I have to say that this particular article really speaks to me. I have always wondered why so many wealthy people so covet a photographed handshake with the president or even a member of Congress.
I suppose it’s supposed to be symbol of status. Something to be hung on the wall as a trophy, a celluloid gazelle head or something. And I’m not talking about all pictures with political big shots. I have a friend who has a photo with Pope Jon Paul II but it isn’t some affected thing in the Oval Office. It is actually quite touching.
Generally however I find pictures with pols, pictures obviously exchanged for donations, as crass. Indeed as the author of the attached article points out the politicians and staffers don’t really care for the most part about most of the people shaking hands with the president – beyond the check that is written.
(From The American Interest)
It’s the indirect costs that are high; if anyone wonders why so many of our career politicians are cynics with deep contempt for the public they serve, years of fawning over dumb rich people, pretending to take their silly ideas seriously, assuring each of them that you aren’t like the other stupid rich people, no, you are special, you are smart, and our ten minutes a year friendship punctuated by check writing is deep and sincere—all this tends to corrode the soul. Having a political class who subsist on exploiting the character weaknesses and insatiable narcissism of dilettante plutocrats isn’t the best way to cultivate an ethos of responsibility and patriotism at the highest levels of government.
The fatheaded stupidity of rich liberals is the subtext of the hacked emails: how easily they are exploited, how gullible their vanity makes them, how pathetically eager they are for the hollow satisfaction of a seat next to the powerful.