Oh, how I hate election time. I wish they'd limit campaigning to six weeks of duration, because that's about all I can stomach. And by this stage of the game, it's all degenerated into mudslinging, finger pointing and middle-school era name calling. I hate it all.
I was flipping around the radio dial looking for a traffic report on the way home from work yesterday, and heard no less than three commercials from politicians who claimed: "I'm not a 'career politician', like the other guy..."
I know this is they're way of trying to say "Look at me! I'm more like you than he is!" but it seems a rather stupid way of saying it, don't you think?
If you're going to be getting my vote to assume and uphold a political office, that had better damn sure be your career choice. I wouldn't hire a non-career plumber to fix my leaky faucet. I definitely wouldn't want to be in an airplane with a pilot who was just one of us regular people and not a "career pilot" - would you?
Being a career politician takes a certain skill set. I think one of the problems we've had in this nation is that too many people want to elect "regular folks" who have a great background in business or law or fundraising, but they forget that government isn't limited to just one of those things.
Government is about fiscal responsibility, understanding and endorsing legislation, infrastructure programs like roads and bridges and waterways, disaster relief, debt management, diplomacy, national defense, global and domestic commerce, educational reform, job creation, healthcare and relief programs for the poor and disabled. It's a million and one things, and above all, it's the political savvy to be able to navigate it all through the red tape, media hype and distortion, partisan politics and special interests that throw a monkey wrench into the works as you go.
That kind of job is going to take a hell of a lot more than "just one of the guys (or gals)". We need someone who remembers what it's like to be one of us, but has all the skills, clout and persistence to do what needs to be done everywhere that they need to do it.
In short, it's got to be someone who makes politics a career, and isn't afraid to stand by that decision.