Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Why I'll Never Run for Elected Office

It may seem ridiculous to you that I would need to explain why I'll never run for elected office. That's only because you're one of the people who don't know my family history.

If you know me, I'm sure you don't think it's ridiculous. If you don't know me, let me explain.

My dad was a politician. He was elected twice as our county's Prosecutor. He ran three times and was elected twice to the Indiana State Senate. That's it. That's all I really need to explain.

That's basically why people ask me if I would ever run for elected office. I guess I should stop being surprised.

However, my uncle is an astronaut and no one ever asks his son if he would ever want to be an astronaut. Maybe that's because they know you need actual qualifications and education to become an astronaut. You just need money to run for office.

ANYWAY, I would never run for office. I'm not saying I haven't briefly considered it and then immediately squashed it from my brain -- usually by drinking until I black out. Here are some reasons why I would never run for office:

Money. Do you know how much it costs to buy signs and flyers and buttons and stickers and web domains? Neither do I, but I can think of a thousand different ways to better spend my money. For example, buying raisins in bulk for my daughter. My daughter loves her some raisins.

Time. Do you know how much time it takes to properly run a campaign? Even a small town campaign? All of it. All of your free time. You need to go to the local political meetings, knock on doors, march in parades, attend local festivals, answer people's emails, participate in forums/debates, etc. Look, I've got a full time job that I'm not willing to give up. I really like spending time with my family and watching TV and surfing the Internet. I can't be bothered trying to convince people that I can make their corner of the world a better place for them. I'm not convinced I can.

Energy. I'm fucking tired. I want to take a nap. Even if I'm taking a nap while you are reading this, I'm dreaming about taking a nap. The people of my town deserve better than that.

Humor. I know there are important issues facing my town. I also know that there will be times when I won't be able to resist making fun of those issues. People don't like that shit. Make a joke about something that someone is serious about one time. No matter how funny the joke, they'll walk away thinking you are an evil person. Those are sad people and they often find their way into politics.

Family. People say nasty things about you when you run for office. I know that my wife and daughter are smart enough to know they aren't true but it doesn't make it any easier to hear. Plus, I don't want to have to explain to my daughter why people are saying terrible things about me and I definitely don't want to make her a target because of my crazy ideas about how the town should run.

Honesty. Even on the local level, honesty doesn't really exist. Even in the short time I've lived in my new town, I've come to understand that much of the political infighting is due to various companies trying to buy off the politicians.

Baby Boomers. We're all just waiting for them to die so we can finally make some real progress. I'm sure this is what every generation says about the preceding generation.

My political views. Maybe it wouldn't come up in a local election (though it probably would) but I'm an atheist. I recently saw a poll where Americans rated atheists the least trustworthy group in America. Even Muslims rated higher. Think about that. Many Americans don't make a distinction between a Muslim and a terrorist and yet they trust Muslims more than atheists. Also, I'm pretty sure I live in a politically conservative area and my politics tend to lean toward the liberal side.

My sordid past. I probably shouldn't go into it but there are some pretty big skeletons in my closet. I mean, have you read some of the shit I post on this blog? I lived in Chicago for 12 years. I'm pretty sure some of that famed Chicago corruption just seeps into you after living there for that long. You don't even want to look at my browser history. Or the camera roll on my iPhone. Or my locker in high school. Or my pants.

I fart a lot. Politicians have to sit in a lot of meetings with other people. I can't be getting up and excusing myself two to three times every meeting simply because I don't want to fart-bomb my fellow plutocrats. Well, they'd be plutocrats; I don't think I'd count. See my point about money above.

As you can see, I'm totally unfit to run for elected office. Feel free to stop asking me now. Thanks.


  1. Why didn't you write this 9 months ago so Brian could read it and evaluate if he was really going to go into politics? I LOVED THIS POST! As the wife of a future politician, I agree with them all. Another one I would have to add who be WHAT IF YOU LOSE? Then what? Holy shit! Even when you are ok with the outcome, others don't know how to deal with it or look you in the face again without appologizing. Awkward was a word used often in our house after the election. Keep writing- I'm wiser and happier with each post. PS. I wake up the first thought in my mind is almost always when the next time I get to sleep is.

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I thought about adding something about losing but I figured I kinda covered that by talking about how my political views don't fit well with the rest of my community. I've actually got another story about my Dad's Senate loss and my omission from a baseball all-star team that is pretty funny/awkward. I'll write about that one soon.

      Also, this post was inspired in part by Brian's campaign. BTW, my Dad's initial Senate loss was close -- much like Brian's. When he ran the next time against the same opponent, he won in a landslide.