Friday, December 3, 2010

Have Politicians REALLY Changed?

Suddenly (in the past couple of years, or so) we have started hating and disrespecting our politicians.  Oh, we have always hated and disrespected politicians in general, but now we are including our own politicians.  Why?

Have any of them really changed?  After all, those among us who consider these things long ago realized that no person runs for public office for the least not the salary.  It isn't high enough to pay for the trouble, aggravation and responsibilities thrust upon one by the job.  And some of us recognize that "pay" is split into two kinds: monetary (salary, pension, etc.), and psychic (I like doing it, people are helped by what I can do, I get a car and driver, I get 5 weeks vacation, I get to tell others what to do, my commute is short, etc.).  This is all pay, and explains why some people stay at jobs that we know pays less than they could get elsewhere; the psychic income makes up for the monetary shortfall.

One of the elements that is psychic and always applies to a political office is one of these two attitudes: "I know better than anyone else how to take care of this."; or "No one else that knows what their doing is stepping up to the plate so I have to."

So, since this applies to all politicians...and has always applied to all politicians...why are we just now starting to get really, really unhappy with even our own representatives at each and every level of government?

I suggest that it is because all politicians are becoming more truthful.  Stop gasping...I mean it.  Now, don't get me wrong...not in everything, but just a small and perhaps inadvertent way in dealing with we, the voters.

Given that each and every one of them believes that they are superior to everyone else, at least in their district or state or whatever area they represent, and that has not changed...why do we feel differently now?

Well, think about how you have felt in the past.  For me, it was always that "every guy in office is crooked, taking money under the table and ignoring the public except for mine."  See, when he or she came back to their local office or was running for office or hosted a Town Hall Meeting, they acted as if they were listening, they behaved toward us with respect, telling us with their expressions, their words and their posture that they cared about what we wanted and wanted our guidance so they could accurately represent our interests.  Think about it...really...that what they used to do.  All of them...every time they went "home."  Of course, for Federal office holders, home was always in D.C....they never, ever wanted to have to come back to their roots,  but that is for a later discussion.

What started happening during the debate about changing healthcare was that politicians became tired of pretending to value their constituents' views, of pretending to care what they thought, of pretending to treat them as equals.

Sure, we always knew, deep down, that we were being conned.  But they worked so hard at it, and avoided rubbing their presumption of superiority in our faces so well, that we allowed it, reassuring ourselves that at some point they did understand that we (collectively) could throw them out on their posteriors at any time...and that their posturing was an acknowledgment on their part that they understood.

But for some reason, last summer they didn't bother to put on the mask.  They stopped playing the game.  Or perhaps they decided that it really was a game and didn't need to be played anymore; the "children" were now to be told "BECAUSE" instead of being taught, to be told to go sit in the corner, instead of reasoned with, to be treated as the lesser beings that they were and continue to be.  In other words, our representatives assumed the authority of Divine Right, if not of Kings, then of superior, elite holders of public office.

And then they acted, and continue to act, surprised that we do not hold them and their judgments in the high esteem that they themselves assume.  

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