Real Friends and Political Friends

   Several years ago, I was talking and said: ” I have five real friends.  These are people I know that I can count on and I frequently consult them when I need advice.  I wonder if five is enough?”   The listener thought for a moment and said: ” Well.  That is about five more real friends than most people have.

   I have been involved in politics for over forty years in one form or another.  I had opportunities to walk door to door for people, and sometimes I have walked door to door for my own campaigns.  One of the things that I have learned is that most people are very friendly and fairminded.  I have always avoided sleazy and negative campaign tactics.  The Public is too smart to accept sleazy tactics and far too smart to accept many of the doubledealing and doubletalking politicians.

   Politics has always been fun for me.  I always meet a lot of nice people and sometimes make new friends that become real friends.  When I was elected to the DeBary City Council in 2008, I got a lot of phone calls from people who in effect told me that they were my new friends.  I was too polite to say: ” You are not my friend.  You are just a special interest project, disguised as a person, who wishes to try to influence me.” All of these “special interest friends”  were, to their credit, polite to me in return.  It did not surprise me at all that when I left the Council none of these “special interest friends” ever called to say hello. However, whenever I encounter one of these individuals at the store or around the community, the interaction is always pleasant.

   However, politics does have a dark side and it is entirely up to the candidate to set a standard of integrity for himself and his campaign.  What interests me most of all are some of the individuals who seek public office.   For lack of a better term, lets say that some candidates are “not the sharpest knife in the drawer.”  I have thoroughly enjoyed watching one political buffoon over the years.   This buffoon sought office several years ago, and special interest groups gave him a lot of contributions.  It appears that he assumed that these people were his real friends and would help him again.  I was not at all surprised when I looked at his second attempt and noticed that none of his “friends” gave him money or even bothered to help him in any way.  Sadly, I am not sure if this buffoon knows the difference between a real friend and a  group of slick political operatives who succeeded in manipulating a fool.

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