I'm going to wax lyrical for a second. Or something like it. I've been thinking about politicians recently and how they work. Most of this is because of a project I'm working on for my Pen and the Sword class where I'm comparing rhetoric of politicians and seeing exactly what it is about a speech that moves a crowd. I'm using two speeches from the same war (Peloponnesian War) on opposite sides, and a speech from Churchill and Hitler in World War II for the analysis. And I've been thinking about reasons why I could never enter politics as a result.
One reason is that I'm just not competitive enough. I like competition-sure. Ask anyone who has ever played me in a game of Harry Potter trivia. I'm a menace. But stuff like that (I can't believe I'm saying this!), doesn't really matter. Out trivia-ing someone doesn't really make a difference in the universe and politics can. I'm competitive, but only in things that don't really matter.
Going along with that is my desire to see both sides of an argument. This happens when you're an English major. You're taught to see both sides of an argument so that you can successfully crush your opponent to dust in a debate or a paper, etc. My problem for major arguments is that I can see that both sides have a valid point and I can't pick which one is better. (Guess this means I couldn't be a lawyer too). I end up using the typical "it depends on the circumstances" routine (which I guess would make me a decent modern politician, wouldn't it?) Either way-I'm not very decisive. I take the middle ground more often than not and I don't think I really want to be adopted into either party because of the extremes.
The last, and probably biggest reason is one that everyone knows about-the mud slinging campaigns that have become the trend. I find it so ironic that politicians spend so much time attacking the character of the opponent. Shouldn't a viewer of a commercial/ad/whatever find it funny? I do. Politicians are, essentially, making themselves seem petty while they try and make their opponents look that way too. (Or at least their campaign managers are). How often do we hear politicians discuss actual issues without pointing fingers? It's ridiculous. And most people agree on this, but no one is really willing to change it so my soap box here is completely wasted. I do think, however, that it is unfortunate.
And I'll keep you updated on the report I'm doing. I think it could be kind of interesting. I may have to modify my comments afterwards...