Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ten reasons I couldn't be a politician

1) I would be lousy at fundraising.  It's astonishing, how much time professional politicians have to spend getting people to give them money for their next campaign.  Imagine it, all those nights eating rubber chicken at some banquet hall, pretending some rich guy's jokes are funny, or that his policy ideas are sensible.  No thanks.
2) I've read a lot, and thought a lot, and have pretty carefully reasoned views on a lot of issues.  But I don't know everything, and I don't have an opinion on everything.  But you're supposed to.  I don't think there's any harm in saying "I don't know squat about fracking and don't have an opinion on it."  But you're not allowed to say that if you're a politician. You either think fracking is an environment nightmare or that it's a great, safe, technology.  What you can't say is: "Dunno.  Beats me."  Which I would say a lot. 
3) I also think there's a lot to be said for changing your mind.  I have a son who is an economist.  He knows more about economics than I do.  I've studied economics, but if he has a different opinion than I have on some economic issue, odds are, he's right.  I'd be the worst flip-flopper ever.
4) I don't think disagreeing with someone makes them a bad person.  I also don't think the ideas of my parties' leaders matter one solitary hoot. I'd be a really bad partisan. 
5) I think abortion is an important and complex moral issue.  I don't think it's a political issue at all.  I think prayer in school is awesome.  I prayed my way all the way to a PhD.  Not a political issue.  I think there are a lot of moral issues that don't lend themselves to political solutions or argument.  If, in a debate, I was asked if I was pro-choice or pro-life, I'd say 'none of your doggone business.' 
6) I figure, if the US has nuclear weapons, we're hardly in a position to tell other countries they can't have them.  In fact, I don't think it's our business to tell other countries what they can or cannot do, ever, about anything, unless they attack our citizens. 
7) I also don't give a crap what my constituents think about anything.  I think most folks who write their members of Congress are responding emotionally to some slanted thing they read on the internet.  I'll make up my own mind, thank you very much.
8) I also don't give a crap if the women's basketball team from my state won a NCAA title, or some such.  I like sports. I like 'em a lot.  I'll root for whoever I feel like rooting for. Don't expect me to waste everyone's time with some proclamation.  I don't think sports has anything to do with politics.
9) On any issue, on any policy, the only real question is, will this help people?  Will this make the lives of ordinary citizens better?  Will this help families pay the bills and maybe get a little ahead in life?  If it's good for some people and bad for others, then look at income brackets--if it's good for poor people, I'm for it, even if it's bad for rich people.  Easy litmus test.
10) I would accept, with gratitude, absolutely any free thing or goodie offered me by a lobbyist, long as it's legal.  I would then vote however I darn well please. I'd make that clear from the start--'steak dinner, sweet! I still oppose your bill.'  If  a lobbyist wants to influence my vote, use logic, use evidence, support it with facts. Then I'd listen to the other side too before making up my mind.

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