It’s not like anyone’s ever asked me to run for office, but if they did, I wouldn’t. There’s no way it’d be a productive use of my time. I wouldn’t win. I couldn’t win, actually.
I wouldn’t be able to convince myself to go along with the scummy campaigning mechanisms, putting my opponents in stupid positions (one state candidate portrayed her opponents as riding a pig, being “high on the hog,” for example). I just… I couldn’t see myself manufacturing claims against my opponents for political gain.
I mean, seriously: what if I had to work with that person in the future? If I could bring myself to ridicule them personally, how in the world would I ever be able to look them in the eye and work with them, ever?
And, of course, if I couldn’t lie about my opponents in order to win, well, I’m pretty sure they’d not share my objections; they’d surely malign me. And my answer would be, at best, “no, that’s false” – not some kind of overresponse that today’s politics seem to expect and demand.
It’s possible, of course, that I’d be posed against someone actually awful: a Keith Ellison (who allegedly beat the crap out of his girlfriend, only to have the case dismissed before indictment because her physical evidence was found wanting), or a Donald Trump, or a Roy Moore.
I’d still lose… because if such a person was elected in the first place, my commitment to a marketplace of ideas and progress wouldn’t be compelling. The people who woud vote for a Donald Trump would have no reason to vote for me: I’m not funny enough, I’m not caustic in the right ways, I don’t shrug at my own foibles and attack others for their flaws, I don’t attack people who oppose me. The people who could elect a Roy Moore or a Keith Ellison would find nothing of value in me.
Fun thought experiment, though.