I consider myself an optimist, but American politics is an area where I let my cynicism rage unchecked. I try to stay informed, and every time I pay attention to a politician for any appreciable length of time, I wind up disgusted.
But it’s election time, and so I pay attention, despite having almost zero faith in any one candidate’s ability to change anything.
The more I pay attention to politics, the more I realize that I do it for one of the same reasons I read dystopian literature or watch war movies: because I wonder how I would perform in extreme situations.
How would I stack up as a politician? The short answer is:
I would be craptastic.
Here are a few things I see as barriers to entry for me:
Obviously, if you’re going to run, you need money. I don’t have it and I don’t want to raise it. And if I was trying to raise funds, I’d probably wind up throwing a bake sale, getting bored, eating all the cookies, and dropping out of the race.
Whenever I’ve told lies, it hasn’t worked out well. I either get caught or my conscience eats at me and I fess up. Sooner or later I would need to say something for political points that I didn’t believe. It wouldn’t work for me. If I tried, I’d wind up miserable.
Going out once a month to talk to a group of special educators or kids with disabilities is great for me. Giving five speeches in a day and standing around for hours just to shake hands and traveling at a breakneck pace with no rest would not work. I’d become a surly ninny.
No time to read
Nothing cuts into my pleasure reading. So if Romney tags me for the VP slot, I’m afraid I shan’t answer the call: I’m getting into Ramsey Campbell again and that must take precedence.
If you put a microphone in front of me all day today, I would eventually say something that you could take out of context and mock me with. Or maybe I’d slip up, babble, and give you something stupid to use in context.
I say that I don’t really worry about what people think about me, but the truth is that not many people think about me, so it’s easy to say. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to have every utterance torn apart by about half the people who pay attention to politics.
Being a nightly target for comedians would get to me.
These are huge generalizations and of course there are exceptions, but I wish I saw more of the exceptions.
I could go on, but I want to hear from you. Would you make a good politician? Why or why not? Are you as ready for this election to end as I am?