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Sunday, September 04, 2011

How to Succeed in Politics and Policy (with some Life Lessons)

The poker hands of Politics and the Chess games of Policy can help you live life to the fullest.

When I'm standing on the terrace of the Monte Cristo, I feel grateful for the lessons I learned from the Political and Policy (Capitol Hill) sphere.  To succeed in life, sometimes it helps if learn them too.

There are many people who think they know the realm I inhabit, but they remain idealists who know nothing of working with other human beingsThe best people who wander onto my proving ground understand that politics and policy require pragmatics. 

These are lessons that Chris Matthews forgot and the next President in 2013 will use.  Thank me later.

1)   Politics is about coalitions.  If you cannot build a coalition or break your opponents', then forget about winning in November. Coalitions help theoretical bills (and budgets) become laws. Or you win a plebiscite with one.  In my personal life I have built a coalition of my Politico friends (in LA and DC), my Goth friends, my Blogging buddies, regular friends, and family.  Thus, I am never alone. 

2) How do you build that coalition? Rule number two: Play well with others.  

This one requires a new paragraph.  Listen:

Try this experiment for someone you need to work with or are friends with.  Spend an hour yelling at them; then spend another hour questioning their motives; then spend another hour yelling at them for doing something you support; and another hour asking if they beat their wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend/significant other. 

Now ask them to work with you.  That ladies and gentlemen, was how the American Left acted during the last administration; Its how they acted when they had super majorities in the House and Senate (and the White House) and its how they act today with a White House and Senate still in their control.

Would you want to work with someone who treats you like crap?  Exactly.  When the people on the Left learn to treat people on the Right like human beings, with flaws (just like everyone else), then deal making can get done again.  Until then, I'll just quote Clive Owen from Shoot 'Em Up (quote in link).

2A)  Don't ask for something you don't give yourself.  Civility, civility, civility.  A lot of us called Bull because we remembered how President Bush fils was treated.  You want civility? Give first.  This is not rocket science even though the Left calls themselves the smarter of the two parties, yet they can't figure this out.

3)  If you are unwilling to put your reputation on line for a cause (not an individual), you are not in the right business.  Which Legislators are remembered?  Those that fought for something they believed in.  And the best Presidents? Those that staked their poll numbers on personal beliefs.  Can anyone tell me what President Obama stands for?  Exactly.  Believe in something, believe in yourself that you can sell the idea and you can do great things.

4)   In politics, you must sell the candidate; In policy, you sell the idea; Among the populace, you must sell yourself.  There is a theme here -- my late father was a salesman.  I learned a lot about selling that helped move the Valley into almost becoming a "C" list Blog (I joke).  When I am at the club, I have been told I go up to the prettiest girl there and say "Hello,"  How does this happen? I know the product.  Plus how many guys say that they are to blame when western civilization falls.  Understanding of the self and what you are selling go helping you succeed in politics, policy or life.

5)  Never mock someones beliefs or heroes (from that Right winger, Speaker Tip O'Neill).  Listen, I despise the Pauls.  But some people like them.  Yet, they always have a hard time selling their candidate beyond those intense activists who already like him.  Why? Because their way is the only way. As politely as I can, no no and NO.  You gain voters from other candidates in the Primary by convincing others that their views will still be represented by your candidate.  And that is why the Left is losing, and why the Pauls will never be President.

6) If you want deals to be done, allow the other party to "Save face,"  This is Japanese protocol but it is true here.  Why deal with someone if you won't give them a way to keep their pride?   Attack some one's beliefs by calling them "teabaggers," or "racists,"  Expect no concessions from Republicans.  If you give the other side a chance to maintain a sense of pride and dignity, and, to paraphrase  Reagan, if you don't care who gets the credit, shit gets done.  

7)  And finally,  be yourself -- if your public face is different from your private face, expect trouble.  But if who youy are in private matches your public face, the world is your oyster. And we end this post with one of the best Depeche Mode songs, "People are people," Listen to the lyrics.



People are people, so why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully?
People are people, so why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully?

So we're different colours and we're different creeds
And different people have different needs
It's obvious you hate me though I've done nothing wrong
I've never even met you, so what could I have done?

I can't understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand

People are people, so why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully?
People are people, so why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully?

And now you're punching and you're kicking and you're shouting at me
I'm relying on your common decency
So far, it hasn't surfaced but I'm sure it exists
It just take a while to travel from your head to your fist

I can't understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand

People are people, so why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully?
People are people, so why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully?

I can't understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand

I can't understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand

I can't understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand

I can't understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand

I can't understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand

I can't understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand


OK, your turn: What life lessons have you learned from politics?

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