The Cynical Darkness of Politics
A ten-part series describing the political darkness that lurks in our democracy.
There is cynical darkness that prevails in politics. We all see it as the dirty, mud-slinging sport from the outside, but it is so much more than that from the inside. Breaking through the barrier of establishment powers is a difficult task. If you can’t handle being hit from all sides, threatened by powerful people, and having your reputation put on the line, then stop right now.
I don’t say this to discourage you, but rather, to save you the stress, pain, frustration, and experience of having to deal with it all. There is no pretty way to put it other than, politics is a deep, dark evil and the chessboard is deliberately stacked against you. People will not support you, just as others will. The ones that don’t will make things up, start rumors, issue false accusations, and hate you from the very start of your campaign before you even say one word about why you’re running. Especially if you are challenging an incumbent.
Running for office divides people, and unleashes the full force of humanity’s worst possible sides. You are going to need a team to protect you from the desire to lash out at every comment. You will need a campaign manager you can trust, tell everything to, even the darkest secrets hiding in the back of your closet. There is nothing more important than honesty to your team. You should never let them be in a position to discover something new about you when you should have come clean in the beginning.
Providing the full scope of who you are, what you have done, the things you desire, lust for, love, hate, enjoy, and despise will help them be a stronger team for your success. Take the emotion of anger out of your mind, body, and soul. You will get angry and have to channel it back to the reason you started the campaign.
Finding time for yourself will be a vital component of your success. Do not get burned out, and do not expect much of anything to go the way you plan it. Just going out to put campaign signs up will be filled with numerous unexpected issues. People you thought you could rely on will let you down. Move on, quickly, find another way to achieve the goal. Again, don’t get angry, get even, and keep going.
Build new relationships with people from the business, non-profit, and opposing political party communities. You need outside perspectives to fully grasp how to approach the political arena, and finding as many people that disagree with you as possible will help formulate this understanding.
Above all else, once you make the decision to press forward, are ready for the challenge, do not give up. No matter what. There will be press, good and bad. Ignore it all or you will become consumed by it. Also, learn how to tell stories about yourself. It isn’t easy to run for office, and there is cynical darkness that lurks at every step.