HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
August 28, 2006, Herald Journal

It’s those &#!$? politicians’ fault


Last Monday I waited for the Cokato Dassel Lions Club to meet at Thirsty’s Tavern in Dassel. I wanted to take a photograph of the club’s officers because the Lions will be the Center of Attention for the Sept. 4 edition of the Enterprise Dispatch.

I came early because I wanted as much time as possible to take the photos. I sat by the bar with two other men and waited.

Suddenly a squat man, wearing bib overalls unbuttoned on the sides, rushed in. Eyes darting around the room, he ran up to the bar and stopped short. “I thought I needed to bring a gun,” he said.

We all laughed. At the time I didn’t know what he meant when he said he needed a gun.

He left the tavern as quickly as he arrived. Later, I figured out he probably meant me. He saw my car, an unfamiliar car to him, parked out front of the tavern. On the back of my car are two bumper stickers. The blue one says, “Mark Kennedy for US. Senate.” The red one says “Re-elect Gov. Tim Pawlenty.”

The man in the unbuttoned bib overalls probably thought Kennedy or Pawlenty had stopped at Thirsty’s for a beer and he was offended. After all, politicians are crooks and deserve to be shot, or at the very least scared off the premises.

I’m sure the man didn’t know who Kennedy and Pawlenty were, what offices they held, or what party they represented. It wouldn’t have made any difference anyway. If the bumper stickers had listed their opponents’ names, his reaction would have been the same. All politicians are crooks to him.

Some people choose to reject all politicians because it is easier than choosing the best one. It takes effort to find out what politicians have said and done in the past, or consider what they say they will do in the future.

Second, some people are terrified of making a mistake and having people disapprove of them because of it. If they back a candidate who loses an election or turns out to be bad, they expect to be ridiculed. It’s much safer for them to reject them all. Then no matter what happens, they won’t be blamed.

Finally, some people feel their lives are not going as well as they wish. They subconsciously think it might be their own fault. Whenever they think about all the crooked politicians, though, it reduces their anxiety.

“It’s the *&#!$ politicians’ fault,” they think.