As many of you go to the polls today to vote in primary runoff elections, perhaps it's time to take a closer look at the kind of people who run for political office.

Primarily, we all need to wonder about why anyone would want any of these jobs.

Do you know what congressmen do all day?

Mostly they go to endless meetings and make empty promises to people they hope they never see again.

In between meetings, they meet, greet and pose for pictures with high school students on the steps of the Capitol and shake hands with even more strangers they hope they never see again.

When they have time, they run to the floor to cast votes on legislation they haven't read and probably have no idea what the outcome will be.

Governors, by the way, accomplish even less.

And during their off time, these career politicians make phone calls begging for money so they can do it all over again.


And who are these people anyway?

Most are successful business people who have been deluded into thinking government could benefit from their vast life experiences.

Many are legacy legislators who learned how to run for office from their grandfathers, fathers, aunts and uncles, and they consider it a family tradition.

Most spend a thousand times more money than the jobs pay for the privilege of serving the people.

But when it comes to actually serving the people, they never do the heavy lifting. They have staffers who untangle the bureaucratic brambles to get poor, hardworking people the benefits they deserve.

Then, when it comes time to take the credit, they step forward for the photo ops.

Oh, yeah, and this time of year they litter our beautiful landscape with campaign signs and don't bother to pick them up later.

Shady characters

Personally, I find it hard to take someone seriously who brainwashes teenagers and housewives into standing by the roadside waving signs during rush hour, or thinks we're dumb enough to believe those hokey TV ads they spend so much money on.

And if you listen closely to their speeches, you can hear the pollsters whispering into their ears so they'll know which rhetorical hot buttons to push.

Indeed, they have learned the art of faking sincerity, which is what politics is all about.

Worst of all, they loosely associate with shady characters who spread nasty rumors about their opponents so they can stand back and speak with disdain about such distasteful tactics.

These, I'm afraid, are the people who want to represent us. Sadly, they don't even represent themselves very well.

Reach Ken Burger at or 937-5598 or follow him on Twitter at