Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!


The Augean Stables

It should come as no surprise to people who read my blog that I want to go into politics. It shouldn't come as a surprise because I have stated my desire to go into politics before, and of course, how will I become dictator of the world if I don't go into politics first? This year is not looking good, but I will soon be looking into what offices are available in 2006. I am thinking about starting off with a position on the school board and moving on up. I can't think of any reason why I can't be in politics. I mean, sure, the baby-selling business I ran in 1996-97 might raise some eyebrows, but if a failed businessman can be president these days, I should be fine - my biz was a big success!

However, I'm wondering if I should rethink my entry into the political sphere. God, politics is shit, isn't it? I'm not stupid - I know corruption has been rampant in politics since people decided to invent politics. I just started a book on the Yamato dynasty, and if we think American politics is corrupt, apparently we need to move to Japan, where the corruption is practically out of control. I also realize that the corruption is more evident these days thanks to the Internet, but it's still frustrating. Consider:

* Torture is apparently no standard operating procedure in the military. John McCain says we should stop because it makes us look bad. No, Senator, we should stop because it's wrong.

* The Administration has driven away anyone intelligent and qualified to stock the choice jobs with Bush's pals. Apparently ruining people economically in their businesses wasn't enough. They have to screw them politically too.

* Halliburton continues to get no-bid contracts. What the hell happened to capitalism?

* Everyone blames everyone but themselves. Even Gorgeous George, our stand-up leader, continues to live with his head in the sand. I thought he was going to restore integrity to the Oval Office. Remember "the buck stops here"? Apparently that's a crock.

* Local, state, and federal officials all fucked up with the response to Katrina. Why can't everyone involved say it and then get on with it?

* I have no idea what's going on with Bill Frist and his stock, but it as usual, it's a mingling of business and politics that the Republicans think is good for the country. It's not really capitalism (see no-bid contracts). Unfortunately, it's more like fascism (no, I'm not calling the Administration a bunch of fascists, but the marriage between business and politics they're so high on is disturbingly like it).

* The Administration has politicized science, for crying out loud. Bush commissions studies on global warming and other things and then ignores them. This is not whether or not we should cut taxes. This is hard science. Don't give me this crap about gaps in the evolutionary record. There is NO proof for intelligent design. "It feels right" doesn't cut it. It feels right to me to sit around on a Saturday night a fire M-80s at local wandering preachers. Doesn't make it right.

* Mayors are getting arrested, local councilmen are taking bribes, the representative of my district used his fabulous (taxpayer-funded) health plan to get stomach-stapling surgery - the corruption isn't limited to the federal level.

My question is, why does this stuff happen? Are the type of people who go into politics these days the kind that are naturally corruptible, or are they fine people who can't resist once they get into the game? I don't know. I know that I have never had the opportunity to test my moral fiber in such circumstances, so maybe I would succumb. When (or if) I go into politics, it will be because I want to serve the public, not because I want money. That's not because I'm such a wonderful person, it's because the local political offices here in Arizona don't pay a lot. Maybe down the line, once I consolidate my power and begin to take over, I'll be in it for the money. But not now.

The corruption in government these days disgusts me. George Bush was a failure in every non-political venture in his life. I don't think even conservatives will disagree. He traded Sammy Sosa, for crying out loud! His qualifications for the presidency: governor, son of former president. The ONLY reason he went into politics is because he was a failure at everything else. That's not a good reason to go into politics. All of his cronies, it would seem, went into politics to turn it into their own personal piggy bank. These are people who want money and power. They don't care about the nobility of politics, and it should be a noble pursuit. If Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld were really being honest, there's no way they could say that they are currently in politics to serve the people. It's a shame.

This is kind of a rambling post, and I apologize. I just get sad when I look at politics. Yes, there have been corrupt politicians forever. Yes, there are good politicians out there. I have a great deal of respect for John Kitzhaber, the former governor of Oregon. Yes, he was a bleeding heart liberal, but he tried very hard to make Oregonians work together to make the state better. I respect Janet Napolitano, the current governor of Arizona. Again, another Democrat, but she has reached out "across the aisle" to bring Republicans into the decision-making process, and a lot of the more radical Republicans hate her for it, because God forbid we compromise. In case you think I only respect Democrats, I think Gordon Smith, who is a Republican senator from Oregon, is doing a fine job. I don't agree with everything he says or does, but I remember when he went to Wyoming to stand with Matthew Shepard's family and say that tying a gay man to a fence and killing him is not acceptable. This was when Republicans were trying to distance themselves from hate-crime legislation because it might validate homosexuality. Matthew Shepard was first and foremost a human being, not gay, and the lack of condemnation by Republicans of his killers for their crime of killing a gay man repulsed me. But Smith stood up and said it was wrong, despite his Mormon faith. That's a good guy, even if I don't agree with him politically.

More people need to enter politics and make changes themselves. I can understand why they don't want to, and I may not even enter the fray because I don't want to be dragged down by it. If I go into politics, what will happen? Let's say I get onto the school board of Mesa next year. I will try to work completely for the benefit of the kids, because no one cares about education in this country, and that's wrong. But then someone in the machine points out that the kids aren't going to graduate anyway because they're all dropping out of school, and the feds aren't ponying up any funds for No Child Left Behind (gotta have tax cuts, after all), so the money earmarked for school would be better used in sprucing up downtown to attract more businesses so the kids' parents can get better jobs. Is that how it starts? I wonder.

We'll see. I have a few months to decide. It can't all be shit, can it?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it can all be shit, but that's the reason to go into it.

We are having an election today in my hometown, population 2,600. The current town council spent sixty four thousand dollars on food in the past calendar year, which except for two days of public holidays goes directly to paying for council luncheons. So, on average a thousand dollars a week is going towards paying for meals for nine council members.

In today's election there is exactly one challenger, and not a serious one, to the position of mayor. There are three new candidates for council. All previous members are up for reelection.

In the past four months two of the mayor's close relatives have been hired full-time for permanent and well-paying positions with the town with zero qualifications. No one says boo to this, it's just accepted as normal. The same mayor, the same council has been serving with only minor changes, one member resigned for a term, for the past twenty three years.

More people, fresh people, need to get into politics.

27/9/05 3:51 PM  
Blogger Gordon said...

I second the motion - go into politics.

I have to admit that I'm something of a political junkie, but my focus has been (primarily) local politics - my father worked for a Chicago alderman, and I've been involved in St. Louis politics (where many races have unopposed, one party candidates). That's probably one of the reasons I'm big on voter education, doing policy work, non-profit advocacy, etc - I like the fact that, on a local level, you can make great change.

In terms of my own feelings about politics, the big problem is that most politicians rarely seek the advice of their constituents. Much of the current machinations of the Bush administration are due to the fact that they're not seeking Mr. and Mrs. America (conservative or liberal)...but their own inner sanctum.

In my opinion.

Politics is a bloody, messy business, and we as a nation need to start encouraging rather than discouraging people to run.

Go for it.

And when you become dictator, please make me Minister of Putting Things On Top Of Other Things.

27/9/05 4:30 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Sounds like a good job, Gordon - you got it.

27/9/05 9:12 PM  

Many politicans are venal, self-serving and amoral, and the current US administration could make me weep real tears (if I wasn't such a tough guy, obviously). But that's why you should go into politics. And they're not all bad. Here's three Britons who made a difference:

William Wilberforce (Tory) - abolished slavery
David Lloyd George (Liberal) - introduced state old age pensions
Clement Attlee (Labour) - created our National Health Service

Be one of them, or at least try.

And if you ever need a Tony Blair, coming up with barely plausible reasons for wars, making apologies for you when you tear up international environmental treaties to help your oil buddies, and getting into foreign campaigns completely against our national interest, I'll be there.

27/9/05 11:02 PM  
Blogger San Nakji said...

I read "Aegean" instead of Augean... I thought this post would be all about Greece... whoops! Go into politics!

27/9/05 11:11 PM  
Anonymous Mike Loughlin said...

What frustrates me is how the government is *expected* to be corrupt, so most people don't bat an eye over things like no-bid contracts. You're outraged, so you should go into politics and kick some ass.

I, on the other hand, would lead us down a dark path ending with rending of garments and gnashing of teeth.

28/9/05 6:10 AM  
Blogger Roger Owen Green said...


Ive written before abpout I was a poli sci major who hates politics, but I did have some GOOD experiences, too. I should write about that.

I've noted the one-party town I live in. Always a bad thing, regardless of affiliation.

I am sily enough to believe that lots of people go into politics for the "right" reason (trying to affect change), but get seduced by the power.

Run for something, Greg, but I hope the process doesn't chew you up and spit you out.

28/9/05 6:43 AM  
Blogger john sweet said...

I shant go into politics (discussion of that is), but shall leave you with this story:

I was tending bar one Sunday morning with only one elderly couple in for coffee and doughnuts when we got to discussing some local politics from the paper. Surprise of surprises, they thought my input rational and reasonable enough to toss in that I should look into going into politics myself. I begged off saying that I just didn't have the heart for politics. The husband's reply:

"That's excellent, because you don't need a heart for politics... or it just gets ripped out."

Politics is tough. It would certainly lead me to murder. Good luck to you, Greg.

By the way, could you make me Ambassador to the Land of Buxxom and Desparate Women?

Uncle Monster

28/9/05 8:45 AM  

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