Self Absorption

Tam’s note on politicians:

It takes a special kind of hubris to wake up one morning and decide that what this world is lacking is your visionary leadership, and an even more perfectly-distilled narcissism to think that if millions of people don’t like you, the problem is with all of them.

Pretty much. It occurred to me this election how I’d feel to have a group of people surrounding me with my name on buttons, stickers, hats, all cheering me on and chanting my name. Answer? Pretty damned awkward. In fact, creepy would probably be a better word. I don’t think I could ever be comfortable with it. Would you be? Think about the kind of person who would be comfortable with it, and you see the issue.

That’s not to say there aren’t politicians out there motivated by public service, but you have to have a bit of a narcissistic streak to want this kind of job. I’ve generally found office holders at the state and local level tend to be more real people. The higher you go, the more perfectly distilled the narcissism. Makes sense if you think about it. In a state level race at best you’ll get a room loosely filled with people cheering you on. Many of them will be friends and people you know. But imagine a Greek themed stadium full of people, all set up just for you, projecting their hopes, dreams and aspirations onto you, all because you can read a mean speech from a teleprompter. That’s a fundamental flaw in the human species that transcends politics.

3 Responses to “Self Absorption”

  1. Anyone who wants the job of POTUS that badly, should probably not have it. Well, maybe not. But you should consider such a person suspect, at least.

  2. Nate says:

    That’s the fundamental problem with Democracy specifically, and the use of power more generally. The ones who want it the most should probably have the least amount of it.

    Fans of democratic leadership tend to indicate simply that the problem is that we need to elect “The right people”. But “the right people” are never running to begin with; they have better things to do with their lives than enter endless permutations of student council popularity contests, such as producing value for others, or raising strong families. As a result, people like us who just want to live our lives without lording it over anyone else get stuck with the power-hungry sharks as our rulers.

  3. ML27 says:

    The last sentence exactly – ever since the Garden of Eden.