By Mike Herold
Fantasy Sports Editor
Politics suck. Yeah, I’ll say that up front — they are messy, oftentimes brutal conflicts between conflicting viewpoints and goals, where neither side wants to concede an inch, and everyone is out to get what they want, never minding the damage it might cause to anyone else. The work of politics doesn’t revolve around the issues so much as it does around making the right people feel the right thing at the right time to move up, bit by bit, until something astronomical is achieved, most likely power at the expense of those who helped get there. It’s something that has sunk into most parts of our culture, as most people hoping to move up in life at some point have to play their hands at politics.
It stands to reason, therefore, that the people who willingly decide to enter into such a field of lies and deception must be as terrible as the game they play. I mean, they must be deserving of all the vitriol they face on a daily basis, either in person or on TV. And don’t even get me started on the amount of insane hatred the Internet feels for politicians. For all of that, people in politics simply have to be awful, don’t they?
No. No, politicians are not the evil, soulless beings they are made out to be. They do not deserve the hatred that spews in their general direction seemingly all the time, and are certainly not the monsters the general public appears to believe them to be.
In fact, in a shocking turn of events, politicians are people, just like the rest of us.
And you know what that means? It means they aren’t perfect, just like the rest of us, even if we non-politicians want them to be perfect. It means that a politician brings to the table every quality that makes us all human — the flaws, the imperfections and, yes, the feelings. It also means that at some point, every politician made a decision, a very human decision, to try to do something about an issue he or she cared about.
Because when you think about it, going into politics is very rarely a selfish decision. The modern political hopeful is entering into a world where every imperfection in his or her life will soon be brought to light, every poor decision and skeleton in the closet scrutinized by everyone else in the least personal way possible. Anything that goes wrong will immediately be that politician’s fault, and anything that goes right will definitely be in spite of his or her efforts — or, at least, that’s what anyone in the opposing party will think and say as loudly as they are able.
Does that really sound like something you’d like to do?
Yet politicians, facing all of this, not to mention the financial hit many of them end up taking, still decide to go into politics. They don’t do it for power, at least not all of them. They do it because of something human — they see something they think is wrong and want to be in a position to fix it.
Look, I’m not saying that all politicians are wonderful people — clearly that isn’t the case — but neither are they all terrible. I’m just saying that perhaps we shouldn’t judge them so harshly, or react so gleefully when they fall. We shouldn’t expect them to be perfect, because, when it gets right down to it, they’re people.
Ask anyone — people aren’t perfect.