Ralph Hancock: 'Beyond politics' is only an illusion

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Awaiting Certainty Clinton/USA, MA
    Feb. 17, 2019 9:34 a.m.

    (Plato’s Republic, tr. Bloom, 492A)

    “…and be such as they are.”

    “But WHEN do the biggest sophists turn out young and old, men & women, JUST the way they want them to be?” Glaucon asks.

    Socrates answers, “When many gathered together sit down in assemblies, courts, theaters, army camps, or any other common meeting of a multitude, and with a great deal of uproar, blame some of the things said or done, and praise others, both in excess, shouting and clapping; and, besides, the rocks and the very place surrounding them echo and redouble the uproar of blame and praise.

    "Now in such circumstances, as the saying goes, what do you suppose is the state of the young man’s heart? Or what kind of private education will hold out for him and not be swept away by such blame and praise and go, borne by the flood, wherever it tends, so that he’ll say the same things are noble and base as they do, practice what they practice, and be such as they are?”

  • Dmorgan Herriman, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 10:36 a.m.

    The author starts with this quote, ”A mediocre professional quarterback’s intellectually vacuous and grandiose political gesture becomes fodder for the worldwide marketing of overpriced gym shoes, tokens of style for lives with too little moral, religious or familial substance.” Then goes on to complain about comedians, “But it turns out that comedians and talk-show hosts have abandoned comedy in favor of virtue-signaling and compulsive manifestations of contempt for any who might disagree.”

    It appears the author is incapable of the introspection necessary to view the hypocrisy of his own position. The author can complain contemptuously and condescendingly all he wants. What he needs to do is quit pretending he is above it all.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 10:18 a.m.

    Dr. Hancock's distress at excess politicization is at once undermined and demonstrated by the gratuitous swipes in his lede. Are we really to believe Dr. Hancock's would find Kaepernick more credible if he had combined talents of Unitas, Starr, Namath, and both Mannings? Why is it necessary to diminish Williams? Sure, she's a great athlete, but she's still only a girl. And why not add a throwaway jab at feminism ("whatever they may be") while you're at it? One form of expression of the political polarization he decries is condescension towards and belittling of the other side, to render their opinions unworthy of consideration. He's a mediocre athlete, so why should his views on race matter (even though he is a black man who has experienced racism)? She is good, but not the best player in history, so why should her views on the treatment of women matter (even though she is a woman who has experienced sexism)? The column proves the headline. Even the author cannot transcend politics.

  • countryvoice3 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 8:19 a.m.

    HSTucker "It is utterly impossible to implement economic "equality" without totalitarianism"..and thus goes the argument that liberals are actually against freedom.

    Well once again you miss state the issue. Your implication is personal economic equality is the goal..doctors make the same as dishwashers. Of course this is just misinformed obfuscation.

    An economic system where labor is paid it's share of value is not totalitarianism. However a system where owners are paid pretty much the whole of value and value is manipulated to exclude labor is Oligarchy...Totalitarianism parading around in a tailored suit.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Sept. 12, 2018 5:10 p.m.

    "Politics now is about everything because it is about nothing."

    The good professor has now passed from theory to axiom, signaling that his critical capacity has become paralyzed. For him, as for Macbeth at the crisis, nothing signifies because everything is just sound and fury.

    The rest of us will continue, as we always have, to love our families, our country, and our faith despite the sound and fury.

  • Orson2 Woods Cross, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 12:46 p.m.

    Excellent piece with some fine arguments.

    It might be good, for those who don't know some of the specifics, to include links that take readers to stories about the two athletes mentioned. I barely knew enough of what was currently going on in the news to know what was being talked about. Others may know less.

  • HSTucker Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 11:15 a.m.

    "We demand equality for all human beings, but we have forgotten, or denied, what a human being is."

    Likewise, we have forgotten, or denied, (or been deceived about) what equality is.

    It is utterly impossible to implement economic "equality" without totalitarianism. Economic equality can only exist if we deny human beings the freedom to choose for themselves, because free choice will inevitably create inequalities. Inequality is a feature, not a bug.

  • There You Go Again St George, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 10:06 a.m.


    So you don't like Colin or Serena.

    I don't like Faux Noise, Right Wing Hate Radio, Sinclair Broadcasting etc..

    I don't listen, watch or read anything coming form these mis-information sources.

    I suggest you do the same.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 9:31 a.m.

    "Everything has become political because we have succumbed to the illusion that politics can overcome all limitations and, yes, all inequalities of the human condition. We imagine we can make people more free and equal without making them better people. "

    Professor Hancock works the personal responsibility principle to the exclusion of other considerations. If an economy becomes starkly unequal it stunts personal development and sabotages the political system. For example, Latin America is a basket case because Spain's colonies foisted a large estate model on the population, denying personal property for the large mass of people. Beware, with our own growing accelerating income and wealth inequality we may well emulate Latin America's experience. Already we look like Argentina!

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 9:18 a.m.

    Politics has always been about groups of people within a larger group and how they deal one with another, usually regarding their differences. Leaders or spokesmen/ spokeswomen usually arise in each group. Some leaders use this opportunity to seek to gain power to further their own agenda - and, voila ! This power - seeking has become addictive for many. Not many George Washingtons around.

  • byugraduate Las Vegas, NV
    Sept. 12, 2018 9:19 a.m.

    Well said! Politics is causing the problems and discord.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Sept. 12, 2018 9:03 a.m.

    Until 2003 it was illegal to be gay in the state of Utah.

    I couldn't get married or adopt in that state until 2013.

    School teachers there still can't say "gay people can have full, complete lives" without breaking state law.

    Your adoption laws were structured to exclude gay people.

    Like many others, you tried various employment bans. At the federal level, you supported backing me from military service and before that from even having a security clearance.

    Y'all made the personal political a long time ago. It's not fair to blame us for calling it out.

  • conservative scientist Lindon, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 8:06 a.m.

    Well said Mr. Hancock.

  • md Cache, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 8:06 a.m.

    This was very well stated. Thank you for this eloquent piece.