“There is one category of advertising which is totally uncontrolled and flagrantly dishonest: the television commercials for candidates in Presidential elections.” ~ David Ogilvy
No one in their right mind would ever hire a professional, any professional, without checking them out first. We’d want to know about their credentials, their background, how successful they have been in the past, and something about their integrity; Right?
Of course we would—unless they are a politician. Politicians, our most critical collective employees, get a bye. They may tell us they have degrees, military history, lots of experience, and tremendous successes, when in fact the opposite is often true.
They may refuse to show their credentials, have no credible references, or a plethora of legal problems that would send any sensible person running. Then they admit they have never had a real job or the company they had previously managed is in shambles, and they can’t imagine why any of that matters. You should hire them anyway because it’s not their fault. With all the enthusiasm they can muster, they declare, “I’m going to increase your bottom line, improve your relationships, reduce your debt and make your customers very, very, happy!”
That’s wonderful we tell them as we walk out the door to find competence—unless they are a politician. Maybe we see it as hopeless, maybe they are such good orators we believe them, or maybe we’re so locked into our party lines that we ignore the much more important truths?
This American disease is not the politician’s fault, it is our own fault. We elect them—over and over again. Yes, judiciously breaking partisan lines will be a good start, but until we start checking on these folks, looking at their track record, and expecting a modicum of integrity we are going to continue to get exactly what we’ve had for years. That’s a scary thought isn’t it?