Tuesday, August 26, 2014


FoDoM is the acronym that I came up with for "Friends of Dennis (Daugaard) and Mike (Rounds)." I'm not a friend of either man, but I was getting ready to teach a unit about Aristotle's concept of friendship and Daugaard's disdain for philosophy came to mind. That led to musings summarized below.

Aristotle breaks friendship down into three categories:
In Book VIII of his Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle categorizes three different types of friendship: friendships of utility, friendships of pleasure, and friendships of the good. Friendships of utility are those where people are on cordial terms primarily because each person benefits from the other in some way. Business partnerships, relationships among co-workers, and classmate connections are examples. Friendships of pleasure are those where individuals seek out each other’s company because of the joy it brings. Passionate love affairs, people associating with each other due to belonging to the same hobby organization, and fishing buddies fall into this category. Most important of all are friendships of the good. These are friendships based upon mutual respect, admiration for each other’s virtues, and a strong desire to aid and assist the other person because one recognizes their essential goodness.
When it comes to education, the past and current governors' collective efforts have produced little utility, pleasure, or good. Rounds created and Daugaard exploited a situation in education funding that, at best, brings to mind another acronym FUBAR. If one goes beyond funding, HB 1234, which was thankfully repealed, epitomizes the concept of FUBAR in the legislative and executive branch.

I have to do more reading to be certain, but it strikes me that Aristotle would consider those who vote for a candidate friends of utility. The candidate gets the votes he or she desires and voters get the policies they desire. I'm sure some contributing FoDoM gained utility from their friendship with Daugaard and Rounds. The FoDoM who are hunting or drinking or golfing or whatever friends of pleasure one might be doing also likely gained something from their friendship. As for the rest of us, I'm hard pressed to think of any utility or pleasure arising from the Rounds or Daugaard tenures.

More importantly, government should be about protecting the good. The idea that these two men as governors actually protected the good or created enough utility to justify their re-elections or elevation to the United States Senate is, to continue using an apt acronym, FUBAR.

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