Respect for the Office?

When I was a boy I always watched the Academy Awards. I liked movies and I enjoyed seeing the stars outside the confines of celluloid. They seemed so cool. Of course, some of them were, like John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant. Today, I no longer watch the awards shows and when I see highlights of them (usually polluted with Michael Moores, Ben Afflecks, Sean Penns and Tim Robbins) I think, “What a bunch of narcissitic, overbearing, self-important assh%&*s.” For me, celebrity no longer holds the attraction it once did. I explained to my daughter once that actors are just good liars. They pretend to be people they are not, have emotions they do not, cry false tears and say words put in their mouths by others. If they lie very well, if they are very convincing, they win awards. Sound like politicians?

It is said that politics is show business for the ugly and I hold politicians in equal contempt. They say things they don’t mean, cry crocodile tears, lie to further their causes and do everything in their power to convince the American people they are something they are not.

I don’t know if this is a distinctly American attitude or just my personal foible, but I do not revere these people because of their positions. It is said you can dislike the man, but you must respect the office. I say bull$%^#. I don’t care whether we are talking about a mayor, a congressman or even the president. I do not respect the office. If there is respect it is for the man or the woman holding the office—anything else is hypocrisy. Getting 51% of voters to pull the lever for you on a cold day in November means nothing to me. It’s what they do after they take office. These guys are nothing but public servants, public servants that don’t even risk their lives for the People, like police, firemen and the military. I have far more respect for a fireman than a congressman and I fear when faced by the elected official I’d let them know it.

I guess I would never make it as a politician. If I was elected a congressman from Georgia and called into the Oval Office to be “coerced” by the President, my gut instinct would be to say, “Just who the hell do you think you are? I’m here representing my district, not to build monuments to you.” Think of all the first term Democrats in the House that are being asked to commit political suicide for this healthcare bill. Here are folks who have probably aspired to public office their whole lives, and when it finally happens for them, when they are looking at a potential career in the House or even a Senate run in a few terms, they get a president who tells them to fall on their sword—and to hell with your constituents back home.

The truth is these guys get elected and, just like in Hollywood, they get drunk on power and praise. Their egos swell and suddenly they turn into—a Teddy Kennedy (God rest his soul.) or a Harry Reid or even (God forbid) a Nancy Pelosi. A 2/3 term senator with no legislation to his name and scores of voting abstentions, is elected president by 53% of the voters and suddenly he is royalty in a room full of experienced legislators twenty years his senior. America rebelled against the notion of royalty over 230 years ago, but our society, our media, and our entertainment venues, treat these people like modern day dukes, earls and kings.

I’m sorry, but these people work for us. I would have no compunction against telling Harry Reid face to face there is a village somewhere missing its idiot, or Nancy Pelosi that I loved her in the Wizard of Oz.

These people are the stewards we have chosen to lead our nation—and the contract is for a limited engagement only. In some cases they have demonstrated no ability to lead prior to election. So I don’t give a rat’s behind what title is in front of their name. Their titles are earned by winning elections, which, like an Academy Award, could just mean they are convincing liars. If they want to earn my respect—let’s see what they do in office, then maybe they’ll get it. I’m from Missouri and they have to show me.