Elections have become a “perfect pageant,” but noody’s perfect

By JAMES PHILLIPS,

I will never understand why running for office, or being appointed to office, in this country has been made into a perfect pageant. What I find even harder to believe if all of our national politicians made it through the ringers of the state level pageant elections and on to Washington, then why do we have so much corruption in our nation’s capital.

We are led to believe that the chosen candidates are the cream of the crop and that they have lived while making far better decisions and no mistakes in their life journey. The only problem is, these self-proclaimed — semi-perfect politicians have lived the same life as you and I, and absolutely no one walks through life without making wrong turns or bad decisions. If someone acts like they have made no mistakes you should be extremely cautious of them.

I watch every election cycle as new, old and incumbent faces run for office, and in most circumstances a candidate’s failures and mistakes are brought to light rather than their successes and accomplishments. Who do you want leading you, someone that makes it through the vetting process unscathed because their skeletons are buried deeper than others, or someone who has hung all their laundry out to dry for everyone to see and uses their past failures as guidance and motivation. I know which one I would pick, but we never get such a candidate because they are almost always strategically removed from the race.

Any candidate that has openly professed and faced their mistakes is not the type of representative the Washington establishment is looking to welcome in. As long as their moral compass is pointed in the right direction, a person that has faced their mistakes and persevered through adversity is much stronger and far less likely to succumb to the temptations and pressures of Washington.  

It would seem that incumbents, along with GOP and Democrat leadership, want people in Washington that have come through this superficial election process looking squeaky clean. Not because they are the best people for the office, but because they know when a candidate makes it through the election with their missteps still buried they will have leverage on the incoming Washington newbies. I’m not a conspiracy theorist just a staunch realist.

Candidates portray themselves as being better, or morally superior, even if this is accomplished through hiding their own past actions while viciously attacking their opponents past transgressions. Playing the political finger pointing game during the election may very well win them the office they are seeking, but it sets them up to be politically squeezed once in Washington.

By failing to fully air out their closet before throwing their hat in the political ring they end up having to hide whatever political land-mines exist in their past at all cost. In the long run this is detrimental to the people they represent because at some point they stop representing and start preserving their position. 

The founders of our country bestowed upon us the greatest power they had to offer, the right to vote. At the time they guaranteed our right to select our representation this was one of the most cherished rights that existed, one they had fought and died to earn. With power comes responsibility and accountability as we are the ones that choose who we send to Washington to represent us.

Having a two political party system lessens our ability to choose because the parties ultimately decide which candidates to throw their bottomless monetary war chests behind, and which candidates actually have a legitimate shot at winning elections. But in the end we have the final say and we have to start cherishing this right just as our founding fathers did.

Even though political parties have seized control of most of the election process, and choosing who is invited to participate in the election pageants. We are the pageant judges and we have the final say who represents us. Due to the times we are living in this responsibility is as important as it has ever been and we must exercise it to preserve the rights and freedoms we have.