Politics, Shmolitics

Well, it’s politics, politics, politics again everywhere you look, and especially here in New Hampshire. TV and radio ads, robo-calls night and day, great big flyers that clog up your mailbox, and earnest young people who are absolutely sure that you want nothing more than to spend 20 minutes of your life on the phone with them doing a political survey. May I just say–enough, already.

When the political ads come one after the other, each candidate making outlandish promises, I usually yell at the TV: “WHERE’S THE MONEY GOING TO COME FROM, <insert whatever political talking head you choose here>?”

Yes, that’s right–that’s about where my priorities are now at my age. When I hear someone promise free this and free that and free everything else, I have to wonder from whose pockets they think all this largess is going to spill.

Anyone who has read any Robert Heinlein is familiar with the phrase *TANSTAAFL, which means “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” Basically it means that you never get something for nothing.

There is also a great show tune about politics from the Broadway hit, “Fiorello,” called “Politics and Poker.” The verse I remember best is this:

“Politics and Poker, Politics and Poker
Shuffle up the cards and find the joker
Neither game’s for children
Either game is rough
Decisions, decisions, like:
Who to pick
How to play
What to bet
When to call a bluff!”

Politics is a game, too. People tend to forget that, but it is a game nonetheless. The one thing I will share with you about my personal view of politics is this: choose the candidate that will do the least amount of harm, and, in the case of the presidential election–take a good look at the kind of people that they will bring with them.

Here’s a good analogy: let’s say that Batman and Superman are running for president. You like Batman because he has a mission and he is mysterious. But you also like Superman because he cares about people and he’s powerful. Now Batman has announced that, should he win the election, he is going choose Robin as Vice President.

Superman, on the other hand, has announced that, should he win, he is going to choose Captain America as Vice President. As a voter, your job is to research not only the presidential candidates on the subjects and causes you believe in, but also those of the vice presidential candidates.

Now while Batman might make a good president, we all know that Robin is pretty much just a jovial sidekick with no real mojo. However, while Superman would make also make a good president, Captain America would definitely be a kick-ass VP.

IMPORTANT NOTE: By all means do the research, but understand that the information you’re going to find will be biased. So just do the best you can, decide for yourself, be as well-informed as possible. Failing that, just hope for the best.

ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE: All opinions in this post are strictly the opinions of me, the writer. I am the writer, and as such, I approve this post.

*The phrase and the acronym are central to Robert Heinlein’s 1966 science-fiction novel The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, which helped popularize it.

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