Needless to say, I am not a politician. I'm only an expert about "the job hunt." But this does cause me to stay riveted on all that goes on in our nation's capital, because I've never seen a place more obsessed with The Job Hunt, in my whole life.
It's breathtaking to watch how, in the interests of their next job hunt, they will do almost anything: they will say one thing when they're trying to get the job, say the opposite thing once they have it. They will even say No to everything, if they think it will help them with their next job hunt.
They all have what we in our industry call "contract jobs" -- jobs that are only for a set amount of time, and then have to be renewed. This keeps their eyes riveted on the people who have the power to hire them again, and if they think it will improve their chances of getting rehired, they will completely reverse their decisions on the job, from week to week: they will even sponsor a bill one week, vote against that bill the next week. If they think it will help them with their next job hunt.
Why do they like this job so much, why do they want this job so badly? Well, for one thing it has a great health plan. For another, they get some mouthwatering special benefits and favors. And, probably most importantly, the job gives them a lot of power, for as long as it lasts. In an organization with 100 employees, one man (or woman) can thwart the will of the other ninety nine.
They don't need to take a Dale Carnegie course; this job, from beginning to end, depends on their being able "to win friends and influence people." That's the skill that most determines whether or not they are successful in their next job hunt. It is the sine qua non of the job.
The job hunt is their obsession. They try to conceal that simple fact by giving it a more high-falutin' name. They call it "re-election." But beneath the facade of that language, it's still the job hunt.
So, what does all this add up to? Simply this: their obsession with their own job hunt is ruining America. It's causing things not to get done that should be done. It's causing things that should not get done, to be done. It's corrupting the fight to make this a better and more compassionate country, toward its own citizens.
I know what you're thinking, of course. You think I'm talking about a particular political party. Nope. Wrong. I'm talking about the whole Congress and the Executive Branch, decade by decade. I'm talking about the hallowed tradition of the beast. Most of the policies, decisions and votes are based on their next job hunt.
So, as a job hunting expert, of sorts, I have this comforting thought for you: if you are unemployed, and worrying about how to find your next job, don't worry. You have a friend in Washington, who is in the same boat as you are. Make that: a lot of friends in Washington. They may be employed temporarily right now. But they're just as worried about their jobs as you are.
Friends? Well they would be, if they ever saw any connection between their situation and yours. But I wouldn't hold out much hope that they'll ever change. They are obsessed with their next job hunt. They're not that worried about yours, except as it affects theirs.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if they ever saw a connection between your job hunt and theirs? And moved beyond self-obsession to compassion? Oh well, we can dream, can't we?
P.S. In the interest of full confession, my grandfather was a congressman. He was a noble man, and never worried about his job hunt. He died peaceably, while he was still in office.I know of course there are other noble men and women in office, to whom none of what I have said above, applies. I hope their tribe increases.