Monday, October 14, 2013

Ducking for Cover in Order to Win the 2014 Primary is an Excuse! Do Your Duty Even If You're Not Re-Elected!!

Several films that follow the rise and fall of political figures include a scene like this one:

Candidate: I can’t say that!

Campaign Advisor: You must.

Candidate: That runs counter to everything I stand for.

Campaign Advisor: No, that runs counter to everything you STOOD for.

Candidate stares, truth making the hairs on the back of his neck rise. He says nothing.

Campaign Advisor: Look, I know those words are not part of you, part of your reasons for running for office, but you can’t accomplish anything if you can’t be elected and to be elected, you need to court this constituency and to court this constituency, you need to say “that.” When you say that, you’ll have more funds to continue your campaign and win a chance to say what you want to say when you want to say it.

Candidate yields. Cut to Candidate behind a podium, speaking into a microphone the words he never wanted to speak.

The first time I saw such a scene, I acknowledged a certain level of cynicism in the hearts of the producers, script-writers, and director. I knew the film-makers merely held a mirror to the political process to explain why first-time candidates begin with noble goals and aspirations to serve the greater good, but soon, abandon those goals and aspirations in favor of time spent with wealthy donors and lobbyists, listening to marketing designed to achieve ends that serve the donor or lobby group without regard to the costs that others must pay.

I now look upon those scenes with disgust and disdain. To speak words and enact legislation not in the best interest of most people is simply malfeasance. Shape-shifting to be elected and to retain office has led us to this dysfunctional place. Politicians pander. Politicians promise. But they don’t deliver for the majority, only the minority, and they must stop. They must be willing not to win an election. They must be willing to perform according to their duty as enumerated in the Constitution. They must care more about the safety, health, and welfare of the nation and its residents than they care about their own paychecks or continued employment as an elected leader.

Moreover, the guy who sells his soul and his words to the highest bidder never manages to become what he hoped to become. He never accomplishes the ends to which he ran when he decided to run for elected office. He becomes a shill, more concerned about continued employment than life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for the people.