Perhaps it is not very nice for me to insult Beezelbub that way, but the pursuit of power corrupts in ways that can turn an honest man crooked, and a crooked man into a ruthless despot. This is why the Framers of the Constitution wisely included separation of powers, so that at least in theory, no one man can hold too much power. I am not a fan of our current president, to put it mildly. I understand it takes a strong personality and a buttload of money to get elected to public office. There have been precious few po’ folk in the Oval Office (Harry Truman was probably the last.) How many people with strong personalities and a buttload of money are particularly moral or ethical? Some politicians are less odious than others, some are positively vile and devoid of any redeeming features, but as far as genuinely “good,” maybe they exist, but I’d need to see it to believe it.
Having neither a strong personality nor buttloads of cash, it is highly unlikely that I would ever aspire to hold public office. I have a healthy cynicism toward politicians (even Republicans who claim conservatism/fiscal responsibility when it serves their purpose) anyway. I don’t see how it would be possible today to be honest- or at the least to attempt to stick to one’s principles- and survive in the world of politics.
I can see how psychopaths could do very well in the political sphere. Is Obama Ted Bundy’s political cousin? What about Bill Clinton? To be fair, the most recent president that Obama reminds me of is Richard Nixon. Here was a guy who was also paranoid and secretive and involved in shady business, though Dick Nixon’s a choirboy (as is Clinton) when compared to the current Obfuscater In Chief.
I don’t think anyone’s in the political game for altruistic motives. One can argue that there is no such thing as true altruism, because people reach out to others to fulfill their own needs for belonging and self-esteem. Obama reaches out to the entitlement crowd because to them they’re voting for Santa Claus.
Of course, human beings have needs. It’s just not the function of government to provide those needs for people who should be working and providing for themselves.
Not to disagree too much with Maslow, but I know people whose hierarchies are a lot different. Such as Jerry’s:
I think that hierarchy stays pretty consistent as one ages too. As a little kid mine would have looked something like this:
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose– the more things change, the more they stay the same, and yes, I drank coffee even as a very young child- thanks Grandma, for putting the Folger’s monkey on my back!
I think part of the problem with society today is that self-esteem is over-rated. You shouldn’t feel good about yourself if you suck. Normal people naturally feel shitty when they know they should do something about their suckiness. Save the feeling good for when you’ve accomplished something.
I remember all the vapid little cartoons and sketches and stuff designed for kids back in the 70’s to make them feel good about themselves. I watch that stuff today and a good bit of it makes me want to vomit. Some of it was good, such as telling girls that they can be astronauts just like the guys, and that it’s OK for guys to cry in public, even if it makes them look like pussies to the rest of the world. The problem is that touchy-feely stuff has morphed even further into the notion that the world owes you simply because you’re vertical and sucking up valuable oxygen. I still remember Steve-o and his attempts at the “I’m entitled because I’m breathing” tactic to get out of doing unpleasant tasks, such as, “I don’t have to clean the cat box, Mom, because I’m just fine the way I am.” Ok, keep up that philosophy and you can talk yourself out of doing anything menial- or meaningful- for that matter. Nice try, but I won’t let you get away with it. I was a Mean Mommy. I made him do chores. It was good for him.
First, I don’t believe in reincarnation. Second, Joan died in 1977. I was born in 1969, which makes such a notion logistically impossible.
Why would anyone want to improve themselves and work to reach their potential if they’re convinced that they’ve reached the apex of personal achievement simply by getting out of bed? I have a problem with that. Perhaps it’s my flaming type-A personality shining through yet again, but if you’re going to suck up valuable oxygen, do something at least halfway constructive with it.
Mommy doesn’t do well with things like empathy and compassion.
Anyway, I know this election season I’ve found it hard to hold my tongue, and while I strive for civility, I often fail miserably. It looks like I will have to settle for my two good friends, satire and sarcasm, to get me through.