I have a confession to make. I don't like politicians. What's more, I don't trust them. Every one of them is shifty-eyed, you ever notice that? And there's a look in the eye of the average politician that would startle a shark.
I don't like them because they're self-serving and greedy and disdainful. They hold their constituents in contempt and care nothing for their welfare except insofar as it suits their own needs. Most of them are fat, too, and have bad breath.
But the main reason I dislike these bozos is because they're not real men. They don't have any character, any self; there's nothing to them. You couldn't find enough substance in the average politician to produce a one-dimensional character in a women's romance novel. They consist mostly of hot air and straw and ego, a combination that seldom produces anything worthwhile.
You see, no politician can afford to be his real self, not if he wants to be re-elected, anyway. The very art of politics requires that one never let people find out what he really thinks or believes for the simple reason that every time he says something that pleases one group it displeases another and that's political suicide.
Displeased voters occasionally throw politicians out and force them to take honest jobs like everybody else. Needless to say, nothing terrifies a politician more than the prospect of losing his sinecure and having to go to work.
What's more, politicians are totally without any sense of integrity or honor, their morals are so ill defined as to be non-existent. The average congressman couldn't define ethics or recognize them on sight.
Sting operations all over the country are nailing these crooked charlatans in droves. They're taking bribes right and left, selling their votes to special interest groups for cash on the barrel head, wheedling kickbacks, and generally stealing and looting and pillaging as politicians have always done.
They're such a sleazy, larcenous bunch that we'd do no injustice if we threw every politician in the slammer for six or seven years on the grounds that he's guilty as hell of something even if we don't know exactly what it is. Even at that such a sentence would be too lenient for most of them.
And arrogant?! God, don't you hate their arrogance most of all? They raise their salaries and laugh when we complain about it. They regularly vote themselves new and more outrageous perks, bum rides on corporate jets, attend conferences in Vegas and the French Riviera, take long vacations in exotic lands at taxpayer expense, practice nepotism shamelessly, lie pathologically, and those that manage to avoid indictment and the big house finally retire on pensions that would delight a Persian pasha.
Well, how do these hacks and losers get away with it? How can they behave so outrageously and manage to stay in office for decades at a time?
Easy. They know their constituents. They know the average voter is a nincompoop. They know they can steal with impunity and most people will never find it out because most people never even know who their representatives are much less what they're doing.
So we get the kind of government we deserve. If Congress is full of knaves and blackguards, it's our own fault. When they give themselves a raise we don't want them to have, why don't we throw them the hell out? If you can never find your Congressman because he's always vacationing in the Bahamas, why do you re-elect the clown?
What's the answer? Term limits, that's what. This is an idea whose time has come but hasn't spread far enough yet. I say limit them to two terms each and then send them to jail on general principles. Four years in congress and four years in jail sounds just about right. Senators should serve six years in the pen because I like senators even less than congressmen.
We should cut their pay, too. In fact, let's put them all on merit pay. If the economy's weak and the budget isn't balanced, slash their pay. If they can't come up with a decent national health plan, cut it some more. And slash it again for every junket they take, cut it every time we catch them in a lie, deduct some more for hypocrisy, double-dealing, outright fraud, and all criminal acts.
Of course, this would mean no politician would make any money at all but so what? Then they'd have to quit and everybody would benefit.
So get rid of all of them. Governors, sheriffs, councilmen, mayors, aldermen, drain commissioners, ward healers and dogcatchers. Elect a new batch of thieves and crooks every election and don't let them stick around long enough to plunder the entire country before we turn them out.
No more dynasties. No more empire building. No more political bosses or entourages or bag men. No more payoffs, unsecured loans from S&L crooks, bribes disguised as honorariums, kickbacks from staffers, bulging slush funds, backroom deals, AIG bailouts. No more fat pensions after eight or ten years of service, no more perks or special exemptions or check bouncing privileges in private congressional banks.
Politicians are losers one and all. Dishonesty is their stock in trade, double-dealing their modus operandi, re-election their only concern. They laugh at us in the privacy of their clubs and restaurants and sneer contemptuously as they sail by in their limos.
Term limits, did I say? Not good enough. I happen to know where I can get my hands on a sturdy piece of Manila hemp; now, if we could just find a convenient lamppost...