This is going to be difficult to write, because it contains a plea which simply won’t find much sympathy, and understandably so. But perhaps that is the best reason to make it. We are asking you today, quite seriously, and even admitting that we are often purveyors of such vitriol as we are about to disparage, that you pity the politicians.
Yes, that’s something akin to pitying lawyers. Still, do we cut politicians, or lawyers for that matter, enough slack?
They are under a lot of pressure, pressures which we don’t necessarily appreciate. How would you like it if everyone and anyone felt they could dictate things to you and you were expected to simply get them done? It just isn’t that easy. You have hundreds of others just like you under the same thumbs, and a good many of them are under similar pressures as you. Further, many of them are expressly working against you. No one politician, no one lawyer, can snap their fingers and find things magically done, and to everyone’s satisfaction. That doesn’t happen very often in any given person’s day to day life. Why should expect it to happen in the courts or legislative halls?
We know in our own life experiences that there are those who work for us and those who work against us. At least sometimes, they aren’t even real enemies. They’re just, for whatever and sometimes legitimate enough reasons, at cross purposes to ours. Can’t we concede that at least sometimes the politicos are in the same position?
It’s easy to demonize people. Some folks are indeed easier to demonize than others. Yet how might you act with thousands (indeed millions, depending on exactly whom we’re talking about) of people heaping pressure on you? To be sure, politicians ask for it simply by putting their hats in the rings, and the real answer to making their lives and ours much easier would be smaller, less obtrusive government of the type where favors would not be so important. But we also need to realize as a people we should not expect perfection out of anyone, much less those who promise us the moon. It is a sham promise anyway, as a moment’s thought should inform any rational person. Could you deliver it? Why expect that a politician could? Yet as voters and citizens, we apparently do just that with every election.
This isn’t to excuse excesses where they are outright illegal and properly offend the people. Yet it is to say that, in daily terms, we have to let go a little bit. Not all politicians are evil. Most probably aren’t, really. For whatever reasons, they have difficult lives. Even a slight acknowledgment of that might make us all better people.