It’s that time in the election cycle when the maneuvering and the posturing becomes official; and the “will he runs?” of the world decide to “throw their hats in the ring” for the Presidency. It’s incredibly hard for a natural cynic to keep from rolling his eyes each time a new candidate makes his or her announcement. There will be patriotic music, and lots of red, white, and blue streamers. The location will be carefully crafted to make the candidate look favorable, and the others on the stage will be too. The speech will be loud, but boring. Upbeat, but truly depressing. And full of promises and platitudes which will never be fulfilled and indeed aren’t intended to be. Keeping promises isn’t the goal of the politician, getting elected is. So with that said here are five bad reasons why almost every politician seeks office.
1. They Crave Power. Why else would you run? To a man, they all say the same thing. They all say they are running because of a “desire to serve the people.” You can almost split your sides laughing each time you hear it because unless you live in a total dream world; you know they don’t mean it. If their top goal is really to serve people; then why not get a job at McDonald’s? They could serve people all day, every day. Maybe they would say McDonald’s doesn’t pay enough. Then forego your candidacy and be a nurse. They serve people; and get paid better than a fry cook. The point is this. Rarely does a person go into politics to “serve people.” There are much better ways to serve that none of them are interested in. They all say they want to serve people, but their records show that what they really want is to control people. Barack Obama wants to tell you how much money he will allow you to make. Joe Biden wants to tell you which guns he will allow you to own. And Chris Christie wants to tell you which plants you can grow in your yard. Those are three easy examples, but trust me, most politicians are equally easy to pick on regardless of what side of the aisle they’re on.
2. They Need to Pay Back Cronies. The dirty little secret that is really no secret at all is that political power leads to the lining of one’s pocket. Money fuels the election process; and only a fool would believe that those who supply the funds are not expecting anything in return. Political favors and payback rule the roost. Anytime I hear of some new law requiring me to buy some ridiculous product I usually assume there is a political hack and a lobbyist behind it. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not necessarily opposed to people pressing their representatives for things. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s about “serving the people” when it’s really about making someone rich at your expense. Press your representatives for liberty, not for loot.
3. They Long For More Wealth. Politicians are never poor. They live like kings at the expense of the people. They drive in armored vehicles and fly private jets all in the name of safety. And most people don’t argue, they simply accept that this is the way it is. Aside from the perks of being in office, politicians will use their names to make a load of money over the course of their life. Speaking fees are often astronomical, as are book deals, and financial favors granted to one who is either in power, or who might be in power. Once again, there’s nothing wrong with making a buck. But spare us the poppycock about wanting to “serve the people.” Just once I would like to hear a politician say, when asked why he is running, “Because I want to get rich and I crave power!” I still wouldn’t vote for him, but at least I would respect the honesty.
4. They Love Attention. One of the most pathetic sights you’ll ever see is a room with multiple politicians and multiple cameras. Like teenage girls they will preen for the cameras and try to do and say anything they can to gain attention. Debates are notorious for this, because it’s here that the zippy one liner can win the day and produce material for commercials. And it’s here where the slip-up can lead to the end of a campaign. What is not usually found in a debate is serious discussion about genuine issues. Debates look a lot more like a junior high school locker room than they do a place for serious policy discussions. Whoever can fire the cutest insult at his opponent and “look good” for the camera will be declared the winner. But don’t be fooled, it’s an absolute joke.
5. They Think They’re Better Than You. You almost have to have a certain amount of arrogance to assume that you are the best qualified person to run everyone else’s life. And indeed the arrogance among politicians is breathtaking. How many times have you looked at the candidates for a particular office and wondered if you could, in good conscience, vote for any of them? This is most clearly seen in the political dynasties that have always made up American politics. If you are a Clinton or a Bush you seem to think the oval office is your Divine right. No matter how much their opponents attack, they just keep running for office. In addition to the above reasons, they simply seem to think they are the ruling class. And the peasantry wants them in control. Of course many of the duped peasants confirm this by plastering their bumper stickers on their old beaters, littering their uncut yards with their signs, and running out to vote for the millionaire who supposedly cares about the poor. I’ll pass. But it’s not just Hillary, Jeb, etc. that have this sense of entitlement. Most (if not all) of them do. This should be the top question asked when you encounter the would-be President in your neighborhood: “What makes you think you’re qualified to run my life?” They won’t give you an answer. They’ll tell you they simply want to “serve.” At which point you should tell them the local McDonald’s is hiring and minimum wage has skyrocketed! Go serve burgers and leave me alone.
In conclusion, beware of the charlatans who want to control you. They’ll come out in force this time of year with toothy grins and well pressed suits. They’ll yammer about how great our country is and promise you that it would be a lot greater if they were in charge of it. Rare is the politician who would actually say (as Ron Paul used to), “I’m running for President because I want to give you your freedom back!” Rarer still is the candidate who would have a record to back that up. They say one thing, but do another. They crave power and money for themselves and their cronies. They fawn for the cameras like goofy school girls. And they ooze the arrogant stench of the elite. And when placed in power their mask will come off and you will have simply picked your latest dictator. This will most certainly happen in the coming year. My encouragement to you, is at least be aware of what’s going on. Don’t get sucked into the game and fall for the rhetoric. It might sound cliché to say that most politicians are crooks. But some clichés are indeed true. Maybe a candidate will arise who truly wants to “serve the people” and give us our freedom back. Maybe this will happen. But don’t hold your breath.