Sunday, May 22, 2016

Small Town Politics

There may still be a copy of the flimsy voice recording my father made way back when at one of those seaside record booths. He introduces himself, talks about wife, children then says something like: maybe I should have been a politician instead.

The only thing I remember him teaching (or telling me) about small town politics was "one hand washes the other." He pulled some political strings to get his first son-in-law a job with the city's fire department. That was just how things worked ~ the newly elected mayor, for instance would give a job to his cousin Vinny. Which is why, when I became older and more aware of national politics, I did not find accusations of cronyism to mean the accused was a bad candidate ~ that was just how politics worked.

The taxpayers may have objected to my father using his political connections ~ friendships formed in childhood, unbroken bonds ~ to get my could not hold a job brother-in-law a secure position within the city budget. Was he qualified? Word was that the other firemen ~ and they were all men back then ~ viewed him with disdain. He was fit for the grunt work ~ washing the firetrucks, rolling up hoses, not fit to drive or actually do the work of putting out fires.

Likely there are a lot of voters like me who learned about small town politics at their parents knees, never considered that just the way politics worked did not mean that those little things were right.

When I mention, for instance, about Hillary  Clinton's habitual lying, people shrug it off: all politicians lie. Do they? People will bring up campaign promises not kept. Those to me are not lies; campaign promises are intentions of the candidate meant to garner support. Making those intentions reality may often be impossible to achieve once the candidate is elected, especially for a president who needs to sway Congress to their way of thinking.

Hillary might truthfully have misremembered about running through sniper fire in Bosnia; but can Donald claim he misremembered about owning a successful wine company ~ Trump Wine ~ when the website clearly states that he is in now way involved in the company? Perhaps those lies are no different than campaign promises.

Perhaps my father knew that small town politicians were also all liars too. Wish he were alive so I could ask him about today's political scene.

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