Thursday, March 10, 2016

Why Would Any Sane Person Want Such Jobs

This question is a cliche now, related to another cliche observation: "Nobody who wants the job should be allowed to have it."

Admiral Halsey had a quote that has always stuck with me: "There are no extraordinary men... just extraordinary circumstances that ordinary men are forced to deal with"

When you think about that in the terms of politics; especially in today's world of money fueled campaigning, spin doctors, and staying on message, where the message is hardly ever anything specific as to what that person will actually do once elected, you have to wonder about the mind sets of those who would willingly submit to it all.

Some of them, I suppose, start out with a real sense of wanting to implement a specific package of policy proposals; initiatives that they feel will make a difference, but how much of that can ever hope to stay at all plausible given all of the compromises that must be voiced to win over one fact cat or another; recognizing that, even in the world of Big Money there are major factions working at cross purposes to each other. And also realizing that saying too much too soon only allows your opponent ammunition with which to criticize you with (because, as already stated, no matter what you want to do it's likely to not be what one or more interest groups wants.

 After so many years of this process getting more and more refined to the staging of "resonant" themes, as opposed to actually seeking office to do a concrete set of actions, one could be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that it has a lot more to do with ego, and ego gratification, especially as it relates to lofty notions of a "place in history." And when you then look to the kinds of people who are now the usual suspects for contention, cycle after cycle, it becomes even more clear that the process itself is geared to filter up mostly egotistical chameleons; quick change artists ready to blend into whatever resonant imagery necessary to get elected.

Maybe what we should have in place is a system where nobody can actually run for anything. A system where everyone votes for whoever they think would do a good job, and if that person got enough votes (whatever "enough" might be worked out to be), they would be drafted on the spot (getting penalized if they refused). And the minute anybody said anything about wanting people to vote for them, they would be immediately excluded.

As already indicated, the details of such a thing would not be easy to work out. Perhaps it's just wishful thinking more than anything else. One thing is for sure though. As it stands now all we get are extraordinary clowns, and/or egotistical seekers of a place in history, not matter what the body count may be needed to get there. Surely, with so many creative people in this country, we ought to be able to figure out a better way. The bar has been set pretty low as to what it would take to be better after all.

First Read: Where Have All the Popular Candidates Gone?