Monday, September 17, 2012

Once More for Posterity: The Politician's Beatitudes

In honor of the final ramp up to election day, I repost these Politician's Beatitudes:

Blessed are those who act to preserve the privileges of the rich, for they shall receive substantial campaign contributions.

Blessed are those who swallow back tears at strategic moments only to quickly compose themselves again, for they shall be regarded as having a sensitive side but still be seen as strong, thereby being judged more trustworthy by the electorate (unless they’re women, in which case they risk being seen as dangerously emotional).

Blessed are the aggressive, since negative campaigning has proven time and again to work even though the electorate complains about it.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for prestige and influence while pretending to care primarily about serving the public, for they will gain levels of political influence that those motivated more by a spirit of public service than ambition can only dream of.

Blessed are the merciless, because they’ll ruin the political credibility of their opponent before their opponent does the same to them.

Blessed are those who can look earnestly into the camera and sound really sincere as they say things like “God bless the United States of America,” for they will win the heartland.

Blessed are the warmongers, at least if they can properly time their war-related popularity surge to an election cycle.

Blessed are those who can spin their political opponent’s attack ads as persecution for righteousness’s sake, for they can engage in an underhanded attack on their political opponent while appearing as if they are standing against negative campaigning—thereby both enjoying the benefits of a negative campaign and enjoying the benefits of pandering to the public’s theoretic opposition to negative campaigns.

Blessed are those who, in moments of moral integrity, defy this cynical list of political beatitudes and act from a sense of authentic justice, compassion, or moral purpose—for although they might not get reelected, they may actually find true fullfilment in the lives they lead after leaving public office.


  1. Hi Eric.

    I blogged about my reading of Is God a Delusion over on the Oklahoma Atheists page. I'd love it if you could give some feedback, even if it is just to show me what I misunderstood or wasn't fair about.

    1. Thanks for the heads-up and the link. I'll see what I can do. Got numerous projects that have been on the back burner because of the conference that I'm now turning my attention to.

  2. Have to say, I'm curious about the first beatitude, "Blessed are those who act to preserve the privileges of the rich, for they shall receive substantial campaign contributions."

    At first glance, I'd assume you're talking about Romney, but since Obama has raised $439 million to Romney's $261 million, I'm not sure...

    Overall, I thought this post was both funny and spot-on, just not sure attacking Romney's contributions as proof that he caters to the rich makes for a convincing argument given the facts.

    1. Actually, I had no particular politician in mind with respect to the first "beatitude." I first wrote these up and oroginally posted them on this blog in January 2011, before Romney had even declared his candidacy.

  3. Its sad that such brilliant creative writing talent and sense of humor is going towards the same old fault-finding cynicism that you can hear or read about everywhere nowadsys. It would be refreshing to hear a good take that has some positive suggestions for improvements rather than sideling criticism.