Won't Get Fooled Again...

It's time people stop attaching their faith to political candidates. They'll build Perfectville, alright—but it's for them, their yes-men, and a few choice 21-year-old interns


I’m always amazed when I hear/read/see people connecting a political candidate to their hopes for the future, as if the candidate somehow represents the things they believe. Obama = Compassion, Hope, and Spreading the Wealth. Romney = Fiscal Responsibility, Individualism, and Free Market Enterprise. 


Passion for and about candidates drills deep into many American minds.


As difficult is it is for me to admit, the issue was nailed down long ago by a little rock band called The Who. It was 1971, and in their rock anthem Won’t Get Fooled Again, the group sang, “Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.”


There. It. Is.


Yes, there are occasional Boy Scouts who run for the right reasons, and actually serve while they’re there-- but after 10 years in Congress that Boy Scout is long gone, and the service has become self-service. I laugh out loud when lifelong politicians like Fritz Hollings refer to their “work” as public service. Oh, yes—Fritz! Thank you for fighting for the money for the new XYZ Building! Let’s name it after you!


Really? Is this some sort of cosmic joke? Fritz horse-traded with money that didn’t exist with other politicians for more money that didn’t exist so each could build buildings in their state. Senator, your MILITARY service in WWII was public service. Getting rich in Washington wasn’t.


Anyway, the question must be asked, “Why?” Why do these grown men and women fight like Hollywood starlets for a job that they claim requires such “tireless service?” Such “exhausting hours?” So many “demands?”


Sure, there are free global junkets, fawning lobbyists, 21-year old interns, free breakfast/lunch/dinner, nightly cocktail parties, fame, power, exemption from Federal Laws, and money… but what’s the most seductive thing? The thing they can’t live without? I think it’s their residence in Perfectville. 

Consider their lives: All gravitational norms that ground us as humans have ceased to exist in their world, and thus the darker side of their human nature is free to go berserk.  Just imagine a life where the people around you are nothing more than yes-men. Bowing and scraping, they work to fashion for you a world where you are right/smart/perfect/funny 24/7/365. Why? Because it makes you happy! And if you’re happy, then you are going to try to maintain the status quo… a status quo that includes those exact same yes-men inside your inner circle. In medical terms, you’ve contracted a virus, but you love the feeling the virus causes.

Next stop, Perfectville—inhabited only by folks that treat you like the Sun King, no matter what you do. The world revolves around you because… the world revolves around you.


But wait! There are hardships! What about the press constantly hounding you? Looking to discredit you? Good point: Maybe if you obey the spirit and the letter of the  law, operate in the sunlight, and always tell the truth then the press would have less to discredit, yes?


Okay, what about the "battles" across the aisle? The mental fisticuffs day after day? The need to carefully craft every sentence. Please. You ever seen professional wrestling? It’s that. Minus the physical exercise. And instead of a championship belt you get a trunk full of money.


What about the complaining, nagging constituents? Oh, you mean the people who pay your salary? The people who elected you? Hey, Dude: put on your big boy underwear; everyone who works has a boss. And you CHOSE yours.


Do I distrust every politician? Pretty much. 99% of the time if you’re willing to run, you’re de facto unfit to serve.


People, maintain your convictions. Speak your opinions.  Stand up and be heard. But don’t attach your faith to a candidate. Not Obama or Romney. You’ll just get fooled again.