I used this quote before, and now again:
Politician’s got on his joggin’ shoes
He must be runnin’ for office, got no time to lose
He’s sucking the blood out of the genius of generosity
You been rollin’s your eyes; you’ve been teasin’ me
-Bob Dylan from “Summer Days”
This is why troubadours should be awarded Nobel Prizes. So few words say so much, and with a catchy little tune, can cement aphorisms in our brains to last a lifetime. For example, all I retain from an unmusical Robert Frost are the phrases, “miles to go before I sleep”, and “Good fences make good neighbors”. Top writing accolades, awards stacked to the ceiling, praise from a President and every high school English teacher ever invented after 1960, but only two phrases left for me to grapple with on those alone winter nights fearing the inevitable.
For better or for worse, musical poets like Dylan or Lou Reed have brought wisdom to the court of my mini-kingdom that I will not forget until Alzheimer’s makes its debut to my night chair.
Likewise, Frederich Nietzsche has a name we’re not supposed to forget, and he wrote a whole book of aphorisms (Human All Too Human) that I read 10 times as a struggling new father. I remember just one today, which I can only paraphrase, about how a young man should find an older woman to teach him the ways of the world—an admittance by Frederich that he just wanted his mommy back.
No music, no Nietzsche to remember. That’s the way it is for me anyway.
Dylan’s quote is why I write about cutting out of this campaign while my humanity is still ripe and not reached rotten.
Yesterday was my birthday and friends and acquaintances reached out to me on telephone and social media. I responded to each “Happy Birthday” in kind with a “thank you”, or my own made up, nonmusical (therefore unmemorable) aphorism, and it felt so much like how being human is supposed to feel. I concluded midday that politics and political campaigns are corrupt on any level if foundations are built by money. Only free good is non-corruptible. Inevitably, profit changes good deeds into suspect ones. I do not wish to mistake payment for service as profit. Social workers, dog pounds and fireman get paid because they perform a needed service. Congressmen and Presidents too, while they are working in office. However, when the latter amass money (donations) in order to become elected, each is instantly corrupted, and this carries over into their job performance. Therefore, John Katko (NY-24) is corrupt. Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, the local city mayor, any alderman, elected judge, sheriff, or non-elected connection to any of these powers is corrupt, if outside money has contributed to their position in any way.
I know (and this is not saying much) that I am (was) the best human running for U.S. Congress in my district because I choose (chose) to take all money out of my campaign, election, and service. The latter would be funded on sustenance levels, to break even after two years, and then go home, my term to country complete, and onto some new artistic endeavor. I also know that there are hundreds, maybe a thousand local people better prepared to tackle the responsibilities seeing to the federal needs of nearly 750,000 people.
These folks avoid politics because they are neither daff (like me), nor dirty, like John Katko (NY-24).
I think people are so jaded by politics that we actually expect our politicians to be smarmy, and suspect those honest newcomers who freely wish to do good by the people they hope to represent.
I cannot happily pretend to be a Congressional candidate any longer because I realize now the constituency (via propaganda and several lifetimes of social conditioning all based on profit rather than goodwill) does not want an honest man or woman in the government to represent them. Common sense has become a melting marshmallow in our brains. We know our government is corrupt and corruptible, yet we still play the game, even when the gift of a fool appears, and we are given the choice of his or her incorruptible honesty over a knave’s purchasable platform of power.
There are many more reasons why I refuse to expose my humanness as a public servant. Here is number one:
Neither John Katko (NY-24) nor Ron Throop have a right to represent the majority of peoples in our cities and countryside. No human being does. My art and arrogance crumbles to dust the moment I imagine going door-to-door to families in South Syracuse, or likewise, chumming beside the god-fearers of Meridian or apple farmers in Sodus. Who has that kind of magic? Not John. Not me. Not the Pope. No one.
Therefore, the system is broken, and we cannot use the present power (Congress) to fix a corrupted system that feeds its own avarice.
If I can achieve anything by playing this game, it would be for you and yours to wake up and stop enabling their game play.
I will remain at this website and pretend my candidacy until later this summer when I must decide to seek the ballot by obtaining 3,500 door-to-door signatures. I will only go forward then if my Twitter page (presently bulging at 2 loyal followers) reaches 500 local people interested in reform.
I claim to be both honest and daffy, and I’d like to toss in, “not stupid” as well. People pretend to want a better world like they want to live forever, yet do little beyond hope for all to be fed and/or a time machine to appear out of the blue. I have lived over half a century and I have come to the sad or happy conclusion that most people just do what they are told to do, and that is that.
Now, the man on the stand he wants my vote
He’s a-runnin’ for office on the ballot note
He’s out there preachin’ in front of the steeple
Tellin’ me he loves all kinds-a people
He’s eatin’ bagels
He’s eatin’ pizza
He’s eatin’ chitlins
-Bob Dylan “I Shall Be Free”