point, I see that Rep. Amash votes with his party 79% while Reed votes 92%. There are many procedural votes invariably on party lines, so this difference may be significant.


  7. pystew says:

    I see where Rep. Amash has a “OpenCongress Users’ Approval Rating” (whatever that means) of 86%, where Rep. Reed’s is 0%. Rep. Amash abstains 0%, Reed 5% of the time.


  8. josephurban says:

    A good point, Deb. I have no problem with honest conservatives. Don’t agree with them but I respect their votes. Like you, I do have a problem with those who are chameleon-like and vote one way while taking photo ops pretending to support the opposite.. For example, those who want to slash government funding yet brag about the federal dollars they are able to bring into the district. Or those who oppose health care for the working poor yet take photo ops about how they support Medicare.


  9. whungerford says:

    The libertarian core belief, that the economy regulates itself in the public interest without government intervention, is surely wrong–laissez-faire leads inevitably to obscene wealth for a few and crushing poverty for the rest. We are currently inundated with political propaganda suggesting that small, limited government is desirable, an idea that serves the parochial self-interest of those promoting it.


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