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Ability to win
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The Ability To Win
  
Shaun Kerry, M.D.
Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
   

If you speak the leaders  of any major political party, they will tell you that they select their candidates based primarily on one quality: their ability to help the party win. Political parties take polls of voters to determine what their concerns are.  Armed with this information, they
have professional speech writers weave these concerns into extremely persuasive sales pitches.  It's like a Madison Avenue production.

Political parties are driven by big money interests and have an annual budget in excess of $100,000,000.  They are obligated to their donors.

We are prevented from getting to know the candidates on a more personal, candid level.  This results in the candidate frequently having an artificial quality to his or her personality, which is often argumentative and competitive.  The world of politics has attracted many people who are strong with regard to salesmanship, but weak in problem solving ability.

Most people I have spoken with are unhappy with neither major candidate.  Sometimes they settle for the 'lesser of two evils', and vote for the candidate who, far from ideal, is the better choice.  Sometimes they don't vote at all.  Sadly, a great many individuals who would be wonderful political leaders are left by the wayside.   Most people simply lack the financial resources that they would need to get involved in politics.  They are unwilling to endure the immense social pressures of a political campaign.  You might know some people who fall into this category.  Perhaps a teacher, a friend, or a neighbor.    

If you observed the behind the scenes dealings of a political party, you would see that the delegates often act like an irrational mob.  Many years ago, we actually saw this being broadcast on television.  Currently, this embarrassing behavior is filtered out, and kept out of public view.  We only see a rehearsed and polished version of politics.

In my wanderings through life, I have found that most people I have encountered are very troubled by the current state of politics, but are unable to clearly define the problem, the root cause, or the solution. They feel helpless, and doubt that they could do anything to change the system. They simply accept the present circumstances as 'the price we must pay for democracy.'  People often aren't very interested in political speeches and debates, despite the fact that

the candidates are usually highly animated and talk about issues that concern everyone.  Why is this?  No matter how much a candidate practices a speech, it will always sound like a sales pitch, because that is exactly what it is: another attempt to gain votes.

If you haven't done so already, rent the movie Amistad.  This film is much more about political values than violence.  Anthony Hopkins portrays our fifth president, John Quincy Adams.  At the end of the movie, he delivers a speech that will likely move you to tears.  The president speaks of people acting passionately for a cause, rather than in the name of some material interest.  The speech is so inspiring because it comes from the heart.  We often discount the importance of the human soul, and its relation to the higher values of truth and justice.  But when someone is able to touch us in that special way, it is a very moving experience.

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