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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Why the right people dont run for office?

Recently a very intelligent and thought provoking facebook friend of mine, Venus Nicolino posted a status with the idea that the wrong people are in office and why do we encourage that. I intend to respond to that. Below is the exact status that she wrote.

"If you were going in for heart surgery, would you want your surgeon to be a folksy aw shucksy person you felt you could have a beer with, or would you prefer a highly educated, ahem, intellectual individual who was best trained to do the job? Why do we have the opposite requirements for the people who run the country?"

I am the type of person you want to run for public office. I am highly educated and have worked in the business world. I know how to make things work and balance the need for social justice with the reality of fiscal constraints.
I am caring and I always try to do the right thing. I am smart, creative, responsible and lead a generally good life. Most people like me and I am very approachable. In times of crisis I will be there to stand up and lead. All you would want. Right?
What is my incentive to run? I have a good life now. If I were to run, I can expect to be attacked, investigated, interrogated etc. Why would I subject myself and my family to that?
Simply put, I would not.
Neither would anyone else worthy of the task.
The reality of public office, even the highest public office, is that the pay and the ridicule is not nearly worth the effort. If I am that worthy, I can go to any Fortune 500 company and make 20 million plus per year and basically be nameless and faceless. No one will care if I have had an affair before, or made mistakes in my past. If one of my parents was less than a good person, or my siblings would be an embarrassment to the office, it is simply not relevant.
The President of The United States makes probably 1 million a year at most. Why would anyone take such a pay cut to serve his or her country. They wouldn't.
In reality, government officials have the power to ruin the country, which in many cases, over many years, they have. There is trillions of dollars at stake every year, yet we trust this financial responsibility to those who clearly have no idea how to handle this kind of problem. The result is and will continue to be a deep debt and shortfall resulting in more less than worthy hopefuls who will run and promise to fix this problem. The problem with that is that they can't. They don't have the knowledge and only offer preacher like speeches with non specific ideas on how to fix the problem.
Those who could actually fix this problem, sit back and make millions every year, go on trips and buy bigger and bigger houses and live the good life.
As I see it, that will never change. The motivation to do the right thing is in the hands of the wrong people.

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