Thursday, September 6, 2012

Politicians Are Just People

Politicians are people. As people, they have flaws. Because of that, I've been thinking about our relationship to politicians after watching most of the DNC and all of the RNC. Besides the general "vote the bums out" theory and Eastwood's "let them go" line, the general idea is that we need to try and bring politicians back down to earth.

People seem to have no issue thinking of police officers and teachers as public employees who we pay for a service. Because of that, we hold them to higher standards than other people. Most police officers and teachers achieve those standards. The few that do not are rightly condemned by all. Yet, not enough people seem to stand up and tell politicians (of all parties, branches and levels) that we pay their pay checks, so blast it, we're holding them to a higher standard.

Politicians, though, are more like athletes or celebrities. Their power and influence instead buys them protection instead of higher standards. People put too much faith and power into our politicians and not enough into changing things and being kind to others ourselves. No matter how you vote, it will take years for things to actually change in broad, measurable ways. There are very few transformational politicians, there are fewer still who are actually transformational and able to reach across ideological divides to inspire people.

Politicians should not be on clothes; we should not write songs about them (well, at least, the living ones.) Like any living person, they still can disappoint us. They can fail to achieve what they set out to do, and they simply aren't you. This doesn't mean don't be passionate; do that. That's fine. But, if you wouldn't think of venerating an athlete or movie star in a given way, reconsider if you should wear a shirt with Romney or Obama's face on it.

Politicians are my employees; we have an unhappy relationship for a variety of reasons. The U.S. is, in some ways, deliberately set up with the government as somewhat antagonistic to the individual and vice versa exactly so we build a healthy respect of the power the government wields so that we can check it. It is a good thing that the government has power to check citizens; citizens however have the same power to check the government. You won't see my bosses wearing my face on their shirt, I have no intention of wearing a politician's face on mine.



One more night of the DNC. Then, on Friday, milkshakes.

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