Thursday, April 12, 2012

I Just Don’t Like Political People

One of my old drinking pals had been a political science major at Berkeley. We were sitting at a bar hoisting a few one night, and I asked him why he never got into politics. “The truth is,” he said, “ I just don’t like political people very much.”

It called to mind some experiences of my own. At one point, I seriously considered going into politics but, like my old friend (now deceased), I just don’t like political people very much. There is a slick, reptilian sleaziness to lot of them that is most unseemly. Their minds typically don’t extend beyond the results of the latest Gallup poll, and they can contemplate bombing other countries with psychopathic aloofness. I knew one guy who was planning a run for the House of Representatives (after law school, of course), and he had that shallow, meretricious charm that successful politicians possess. I asked him what his politics were. “Probably Republican,” he said, and I knew I was staring at every foreign policy disaster of the last fifty years dead in the face.

These are the kinds of people who migrate to the summit of our politics. These are the kinds of people who make life and death decisions for the rest of us with adolescent insouciance. Probably Republican, maybe Democrat, who knows, who cares? Political philosophy is an afterthought. Scanning poll results and winning elections is all that matters. It’s the main desideratum.

These are the people who drink mineral water, go to the gym, monitor their cholesterol, and breezily wonder how bombing Iran will play on Main Street. The reality of the suffering they create just doesn’t figure into their “metrics.” They are moral dwarfs, gnat-like Paul Ryan types who spout conventional wisdom as if it’s received truth and think Atlas Shrugged is great literature.

The truth is, I just don’t like political people very much, ha ha.

I don’t know whatever happened to the guy. He and his girlfriend had some very bizarre sexual proclivities that they were quite open about sharing. Question: What’s the only thing worse than a shallow young Republican couple? Answer: a naked shallow young Republican couple who get their jollies by engaging in simulated rape. Throw in an excessive fondess for the word “anal” and I’m reaching for the Pepto-Bismol, my friends.

“I tremble for my country,” Thomas Jefferson said, “when I remember that God is just.”

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