The Ten Commandments of Politicians
It appears to be a worldwide phenomenon: politicians who have succeeded in establishing a society of their own within the countries they (try to) rule. Such societies have their own, rather questionable code of conduct known as the Ten Commandments of Politicians.
1. Thou shalt not tell the truth if it isn’t self-serving
As a philosophical dogma in politics, it’s always better to tell a clean lie rather than a dirty truth unless it serves yourself otherwise. And given the fact that the ‘normal’ people’s attempt to make this rule of thumb undone by assigning a watchdog-role to the media has failed since you managed to convert most of the news channels and newspapers into mouthpieces of your own, there is nothing left for you to worry about anymore at this point.
2. Thou shalt not be greedy but cherish a fondness of money
As an extension of the previous Commandment, as a politician, you don’t ever deem yourself to be greedy. Yet, the fact that you do cherish a nice and obese wallet is no secret. If you have money you have power and vice versa. Needless to say, you should never make financial decisions that could possibly harm your own bank accounts – even if that is at the cost of the people you claim to represent.
3. Thou shalt not refuse thick envelopes
Perhaps the most powerful weapon used in political negotiations, thick envelopes have not only proven themselves to be highly efficient, but extremely corruptive as well. Bribes from lobbyists are taken left and right by politicians without even blinking and if it isn’t called a bribe then it may be described as something along the lines of ‘a donation serving mutual interests’. No, if you’re a politician, refusing a thick envelope never really seems to be an option.
4. Thou shalt not steal but use taxpayer’s money
Should there be a shortage of available bribes, then as a politician, you always still have the option of trying to steal more money from ordinary taxpayers. Oh wait… That’s right. It’s not stealing. It’s ‘using taxpayer’s money for the greater good’. They don’t need to know that this ‘greater good’ consists of your second BMW and a nice stay in a 5-star hotel at some tropical destination. And should you not be satisfied with your six-figure salary, simply raise taxes to end your personal financial misery.
5. Thou shalt not live up to promises
Need to win an election? Promise whatever your nation wants to hear. They will just stand there and cheer for the hot air you produce, while not having the slightest bit of a clue that you can hardly make anything you say happen. All that matters is that you become elected and fill up your pockets afterwards with the salary your electoral victory comes with.
6. Thou shalt not respect political rivals
The voters however are not the only ones who form a hurtle on your road to winning the elections. A far bigger hurtle consists of your political opponents, who are not as different from you as you may think they are. Just like you, they’re extremely selfish, fond of money and all too willing to receive thick envelopes from under the table in exchange for ‘small favors’. Perhaps the only thing that makes them somewhat different from you is their style. Nevertheless, they are not to be treated with any respect whatsoever since they form a threat to your future as a politician. So don’t shun that gossip, side with the media to permanently damage their reputation and don’t forget to tell the common man and woman why they are such horrible people!
7. Thou shalt not make use of valid arguments in political debates
Those who follow political debates on television aren’t waiting for you to respect your opponents and only attack their viewpoints with valid arguments, facts and statistics. Many of them wouldn’t even know what you’re talking about anyways, so don’t even bother. Instead, they want tempers to flare and see things get personal as if it were a Jerry Springer show. Just give it to them and you will be their hero!
8. Thou shalt not handle in the interest of common people
Once you have been elected, your people still don’t know that you’re not in office for them, but for yourself and maybe your family and friends. Therefore, any policy you make should be in your own interests rather than benefiting those who elected you. So if it benefits you to make a deal with some criminal organization, don’t even hesitate. Do it, and tell the media (which for the most part are at your command anyways) that your move will reduce crime.
9. Thou shalt not ignore powerful, potential friends
Just like the job market, politics is not about who you are or what you can do but who you know. Therefore, it is of vital importance that you always try to establish as many powerful connections as you can. They will help to get you where you want to be. And let’s face it, many politicians don’t remain in politics their whole life, so you too should make plans for the long run. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Wouldn’t it be great after all if after serving your term, you will be rewarded for leaving your country in utter chaos with a nice and even better paying job that has already been waiting for you?
10. Thou shalt not refrain from political correctness
As a politician, you set your own rules. However, there is only one thing you would do well to abide by: political correctness. You can try to work your way around it every now and then if you really think it’s going to benefit you, but always be very careful. You have potential allies to think about so you wouldn’t want to make any statement that they may find offensive. Not to mention that there are some very loud minorities out there whose votes may prove to be crucial to settle the score of the elections in your favor so always be very careful…
"Rather than looking for ways to serve their country, many politicians look for ways in which their country can serve them."
- Victor Brenntice -
© 2015 Victor Brenntice