10/25/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Politics is not about policy

Food isn't about Nutrition

Clothes aren't about Comfort

Bedrooms aren't about Sleep

Marriage isn't about Romance

And Politics is not about policy

That is from a post by the very smart and always provocative Robin Hanson.

He goes on to say:

"We care about policies mainly as clues to candidate character and affiliations." He says that voters make decisions based on which kind of people they think

"will be respected how much. For example, we want nationalized medicine so poor sick folks will feel cared for, military actions so foreigners will treat us with respect, business deregulation as a sign of respect for hardworking businessfolk, official gay marriage as a sign we accept gays, and so on."

This is politics as an expression of values, which is how Katherine Fulton describes philanthropy.