Archive for November, 2010

Why I’ll Never Run for Office

Politics is something that I follow a lot. It’s not necessarily that I enjoy politics, that would be akin to enjoying watching farmers shovel manure in a cattle barn, but rather it’s a desire to leave a better world for my children.

That said, occasionally I have people tell me I need to run for office. These people nearly always agree with my views (no surprise). However, I don’t see that happening. Here is why:

I’m not an Alpha

An Alpha is someone who commands respect. He’s the one in charge. Alpha isn’t something you can become, you’re either born an alpha or you’re not. Their personality is such that, like them or not, people respect them, they control the situation. They demonstrate authority. I am, at best, a Beta. Rather than demonstrating authority, I tend to be inclined to challenge it. I don’t put up with people trying to take advantage of me. Alphas tend not to have people even try to take advantage of them in the first place. In addition, I typically prefer to avoid manipulation or being taken advantage passively. I’ll ignore the person, not take their calls, make excuses why I can’t come around. An Alpha just gets in their face and tells them to bug off. They aren’t afraid of confrontation. Alphas are also typically the people who do the manipulating. Alphas know that attempting to manipulate another alpha isn’t worth the trouble, the risk/reward ratio is too high.

Don’t confuse this with being macho. There are many pretenders out there who try to use macho as a way of covering their Beta status. I don’t care about my status, and see no need to cover it.

All this said, it is far easier to get elected to office if you’re an Alpha. Beta status isn’t a deal-breaker, but it certainly doesn’t help.

I’m not a Politician

Politicians posses several qualities that I do not. They strategize. They plot. They work the system to their advantage. If they don’t have the upper hand, they will compromise. I’m not good at either.

I have no desire to compromise. Our nation has reached a point where politics are divided between evil and evil lite. Compromise only results in more evil. My Biblical worldview tells me that all men are inclined to evil. Evil only gets worse when people have power over each other, which politicians do. I also think this is how Washington changes people who get elected hoping to change Washington. They get there and quickly come to the conclusion that they can only get what they want through compromise, which chips away at their values until they become part of the problem – and those are the good guys!

I have never negotiated anything of substance. I’ve had five jobs since graduating from college about nine years ago, and didn’t negotiate my compensation with any of them. The closest I came was in my last job, which offered me what I was planning to demand. I decided that I was getting what I wanted without a fight, so why pick a fight? Politics is almost synonymous with negotiation, strategy, and compromise.

I Have no Desire for Power

This is the paradox of politics. The best people are those who don’t desire power, but it is power that gets things done. What’s the point of pursuing political office if all you’re going to do is sit and watch those who have power use the power they have?

I recognize that this is an asset, and not a liability, but that doesn’t change my lack of desire for power. I’m a Libertarian, I have no desire to control anyone. I have no desire to use the force of government to benefit anyone. I so don’t desire power that if I were ever by some fluke appointed to fill a vacancy until the next election, I wouldn’t care if I were the only person to vote for my re-election.

I am not a Salesman

Let’s face it, you can’t get elected to office unless you can sell yourself and your ideas and values. I have very little experience in sales. I mentioned five jobs, that’s the majority of my sales experience – selling why I should get the job. Two of them were jobs that required little more than a pulse, since it was an employee’s market. Two of them involved being at the right place at the right time, and only one involved being a better interviewer than others seeking the job (I was told I beat out five other people), and I suspect that low-balling myself in regards to salary requirements were what sealed the deal.

I Have Never Met a Payroll

I fall on the Right side of the political spectrum. Being a Libertarian, I am not only on the Right, compared to the positions of politicians in America today, I’m considered “Far-Right”. Regardless of being Right or Far-Right, people on the Right don’t typically get elected with no business experience. It is the ability to run a business that is used to vouch for the fact that one can run a political office.

I Have no Useful Experience

Let’s face it, a college degree, eight years as an “intern” in architectural offices, and two years staying home to care for small children isn’t exactly unique and highly-valued experience. It would take time working up the political ladder to get to a position where I’d feel I could make a positive impact. I’d have to start with some useless position like county parks commissioner and work up to state legislator and higher to have any chance to succeed. The cost outweighs the rewards. I’m far better off finding someone who is like-minded that does have necessary experience and putting my support behind that person.

Ironically, I do have the kind of experience that helps Leftist politicians get elected. That is, I have a strong academic understanding of the world and how things work. Because I’m not on the Left, that understanding has come through self-instruction and study. It doesn’t change the fact that my experience means little to my target market. A college sophomore level understanding of the Austrian school of economics, and an undergraduate level understanding of theology isn’t in particularly high demand on the Right, though it is a good start.

Conclusion

Never-mind the fact that just writing this is probably a political career killer, I just don’t see myself running for office. I’m inexperienced, unqualified (in the eyes of the electorate), and lack the necessary personality traits.

My future doesn’t involve being referred to as “Senator Olson”. However, I do think I have what it takes to be a political pundit. Though I don’t care about fame any more than I care about power, so don’t expect me to seek a spot as Rush Limbaugh’s successor.