Friday, August 04, 2006

The Greatest Gimmick of All

When I used to give my presentations on exercise at libraries, coffee shops, retirement centers, art galleries, class rooms -- and yes, even weight rooms, perceptive people would remark to me, “You’ve got the greatest gimmick of all. There is no gimmick.” It was just the simple and straightforward truth -- which I will be resurrecting as my campaign spiel. It’s very easy to get caught up in all the gimmickry, strategy, fund raising, campaign spending, favorite colors, slogans, lobbyists, image makeovers -- that one can quickly stray far from their original intent and purpose -- and become like everybody else, instead of remaining the great hope for sanity that may have initially excited everyone else about one's candidacy.

I still see that excitement in the faces of those who are surprised that I just walk up to them and tell them I am running for the representative’s position in this district. It reminds me of the excitement people would have in the sixth-grade -- in thinking about their class elections. Unfortunately, people lose that excitement over the years and become very cynical -- not only about politicians, but about everyone in general. Life has been a great betrayal -- that promised to bring so much fun and excitement.

The other day, I ran into a rare person who said he wasn’t going to vote for Lingle again, because “she’s just like all the other politicians.” I quickly surmised that this person didn’t want to hear from me either, as just another politician, and so I was ready to move on when he said, “We need more guys like you in office,” as he clutched my flyer rapaciously.

There’s nothing more interesting happening on the “news” than what one can experience and learn just walking around talking to all the neighbors -- in kind of a spontaneous manner. Being a candidate is a very privileged position in this regard -- that it’s kind of a license to talk to anybody, and nobody will be offended, and many honored that you do choose to talk to them. But mostly, it is what each individual makes of it.

I’ve known what it is like to win a few times -- and also that one doesn’t all the time in life, but in the handling of that, is a victory of a higher sort. I’m not talking about rationalizing losing -- but winning with a higher purpose.

A few people tell me they understand that, but don’t think anybody else can. I’ve heard that despair so often -- as kind of a universal refrain, and wonder what is it that makes people think that others can’t understand what only they can. And that is what gives them the right to tell everybody else what to think -- as if only they knew how to think.

There’s something wrong in our education system if that is what we are conditioned to believe -- that goes far beyond most discussions of why government and society is failing. It is the lack of basic trust -- which may be the great challenge of life in the 21st century and beyond.

4 Comments:

At August 04, 2006 8:20 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Just as in exercise, many people think that “hard work” is what pays off, rather than the superior understanding of the process that makes the work seem easy. When one is clear about what one is doing, then whatever work needs to be done, is necessary and just right. It is not excessive or hard.

All the backbreaking labor out in the fields is not going to get one to the presidency; one has to take a certain path known only to a few -- or obviously, everybody would be the President. And obviously, we aren’t.

So while it is convenient to point out the one who got there as having worked hard to get there, the millions who have worked just as hard or harder, are ignored. For every candidate who owes his victory to a tactic, the hundreds of others who also used that same tactic and lost, are conveniently ignored -- just like in the pyramid and multilevel marketing schemes. Undoubtedly there is one guy at the top living the dream -- but thousands of others doing what he said to do, but experiencing quite different results.

What “works” or what doesn’t work may not in fact be relevant at all -- but simply be the conventional wisdom of what many people believe unquestioningly. The beauty of life is actually finding out.

 
At August 04, 2006 8:36 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

In athletics, we call such discussions, wishful thinking -- until the outcome confirms one’s expectations.

The political arena is filled with this kind of wishful thinking -- that setting the price one wants to pay for gas is going to allow one to buy as much as one wants.

Building a successful commuter rail is going to solve all one’s traffic problems -- when it’s never been done anywhere before successfully, even where urban rail is unquestionably successful.

Paying every teacher more than the governor, is not going to improve public education one bit more.

That's why we need people in the legislature who can tell these differences.

 
At August 04, 2006 8:45 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Sending "Aloha"to Saddam, is not an adequate national security response.

 
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