Joe Conger
Communications & PR strategist cyberjournalist

  • We outTRUMPed ourselves

    Donald TrumpI cringed as a voter watching the GOP debates Thursday night. Like the baker's dozen before them, I learned nothing, but watched candidates for one of the most esteemed jobs in the world hurl personal jabs and belittle each other, hoping for a "quick six seconds in sound bites" on a news report somewhere down the line. In the aftermath, pundits continued to talk about Donald Trump's bombastic, reality TV-scripted rise to the top of the GOP ticket and social media focused on the mass of spittle in the corner of Ted Cruz's mouth. And Joe Voter realized: Just as an alcoholic finally hits rock bottom, our political process has stopped working, because politicians--regardless of party affiliation-- have forgotten the basic premise of their work: to represent the people. And for generations, the voter has allowed it to happen.

    Teachers need to stop telling students, "You could be President one day!" because it's not a career. It's not. It's the job of a servant. You know: a servant, like Jesus, only secular. A servant's job isn't glamorous. A servant of the people is selfless, not selfish. A congressman, senator, or President must place the voter's well-being over his own. All of our founding fathers had day jobs. Politics wasn't a paying, full-time, perk-filled career. It wasn't designed that way, and in the ensuing 200 years, voters have allowed the bastardization of the system of representation into a system of elitism--where narcissism is king in politics.

    In my 40+ years of watching elections, it's become a game where incumbents seek to be career politicians. They work to build their campaign war chests in the off-years, and give me platitudes as they tout their successful quasi-legislation that brings about open-carry laws rather than substantial changes in health care or education. If they were public servants, wouldn't they be focusing on perserving my life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness? Wouldn't they be washing my feet?

    The voter understands underperformance and feels betrayed by any and all politicians, because the voter's needs aren't being met. I haven't seen any evidence that the government is working any better than it was in the 1970's. Seriously, aren't our infrastructure, roads, and bridges monuments to our past? Are our children any better educated? Am I safer in today's world from the boogiemen who pop up every decade? Are we healthier as a population? Yes, no, no. And, no. Trump is riding that wave of voter anger in an election cycle where the voter has finally realized politicians don't do squat. So, we're all about the anti-politician. Yet, our anti-politicians are narcissists, too. Has any candidate talked about public service? No, and we'll suffer through another 4 years without a servant in office.

    So, I end up watching Trump vs. Cruz vs. Rubio on my high-def, 60 inch TV. After all, it's a spectacle, not a debate. And none of the players--including Hillary and Bernie-- can ever be called "Statesmen." That's a term that belongs to the public servant of the political past, not to the hubris-filled, self-righteous folks vying for my vote this November. I'm reminded of the joke my father told me this week:

    Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are in a boat on the ocean when it capsizes.

    Who survives?

    The American people.

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