-Photo by Randy Fath
What it takes to play the ultimate game of strategy.
First of all, you must understand if you sign up to play you immediately become fair game and other players may choose to circle and savage you before you’ve even made it onto the board. New players, if not useful, are best disposed of quickly before they gain strength.
You remain fair game from the first foray until you quit, commit political suicide, commit actual suicide, or die. Actually die, as in ceasing to live. And your memory may still be fair game. Like Nixon. Or any Kennedy. Quitting may not get you out, either.
Players from your own team may want you neutralized. And if they are extremely good players you’ll probably never know exactly why.
Players from the other side will mostly hate you. Because that’s how the game is played. You choose up sides. It’s not gentle. It’s mean.
Good politicians, no matter how nice they appear — and they must appear nice to get elected — are not nice. To ever forget that means you will lose. They are only playing the game and they’re playing to win. At all costs. You are not a significant cost.
And if you’re going to stay in the game, you must become just like them. Caring about fellow politicians is silly and dangerous. Caring about the people is unhead of among pols. You must appear to care — but not really care. Wanting to care, desiring to do good works, believing you can make things better, and thinking you are in the game to actually help people means you won’t stay in the game very long. Ask Jimmy Carter. The peanut farmer is a good man. That was his fatal flaw in this game.
You cannot have friends in the game unless they are winners and make you look good. And you will become the enemy of your “friends” if you start losing. Friends who become losers are enemies. You must avoid them and It helps if you can make it known that you were never really friends.
When a fellow pol is hanging by a thread, stay away. If he swings too close, cut his thread. You can’t be seen hanging with him; otherwise friends won’t want to be seen with you and will cut your thread.
Decency is relative. Lies are the daily bread fed to anyone asking. Distraction is deadly. It only takes a second for someone to cut your throat. And you’ll probably never see the culprit.
There’s cloaks and daggers behind fogs that obscure your vision. You must be ever-vigilant to avoid a trap.
You cannot trust anyone. Period.
But if you are a very good player, you might become rich and powerful.
There are only two game positions — winner or loser. After you’re experienced you’ll learn that only skill and appearance make the difference.
Do not hope to be understood by normal humans. You will become a different species. Politicians are not human. They are carefully constructed images.
And they’re running the country and the states, counties, cities and villages, too.