There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.
No government is going to give you anything for free. What you get for free comes out of the pocket of someone else. That’s entirely appropriate when it comes to defending our shared interests as a nation. Unfortunately, we don’t have many mutual interests. That’s what makes us American. We fight amongst ourselves unless we have a common enemy, and then we fight ourselves and the enemy at the same time.
But no corporation or CEO, no matter how benevolent, will take care of you, either. You offer your labor, but your labor doesn’t have much value in a world of automation and robots. Even if you can’t be outsourced, you can be manipulated into giving up your control. In fact, you have been manipulated into giving up your power. Work regularly undermines our spirits and devitalizes our health. And yet, here you are, willingly coming into work every day to pursue a paycheck and someone else’s passion.
I think there’s one general way to demonstrate self-determination and overcome the “Madison Avenue marketing assault” on our free will without becoming domestic terrorists or conspiracy theorists. I think that one way is to get involved in local politics, run for office, and fight the good fight.
I have one friend who is a public relations executive who ran as a candidate for US Senate. Not joking, he got his house in order and stood on stage in a primary debate against a sitting US Senator. He lost the election to the incumbent, but it wasn’t a blood bath. He elevated issues in the primary that are still being discussed today.
And I have another friend who works in Human Resources and sits on his city’s council. Still another who manages commercial real estate and also sits on a town board. It’s not glamorous, but it’s not nothing. These are people who have full-time jobs and families but also care about their communities.
There are so many voters out there who feel lost and frustrated. For some weird reason, they are looking for a parent to solve their problems, whether that parent affiliates himself or herself with one party or another.
Me? I’m a voter who is looking to elect someone with real-world experience and who is beholden to me, not special interests or media pundits on the right or left.
I think you could be one of those people. I think you should run. Especially if you are a young professional — a millennial who has young kids and is willing to be patient with the American electorate.
Between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, who aren’t all that different, there is a place for you in our democracy. If you are over 30, apply your experiences in the workforce and your passion for changing the world to your community. Stop caring about other people’s agendas to make money and change the world. Create your own agenda.
Listen to me, please. You should run for office. I think you’ll be pleased to find that there’s a majority of voters out there who will support you on a local and national level.