Q&A Friday #69: Have You Ever Thought About Throwing In The Towel On Politics?

Question: “Have you ever gotten so frustrated with politics that you have thought of just quitting, throwing in the towel?” — Don_cos

Answer: Actually, I have “been there, done that.”

While I was in college, I got into politics and started volunteering to help out at the local Republican Party Headquarters. I would actually fill in and answer the phones, greet the rare visitor to the office, etc., when the main volunteer in the office was out.

However, I was very naive about politics back then and I really didn’t care for some of the things that were going on. For example, I was supporting a guy for a local office and I clearly thought he was the best candidate for the job. He was in a 3 way primary against the incumbent and a real scumball who was so shifty that he didn’t even belong in politics. The race was really tight and I suggested to my guy that we release the information we had about the scumball to the Charlotte Observer to knock him out the race. But, he was such a good guy that he refused to go negative. He thought it wasn’t the right thing to do.

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So, what happened? The vote was split very closely three ways and the scumball and incumbent won and just edged out my guy because he was such a decent guy that he’d rather lose than say something bad about the other guy. So, what happened? The incumbent, who had the same info we did, released it to the Charlotte Observer, the scumball’s campaign fell apart, and the incumbent coasted to an easy victory.

That, along with some intraparty fighting, other leaks I watched, and an altogether reasonable demand that I thought unreasonable at the time (Wear a suit if you want to help out at the Republican HQ. Not only did I really hate wearing suits, I simply didn’t have the money to buy them, and didn’t want to go through the hassle when I was doing them a favor by helping them out, often on very short notice, for free).

So, that turned me off to politics and for years, I didn’t pay very close attention to what was going on. That really didn’t start to change until the Florida debacle in 2000. Once I got back in though, I’ve never had a problem staying energized or focused.

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