If you really want to be successful in politics — in a big way — you need to first sell your soul to the devil. Or, at the very least, you have to shred your ethics and learn to lie. Without that foundation, you’ll never make it far.
Some people believe I’m being cynical or maybe just kidding when I say such things, but I’m not. I’m dead serious. If you’re really going to tell the truth and keep your promises and be consistent with what you’ve said before, you’re in big trouble, because you’ll be living in a world where pretty much everybody else is willing to change stories or ethics or principles as they have incentive to do so.
I could pick on almost any major politician, but the story that brings this to mind right now is something going on with Barack Obama’s administration.
When Obama came to power, he made a lot of noises about having the most ethical administration ever. Blah, blah, blah. That’s all I hear when politicians start saying such things. Pretty much every president comes to power making similar noises, because he’s been “cluck, clucking” at the other side for their infractions on his way to office. Once they’re in power, though, their administration does the same things the other ones have done.
So how’s that working out in real life? Well, it seems that the Obama administration is ultimately interested in the same things that every administration is interested in — keeping power and getting more of it. Politicians’ focus isn’t primarily on doing what’s right. It’s on re-election and stroking powerful friends.
In the wake of the Solyndra collapse, we’ve now found out that when the loan was being put together, administration officials were worried about the deal collapsing during the re-election campaign and making Obama look bad. (Yep. That certainly happened.)
Earlier in the week, we found out that the White House pressured an Air Force general to modify his congressional testimony to be more favorable to a company owned by an investment firm headed by a big Democratic Party donor. Coincidence? Of course.
There are plenty of examples, as there are in each administration. Since it’s obvious that it happens with each new administration — no matter which party they’re from — shouldn’t it be clear that the problem is with the system itself?
Politicians have an incentive to tell you what you want to hear when it’s convenient, but do whatever is expedient for them when it comes time to deliver. When are more in the public going to understand that the problem isn’t the politicians we elect? The problem is in a system which forces politicians to follow their incentives. We might have talked about this before.