I wanted to be a political science major when I was younger. After I became one, I couldn’t change majors fast enough. I believe the smartest minds of my generation have done the same. Since college (about 10 years ago), I’ve established myself as a writer, a commentator, and an ethical voice within the political spectrum. If I’m putting politically-focused text on this screen, it’s worth the effort it took me to write it. Maybe I provoke radical thought. Maybe I’m just writing about common sense. Either way, I certainly hope you believe it’s worth reading. This is a common sense piece, but given this era of alternative facts (lies as most people call them), we need to know why we’re allowing unethical corporate shills to ruin this country.
Four Reasons Smart People Aren’t Politicians
Politicians don’t care about you; they work for the highest bidder.
1) It’s impossible to be a constituent-minded politician — especially at the national level. Even if you overlook corruption in the system (good luck with that), an elected official should be considering the needs/desires of everyone in their district, not just those who voted for them. Does that actually happen? Haha, no. You’re extremely lucky if a politician cares about the needs of his or her constituents over corporations. Why is that? Well that’s point number two.
2) You cannot win an election without owing someone a favor. Most of the time, that someone is a corporation. Look at the current presidential cabinet; most of its members gave substantial amounts of money to the president’s campaign — corporate or personal, it doesn’t matter. Can anyone win an election at a national level without corporate influence? Nope. Not in this country, at least. Maybe it’s possible to win a smaller election within a city or state, but that politician will still have to endure constant corporate influence and pressure during their administration.
3) Our two-party system is broken. You will not gain the necessary recognition (especially at a national level) if you’re not a Democrat or a Republican. Mostly because of the ridiculous amounts of money spent during elections. Until we change how we elect our politicians, independents — who may actually care about our future as a nation — will not have a chance to create substantial change. Who’s going to change our election process? The politicians elected by a two-party system? Absolutely not. Corporations fear the uncertainty that comes with an independent electorate; they would make sure that change never happens. How? Money.
4) Since we’re stuck with a two-party system, we should probably make that as fair as possible, right? Sigh. One word: gerrymandering. Do you know what gerrymandering is? It’s probably the most overlooked, corrupt, and influential factor in our entire political system. Our two-party system perpetuates this problem. Gerrymandering is the devious drawing of political district lines to rig election results in favor of one party or another. This happens everywhere without much, if any, accountability. Couldn’t we make this an independent process, without political bias? You could certainly try… but why would any politician upset their mighty, corporate overlords by changing the status quo? They wouldn’t; it’s a pipe dream at best.
Pop quiz: what’s the recurring theme in each point here? If you guessed “the corporate-sponsored corruption of our political system,” you’ve won our hearts. We simply cannot create the change necessary to fix our political system without money. Since money — real, substantial, powerful money — comes from corporations, is there anything we, the people, can actually do to create change? Maybe not. That’s an entirely different discussion.
Okay, so what does this have to do with how smart you are? Am I talking about book smarts? Common sense? Street smarts? Nope, nope, and… nope. Truly smart people will always realize the need to serve the greater good. It’s not about the influence of prejudice, religion, desire, or money — it’s about creating the most benefit for society through purely ethical reasoning. It’s truly impossible to do that within our current political system. Our brightest minds have certainly flirted with politics but moved on to other opportunities where they can ethically affect the greater good.
I want to live long enough to witness a real solution to this problem; I don’t anticipate one any time soon. There’s still a part of me that hopes to dive into politics at some point, but that possibility appears worse every passing day. If I ever see a realistic opportunity to ethically affect the greater good as an elected official, I’ll make sure my name is on the ballot. If that happens, I would encourage the smart people of my generation to do the same. Until then, we’re better off using our talents elsewhere.