Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Operative Term

I have been thinking about many of the upcoming campaigns a bit lately, and while the duration of the one for the highest office in the land has become all but interminable, I must say that my curiosity is piqued. Being a commenter on politics in general for a while now, on the process, and occasionally on the people involved; I sometimes ponder what it might be like to be on the other side. 

Don't get me wrong here folks, I have no aspirations nor any intentions of seeking elected office. I have far to many skeletons in my closet (a problem that increasingly makes it difficult to hang up my clothes) to even consider such an effort. My irresponsible nature likewise precludes me from hold a position of any responsibility, let alone authority. Even if I were interested (and believe me I'm not) there's the fact that I am by self-definition a Curmudgeon, and the tendency to be a cranky bastard would make me a difficult candidate for anyone to warm up to. 

All of that being said however, I believe that I might prove of some small value to the efforts of someone in seeking office. After all, I have a rather extensive and successful career of over thirty years in sales and marketing to draw upon that might be of some worth in the 'selling' of a candidate to the voting public. I have likewise been told that I have some meager ability to string together words coherently (not that you could tell it from this effort), which might prove useful in preparing both press releases and speeches. With the exercise of considerable effort, I can even occasionally manage to control my temper for short periods in what often seems like interminable meetings about campaign strategy. 

As a consequence, I cannot help but find myself wondering whether it would be worthwhile to offer my services to a worthy candidate as a political operative. Some of my acquaintance (and that I greatly respect) have offered themselves up to such service at one time or another in the past. Roland Hansen operated for some years as both an elected official and political operative. Maggie Thurber has likewise both held elected political office and worked to help others do so. Denise Soper, though never having run for office, certainly contributed greatly to a recent political campaign in NW Ohio. And while I have no prior experience in such efforts and would certainly expect to hold no more than a minor position at best, the idea of helping someone worthy of being elected to reach that goal is somewhat intriguing. 

Of course it's entirely possible that my efforts would stink worse than a cheap cigar (something I try to remain unfamiliar with). Such efforts require not only talent, but dedication; and my reserves of both were never all that extensive. It's also entirely possible that such thoughts are as self-serving as many of the politicians who put themselves forward for election. Altruism, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder; and one person's dedication is another's self-serving fanaticism. It may be that the idea of putting the term 'political operative' on my resume is what I find so fascinating, and not the concept of entering the struggle to see an able person fill a necessary role. 

Motives are after all, something that we should always call into question where politics is concerned. Who is the person seeking office and of what is their character made? What are their qualifications for office and what are the reasons that they seek to serve? Would the siren song of power and authority over others make them fall prey to the corrupting influences that surround office holders, or could this person be counted on to remain true to their principles after election?  

Even my own aspirations to perhaps play a minor role will bear much greater scrutiny before I would be willing to cast a vote. Would participating in the process in particular contaminate my ability to comment on it in general? Would crossing this line make me part of the problem or part of the solution? Would I have to wear a campaign button? (I really hate campaign buttons.) I have to admit that there is something about the concept that I find rather compelling though. Motive, Qualifications, Worthiness, Principle, and Character ... there are many words that could in fact be said to be operative terms to be considered in such a decision ...

1 comment:

Roland Hansen said...

Having worked on many campaigns during my lifetime, including things like erecting yard signs, examining the logistics to target geographical areas in which to concentrate the campaign, writing campaign slogans and developing "bullets" i.e. short catchy campaign statements, being a volunteer co-ordinator, issues researcher, media co-ordinator, campaign manager and much more, I have to say, Tim, that you would be an invaluable asset to a campaign. Perhaps speach writer or issues researcher or any other number of things. I say GO FOR IT!
Don't forget there are campaigns for candidates and campaigns for issues.
But should you decide not to jump into that type of foray, perhaps you might work on a voter registration campaign or a get out the vote drive.
The world needs a person like you, mi amigo.