Eye-rolling is more than common whenever someone mentions a politician these days. And for good reasons. Long gone are the days when regular folks would trust the government and have actual ideals for which they would vote. There are no Washingtons and Lincolns anymore. Heck! There are no Theodore and Franklin Roosevelts either.
Nowadays, being a politician is synonymous with an immoral, wealthy hypocrite who has it easy, running around and spreading meaningless rhetoric. Thanks to both major parties in the United States, political careers are no longer about serving the public but answering to big tech and shady interests of The One Percent.
But is it really like that? Are all politicians like Donald Trump on one side and Bill and Hillary on the other? Well, we don’t think so. Being a man or woman of politics isn’t the easiest of jobs, regardless of how we feel about them. So, allow us to explore the struggles of being a politician in the United States, will you?
Understanding the Function of a Politician
When you think about politicians, you probably imagine luxury cars, fine suits, and hour-long talks about the current shape of the world, public life, and local state affairs. And all of that is true to some extent. However, what’s the real purpose of being a person in politics? Forget about being the President of the United States. We’re thinking about local big shots, their career paths, and how they affect us, the regular people.
In essence, politicians are men and women who participate in party politics. This is somewhat of a basic definition. They hold and seek elected seats in government. They support, reject, and propose various laws and state legislations that rule local governments and their inhabitants. Moreover, they create these laws, so we can say they directly contribute to how we live our everyday lives.
Politicians Are Public Servants
Regardless of how it may seem, politicians are public servants before anything. Well, at least that’s how it should be. Any political theory will tell you that. The only problem is that not all of them abide by that, appearing as if they’re doing regular people a favor. But their job is to care and please our needs before thinking about party views, ideas, and ideologies.
But if we assume they serve us as they should in theory, what would their daily jobs look like? Well, they would be running around asking people for their opinions on the current state of affairs and coming up with ideas to solve any issues and improve the overall quality of life. As such, it’s safe to say that being one is one hell of a job in theory.
At Times, They Receive Death Threats
Another fact about the lives of politicians is that their careers are not always the safest. Not for them and not for their families. Why? Well, it’s not uncommon for them to receive death threats every now and then. And no, this isn’t a Hollywood-Harrison-Ford thriller we’re on about here. This is real life, and it can get quite hairy.
We need not mention how some politicians met their maker. Just in the United States, four presidents were killed — from Lincoln and Garfield to McKinley and Kennedy. And if you consider they were the leading politicians of their time, just imagine how easy it is for small-time players to end up in, God forbid, similar situations.
You Have the Whole Country on Your Shoulders
The reason politicians’ lives are at stake at times is because they are figureheads of movements, states, and countries. They’re the first to be called out when things aren’t going the way they should. As such, we can safely say that being a politician means carrying the whole country on your shoulders. And we don’t need to explain how hard it can be to be that person when the economy is going down or when there are international tensions.
This responsibility means that not everyone is cut out to be a person of politics. In some ways, it’s like that story about being an actor, pop star, or any other celebrity. Your every action is reviewed by the unforgiving audience who are waiting for you to slip, so they can call you out on social media. The pressure is simply immense. But, hey! That’s the price you have to pay to become rich and powerful, as most of them are.
Your Decisions Affect Everyone
The job of every politician includes making decisions every day. And yes, we all make them, but the results of what we decide don’t affect the whole community, let alone the country. This is one heavy burden to have. And in most cases, regardless of what you decide, there will be a group of people who won’t like it. In fact, they will be eager for you to choose between two wrongs so that they can start a public outcry.
You could argue that politicians had it easier back in the day when there was no internet and social media. And that’s true to some extent. Nowadays, everyone can make their opinions, on which they have little to no knowledge, public. And as things go in situations like those, others will follow their complaints, making things even worse. But, of course, none of this lessens politicians’ responsibilities. It just elevates correct decisions even more.
Your Influence Plays a Big Part in Your People’s Lives
Before we conclude this talk about the struggles of politicians, we need to mention one more thing. Namely, being a local leader means that others will try to imitate you. As such, you have a certain responsibility in how you move and talk. From young people watching you to your close, opportunistic affiliates, they will all try and act like you. Why? Well, you’re a powerful figure, and most others want to be like you too.
Let’s take Donald Trump as an example. Regardless of all his faults — and there were many — he was an idol for almost half the country. The way he conducted himself in front of the press and interviews was nothing short of controversial for many reasons. And if you think about it, countless people you would meet in daily life would imitate his body language to forward themselves even in surface-level situations.
All in all, being a politician is a full-time job. It requires great rhetoric skill, quick thinking, and intuition about the way masses feel and think. Such a career is more than rewarding if you play your cards right, but it comes at a massive cost, from a complete loss of privacy to even putting your life on the line. It’s not for everyone. The decisions you make will affect countless lives, so they better be good if you want to sleep well at night.