Your first sentence pretty much sums up modern society. Actually the first two words do.
You make it sound like the military is the only important vocation in the entire country; that's a dangerous tunnel vision. Dictators like Idi Amin were swept up by military pageantry to the point they waged useless wars on their neighbours - they didn't see the 'hard work' but instead got wrapped up in the uniforms, glory, cameraderie, etc. and kind of forgot that there was a whole host of other tradesmen - bus drivers, carpenters, nurses, farmers, you name it - that also toil, mostly in anonymity, to make the country work.
But like you say, "who cares" about that.
My point in return - you have no idea what a politician has to go through either. Most people don't. It's very easy to criticize without having to walk a mile in the other person's shoes. Uninformed laypersons are becoming increasingly noisy in this country - and now thanks to Facebook, are becoming more and more legitimized. See something you don't like? Create a half-assed Facebook group on the subject, and soon 50,000 people become members, which is not the same as endorsing your idea, only thing is, the media will report it as being just that.
When I worked for a courier company I was convinced the operations manager was doing things all wrong and I would never be like him; two days after being promoted, my perspective changed and I was doing all the same things I had disliked because I suddenly found they made sense to me. I suspect it is the same with being elected to political office. Those who have not held it are probably not in a position to be too hyper-critical if all they have is a layperson's understanding of how the system works or what kinds of pressures they are under or why they make the decisions they do. Everything seems "easy" until you are actually in the position yourself.
You asked "are we supposed to be more understanding by seeing how "difficult" their jobs are?"
My response is - yes. Perhaps people would take a step back and realize that politicians don't walk around screwing things up on purpose. Things went off the rails in 1972 as far as public trust goes. I'm not saying healthy skepticism isn't warranted, and certainly continuing scandals don't help. But there is also a wide gap between expectation and understanding. It's natural.
This message has been edited by dorosh on Aug 25, 2010 7:07 AM