It is interesting how one regular person, if they find the courage to speak out and stand up, can make a difference in the world. I have an unshakable belief our system is designed to allow regular common everyday folks to serve as Representatives if they can stick to their principles. Yes, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, an automotive union rep, a reindeer rancher veteran of two wars, a bail bondsman, a real estate tycoon and yes, even a Rock and Roll Star can serve and do a good job if their heart is open and they are honest to themselves and others. Perhaps that is wrong or incorrect advice because I came home and the other guy, the foreclosure King, got elected.
Here is where I offer a fair warning to those contemplating representative elective office, especially the Rock and Roll Star considering running in Michigan for the U. S. Senate; No hats are permitted on the floor of the Senate and yes even you will be required to wear a suit and tie. Perhaps that hair in a pony-tail? You can still find an act of defiance? Perhaps consider wearing tennis or gym shoes with the suit and tie as Rep. Ron Paul did. I hope your campaign manager/consultant explains it to you if you have one. If you do have a political consultant please realize for him or her it is all about the money even if they say it is not. There are rules and long traditions that will be strictly enforced in congress and if you tarnish the office of the Senate, and I believe you will not, but if you do I will personally engage with you, kick your butt and then help send you home. That office must be respected! Also, the power of elective office is seductive and can be a dangerous mistress. Men and woman will lie, cheat, betray and act like Brutus to obtain that power you hold. You will find friends you never knew and they will kiss your robe and feet seductively to win favor. At least until the show is over. The old saying holds true – if you want a real friend in Washington, D. C. get a dog. I know from personal experience that to be a fact. By the way, reread the Bible and all the Shakespeare plays before you arrive in your congressional office, they will give you good insight in the behavior of man no college Psych or Sociology class can offer.
For anyone contemplating elective office my advice, for what it is worth, is it is important to avoid becoming a political hack who checks the weather and winds to stay in office. The fog of politics is deceptive especially when viewed by armchair generals and jealous elitist politicians, and the bias slanted disingenuous press corp. There are a thousand battles and skirmishes to be fought and you will need to engage in a few, kick butt and then eventually come home. Be who you are and if you do not know who you are before taking office you will learn quickly who you are once in the fight. That narrative they eventually write about you and your time is office will be slanted, part lie and part truth. Accept it and get over it. Family and the friends who stick around afterwards are what counts. Welcome to the world of politics. There may be a silver lining in it. You can come home and write a ballad Nashville style.
I would hate to find you, Mr. future politician, like I found a cowardly young officer in Iraq during a rocket attack, shaking like a leaf on a quaking Aspen tree between two Humvees. Stand firm if right and punch back. The lesson here is to make good decisions and that takes work and courage. To make those good decisions requires incessant reading beginning at 4 am and asking a thousand questions to find the truth between 9am and 8 pm, Monday through Friday. If you don’t like reading or asking questions look for another job. Weekends are spent visiting constituents and if lucky you may find time to attend Mass before catching that flight back to DC Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. Perhaps during the month of August during break you can catch a bass or two from the pond and have that very important family get-together and make home-made ice cream with the kids.