Friday, April 4, 2008

Just Break Something

On the way home from work yesterday I heard a commercial (I can't remember what for); the lady made a comment that stuck with me. She said that their goal is to, "fix what's broken without breaking what's working."

The quote sets the stage for the perfect answer to John's question in a comment a few days ago. He asked why I don't write about politics. The simple truth is that my enthusiasm for anything political long ago waned, and turned into open disdain.

You see, in my experience, the majority of public office holders ASPIRE to that position. Few of them see a need in society and thus run for public office in an attempt to fix that problem or meet that need. No; for the most part, they simply want the position and the power.

And so, in order to win an election, they invent a need. They break something so that they can then promise (assuming the electorate sees fit to elect them to the office) to have the solution. And so our government goes through this hugely damaging cycle. There's an election, then a few months of breath-catching peace, then the ramp up of re-election campaign; then potential opponents begin to invent things that are broken and promise to fix it if they are elected; the voting population begins to believe that the breaks that were alluded to are REAL, and begins calling for change; the opponent is elected; he makes a few minor adjustments to the current environment, then tells everyone he can how much he's accomplished. And the cycle starts itself again.

Would a candidate have any hope of election if he campaigned on a policy of "stay the course"? That is, what chance would a candidate have if he were to step to the podium and say, "Um...I think everything is fine. I can't think of anything that needs fixing, so if I'm elected, I think we'll leave it as-is"?

Politics is a fine art. First, convince people that something's broken. Next, convince them that you're the ONLY one who can fix it. Then, get elected. Make incremental changes (since we ALL know that MAJOR change upsets too many people to be really practical) in order to appease the radical fringes of your party. Finally, towards the end of your term, tout regularly and loudly, your "track-record" of change (while frantically working to debunk your challenger's claims that there's something broken in the current administration).

And then, when term limits say you're done, sign a ghost-written book deal, and invest the big paycheck while Fortune 500 companies pay you multiple thousands of dollars to come speak to their executives or at corporate events.

It's a game. We, the voting public, are the unfortunate pawns who gets shoved around the board at the whim of any power-hungry maniac who can come up with $300 and a handful of people to sign a petition.

No. I don't like politics. I don't think I want to write about it.


Mrs. Willman said...

You are so are right about Politics. Everyone in their campaign was saying either Washington is broken, there needs to be change, or things need to be done differently. My internet did something to my first comment. So I won't write all what I did earlier. But Sean Hannity to Rush Limbaugh say Democrats like to break things and promise the American people of fixing it, but they don't fix, they leave it broken, so the American people can rely on the Government. But anyways, my point in the first comment which didn't work, was this, Who runs these offices, people, it's not Washington, Republicans or Democrats that are broke it's the people that run these programs and offices that need to be fixed, due to human nature. We all have come short of the Glory. But my other point is this, talking about politics would be like playing a broken record. It wouldn't sound good due to broken promises by broken people.

Anonymous said...

Very well put. I won't even try to add to what you wrote.
Love your blog.
Love Mother