So, you want to be a politician

A politician and a drunken sailor were asked what they had in common. We don't know because the drunken sailor walked away offended.

Only 17% of US voters want their child to grow up to be a politician.

  • 63% say 'no way'.

Democrats are more enthusiastic about having a politician in the family at a whopping 22%.

It seems 14% of republicans and 14% of people not affiliated with a party are ok with it.

Liberals are twice as likely as conservatives to want a child in politics.

Seventy-six percent of voters say their own congressmen put their own interests above the ones who elected them.

Members of Congress have now surpassed corporate CEO's to hold the least favorably regarded profession in the country among the nine major jobs that are periodically asked about.

Only 4% of voters say most politicians keep campaign promises.

Forty-five percent believe they deliberately make false promises to get elected.

Voters by more than two to one think high congressional re-election rates are the result of election rules that are rigged to "benefit members of Congress".

Fifty-three percent of voters find it unlikely that Congress will seriously address the most important issues facing our nation. That is the highest level found since July 2008.

Just 15% of voters now give Congress good or excellent ratings, while 53% rate them as poor.

(from Rasmussen Reports national survey)

Am I right in saying the main problem is the type of person it takes to want to be a politician in the first place? You have to love the camera, want to be center of attention, be vain to a point, be willing to compromise your soul to the highest bidder, and go to great lengths to achieve what amounts to fame and power, with few exceptions.

I know there are many capable, honest, intelligent, and hard working citizens, liberal and conservative, who could enter this service and do wonders for the country. They are quite honestly everywhere - and they are nowhere to be found.

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sean_renaud said about 3 years ago ...

Because they can't do it. I don't have enough money to quit work to spend months applying for a job I might not get. Just to keep food on the table and a roof over my head I'd have to sell out to somebody. Five bucks from all my friends isn't enough to even pay rent for the first month much less food. I'd need a backer willing to poor money into me and I'd owe him. I suppose I could fuck him over once I'm in office. . .then pray I make enough money to pay for my next campaign on my own cus if I don't he's just gonna buy the next guy and dethrone me.

It's just a consequence of how we do business and aside from vastly changing how it's done, like no more campaigning and kissing babies and shaking hands it's you get x speeches, x interviews and x debates so you can work it around your actual job and nobody gets commercials or al the money goes in the same pot and you split it equally. Which might cause it's own list of problems.

beyondtheveil said about 3 years ago ...

That's all true, but how do the freshman congressmen do it? Do they line up backers first or are just plain wealthy?

sean_renaud said about 3 years ago ...

Probably half and half. Some are people who genuinely can afford it. Millionaires, billionairs and the like. Look at California where Reagan, and Arnold have been governor and Meg Whitman could have been governor. I'm fairly certain ANY of those three could safely have taken the rest of their lives off and not had a problem. The ones who can't I'm sure they get a backer at some point fairly early in their careers. I'd guess if not before the primaries at the primaries. Someones gotta pay campaign staff and hotel,s and food etc etc.

grapekoolaid said about 3 years ago ...

I've always maintained that you would have to be morally defective in some way to want a career in politics. I guess theoretically speaking, the captains of the industry should consider it their civic duty to run for government, but it doesn't turn out that way, does it? It's usually some sociopath who chose it as a "career path", willing to sell out their principles in the interests of some industry or lobby or other. Having never had a real job in the private sector, these people are the living definition of being "out of touch". Of course when they're done "serving their country"(I say this with most amount of eye-roll as possible), they're usually poached into some think tank or some lobbyist group or some other no-work job, remaining out of touch. Not to mention that it's a generational game now. You go into politics if your dad was a politician. That makes it easier anyways, since some doors are already open for you, and you know all the right people. So being a prince, or an aristocrat once again, keeps you out of touch with reality, with the situation on the ground.

Oh and the price of selling one's convictions, principles? There's a lucrative market for that, it appears.

"Of the 535 voting members of Congress, over 44 percent of—237 to be exact—are millionaires. Fifty members have net worths of at least $10 million, and seven are worth more than $100 million. By comparison, around one percent of Americans are millionaires. There is no other minority group that is as overrepresented in Congress as millionaires are." (From this article)

No one in their right mind would want to be a politician. Who wants all that responsibility? Who in their right mind can handle all that power without succumbing to the temptation of corruption? The greedy, the selfish, the sociopathic are the ones who are eager to enter this kind of life, if you ask me.

I know plenty of people that have the right ideas... Heck, I would say that most level headed people in general are better fit for office than most of the clowns occupying the seat right now. But most sensible people are just that. Sensible and level headed. No sensible people would ever want to put themselves through the public scrutiny and position to sell off their conscience so easily.

wombat said about 3 years ago ...

Money, charisma, backers, able to read aloud, and maybe good hair.....

d6fer said about 3 years ago ...

Repealing the 17th amendment would be a good start.

sean_renaud said about 3 years ago ...

No it wouldn't. I'm not sure this is a problem that CAN be fixed but repealing the 17th would just make things worse. MUCH worse.

superbozo said about 3 years ago ...

Wish I had something witty and intelligent to add...but I got nothing.

They are a species apart. Some sort of DNA malfunction.

beyondtheveil said about 3 years ago ...

I was wondering how repealing the 17th would be a good start.

sean_renaud said about 3 years ago ...

The idea is that (and based on history would fuck the Republicans blind but whatever) if the House elected the Senate instead of the populace electing the Senate that the Senate would be less prone to corruption. I see nothing to support that idea really at all. Look at Health Care, or better yet look at something that actually unpopular with amnesty. Where was all the drama, all the hold up? What stopped amnesty not once but twice (under Bush no less, Obama's yet to have the balls to do anything bolder than suggest if an illegal has already graduated college or served in the military that maybe the damage is done. Granted the language about High School was far far too vague and needed tightening up but that's the worst. Anyway the idea is that having a Senate that is simply chosen by the House will make them less bought and paid for.

d6fer said about 3 years ago ...

1st of all sean, if you are going to insult the idea, get your facts straight.....the House wouldn't elect the senate, the State Legislators would.

2nd, the whole idea is about seizing the power from the lobbyists and balancing the power within the government as it was intended.

The 17th amendment was the first assault on the power of the people, and it is the first issue that should be addressed in giving that power back.

Everyone seems to be bitching about concentration of power when it comes to big business, but then thinks it's okie dokie fine to have that same concentration in government by those big businesses!

sean_renaud said about 3 years ago ...

Okay I misread it. That said what reason do you have to believe that State Legilslators would be any less bought off than they already are? It seems to me that right now we have a system where they have to pay X people plus two and you want to take away the plus two. I suppose it's not a major effect on the bottom line, except those plus two are the high rollers you really have to pay and the X are a bunch of schlubs you can probably bribe with front row tickets to the Lakers. As I've asked before explain to me how this is about decentralizing power (which I'm all about to an extent. I'm not an anarchist) and not about centralizing power where it already is for that matter?

d6fer said about 3 years ago ...

I was unable to find the exact statistics regarding the population of my State Legislative district, but my Congressional district has a population of 654,901 and my Senators serve 6,664,195 constituents!

I had a paragraph prepared, but then did some reading and decided that someone else better summed up what I feel about the whole issue, so I am cutting and pasting here!

One of the fundamental presumptions of the U.S. Constitution is this: when governmental power is consolidated and unlimited it is unresponsive to the needs of the governed. The framers originally sought to prevent the overreach of government by creating an elegant framework to distribute power as widely as possible through a structured competition of natural self-interests. It is for this reason that the framers preserved the integrity of the states, these independent but united “laboratories of democracy�, and it is this federal system that the 17th Amendment (which provides for the direct, popular election of U.S. Senators) destroyed. This amendment has resulted in, as the framers predicted, a national government with influence, power and control unchecked by any political mechanism. This unlimited structure threatens the uniquely American way of life and the solvency of the national government.

The original design of the U.S. Constitution acknowledged that the several state governments were equipped better than the national government to address the vast majority of citizens’ needs. The democratically elected officials of those state governments live among the people they represent. They shop at their constituents’ stores and socialize at their homes. Unlike a national politician in Washington with millions of citizens he “represents�, state officials each have constituents that number in the tens of thousands. They are far more likely to know the people, their strengths, their problems and their sensibilities, and are therefore the appropriate representatives of the people’s most critical political desires. Assembled in the state house, these governments have collective interests and characters of their own that legitimately compete with those of the national government.

d6fer said about 3 years ago ...

I think it is only a start, we need to (sit down for this) expand government! By that I mean add representation to all levels except the executive branch. State Senators should be increased to 3 or 4 per state, and the population of the house should at least double.

I know that many here would love to see the Supreme Court grow.....just as long as you 1st repeal the 17th, then add representation, then I see no problem with that.

sean_renaud said about 3 years ago ...

I disagree with the guy you quoted. When elected these people aren't in Washington and after that they never return. It didn't change anything that I can see. Maybe if you forced them to cycle each "election" but I don't really see how you can improve democracy by removing voting by the population.

The government is artificially small. It's artifically small on purpose. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing it kinda falls under what a lot of things do for me. Someone said this is a good idea and I had no standing to argue with him so I didn't but if a coherent argument can be made for why expanding our government would be a good thing I'd listen. I'm much more prone to something you accidently hinted at in a different conversation. Ending state's rights and absolving states as anything more than historical thoughts. It really is silly that you can buy a gun at Walmart good and clear drive for fifteen minutes and be arrested for breaking the law cus you're in a new country. The Founding Fathers really envisioned America as a bunch of independent countries with an alliance. The national government was basically supposed to figure out how to keep up a military and to handle when and how we interact with other nations. We couldn't have Florida siding with Spain, Philidelphia with France and New York with England when the war of 1812 broke out now could we? The world however has changed since then and maybe it's time we changed with it.

The only idea that supports this plan is that those living in an area know better how to handle said problem than others do and even that might benefit from a serious redistribution of who does what. North California and South California are in reality two different states with different interests. That silly little fish you always hear about screwing up the water system is really only important to SoCal. The water is already there up north. North Cal is really more liberal like it's neighbors Oregon and Washington. SoCal by and large are conservative particularly on immigration, but also on taxes. I don't see any good reason not to just take a peice of graph paper and lay it over the United States and say look districts! And then use some common sense to adjust them and maybe tell people in podunkia to pick a state to associate with.

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