Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Nation of Neophytes

Once upon a time, I worked on the campaign of a very nice, very smart man who wanted to run for Congress. He had never run for elective office before. I will never work on such a campaign again.

We currently have a President who never ran for elective office before running for President. We see how well that is going.

In my Congressional District, we have five potential candidates to run against Reed, only one of whom has any legislative and executive experience. In my county, we have multiple candidates primarying for County Legislature, few of whom have ever done anything at the village, town, or county level.

In my world, you don't wake up one day and say, "I have lots of ideas; I think I'll run for Congress!" I know people do it all the time, but to me, it makes no more sense than applying to be CEO of Dell because you own a desktop. There are skills involved; you'd better have done serious board work, run meetings, developed policies, and raised money. You'd better be good at communicating, consuming large quantities of verbiage and retaining key points, compromising, and delegating. You'd better have won an election if I'm going to take you seriously.

I know, I know—that's just not FAIR. It's not as though the Congress we have is so great; maybe a horde of newbies would improve things. Maybe not knowing the rules is a plus! Maybe seeing things through new eyes is an asset!

Or maybe I just don't have time for you to get up to speed.

If you have great ideas and want to run for office, pick a town position and go for it. Go door to door. Win an election or two. Learn how laws and regulations are made. Work together with other municipalities. Deal with people on both sides of the aisle. Listen. Make friends and do good deeds. Then we'll talk.


  1. Unfortunately for you. The majority of people in NY23 think you are wrong.

  2. Luckily for me, I know someone who may run with the kind of background I'd prefer! (PS: The "majority of people in NY23" are Republicans, and they probably think I'm wrong about everything.)