Republicans have a pretty low bar in general (have you seen the nutbars in the Tennessee legislature?) but now Donald Trump has convinced many Masters of the Universe of all political stripes that they have what it takes to run the government:
“A lot of people are saying, ‘My God, if Donald Trump can get elected, anybody can get elected,’ ” said Steve Westly, a former eBay executive who ran for governor of California in 2006.
Spurred by Mr. Trump’s election — or at least encouraged by it — a contingent of rich, fairly famous and largely Democratic neophytes has begun to line up for some of the most important elections of 2017 and 2018, including for governorships in Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Nevada and New Mexico, and a mayoral race in New Orleans.
Right, cuz who needs experience! Can’t be that hard, surely?
Of course, Republicans have been doing this for years. Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, Herman Cain, Kentucky’s Matt Bevin … politics is filled with Republicans with zero experience running for high office. No doubt this is because in the Republican Party, inexperience is more of a badge of honor than it is for Democrats.
We’ve got our own inexperienced businessman candidate right here in Tennessee, where a successful plumbing/HVAC contractor is thinking seriously about running for Governor on the Republican ticket. And he’s pretty proud of not knowing anything about anything, too:
“This is just about leadership and leadership around meaningful, purposeful work, and I started having conversations about public service,” Lee told the newspaper. “Ultimately, I just kind of said what it would be like to wake up in the morning instead of thinking how do I make life better for 1,100 Lee Company workers, how do I make life better for 6.5 million people?”
Lee described himself as a “very socially conservative guy who’s business minded.” He said his main priorities are jobs, education and public safety, but he acknowledged that his inexperience in politics could present a steep learning curve.
On specific questions of policy, Lee said he’s not trying to be evasive on issues, “but I’m just going, ‘Gosh, I don’t know if I would do this or that.’”
Gosh, you don’t know? Then golly gee willikers, Mr. Lee. Maybe you should sit down and figure some shit out first, y’know?
And as for this “public service” stuff, here’s a thought: try volunteering at Room In The Inn, or the women’s shelter here in town. Try working with some of the refugees in this community. Try reaching out to GLBT teens at the Oasis Center, kids who have been kicked out of their homes and have nowhere to go. You know, the modern-day equivalent of dining with the tax collectors that Jesus did back in the day (Lee supposedly opposed Metro Nashville’s non-discrimination ordinance prohibiting city contractors from discriminating against GLBT employees, so it seems he needs a little educating on some of these social issues).
Maybe before assuming you are ready for the governor’s office because you didn’t trash the family business your grandfather started (i.e., you inherited), maybe you should spend some time with the folks who didn’t get the leg up in the world that you did.
Just a thought.