Why Won't Good People Run For Office?
The question that I bring to you today is by far one of the hardest to answer, even if the answer itself is one of the easiest that I've ever given.
That question is, "Why won't good people run for office?" Now, notice I didn't add an addendum to that. Not Republican or Democrat. Not Liberal or Conservative. The question I'm asking stands on its own. Why is it that genuinely good people, who have strong morals and good working sense, won't run for political office, particularly high office?
The answer comes forth from a wounded heart and through clenched teeth, even if it's a simple one. They won't because they don't want their lives trashed and laid out bare in full view of the public.
You see, lost in all of the smear, smash, and seek & destroy politics that we've adopted as a country is the fact that by doing so, we've really discouraged anyone from running who isn't readily willing and able to, "do what must be done" to keep their skeletons in the closet, and/or anyone who isn't enough a "part of the good ol' boys" network to have a party work to do it for them.
In other words, we made politics so toxic that no one wants to do it anymore, unless they have something to gain by it.
I'd love to say that gone are the days of service for your country. Or gone are the days of self-sacrifice. Or, at least, Gone are the days where you could, within reason, believe that your opponent wouldn't stoop to dirty politics. But I guess those have never been fully true. However, they are far worse today then they have ever been.
Smear tactics, political action committees (PACs), unverifiable leaks, made up dossiers, guilt by association, targeting of family members, unsealing of juvenile records, word twisting, slander, liable, and so many more that I can't even begin to name them all made worse by social media and YouTube putting them at the tips of our fingers to share. This is why good people won't run, and this is how you end up with candidates like Trump, Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell, Obama, Clinton, and so many others that I've lost count.
Think about it. I mean it, really stop and think. I want you to think of someone who you feel would do a great job in politics. Maybe your dad, an uncle, a friend's mom, there's gotta be someone. Now, imagine asking them to subject themselves to all of the above. Still willing to ask them? Not likely, and even less likely that they'd accept, no matter how guaranteed the win.
There are many types of campaign reform needed in this country, but one of the reasons why I support fully nationalized elections with set debates and public funding is that it would help to deal with this problem. Heck, it might even bring more voices to the table.
No more candidates hiding behind PACs. You've got an accusation to make? Make it on live television in a debate, face to face, or you don't get to say it at all. That way at least the other person gets to defend themselves.
Yet, it's likely we've gone too far already for something like this to really even be considered. Instead we're likely stuck with dirty politics and horrible candidates who are willing to do WHATEVER it takes to win. That's all you'll ever get in a political climate like ours, and we've done it to ourselves.