Monday, September 12, 2016

In which Primo gets signatures and I do nothing over Memorial Day weekend and it is grand

We did run into an acquaintance of Primo's who is currently a legislator. I had a conversation with him that left me really surprised.

As in, legislators all think they are smart. Really smart.

I know.


I think the rest of the civilized world looks at politicians and thinks, "You would not last two seconds in the private sector" and is sure that after each election a politician wins, he throws himself to the ground to thank God because if he were not in elected office, he would starve to death because WHO WOULD EVER HIRE HIM? but apparently, legislators think quite highly of themselves.

The conversation went something like this, although this is a highly-distilled version:

Me: I am a big fan of the citizen-legislator.

Primo's acquaintance - let's call him Bob - Bob went straight from college to law school and then from law school to running for and winning public office: Well....

Me: Otherwise, you get people who have never worked in the private sector and who think taxing soda at a different rate than other items in the grocery store is a great idea.

Bob: What do you mean?

Me: Because anyone who has ever been involved with a computer system would say, "But if we tax different foods at different rates, then the systems have to be completely re-written, which is very expensive and time consuming."

Bob: I suppose I can see what you mean.

Me: Plus when you have someone who has worked in the private sector, you have someone who has an understanding of the fact that just because your expenses go up, you can't necessarily raise your prices.

Bob: Hmmmm. But what about James Madison? And some of the other founding fathers? They were pure politicians. They made a career of politics.

Me: Well, you may have a point there.

[But I was really thinking, "Really? REALLY? You are comparing yourself to James Madison? I. Don't. Think. So. And then I looked Madison up when I came home and discovered that sure, he might have started in politics very young, but he ran a huge plantation, which requires some decent private-sector skills. And Madison really was smart. That is not a quality I discern in most politicians these days.]

Bob: But yeah - one of the problems is that all the people at the capitol think they are experts on everything.

Me: What?

Bob: Yeah - they think they really know what they are talking about.


Bob: So it can be hard to convince them of anything.

Me: I. See.

[And that's when I had the realization that they all think they are smart. They compare themselves to James Madison. They think they are experts. Lord. Have. Mercy.]

Bob: How's Primo's campaign going?

Me: I try to stay out of it.

Bob: What?

Me: It's his thing, not mine.

Bob: But... but...

Me: I did doors with him on the first campaign. I recruited and managed his volunteers. I put together yard signs. I wrote thank you notes. I entered data into the party database. I am done.

Bob: But why?

Me: It's not my thing.

Bob: On our first date, I took my girlfriend to do doors.

Me: And?

Bob: She's still my girlfriend.

Me: Yeah. Primo was not a politician when I married him.

Bob: But you don't want to campaign with him?

Me: No.

[What I should have said was, "Do you go to work with your girlfriend? Why not?"]


  1. "Do you go to work with your girlfriend? Why not?"

    Ooh, I love this and I'm stealing it. For every time anyone gets confused and weird about a partner not taking part in the other's hobby, interest, or work.

  2. What I should have said was, "Do you go to work with your girlfriend? Why not?"

    I'll point out that when your partner owns there own business, you do often end up helping them out with their job. Being an elected official is similar to owning a small business in many ways: They often have a (small) staff to manage. They have no boss (besides their customers/voters). They believe they are making the world a better place.

    1. Eric, I am thinking that this is probably more common when the husband owns the business/holds office than the other way around. Women are expected to support their husbands' activities a lot more than men are supposed to support their wives' activities.

  3. Just a thought,

    I don't vote for someone expecting the significant other to work for free


    I do think most politicians think they are smarter than the average bear---making them mostly hilarious.


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