Monday, February 08, 2010

Our approval of Politicians

A friend recently asked me why we get angry, or annoyed with Politicians when we elect them. The point was this, they campaigned, and we cast our ballot for them, and then when they do what they said they would, we get annoyed, or even angry with them. That question got me to thinking and I wanted to blog it to explain the fickle nature of the public.

1) Candidates only campaign in the most general of terms. They promise reform, or in the most recent election, hope and change. Yet, those terms are so vague, and his explanations were so general, lacking in any specifics, that you are left to create your own details.

The comedic newspaper writer Dave Barry has "run for President" in two elections. His views on the issues? He agrees with you on 100% of the issues. Now that is a chuckle getting line, but when you listen to a Politician running for office, they are slightly more serious when they say essentially that they do agree with each and every one of you on a vast majority of the issues.

2) Willingness to doubt the statements of the Candidate we don't agree with. Then there are statements that the candidate makes, and we are willing to deceive ourselves and pretend that he wouldn't be dumb enough to actually do that. He's just playing up to this group, or that special interest to get their votes. He's really far more reasonable than that isn't he?

Or as an alternate to that one, we're willing to believe he can be stopped from pursuing that one.

To summarize, it's our willingness to pretend that the candidate isn't as big of a moron as we suspect he might actually be.

I've personally started to think that Douglas Adams had the right idea in the Restaurant and the End of the Universe. Anyone who wants to hold High Political Office, is automatically disqualified from having the power that comes with it.

I mean think about this. They're spending millions of their own money, to get a job that pays about $200,000 a year. That makes such bad financial sense that it makes you wonder how dumb they really are. Until you realize that for them to get the money in the first place, or keep from losing it all about ten seconds after they inherited it, they would have to be way smarter than that.

So we're left with the idea, that they are running for Political office for what they can get out of it, and us. I also note that no President has ever left office broke.

President Clinton for example, born poor in Arkansas, is a millionaire several times over. Yet, he spent a good portion of his life in Public Housing. The People technically owned the Governor's Mansion in Arkansas, and the White House in DC.

Was this an unintended consequence of his being elected President? I doubt it, but have no idea in reality.

We hear all the time about Politicians getting sweetheart loans, and we realize that again, Senators and Congressmen rarely leave office in a bad financial state. Most of them are usually Wealthy.

So why would we lose faith in the very politicians we elected? Simple, we vote hoping that they're different, and realize afterwards that they're just as bad as the last one. The only change we get, is the position we get screwed in. The only thing I can think of to eliminate this trend is to put term limits and extremely high taxes on the Politicians, so they leave office flat busted broke and have to get a job with the rest of us.

Then we might have a government that is a bit more Of the people, By the people, and FOR the people


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