It takes a certain type of person to become a politician. It is not just ambition, although that is certainly present. They are a curious mixture of positive and negative attributes. Most have a built in optimism about the world and their role in it. That the world can be a better place than it currently is and that they have the will, the ability and the belief to make a positive change in the world. An idealism that is missing from most people.
But at the same time they have both a practical and a cynical nature, which can be hard to separate as each lives so close to the other. They believe that betrayal, lies and cynicism are practical things. That they are in fact essential to achieving the things that they believe that they and only they can achieve. Of course not all politicians become involved because they are idealists, but I do think that those who are any good do start from an idealists position. It may wear off, or fade in and out of existence, but rarely is it absent entirely.
At heart politicians are seducers, they whisper sweet lies into people ears and hope that what they have whispered is better then what the other professional liars have whispered. My Mother said that children don't lie, they instead tell you what they want to be true. For example a child will break a vase and then say that they didn't break it, what they mean is that they didn't intend to break it. In their mind it is not a lie but what they wish was true. Politicians are like that, they lie but they wish those lies were true. They wish they could build that hospital they promised, or end war, or cut taxes and increase spending without consequences. Even though they know that the things that they say are lies, a good liar believes in the lies that they tell. Because while children may not lie, politicians most certainly do.
Why do they lie?
Because people insist that they lie, people will tell you that they hate lies but that is itself a lie. The truth is that people love lies because the truth is harsh and we find that we already have enough harshness in our lives. We need the softness of lies to cushion the harshness of truth. The truth is that maybe we can't really afford that hospital, that no one can end war and in fact war loves that you hate it and cutting taxes and increasing spending will have consequences. Instead of dealing with that harshness maybe it is better to live with the promise that maybe things can get better. We want to hear lies and because we want to hear them we are told them. We are being seduced and I know of two rules of seduction.
The first rule of seduction is that you do not tell the person you are seducing the truth, instead you tell them what they want to hear.
The second rule of seduction is that the easiest person to seduce is the person who wants to be seduced.
If a politician wants to be successful then they need to learn these rules. Although learning something is different to putting it into practise and we often see them fail.
Lastly politicians need the practical nature that I wrote about above, they need to be able to deal with people, systems and processes. And they need to be able to change, to go with the flow. It is something that they are criticised for, fairly and unfairly.
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