In politics, you are either motivated to engage or be seduced.
I've been thinking about this for a long time. Everybody looks at why people do not get politically involved. The seduction is great because it leads to power. People want power because you get it by having followers who perceive you as a leader.
Other benefits that accrue may not be immediate or tangible but they come from the high level of self-esteem and self-assurance that you attain by being a leader.
I'm not talking about running for office. I'm simply talking about why voters seem uninterested in politics and public policy.
Power is seductive
If you know this already then you are motivated to achieve that. Often that's why political families and their children continue to remain in the public policy area. They understand their benefits. For others, however, they do not. They have to be seduced.
Seduced by getting a photograph with a star political power player like the president or a senator, seduced by having your son or daughter be given a reference to the Naval Academy, seduced by mingling with celebrities and politicians at $10,000 a plate fundraisers, seduced by attending private invitation-only inauguration events, seduced by having your photograph in the paper…
All of these are exciting because they name you as part of the political power elite and or celebrity culture. And you can just throw this around.
Not that you want to do the heavy lifting of real policy making because for many that are quite boring.
But the social accouterments look pretty good.
All of this is surface.
The real meat is not in candidate selection but there also is an excitement around the competition of winning an election whether at the local, state or federal level.
Competitive people like to win, competitive people like to win elections, and prove that they understand this complex and rigorously arcane political system.
If you run for office you have the ability to grant favors, money, appropriations, and funding to your constituents.
And that can be incredibly gratifying.
You end up with lots of friends, you see your name on signs everywhere, essentially you have what social media is doing for us, you have a lot of followers.
So why do people get into this? I think there are two reasons: 1) you have something to lose or 2) you are motivated or seduced.
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