Cult of Personality, 80s musical hit, or modern politics

So, no big secret here, I play guitar. Not terribly well, but I do try.

On top of that I am a HUGE fan of 80s rock music. Yes, even the hair bands. However, I was listening to one of my favorites the other day and I was struck by the lyrics.

Over the last decade politics in the United States has gone from a necessary evil, where there were rules, written and unwritten, that people generally followed. Candidates were informed, they really wanted to make a different (typically), and now it has changed. Politicians want to be famous, they want to have people scream their name, and many of them could not possibly care less what the average voter thinks. It is all about donors and developing this “Cult of Personality” around you amongst your support base.

How do politicians do that and what does it have to do with rock music?

Well, there is a bank called Living Colour, and they have a song, Cult of Personality. It rocks, you should listen. But let’s review the lyrics.

Look in my eyes, what do you see?
The cult of personality
I know your anger, I know your dreams
I’ve been everything you want to be
I’m the cult of personality
Like Mussolini and Kennedy
I’m the cult of personality
The cult of personality
The cult of personality

We just finished a Presidential election cycle with candidates on both sides who could be easily described by this verse. They want us to think they know what we want out of life, and they are the only ones who can get us there. Helpful hint to everyone, no one else can impact you reaching your dreams than you. Who is in an elected office will not make as much of a difference as hard work. Just sayin 😉

Neon lights, a Nobel Prize
Then a mirror speaks, the reflection lies
You don’t have to follow me
Only you can set me free
I sell the things you need to be
I’m the smiling face on your T.V.
I’m the cult of personality
I exploit you still you love me

Well, we just had a President who won a Nobel Price for not being the guy that held office before him. He was the smiling face on TV, and seemed like a nice guy. But what he did to my personal insurance rates, and the amount of coverage we get for that money have gone in the wrong direction. Yet he smiled and said we could keep our plan, and things would get cheaper. Well, I guess in a way. There is a cheaper plan, and I could have kept my plan, I just can’t afford it. But now the deductible is so damn high its irrelevant.

I tell you one and one makes three
I’m the cult of personality
Like Joseph Stalin and Gandhi
I’m the cult of personality
The cult of personality
The cult of personality

There have been politicians who have come on television and just lied. Lied their asses off. “I did not have sex with…”, “I did not send nor receive classified”, “We have $300Billion a year on prescription drugs in Medicare…”, “We have fired a whole bunch of people who in charge of those VA facilities…”, “CNN has never provided me with questions, absolutely never…”, I could go on but you see the point.

Neon lights a Nobel Prize
A leader speaks, that leader dies
You don’t have to follow me
Only you can set you free

In some parts of the world, when political leadership speaks up, they do have a tendency to be killed. Roughly 10% of our Presidents have died or been killed in office. It is all because people disagree with them. So yeah, this happens.

You gave me fortune
You gave me fame
You gave me power in your own god’s name
I’m every person you need to be
Oh, I’m the cult of personality
I’m the cult of, I’m the cult of, I’m the cult of, I’m the cult of
I’m the cult of, I’m the cult of, I’m the cult of, I’m the cult of personality

So many people running for office are now getting rich in the process it is a really good gig. The salary from the government is tiny compared to the book deals, speaking fees, and whatever else you can think of comes their way. The average salary of an ex-congressman is $2M a year. Yes…$2 MILLION. Why would anyone stay, now I understand why they would go, but why stay?

We need to do figure out how to elect people who matter. Not people who have a way to scare a certain demographic into voting for them. People we want to vote for, not someone who we choose because we are against the other guy. These politicians of today are getting so damn good at making us be against the other guy is disturbing. We need to do our civic duty and get these assholes out of there. Get the right assholes in there.

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