I became a journalist because I love to write.
In fact, most people tend to pursue career paths related to things that interest them if they have any choice in the matter. A person who likes to bake might become a baker. A person who likes numbers might become an accountant. A person who loves animals and biology might become a veterinarian.
So, what does a person who likes to control other people do?
Become a politician.
Think about it. If various jobs tend to attract people with certain interests and personalities, we should probably be wary of those attracted to government “service.” Because at its core, government is about ruling over others. A person who wants to govern other people probably shouldn’t be given the opportunity.
Watching a bunch of government officials gleefully exercising their suddenly expansive powers in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic has reinforced my opinion on this. Some of them clearly get off on the power trip. They thrive in the spotlight. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has parlayed the pandemic into a role as a sex symbol.
Others like Maryland Governor Larry “We’re not playing around” Hogan has taken more of a “tough guy” approach. These people seem to revel in ratcheting up the lockdown each day. They lecture us like benevolent fathers and then authorize their minions to lock us in cages if we dare resist their edicts.
When I was a kid, I actually believe that government officials got their positions because they were exceptionally smart and knew a lot about the issues. I imagined them uniquely qualified to make policy. I think a lot of adults still believe this fairytale.
But after working with politicians at every level of government for over a decade, I can emphatically tell you a lot of them don’t know squat about squat. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve literally had to explain to a bill sponsor what their own bill was intended to do. And this has happened more than once. Maybe it’s just me, but that seems less than ideal.
Here’s the ugly truth — most politicians don’t get into office because they are smart or knowledgeable about the issues. The vast majority get into office because they are good at two things.
- Raising money.
- Convincing people to vote for them.
Neither of those skill-sets screams “trust me to run your life.”
Actually, I don’t think anybody is qualified to run my life other than me. But that’s the subject for a different article.
Now, I probably shouldn’t paint with a broad brush. I do know a handful of politicians I consider genuine public servants who do possess a strong grasp of the issues. A few are even genuinely committed to liberty.
But most of them just want power.
In fact, I’m going to take this a step further. I believe a lot of politicians are sociopaths.
Now, this may seem like hyperbole. But look at these characteristics of a sociopath and then tell me a lot of politicians don’t fit the bill.
- Glibness and Superficial Charm
- Manipulative and Conning
- They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.
- Grandiose Sense of Self
- Feels entitled to certain things as “their right.”
- Pathological Lying
- Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.
- Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
- A deep-seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.
- Shallow Emotions
- When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.
- Incapacity for Love
- Need for Stimulation
- Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.
- Callousness/Lack of Empathy
- Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others’ feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.
- Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
- Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.
- Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity
- Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.
- Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle
- Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.
- Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility
- Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.
Doesn’t that list perfectly describe a lot of your elected officials? As the saying goes, if the shoe fits…
This brings us to the $64,000 question: why do so many people trust these people to run their lives?
They’re not wise.
They’re not benevolent.
They don’t have our best interests at heart.
They don’t care about you.
The faster we all realize that the better off we’ll be.