I know from years of experience that many successful politicians aren’t the same people in private that they are in public. I also know that on rare occasions we get to see scary glimpses of those people’s private lives. What you see should cause you to reconsider the notion of trusting human beings with the power that you willingly grant to governments.
Anthony Sanchez is a 34-year-old director of the Imperial County Irrigation District in California. It’s not a high elected position, but it’s the sort of lower position where ambitious young politicians get electoral experience before trying to move up. Until the last couple of days, there was nothing to distinguish him from thousands of other low-level elected officials across the country.
That all changed when a neighbor of Sanchez caught him on video in his back yard Wednesday instructing his 10-year-old stepson about how to play baseball. When the child dropped a ball or didn’t perform as Sanchez instructed, this fine young public servant beat the boy with a belt. (See video below. Note that there’s a lot of profanity toward the end.)
The neighbor confronted Sanchez from the window, telling him to stop. Sanchez was belligerent, clearly not seeing anything wrong with what he was doing. After some delay, the neighbor posted the video online. Eventually, he called police. Sanchez is now in jail on charges of felony child abuse. (Here’s video from police explaining the charges.)
Sanchez’s attorney agreed that the video looks bad, but he argues that the behavior might not be criminal.
“Certainly the video is hard to watch. We acknowledge that,” the attorney told CNN. “The question concerning that though is, was this criminal conduct under California law, and if so, is this the most serious type of child abuse? Is this an appropriate charge? What’s appropriate here and what is criminal conduct is what is the issue here.”
That’s the legal issue — and I don’t know the law well enough to say for sure — but two other things are more important to me. First is that Sanchez obviously doesn’t understand what it takes to deal effectively with children. Incredibly, the man is also a T-ball coach and soccer coach, according to San Diego television station KGTV. This stepson and any other children in the household need protection from this monster, and I hope this case will make sure that happens.
The second issue is the one closer to what we normally talk about here. When you go to the polls and you vote for the smiling men and women who you put into power, they are human beings just like Anthony Sanchez. Some of them are decent people. Many of them are not. More than you realize are snakes who are smiling nicely and fooling you into believing they’re people you can trust.
We’re told that humans are so untrustworthy that we have to elect people to put in charge — in order to protect us from the untrustworthy people. But who’s to protect us from the people we elect? What makes them any different from the other people who aren’t trustworthy? And who’s to protect us from all the politicians — many of whom I’ve seen privately over the years — who will inevitably use the power they’re given in evil ways?
Even if you believe in the fantasy called “limited government,” how can you know which of these smiling faces really hides a man or woman with an evil heart and evil mind?